1737 English cricket season
The 1737 cricket season was the 140th in England since the earliest known definite reference to cricket in January 1597 (i.e., Old Style – 1598 New Style). Details have survived of seven important matches. Frederick, Prince of Wales, seems to have been the sport's main patron this year while Kent, who twice defeated a combined London & Surrey team, seem to have been the strongest county.
|15 June (W)||London & Surrey v Kent||Kennington Common||Kent won by 40 runs|||
Scores are known: Kent 99 & 70-7 declared; Surrey 31 & 98. There was crowd trouble at the match. One report says: "the Mob outrageously threw Dirt, Dung, etc. on Account of the people's entering within the Line". A week later, a man called John Smith died from complications of a wound caused when he was hit by one of the stones being thrown. Another report says that "the Press (i.e., crowd pressure) was so great" that a woman suffered a broken leg "by the Crowd bearing upon her". The Prince of Wales, sponsoring London & Surrey, gave her ten guineas compensation. Kent were sponsored by Lord John Philip Sackville.
|6 July (W)||Kent v London & Surrey||Bromley Common||Kent won by an innings|||
Kent "maintained their honour, and beat their adversaries at one hands". The match was completed in a day. Cricket Scores records the fixture but has a non-specific and incorrect date in June.
|25 July (M)||London v Essex||Artillery Ground||London won by 45 runs|||
Reported by the General Evening Post on Tuesday, 26 July.
|27 July (W)||Surrey v London||Moulsey Hurst||result unknown|||
The match was organised by Frederick, Prince of Wales (Surrey) and the 3rd Duke of Marlborough (London) for £500 a side. It was announced by the General Evening Post on Thursday, 21 July, but no report of the game has been found.
|1 August (M)||Essex v London||unknown venue in Ilford||Essex won by 7 runs|||
This is the earliest known organised match that was definitely played in the county of Essex, but see also 1724 in English cricket seasons (1597–1725). The report is in Read's Weekly Journal dated Saturday, 6 August.
|6 September (Tu)||London v Chertsey||Moulsey Hurst||London won by 5 wkts|||
Scores are known: Chertsey 45 & 66; London 81 & 31-5.
Cricket Scores has two reports of the same game, one of them having a date in June, but the Fresh Light date is correct as the report was taken from the Grub Street Journal dated Thursday, 8 September. Cricket Scores reports that a Chertsey player broke a finger and this had a bearing on the result.
|27 September (Tu)||London v Kent||Kennington Common||result unknown|||
The match was "betwixt the men of Kent and the Gentlemen of London, within the Bills of Mortality".
August. Two unnamed players, one from Wandsworth and one from Mitcham, described as "two of the most celebrated sportsmen in the game", played a match on Kennington Common. The Mitcham man was hit by the ball in his first innings and concussed for a time. He continued but was "beaten by a considerable number of notches".
May. There was a tragic incident in a local match at Newick in Sussex when a player called John Boots was killed after he collided with his partner whilst going for a run. Both men were knocked down but got up again, only for Mr Boots to drop down dead as he was running to his wicket. This was recorded in a number of sources. Mr McCann found a reference in the West Sussex Records Office which named Mr Boots and said he was buried on Tues 31 May at Chailey. Chailey and Newick are neighbouring parishes just to the north of Lewes in East Sussex.
June/July. Frederick, Prince of Wales and Sir William Gage wagered a considerable sum on a match in Hyde Park, London. This seems to have involved noblemen only and was not an important match.
The General Evening Post on Tuesday, 2 August, announced a game at Kew Green to be played on Thursday, 4 August. Frederick, Prince of Wales was due to play and lead a team of noblemen against the London Cricket Club, but it was probably members of the London Club rather than its professional players, so it would have been another minor match. G. B. Buckley says it is doubtful if the match was ever played as Frederick's first child Princess Augusta (1737–1813) was born "on Aug. 3" (sic) and this occasioned "great rejoicings in London". The Prince provided beer for the populace but "one lot of it was too bad to drink". In fact, Augusta was born on Sunday, 31 July. She was the elder sister of George III and became Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttell. She was the mother of Princess Caroline of Brunswick who made the famously ill-fated marriage with the future George IV in 1795.
- earliest known match definitely played in Essex
- earliest known matches played in Hertfordshire
Clubs and teams (all minor teams)
- First-class cricket was officially defined in May 1894 by a meeting at Lord's of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the county clubs which were then competing in the County Championship. The ruling was effective from the beginning of the 1895 season. Pre-1895 matches of the same standard have no official definition of status because the ruling is not retrospective and the important matches designation, as applied to a given match, is based on the views of one or more substantial historical sources. For further information, see First-class cricket, Forms of cricket and History of cricket.
- Maun, p. 86.
- Waghorn, pp. 17–18.
- ACS, Important Matches, p. 20.
- Waghorn, p. 19.
- Maun, pp. 86–87,
- Buckley, p. 14.
- Waghorn, pp. 18–20.
- Buckley, p. 15.
- Wilson, p. 45.
- Maun, p. 90.
- Maun, p. 89.
- McCann, p. 16.
- McCann, p. 17.
- Waghorn, p. 18.
- Maun, p. 87.
- Maun, p. 88.
- ACS (1981). A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863. Nottingham: ACS.
- Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell.
- McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society.
- Maun, Ian (2009). From Commons to Lord's, Volume One: 1700 to 1750. Roger Heavens. ISBN 978 1 900592 52 9.
- Waghorn, H. T. (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773). Blackwood.
- Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.
- Altham, H. S. (1962). A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). George Allen & Unwin.
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- Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum.
- Bowen, Rowland (1970). Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. Eyre & Spottiswoode.
- Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket. Cotterell.
- Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins.
- Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller.
- Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane.
- Leach, John (2008). "Classification of cricket matches from 1697 to 1825". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
- Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's; The History of Cricket: 1300 – 1787". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
- Collins, A. R. (2016). "Historical Calendar". Dr A. R. Collins.