1743 English cricket season
The 1743 cricket season was the 146th in England since the earliest known definite reference to cricket in January 1597 (i.e., Old Style – 1598 New Style). Details have survived of 18 important eleven-a-side and three single wicket matches.
A significant development was the rise of Woburn Cricket Club, who beat London 2–1 in a tri-series played in May and June. The heavy modern-type ball with wound core and thick leather cover may have come into use about this time for it is recorded that Mr Clout was by then active in Sevenoaks as "the first cricket ball maker of any pretention".
The well known painting The Cricket Match by Francis Hayman (1708–1786) dates from this year. It now hangs at Lord's. It apparently depicts a game at the Artillery Ground and shows a "tall" two stump wicket. The batsman has a bat that is distinctly hockey shaped; the ball has been trundled but appears to be "off the ground" so perhaps it was a quicker skimmed delivery; and in the foreground is a scorer notching the tally. From the same year comes An Exact Representation of the Game of Cricket by Louis Philippe Boitard (c.1733 – c.1767). This now hangs in the Tate Gallery.
|16 May (M)||Kent v London, Middlesex & Surrey||Bromley Common||London, Middlesex & Surrey won
Scores at eight o’clock pm: London, Middlesex & Surrey 97 & 112-3; Kent 69. It was initially agreed to continue next day but Kent later "gave up the match". The London, Middlesex & Surrey team was also described as Lord Montfort’s XI. Montfort was associated with the London club and seems to have been a noted patron of the game, although this match is the only one with which he can be directly associated. The Kent side was organised by Lord John Philip Sackville.
In From Commons to Lord's, Ian Maun says that this match is "technically the first recorded two-day game", but play was scheduled for only one day and it was not until the end of that day that the continuation into a second day (later aborted) was agreed. In any case, the earliest known game that was played over more than one day took place in the 1730 season.
|27 May (F)||Woburn v London||Woburn Park||London won|||
Woburn was the seat of the 4th Duke of Bedford who was another noted patron.
|28 May (S)||Woburn v London||Woburn Park||Woburn won|||
This must have been arranged as soon as the previous game finished. The further game on 13 June may have been intended to be a decider.
|9 June (Th)||Greenwich & Deptford v London||Blackheath||Greenwich & Deptford won|||
Played for a "considerable sum".
|13 June (M)||London v Woburn||Artillery Ground||Woburn won by 54 runs|||
London were ante-post 11 to 8 favourites. The match may have been a decider following the two at Woburn on 27 and 28 May (see above).
|13 June (M)||Dartford v Rochester||Dartford Brent||Dartford won by 30 runs|||
The report pre-announced a return match at Rochester on the 23rd.
|23 June (Th)||Rochester v Dartford||Marsh's, Rochester||result unknown|||
The return to the above, but no details are known.
|24 June (F)||Chislehurst & Bromley v London||Bromley Common||C&B won "with difficulty"|||
It was specified beforehand that the game is to be played out, presumably to emphasise a main clause in the articles which were drawn up to define the terms of the wager. In any case, it was completed on the first day of play.
|27 June (M)||London v Chislehurst & Bromley||Artillery Ground||result unknown|||
No details known other than the pre-announcement.
|4 July (M)||Richmond & Kingston v London||Richmond Green||London won|||
|18 July (M)||London v Richmond, Kingston & Egham||Artillery Ground||London won by 67 runs|||
Scores are known: London 57 & 117; Richmond &c 55 & 52. This was a return to the match at Richmond Green on 4 July (see above). Robert "Long Robin" Colchin of Bromley again played for London as a given man.
|25 July (M)||London v Addington||Artillery Ground||Addington won by inns & 4 runs|||
Scores are known: London 32 & 74; Addington 110. Robert "Long Robin" Colchin of Bromley and Tom Peake of Chelsfield played for Addington as given men. William Sawyer of Richmond played for London as a given man. Tom Peake, who died in 1767, lived at Chelsfield and Orpington.
Addington is about 3 miles south-east of Croydon and this was the club’s first game in London. They had a very strong eleven for some years at this time and the club immediately accepted the Slindon challenge, in 1744, to play against "any parish in England".
|1 August (M)||Woburn v London||Woburn Park||London won by 3 runs|||
Scores are known: London 46 & 60; Woburn 72 & 31.
|8 August (M)||London v Woburn||Artillery Ground||London won by 1 wicket|||
Scores are known: Woburn 104 & 36; London 93 & 48-9.
|23–24 August (Tu-W)||Sevenoaks v London||Sevenoaks Vine||London won 6 runs|||
Scores are known: London 41 & 54; Sevenoaks 49 & 40. Sevenoaks had been 24-6 in the second innings at close of play on the Tuesday, still needing 23 to win.
|29 August (M)||London v Sevenoaks||Artillery Ground||London won|||
The match report states that London won "with great difficulty" and that: "the match played on Sevenoaks Vine, being won with great difficulty by London, has caused several considerable bets to be laid, between the noblemen and gentlemen then present; 'tis desired all persons will keep the utmost extent of the line".
|5–6 September (M-Tu)||London v Horsmonden & Weald||Artillery Ground||London won by 1 wicket|||
Three runs were still required when the last man went in.
|12 September (M)||London v Horsmonden & Weald||Artillery Ground||London won|||
No details were reported of this return match which London won. A third game was to be played.
|14 September (W)||London v Sevenoaks||Artillery Ground||result unknown|||
Pre-announced as "the third great match of cricket" between the two sides. It followed the games on 23 & 20 August (see above). As London won the first two, the series as such was already decided. No report of the outcome of the third match could be found.
|19 September (M)||London v Middlesex, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire||Artillery Ground||London won by 53 runs|||
Scores are known: London 70 & 97; MB&B 71 & 43. It was announced beforehand that: "the days being short, it is ordered that the wickets be pitched at 10 o’clock. This will be the last great match of the season".
|September||London v Horsmonden & Weald||venue unknown||result unknown|||
A third match between these teams was arranged per the report of the second, but no post-match report of the third has been found.
Monday, 11 July. A three-a-side game was played at the Artillery Ground and the six players were stated to be "the best in England". They were William Hodsoll (Dartford), John Cutbush (Maidstone) and Val Romney (Sevenoaks) playing as Three of Kent; and Richard Newland (Slindon), William Sawyer (Richmond) and John Bryant (Bromley) playing as Three of All-England. Hodsoll and Newland were captains. Kent won by 2 runs. The London Evening Post says the crowd was computed (sic) to be 10,000. A return match was arranged at Sevenoaks Vine on Wednesday, 27 July but it did not come off. The Daily Advertiser of Thursday, 7 July says that Ridgeway was to play alongside Hodsoll and Romney. Then, on Friday, 8 July, John Cutbush, known to have been a clockmaker from Maidstone, was named instead of Ridgeway.
Wednesday, 20 July. A return match was arranged but called off.
Monday, 6 June. A game between teams from Shacklewell and Westminster was played at The Cock in Shacklewell, near Stoke Newington. This is evidence of the involvement of the brewing industry in the sport; a number of grounds, ranging from Broadhalfpenny Down to Trent Bridge, were established on fields adjacent to inns and taverns.
Thursday, 16 June. A game on Walworth Common in which a team from Bermondsey defeated one from Deptford & the King’s Yard by an innings and 27 runs. Clearly a minor fixture but Ashley-Cooper helpfully explained that Walworth Common was situated where Westmoreland Road, Faraday Street and Mann Street stood in 1900. He says the ground was "about three-quarters of a mile from where Montpelier Cricket Club's Bee Hive Ground afterwards existed".
July. A report in the Kentish Weekly Post on 9 July that Horsmonden, at home, had defeated a team from the combined villages of Romney, Cranbrook and Staplehurst with a return due to take place on 11 July.
Wednesday, 3 August. "Lewes Rape" v "Pevensey Rape" on Lewes Down, near the "Horse-Course". Although this was a village match between two Sussex parishes, the stake was "a considerable sum of money".
Monday, 5 September. A match at Finningham between teams from Finningham and Stradbroke is the earliest known reference to cricket in the county of Suffolk. Stradbroke, who had some given men from Stowmarket, won the match.
Clubs and teams
- Chislehurst & Bromley
- Greenwich & Deptford
- London, Middlesex & Surrey
- Middlesex, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire
- Richmond & Kingston
- John Bryant
- John Cutbush
- Robert Colchin
- Tom Peake
- Val Romney
- William Hodsoll
- Richard Newland
- William Sawyer
- none in 1743
- 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.
- ACS, Important Matches, p. 21.
- Ashley-Cooper, At the Sign of the Wicket, 22 February 1900, p. 21.
- Waghorn, Dawn of Cricket, pp. 12–13.
- Wilson, p.50.
- Maun, p. 118.
- Waghorn, Dawn of Cricket, p. 13.
- Maun, p. 119.
- Maun, p. 120.
- Maun, 121.
- Waghorn, Cricket Scores, p. 30.
- Waghorn, Cricket Scores, p. 31.
- Waghorn, Cricket Scores, p. 32.
- Ashley-Cooper, At the Sign of the Wicket, 22 February 1900, p. 22.
- Waghorn, Dawn of Cricket, p. 14.
- Buckley, FL18C, p. 17.
- Wilson, p. 45.
- McCann, p. 25.
- Maun, p.117.
- Bowen, p. 263.
- Maun, p. 128.
- ACS (1981). A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863. Nottingham: ACS.
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- Waghorn, H. T. (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773). Blackwood.
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- Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.
- Altham, H. S. (1962). A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). George Allen & Unwin.
- Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum.
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- 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.