James Aylward (cricketer)

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James Aylward (1741 – 27 December 1827) was a noted English cricketer who played for the Hambledon Club. He was a left-handed batsman.

He was born at Warnford, near Droxford in Hampshire and is first recorded as a cricketer in 1773, even though he was by then 32 years of age. As Arthur Haygarth writes, "he must have played several years previously, the records being unfortunately lost". Aylward is known to have played in 107 first-class matches from 1773 until 1797.[1] He continued playing after that in minor matches.

Aylward is remembered for his remarkable feat on 18–20 June 1777, when he scored 167 runs in one innings against the best bowlers and fielders of the day. This score set a record for the highest individual innings in first-class cricket, beating the 136 scored by John Small in 1775 and standing for 43 years until it was beaten by William Ward in 1820.

Aylward played for Hambledon until 1779 when he was offered employment as a water bailiff by Sir Horatio Mann, and moved to Mann's house at Bourne Paddock in Kent and played for his patrons's teams. Latterly he resided in London and died in Edward Street, Marylebone. He is buried in St John's Wood Churchyard, close to Lord's Cricket Ground.


  1. ^ James Aylward, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2018-04-10.