John Bryant (cricketer)
|Full name||John Bryant|
23 July 1772|
Bromley, Kent, England
|Domestic team information|
|c.1736 to 1756||Bromley|
|c.1736 to 1756||Kent|
Source: F S Ashley-Cooper, 19 December 2009
John Bryant (born c. 1717, probably at Bromley, Kent; died 23 July 1772, probably at Bromley) was an English professional cricketer who played in important matches during the 1740s and 1750s. He was mainly associated with Bromley Cricket Club and Kent. Although information about his career is limited by a lack of surviving data, he is known to have made nineteen single wicket and thirteen important match appearances between 1743 and 1756. His brother was James Bryant.
The first definite mention of John Bryant is in the single wicket "threes" match at the Artillery Ground on Monday, 11 July 1743. The six players involved were stated by the London Evening Post to be "the best in England". They were William Hodsoll, John Cutbush and Val Romney playing as Three of Kent; and Richard Newland, William Sawyer and John Bryant playing as Three of All-England. Hodsoll and Newland were the captains. Kent won by 2 runs. 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.
During the next three seasons, the Bryants were regularly involved in senior fixtures, both important and single wicket. In 1747, they played for Kent against All-England in the biggest match of the season. In early August 1747, there were two single wicket matches at the Artillery Ground which were organised by the 2nd Duke of Richmond. In the first, three of his employees Stephen Dingate, Joseph Rudd and Pye defeated Little Bennett, Tall Bennett and William Anderson. In the second, the same threes were to play again but in a "fives" match with the two Bryants added to the Duke's team and with Tom Faulkner and one of Joe or John Harris to their opponents. The result of the second game is unknown.
1748 was the great year of single wicket, which has never been more popular before or since. There were five matches in which both Bryants took part and one which featured John only.
In 1749, the brothers were "given men" playing for Surrey against All-England and then both played for Colchin's invitation XI against Stephen Dingate's team. There was a tri-series of matches between Kent and Surrey in 1750 with the brothers both playing for Kent, who won the first and third matches of the series, the decider by 1 wicket. Later in the season, they played for Dartford as given men against Addington, Dartford winning the match by 6 runs, and then for Dingate's "fives" team in a tri-series against Tom Faulkner's side.
James Bryant made his last known appearances in 1751 while John continued until 1756. He is not known to have played for Bromley again and the later mentions of him are as a given man for both Dartford and London. He was last recorded on Monday, 6 September 1756 playing for Darford against London at the Artillery Ground. He died on 23 July 1772.
- McCann, p.41.
- From Lads to Lord's – 1748.
- Waghorn, p.31.
- F. S. Ashley-Cooper, At the Sign of the Wicket: Cricket 1742–1751, Cricket Magazine, 1900
- G. B. Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, Cotterell, 1935
- Timothy J. McCann, Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century, Sussex Record Society, 2004
- H. T. Waghorn, The Dawn of Cricket, Electric Press, 1906