John Nyren (15 December 1764, Hambledon, Hampshire – 30 June 1837, Bromley-by-Bow, London) was an English cricketer and author. Nyren made 16 known appearances in first-class cricket from 1787 to 1817. Latterly, he achieved lasting fame as the author of The Cricketers of My Time, which was first published in 1832 as a serial in a periodical called The Town; and was then included in The Young Cricketer's Tutor, published in 1833 by Effingham Wilson of London. Nyren's collaborator in the work was Charles Cowden Clarke.
Family and background
Nyren was the son of Richard Nyren, the captain of the Hambledon Club in its "Glory Days". He was brought up in the Bat and Ball Inn, where his father was the landlord, immediately opposite Broadhalfpenny Down, about a mile from Hambledon village.
John Nyren, who was a left-handed batsman, is first recorded in first-class cricket in 1787, around the time his father retired, and he played occasionally until 1817. He played for the Gentlemen in the inaugural and second Gentlemen v Players matches in 1806. His playing career was not distinguished and he would now be remembered only as the son of a famous father if he had not turned his hand to literature in his old age.
In 1832, Nyren was living in London when he began his collaboration with Cowden Clarke, who recorded Nyren's reminiscences of the Hambledon era and published them serially in The Town as The Cricketers of My Time. The following year, the series with some modifications appeared as part of an instructional book entitled The Young Cricketer's Tutor. It became a major source for the history and personalities of Georgian cricket and also came to be regarded as the first classic in cricket's now rich literary history.
- H S Altham, A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914), George Allen & Unwin, 1962
- Ashley Mote: The Glory Days of Cricket, Robson, 1997
- John Nyren, The Cricketers of my Time (ed. Ashley Mote), Robson, 1998
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