|Full name||Robert Colchin|
Chailey, Sussex, England
|Died||c.27 April 1750
Deptford, Kent, England
|Domestic team information|
|c.1735 to 1749||Bromley|
|c.1735 to 1749||Kent|
Source: CricketArchive, 2 August 2009
Robert "Long Robin" Colchin (1713 – c.27 April 1750) was a highly influential professional English first-class cricketer and match organiser of the mid-Georgian period at a time when the single wicket version of the game was popular. He was born at Chailey, East Sussex and died at Deptford.
Colchin lived in Bromley for several years and was associated with the local Bromley Cricket Club, which was prominent through the 1740s and declined after his death. In addition to his prowess as a single wicket player, Colchin played for Kent in top-class eleven-a-side matches including the famous match against England at the Artillery Ground in 1744. Colchin had strong associations with the Artillery Ground and is known to have promoted many matches there, often fielding his own team under the name of Long Robin's XI.
Style and technique
Colchin was an accomplished single wicket performer. He is held to have been probably the finest all-round player of his day and was called "Long Robin" because he was so tall: "And Robin, from his size, surnamed the Long". According to a contemporary article about Colchin in The Connoisseur (no. 132, dated 1746): "his greatest excellence is cricket-playing, in which he is reckoned as good a bat as either of the Bennetts [Little Bennett and Tall Bennett]; and is at length arrived at the supreme dignity of being distinguished among his breathren of the wicket by the title of Long Robin".
Family and personal life
Away from cricket, Colchin chose to lead a shadowy existence among "low company" and is believed to have been something of an underworld figure. According to The Connoisseur (see above), Colchin's favourite amusement was attending the executions at Tyburn. He had been "born and bred a gentleman, but has taken great pains to degrade himself, and is now as complete a blackguard as those whom he has chosen for his companions". The companions are said to include "the vulgar" among whom Colchin "has cultivated an intimacy with Buckhorse (i.e., John Smith, a noted prizefighter), and is very proud of being sometimes admitted to the honour of conversing with the great Broughton himself (Jack Broughton was probably the most famous prizefighter of the 18th century)".
Colchin died in the last few days of April 1750, aged 36 or 37. He had taken part in an athletics race on 9 April and a contemporary report said he developed a "surfeit" doing that "which threw him into the Small-Pox".
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