The Jubilee Book of Cricket/Chapter 10
THE MARYLEBONE CRICKET CLUB.
In 1863 Mr Dark proposed to part with his interest in Lord's ground for £15,000, the remainder of the lease being twenty-nine and a half years. A committee was appointed to report on the matter, and in 1864 the sum of £11,000 was agreed upon by Mr Dark for the purchase of his premises, which comprised the tavern, racquet and tennis court, billiard-room, and cricket-ground. The ground-landlord, Mr Moses, offered to renew the ground-rent for ninety-nine years at £550 per annum: it had previously been £150. In 1865 Mr Marsden (late Moses) offered to sell outright for £21,000. This was eventually reduced to £18,150, and the following year Mr William Nicholson, a member of the M.C.C. committee, and captain of the Harrow Eleven in 1843, in the most handsome manner advanced the money on a mortgage of the premises at £5 per cent, which he afterwards reduced to £4 per cent. At a special general meeting on May 2, 1866, Mr Nicholson's proposal was unanimously adopted, and from that period, when the famous old club could call the ground its own, the progress year by year has been
The M.C.C. is acknowledged to be the great cricket authority throughout the world. Like many famous institutions, its success has been at times checkered. In the latter part of the last century Thomas Lord, a cricketer of some weight in his day, was in the habit of frequenting the Artillery-Field at Finsbury. This was the oldest ground of which we have the scores preserved of the early matches. On one occasion Lord there met the Earl of Winchilsea and the Hon. Colonel Lennox, both of whom were great supporters of the game. These promised Lord their patronage if he would find a suitable ground. In 1787 he selected the spot where Dorset Square now stands, and from that year "Lord's" and the M.C.C. became accomplished facts. The first match of note was June 20, 21, 22, 1787, between England and the White Conduit Club, with six given men, when England won by 239 runs. On June 27, 1788, M.C.C. played the White Conduit Club, and amongst the players who participated for the M.C.C. were Lord Winchilsea, Lord Strathavon, Sir Peter Burrell (of Sussex), and the Hon. A. Fitzroy, the M.C.C. winning by 83 runs. Subsequently Lord, owing to a dispute with his landlord, Mr Portman, about an addition to the rent, gave up this site and took another ground at North Bank, Regent's Park, in the year 1810. This ground was only in existence for a period of three years, for when the Regent's Canal was planned the course was taken through the cricket-ground. Lord was, however, by no means discouraged, for in 1814 the present site in St John's Wood Road was secured, and it is a singular fact, though often overlooked by chroniclers, that the cricketers of the present day actually play on the same sward as did old Small, the crack batsman of the famous old Hambledon Club—in fact the turf, after it was taken from the old ground in Dorset Square and relaid on the North Bank pitch, was transferred to the St John's Wood enclosure. The old pavilion unfortunately was destroyed by fire just after the conclusion of the first Winchester v. Harrow match on the 28th of July 1825, Nearly all the records and many important documents in connection with the game were destroyed—such documents, for instance, as scores and notes of matches; while it is stated that Lord had over £2000 due to him for subscriptions. But the books were burned and Lord was anxious to retire. The situation was critical, speculating builders were on the alert, and but for the prompt action of Mr William Ward, M.P. for the City of London, the ground would speedily have been studded with villas Mr Ward purchased the lease at a high price, drawing a cheque for £5000, and giving it to Lord, In the year 1836 Mr Ward, from altered circumstances, retired from his mansion in Bloomsbury Square and sold the lease of Lord's to Mr John Henry Dark, who became the proprietor. Nine years earlier, however, in 1827, the first university match was played at Lord's, and that year the remuneration of professional cricketers was fixed at a standard of £6 per head for the winning side and £4 for the losers. In 1843 his late Royal Highness the Prince Consort became a patron, while the following year I find there were 465 members on the roll of the club.
From photo by Messrs Bassano, London.
By the year 1878 the whole of the loan advanced by Mr W. Nicholson for the purchase of the ground had been paid. When Mr Nicholson purchased the freehold in 1866 the club had a muster-roll of 980 members and an income of £6000 odd. Today I find from the M.C.C. report the club has a membership of 4197. The hundredth anniversary of the M.C.C. was celebrated by a dinner held in the tennis-court on the 15th of June 1887, The invited guests, numbering about two hundred, included past presidents, those who had played in the Gentlemen v. Players matches at Lord's twice, and other distinguished supporters of the game. The same week two first-class matches were played at Lord's—M.C.C. and Ground v. England, and Gentlemen of the M.C.C. v. Eighteen Veterans over Forty. For the latter appeared such well-known exponents of the past as Colonel N. W. Wallace, Colonel Fellowes, Major A. S. Griffiths, Major A. W. Anstruther, Messrs L D. and V. E. Walker, Rev. G. Lane, Messrs C E. Green, Montagu Turner, Rev. S. C Voules, Messrs J. Round, M.P., E, Hume, Arthur Appleby, J. F. Leese, C Booth, E. B. Rowley, P. Hilton, and E. Rutter, and no other such memorable week has been held in the history of cricket. In September 1889 the Hon. Sir Spencer Ponsonby Fane, K.C.B., laid the first stone of the present handsome pavilion, which cost the club, according to the M.C.C statement of accounts for 1890, over £5,000.
Since the fire, to which I have referred, which demolished the old records in 1825, the list of presidents has been as follows:—
1826. Charles Barnett, Esq.
1827. Henry Kingscote, Esq.
1828. A. F. Greville, Esq.
1829. John Barnard, Esq.
1830. Hon. G. Ponsonby.
1831. William Deedes, Esq.
1832. Henry Howard, Esq.
1833. Herbert Jenner, Esq.
1834. Hon. H. Ashley.
1835. Lord Charles Russell.
1836. Lord Suffield.
1837. Viscount Grimston.
1838. Marquis of Exeter.
1839. Earl of Chesterfield.
1840. Earl of Verulam.
1841. Earl Craven.
1842. Earl of March
1843. Earl of Ducie.
1844. Sir J. Bayley, Bart.
1845. Thos. Chamberlayne, Esq.
1846. Earl Winterton.
1847. Earl of Strathmore.
1848. Earl of Leicester.
1849. Earl Darnley.
1850. Earl Guernsey.
1851. Earl of Stanford and Warrington.
1852. Viscount Dupplin.
1853. Marquis of Worcester.
1854. Earl Vane.
1855. Earl of Uxbridge.
1856. Viscount Milton.
1857. Sir Frederick Bathurst, Bart.
1858. Lord Garlies.
1859. Earl of Coventry.
1860. Lord Skelmersdale.
1861. Earl Spencer.
1862. Earl of Sefton.
1863. Lord Suffield.
1864. Earl of Dudley.
1865. Lord Ebury.
1866. Earl of Sandwich.
1867. Earl Verulam.
1868. Lord Methuen.
1869. Marquis of Lansdowne.
1870. J. H. Scourfield, Esq., M.P.
1871. Earl of Clarendon.
1872. Viscount Down.
1873. Earl Cadogan.
1874. Marquis of Hamilton.
1875. Sir Charles Legard, Bt, M.P.
1876. Lord Londesborough.
1877. Duke of Beaufort.
1878. Lord Fitzhardinge.
1879. W. Nicholson, Esq.
1880. Sir W. Hart Dyke, Bart., M.P.
1881. Lord George Hamilton.
1882. Lord Belper.
1883. Hon. R. Grimston.
1884. Earl Winterton.
1885. Lord Wenlock.
1886. Lord Lyttelton.
1887. Hon. E. Chandos Leigh, Q.C.
1888. Duke of Buccleuch.
1889. Sir Henry James, Q.C.
1890. Lord W. Eresby.
1891. V. E. Walker, Esq.
1892. W. E. Denison, Esq.
1893. Earl of Dartmouth.
1894. Earl of Jersey.
1895. Lord Harris.
1896. Earl of Pembroke
1897. Earl of Lichfield.
The patron of the club is H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.
Treasurer—Hon. Sir Ponsonby-Fane, K.C.B.
Secretary—Henry Perkins, Esq.
The past treasurers have been: F. Ladbrooke, Esq.; R. Kynaston, Esq.; H. Kingscote, Esq.; T. Burgoyne, Esq.
Past honorary secretaries: 1822-41, Benjamin Aislabie, Esq.; 1842-57, R. Kynaston, Esq.; 1858-62, Alfred Baillie, Esq.; 1863-67, R. A. Fitzgerald, Esq.
I give a detailed list of matches played by the M.C.C. since 1870:—Of literature issued in connection with the M.C.C. Club, the most important are the following; —
A Correct Account of all the Cricket-Matches which have been played by the Mary-le-bone Club in 1823. By Henry Bentley.
A Correct Account of all the Cricket-Matches played by the Marylebone Club in 1824-25. By Henry Bentley.
M.C.C. Cricket Scores and Biographies of Celebrated Cricketers. Fourteen volumes, dealing most exhaustively with cricket from 1746 to 1878 inclusive. By Arthur Haygarth.
M.C.C. Extracts from Minutes of Committee from 1826 to 1867. By R. A. Fitzgerald. Now out of print.
The Centenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club. A short Summary of the History of the Club, the names of those present at the Centenary Dinner, and a resumé of the Speeches delivered thereat. By Henry Perkins and G. H. West.
The first four volumes of the 'Cricket Scores and Biographies of Celebrated Cricketers' have long been out of print, and are most difficult to meet with. Of the enormous care and labour ungrudgingly given by Mr Haygarth to this mammoth compilation it is impossible to speak too highly.
Of late years the M.C.C. have also issued annually in book form the full scores and batting averages of the club, which may be obtained by members on application to the secretary.
W. G. GRACE FORCING THE BALL ON THE ON-SIDE.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
About this time Messrs Walter and Henry Boden, Mr E. M. Wass, Mr John Cartwright, and others, commenced to advocate the formation of a county club, but it was not until 1870 that the movement took permanent root. Mr Charles Box, in his 'English Game of Cricket,' mentions that on November 4, 1870, a meeting was held at the grand jury room, Derby, to consider the best means of establishing a cricket club that should represent the cricketing strength of the county. Mr Walter Boden, who had convened the meeting, moved, "That a cricket club be formed representing the whole strength of the county, to be called the Derbyshire County Club." In moving the resolution, Mr Boden mentioned that he was one of the oldest cricketers in the county. The Earl of Chesterfield was elected president, Mr G. H. Strutt of Belper vice-president, and Mr Walter Boden honorary secretary. Letters giving warm support to the movement were received from the Duke of Rutland, Lord Vernon, the Hon. W. M. Jervis, and Colonel Wilmot, M.P. (now Sir Henry Wilmot).
The first county match took place at Old Trafford in May 1871, the Lancashire team being actually dismissed for 25 in the first innings, mainly owing to the splendid trundling of Gregory and Hickton, Gregory dismissing six of the Lancashire players for but 9 runs. Derbyshire won their first county match by an innings and 11 runs.
Mr James Catton, in his most exhaustive sketch of the history and progress of Derbyshire cricket, points out with excellent judgment that in 1873 Derbyshire was exceedingly fortunate in unearthing William Mycroft, for he was beyond all doubt the finest native-born bowler the county has ever had. He was strong enough to assist his shire for eleven seasons, and during the greater part of that time was the mainstay of the attack. He had a high action, got a lot of spin on the ball, varied his pitch, and had a very destructive yorker. It has been said that his delivery was occasionally doubtful; but the fact remains that when he went up to Lord's in 1876 for the revival of the match between Derbyshire and M.C.C., he was at once engaged by the premier club, and played for them until he was fifty-two years of age. His success for Derbyshire was pronounced from 1873 to 1880, and in his eleven seasons he captured 535 wickets at a cost of 11·4 runs each. His best years were 1875, 63 wickets for 8·1; 1878, 98 wickets for 8·66; and 1879, 59 wickets for 8·96. At Derby, in August 1883, a benefit match was played for him, under the title of England against Lancashire and Yorkshire. Mycroft, in conjunction with J. Flint, in September 1873, at Wirksworth for Sixteen of Derbyshire v. Notts, lowered the whole of the wickets of the famous lace county for 14 runs; while in July 1876 for Derbyshire v, Hants he was credited with 17 wickets, bowling down 13, and having a hand in the dismissal of every batsman in the first innings. For several years he was engaged by Lord Sheffield in the early part of the year to coach young Sussex players. Mycroft died at Brimington, June 19, 1894. In 1874, when Derbyshire played Yorkshire and Kent for the first time, they never sustained a reverse, while this year saw the advent of Mr W. G. Grace in Derby, the champion playing for the United Eleven against Sixteen of the County, who won by 13 wickets. In 1875, George Hay, another capital bowler, strengthened the attack; and in 1876, when Tye, a useful man, went over to Notts, the new shire gained a well-earned victory over the M.C.C., despite the fact that the latter had such bowlers as Alfred Shaw, Fred Morley, Rylott, and Clayton. It is interesting to note that about this period the wicket-keeper was Alfred Smith, who, despite the pace of bowlers like Mycroft and Platts, dispensed with Rigley as a long-stop.
Derbyshire has, however, had great trials, and when Mr Ludford Docker, Frank Sugg, and Frank Shacklock went to the assistance of rival shires, a period of ill luck followed, and the performances of the team went from bad to worse. Naturally the subscriptions fell off, while the burden of debt and the deposition of the county from first-class rank seriously affected Derbyshire cricket. However, loyal supporters stuck to the county gallantly, and by the aid of the Hon. W. M. Jervis, Mr G. H. Strutt, Mr W. H. Worthington, Mr Walter Boden, and Mr Arthur Wilson, the financial incubus was removed. In the course of time it was found that the grand stand of the racecourse was too far away from the pitch and very inconvenient. With the object of raising funds to build a pavilion, a bazaar was held in the Drill Hall, Derby, during Easter week, 1883. This movement realised about £800, and, with subscriptions, £1400 was spent on the new building, which faced the grand stand. When Derby County football club was started under the auspices of the cricket organisation, Mr James Wragg, a great enthusiast of the summer game, moved the pavilion to its present site, renovated the structure, and added a second front towards the football enclosure, at an outlay of nearly £1000.
Such pluck by a few zealous friends, whereby the club was rescued from insolvency, met with its reward by the excellent results which Derbyshire achieved as a cricket county in 1894, and the ofificial recognition that year of the county being promoted to first-class rank invested the matches with keen interest. Of the exponents for the Peak county mention must be made of the excellent all-round cricketer George Davidson. He is exceptionally good both with bat and ball. In 1895 Davidson scored 1296 runs in first-class matches and captured 138 wickets, while Chatterton in 1895 was credited with 1134 runs and William Storer with 1110. In 1896 both these latter players improved their figures, Chatterton obtaining 1193 runs and Storer 1313; while Storer achieved the feat of scoring two centuries in a match, 100 and 100 not out, v. Yorkshire at Derby. He is, too, one of the finest wicket-keepers of the day. Since 1891 Derbyshire has been mainly captained by the old Cliftonian Mr Sydney Herbert Evershed, who played his first match at Lord's for Clifton College v. M.C.C. in 1877. He first played for Derbyshire in 1880, while three of his brothers, W. W. Evershed, F. Evershed, and E. Evershed have also assisted the Peak county. The president is Mr Walter Boden, the honorary secretary Mr W. Barclay Delacombe. Of literature dealing with the county, the Derbyshire Cricket Annuals were first issued in 1885; while in 1897 the 'History of the Derbyshire County Cricket Club from 1871 to 1896,' by Mr Walter J. Piper, was published.
By O. R. Borradaille.
The Essex County Cricket Club was formed at Brentwood in the year 1876, but it was found that the support accorded to the county there was so small, owing to its being so inaccessible, that in the year 1886 the Lyttleton ground at Leyton was purchased for £12,000, and county cricket in Essex may be said to have started from that date, and the ground is now known as the Essex County Cricket-Ground. The ground is one of the best in England, and a large sum of money was spent on the pavilion and other improvements; but for many years the ground did not attract public attention, and consequently in 1894 it was found that the club was in debt to the extent of nearly £3000, and it was feared that it would have to be wound up, as the bank declined to advance any more money, and there seemed to be no prospect of wiping off the deficit. But, luckily for county cricket in general and Essex in particular, a guarantee fund was started, and the whole of the £3000 was guaranteed. Mr C. M. Tebbut, an old Essex and Middlesex cricketer, advanced the sum of £2000, and the debt to the bankers was paid off. In 1894 Essex was included in the list of first-class counties together with Warwickshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire; but it did not receive sufficient support from the other counties to enable it to enter the County Championship—in fact so badly did Essex fare this season that it did not win a single Inter-County match, its only victory being one against a weak team of Oxford University, and many people thought its promotion to first-class cricket was premature. In 1895 Essex for the first time entered for the County Championship, and at the end of the season stood eighth on the list, which was considered satisfactory for the first attempt. In 1896 Essex cricket made a great advance, and at the end of the season was number 5 on the list, Yorkshire, Surrey, Lancashire, and Middlesex being in front of it. 1897 has opened in a very promising manner. It remains to be seen, however, whether Essex will improve upon its 1896 form: certainly its prospects are brighter than they have ever been.
The Right Hon. Lord Carlingford was the first president of the club, and on his retirement in 1896 the Right Hon. Lord Raleigh was elected in his place, and is the present president. Mr J. J. Read was the first treasurer of the club, and held office, till 1893, when on his resignation Mr C. M. Tebbut kindly consented to fill the office, and has remained treasurer ever since.
Mr T. Ratcliff was the first paid secretary of the club in 1886, but in 1888 Mr M. P. Betts succeeded him, and remained as secretary till 1890. In October 1890 Mr O. R. Borradaile, the present secretary, was appointed, and he has been with the club through all its financial difficulties, and has had many an anxious hour as to whether the club would be able to "weather the storm" or not; but the tide seems now to have turned in its favour, and the prospects are brighter than they have ever been. When he was appointed secretary the roll of members was less than 700, but at the present time there are over 1600 paying subscribers, and the numbers are daily increasing.
The first captain of the County Club was Mr C. E. Green, who was the originator of the County Club, and but for his liberality and enthusiasm the County Club would probably never have existed. The amount of time and money he has spent on the club is only known to himself. He was a great cricketer, having been in the Uppingham Eleven, captain of Cambridge University, and having played for several years for the Gentlemen v. the Players. Mr C. D. Buxton, another captain of Cambridge University, captained the team till his death in 1892. His death was a great loss to the county, as he was an invaluable cricketer, as well as a great supporter from a financial point of view. Mr A. P. Lucas succeeded Mr C. D. Buxton, and his doings on the cricket-field are so well known that it is needless to mention them here. Could he have played regularly for the team, it would have been a great boon to the county, but finding he could not, owing to business, he resigned in favour of Mr H. G. Owen.
The present captain of the eleven is Mr H. G. Owen, and it is not too much to say that to his splendid generalship and his immense popularity with his team the present high position now held by Essex is due. Himself a very fine cricketer, he always has an encouraging word for the young members of the team, and it is hoped he will be captain for many years.
Essex is now very fortunate in having a young lot of players who should be of service to the county for many years to come. It has really good batsmen (in addition to those I have already mentioned) in P. Perrin, C. M'Gahey, F. L. Fane, Carpenter, and Russell. In bowling it is particularly strong, having besides a great variety, in C. J, Kortright, F. G. Bull, Mead, and Pickett. It also has several rising youngsters who are bound to be useful in the near future.
In writing an account of Essex cricket, however brief, those who have done service for the county in the past must not be forgotten, and although it is impossible to mention every one by name, still that of the late Frank Silcock, the ever-respected professional, must not be omitted. He was one of the best professionals who has ever played for the county, and he was the backbone of the eleven for many years, and his death was a sad blow to all interested in Essex cricket. Although he had given up playing for the county for many years, he was keen on the County Club till the time of his death, respected and loved by all.
Essex has been very fortunate in having many loyal supporters for the county welfare in addition to those two great supporters, Mr C. E. Green and Mr C. M. Tebbut. The names of Mr Edward North Buxton (father of the late captain Mr C. D. Buxton), Mr A. J. Edwards, Mr C. R. Higgins, Mr C. E. Ridley, Mr James Round, M.P., and of the late Mr G. A. Sedgwick, must not be forgotten; neither must the county forget what it owes to the Earl of Warwick and Colonel Mark Lock wood, M.P, for the keenness they have taken in the county welfare during the last six months, and the special effort they are now making to free the club from debt. In December last the County Club was still £1200 in debt, but, thanks to the appeal that they have made to the county and to cricketers in general, this sum has been reduced to £350, and it is earnestly hoped that this also will be wiped off before the end of the present season, and that for the first time in the history of the club it will be free from debt.
Though the famous "county of Graces" cannot boast the same antiquity as a cricketing county as many of its rivals, yet Gloucestershire can truly lay claim to the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen, for cannot Dr W. G. Grace look down upon more than a century of centuries? The celebrated Lansdowne Club, which was formed in 1825, may be looked upon as the initiative of cricket in the "west countree." Mr Henry Kingscote, a Gloucestershire amateur, was president of the M.C.C. in 1827. He was educated at Harrow, and occasionally participated in the Gentlemen v. Players matches. He stood 6 feet 6 inches in height, was an ardent sportsman and fox-hunter—in fact, a mighty "Nimrod" in his early days. Mr Kingscote was one of the promoters of the great cricket contests in 1827 between England and Sussex.
The principal founders and cultivators of cricket subsequently in the county were the Grace family.
At Long Ashton, in Somerset, Dr Henry Mills Grace was born in 1808. He inherited the instincts of a sporting family, and as a young man was so fond of cricket that he and a few enthusiasts used to practise on Durdham Downs, Bristol, in the early hours of the morning—say from five to eight in the glad summer, when the light is best, the air sweetest, and the sun least powerful. His devotions, at this portion of the day, did not trench upon the time required for his medical studies. In 1831 Dr H. M. Grace married, and took up his abode at Downend House, about four miles from Bristol, where he pursued the self-denying vocation of a country medical practitioner. On January 31, 1833, the first of the famous brothers Grace was born. He was named Henry, and as a schoolboy showed himself particularly fond of cricket. The child was not chided for his taste, for were there not cricketers on the maternal side of the family as well as on the paternal? Indeed, Dr H. M. Grace, an athlete of 5 feet 10 inches, weighing 13 stone, was deeply interested in the physical education of his boy, and laid out a cricket-pitch in front of Downend House. It was not the regulation length, but it served the purpose of the doctor, who amused both himself and his son, while the country-people looked on and admired until they became inoculated with a passion for the noble game. The rustics desired a club for Downend, and asked the village doctor to form one.
Although the responsibilities of this worthy gentleman were increasing, for Alfred Grace was born on May 17, 1840, and Edward Mills Grace on November 28, 1841, the head of the family responded to the invitation. But Downend could not support a club of its own, and so another suburb of the city, Mangotsfield, was included, and a club established under the name of "The Mangotsfield," who played on a public open space called Rodway Hill, which was conveniently situated for both villages. There a wicket was prepared and cricket seriously studied. Within a year another club, with such an ambitious title as West Gloucestershire, was formed in the same neighbourhood. This was due to the co-operation of a number of Students who resided with the Rev. Mr Woodford, of Coalpit Heath, and Mr Henry Hewitt. When Henry Grace was ten or eleven the Mangotsfield was fairly established, and some of Dr Grace's Bristol friends used to come out to Rodway Hill and play, while an enthusiast of the first order was Alfred Pocock, who had been a fine racquet-player, but had abandoned the court for the level mead of the cricketer. "Uncle Pocock" became a good round-arm medium-pace bowler and a very fair batsman. His devotion to the game was only equalled by his perseverance and the correctness of his methods—two most important faculties in tutoring youths. Probably no one did more to train the young Graces in the way they desired to go.
"W. G." was born July 18, 1848, while on December 13, 1850, George Frederick Grace increased the family at Downend House, which became too small for their requirements. Dr Grace accordingly removed to The Chesnuts, which had the appendage of a commodious orchard. "Uncle Pocock" and Dr Grace promptly proceeded to uproot the fruit-bearing trees and lay down a wicket. This, work they began in 1851, and a year later the pitch was most excellent. Once levelled and prepared, it became the duty of "E. M." to see that the pitch was kept in order. It was here that all the members of the family learned to play, and so perfected themselves that three of the brothers became worldfamous.
E. M. Grace, according to 'M.C.C. Scores and Biographies,' when but thirteen years of age formed one of the Twenty-two of West Gloucestershire v. the All-England Eleven. For a great performance at Canterbury in 1862 he was presented with a bat on the part of the M.C.C. and he afterwards received the ball, handsomely mounted on an ebony stand, bearing the following inscription: "With this ball, presented by the M.C.C. to E. M. Grace, he got every wicket in the second innings in the match played at Canterbury, August 14th and 15th, 1862, Gentlemen of Kent v. M.C.C., for whom he played [M.C.C] as an emergency; and in which, going in first, he scored 192 not out."
In the autumn of 1863 "E. M." paid a visit to Australia with George Parr's team, and fairly astonished the colonists by his dashing cricket. But just about this time "W. G." came before the public by playing for All England against Lansdowne, and that when he was but sixteen, while his début at Kennington Oval for South Wales against Surrey, and at Brighton for the same club against the Gentlemen of Sussex, was most sensational. On the fine turf of the old Brunswick ground by the sea he made and 56 not out; and in the following year, 1865, he was actually chosen to assist the Gentlemen against the Players, both at Lord's and the Oval. From 1853 to 1865 the Gentlemen had not won a single match, but between 1866 and 1874 the Players only gained two victories, while after 1865 they never triumphed at the Oval until 1880. This faintly suggests the change brought about by the advent of "W. G.' In 1866 he commenced his long list of centuries in first-class matches by compiling 224 not out for England against Surrey, after going in at the fall of the fifth wicket. Although Gloucestershire played M.C.C at Lord's, and All England met Twenty of Clifton, in 1868, the county did not fulfil any programme of an ambitious character until 1870, when Gloucestershire had a brief but remarkably successful season. They played home and home matches with Surrey, and visited Lord's to meet the M.C.C. This was the real commencement of county cricket, the matches being arranged and managed by Dr H. M. Grace and his son "W. G." The first match was with Surrey, on Durdham Downs, June 2, 3, and 4, 1870, and there was such a gathering that it was difficult to keep the area for play. It is worthy of note that W. G., E. M., and G. F. Grace all played, as well as T. G. Matthews, Frank Townsend (the father of C. L. and F. H. Townsend, of the Gloucestershire eleven of to-day), J. A. Bush, the giant wicket-keeper, and R. F. Miles, the left-hand slow bowler. Surrey had a strong team, but Gloucester won by 51 runs, while in the return at the Oval the Westerners triumphed in a single innings, with 129 to spare.
"W. G." notched the first century for his county, 143, and, in association with R. F. Miles, captured every Surrey wicket. Indeed, so good was the attack in the second venture of Surrey that 196 balls were sent down for 40 runs from the bat. The same two gentlemen were mainly responsible for a victory over M.C.C. by an innings and 88 runs, "W. G." registering 172 against Alfred Shaw, Price, Farrands, and Wootton. Thus it will be seen that Gloucestershire began well, winning three matches in four innings.
The following year the county club was formally established, and the new fixture with Notts was an especial feature. At Trent Bridge in the return it is stated that 25,000 spectators watched the match during the three days. Notts won with a score of 364, for Gloucester could only reply with 147 and 217, "W. G.," however, scored 79 and 116. In the match against Surrey at Clifton Mr T. G. Matthews was credited with a wonderful innings of 201.
During the cricket season of 1871 "W. G." was responsible for ten three-figure innings, and in thirty-five completed innings he registered 2739 runs, with an average of 78. These figures he has never beaten. This aggregate of 2739 stood as a record for twenty-five years, until last year I had the honour of beating it with an aggregate of 2780. I append full details of "W. G.'s" cricket in first-class matches in 1871.
W. G. GRACE CUTTING (SQUARE).
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
In the first five seasons of Gloucestershire county cricket, the representatives of the Western shire lost but three matches; while in 1876 and 1877 Gloucestershire was the champion county, and played England at the Oval, and won by 5 wickets.
Although both "E. M." and "G. F." surpassed "W. G." in the batting tables of the county in 1877, yet "W. G." was a great factor with the ball. One only needs to give a single instance to prove this assertion. It used to be said that when "W. G." was out for under 20, Gloucester were out for less than 100. Against Notts, at Cheltenham, in 1877, the Champion only scored 17, but oddly enough he secured 17 wickets for 89 runs in the match! Those gently lobbed-up deliveries, bowled more with head than hand, have oft proved the undoing of resolute batsmen. This kind of ball is such a strange contrast to the huge proportions and the massive strength of the man who gives it motion. In 1878 England and Gloucestershire again met at the Oval; but with Tom Emmett in fatal form, the county was routed by 6 wickets. In May of that year a Gloucester youth, who was nineteen, named William Alfred Woof, was played in the Colts' match, and his left-hand bowling so impressed the Graces that he was chosen for the county that season. It was, however, 1880 before the services of the second professional Gloucestershire engaged were fully utilised, and his assistance was rendered the more necessary owing to the death of Mr Fred Grace—an event which naturally aroused the deepest sympathy throughout England, for in addition to being a splendid batsman, a magnificent field, and at times a destructive bowler, his social qualities endeared him to everybody. The youngest of the band of brothers, he was the first called to account, but his memory will ever be preserved as green as the sward on which he had given happiness to thousands.
From about 1878 the decline of Gloucestershire commenced; poor "G. F." was sadly missed in the eighties. In 1887 "W. G.," acting upon the advice of Mr G. N. Wyatt, secured the services of Roberts as a bowler, and in 1890 J. J. Ferris the Australian was persuaded to take up his abode in the county, but it cannot be said that he was a success. In 1893 and 1894 two young players appeared, Charles Townsend and Gilbert Jessop, who subsequently made their names famous in connection with Gloucestershire cricket. In 1895 the Master, who had toiled on in season and out of season for his county since the first county match in 1870, fairly electrified cricketing England. In the month of May he achieved the remarkable feat of scoring 1000 runs, and on the 17th of May, on the Ashley Down ground at Bristol, he completed his hundredth century in first-class cricket. Naturally such wonderful performances on the part of the Champion created a wave of enthusiasm, and a great international testimonial was given him. In June of the same year, at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton, the Gloucestershire County banquet to "W. G." was held. It was indeed a brilliant function. His Grace the Duke of Beaufort, K.G., presided, and the gathering called together men whom it is difficult to conceive any other festive occasion could have brought into rapprochement with each other. For details in connection with this article I have to express my thanks for assistance derived from Mr Alfred J. Gaston, Mr James Catton, Arrowsmith's 'Gloucestershire County Scores,' and Haygarth's 'M.C.C. Scores and Biographies.' The President of the Club is His Grace the Duke of Beaufort, K.G.; the Secretary, Mr E. M. Grace, Park House, Thornbury.
HAMPSHIRE—THE CRADLE OF CRICKET.
Charles Box, in his magnum opus 'The English Game of Cricket,' states that more than a century ago Hampshire was one of the most attractive spots for cricket in the kingdom, and it was the centre to which cricket talent gravitated long before the Marylebone Club existed. Hambledon was the cradle of the game, and it is difficult to trace when cricket was really first played in this happy valley. Mr Edward V. Lucas of the Academy paid a devout pilgrimage to the immortal site in 1896, and his graphic notes, which appeared in the 'Morning Post,' have been specially preserved for my book by Mr Gaston.
The George Inn, once the headquarters of the Hambledon cricketers—vice the Bat and Ball, deposed—but now possessing not even a relic of the game, is the chief hostel. Competition is, however, rife, for in Hambledon the inns are, after the good old English habit, numerically in all disproportion to the population, although, alas! no longer are their cellars deserving of the panegyric which once they won. These are bad days for the connoisseur of beer. No longer is such ale to be drunk as a hundred years ago moved Hambledon's historian to eulogy—"Barleycorn," he called it, "such as would put the souls of three butchers into one weaver; ale that would flare like turpentine—genuine Boniface! This immortal viand (for it was more than liquor) was vended at 2d. per pint." Nyren wrote these words fifty years after the matches which were graced and ennobled by those libations were won, yet "the smell of that ale," he could add, "comes upon me as freshly as the new May flowers." The Hambledon men were ever good drinkers. The old Club book contains this illuminating entry: "A wet day. Only three members present. Nine bottles of wine." A wet day, truly.
Opposite the George a road starts up the western hill—Windmill Down—to the church. Here, under the long grass, lie some of the old Hambledon cricketers whose deeds and characters live for ever in Nyren's pages. The path to the ground where once they played passes their graves. It is sad to think that these green mounds are nameless. A ruddy Hampshireman on the hillside above the church throws a light on the knowledge of the modem villager concerning Hambledon's tremendous history. Yes, he had heard say that the first cricket ever played was in Hambledon, but that was over there on Broad Halfpenny, a long while back. When he was younger they used to play every Sunday afternoon; they played for pints. Hambledon, by the way, never seems to have been quite willing to regard cricket as cricket's own reward. Stakes were preferred. Sunday cricket is still an institution in the village, as it was in Kingsley's day at Eversley, and at Halton when Dr Parr dominated that spot.
"Dr Parr," says Mr Pycroft, "on a Sunday evening used to sit on the Green at Halton (Warwick) with his pipe and his jug to see the parish lads at cricket, no one being allowed to play who had not been at church; the public-houses were deserted, and a better-behaved parish than the doctor's was rarely seen in those days." Such is the moral influence of cricket. Hambledon may not have reached this state of perfection, but cricketers and teetotallers alike will be pleased to know that the allurement of pints has ceased to be all-powerful.Windmill Down is no longer meet for batsman and bowler. The slopes are yellow with corn, and the summit is divided between rank grass, growing from stony soil, with a profusion of high ox-eye daisies and purple thistles—such as Sir Horace Mann would have joyed to
DR R. BENCRAFT.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
Harris and Beldham! Cricket records hold no greater names than these—Harris, king of bowlers, and Beldham, king of bats. On this very turf, so thickly sown, so springy, so fragrant (think of it!) David Harris bowled—Harris, who in All-England matches was the first man picked; Harris, a bowler "who between any one and himself," Nyren somewhat vaguely but enthusiastically says, "comparison must fail." David came from Odiham, in Hants. He was "a muscular, bony man, standing about 5 feet 9½ inches. His features were not regularly handsome, but a remarkably kind and gentle expression amply compensated the defect of mere linear beauty. The fair qualities of his heart shone through his honest face." This description is characteristic of Nyren. No man was more eager and glad than he to discover virtue in his friends and to celebrate it. Harris "when preparing for his run previously to delivering the ball, would have made a beautiful study for the sculptor. Phidias would certainly have taken him for a model. First of all, he stood erect like a soldier at drill; then with a graceful curve of the arm he raised the ball to the forehead, and drawing back his right foot started off with his left. . . . His mode of delivering the ball was very singular. He would bring it from under the arm by a twist, and nearly as high as his armpit, and with this action push it, as it were, from him." Lord Frederick Beauclerk called David's bowling "one of the grandest sights in the universe." Like the Pantheon in Akenside's hymn, remarked the Rev. John Mitford, the friend of Lamb and a student of cricket, it was "simply and severely great."
Harris did not attain to his splendid heights without toil. "He was a potter by trade," said Beldham, " and in a kind of skittle-alley formed between hurdles he used to practise by bowling four different balls from one end, and then picking them up he would bowl them back again." And "you might have seen David," said another, " practising at dinner-time and after-hours all the winter through." "Many a Hampshire barn," declared the batsman Beagley, "has been heard to resound with bats and balls as well as thrashing." It is puzzling to us, who are familiar with Richardson's swinging arm, to understand how Harris acquired his speed in those underhand days, but all accounts agree that the potter's balls came in with terrible velocity. They rose almost perpendicularly from the pitch, and, said Nyren, "woe be to the man who did not get in to block them, for they had such a peculiar curl that they would grind his fingers against the bat." Mr Mitford, supplementing this passage, wrote with fine excess that the batsman's fingers would be "ground to dust, his bones pulverised, and his blood scattered over the field." And all the while David was beaming with his remarkably kind and gentle expression. Oh, a great man! Tom Walker, whom Nyren classed with the bloodless animals, although Beldham remembered seeing him rub his bleeding fingers in the dust, was alone undismayed. David used to say that he liked to "rind" him. None the less, Harris once bowled Tom Walker 170 balls for but one run, which proves Tom's imperturbability and powers of defence. "Gently, potter, gently, pray," must have been (in the words of Fitzgerald's Omar Khayyam) the plea of the other batsmen. It was Tom Walker who "would never speak to any one, or give any answer, when he was in at the wicket. His tongue was tied, as his soul and body were surrendered to the struggle."William Beldham, or "Silver Billy," as he was called, from his fair hair, was, with the bat, great as David Harris with the ball. He had "that genius for cricket, that wonderful eye, and that quickness of hand, which would," said Mr Ward and others, "have made him a great player in any age." For thirteen years he averaged 43 runs amatch, and that at a time when 20 was a "long hand." A glance at 'Bentley's Scores' will show you how consistent was this superb player. "One of the most beautiful sights that can be imagined, and which would have delighted an artist," said Nyren, "was to see him make himself up to hit a ball. It was the beau idéal of grace, animation, and concentrated energy." "It was a study for Phidias," said Mr Mitford, "to see Beldham rise to strike; the grandeur of the attitude, the settled composure of the look, the piercing lightning of the eye, the rapid glance of the bat, were electrical. Men's hearts throbbed within them, their cheeks turned pale and red. Michael Angelo should have painted him." Beldham was the first man to run in to meet the ball. Others waited for it, and lost the chance of scoring, but he left his ground and scored. Mr Stoddart is his worthiest disciple to-day. "You do frighten me there, jumping out of your ground," said Squire Paulet, of Hambledon, remonstrating with Beldham. But Silver Billy knew best. Innovators must ever meet with opposition. Was not Fennex, who first played forward to smother a length ball, confronted with the displeasure of his father, who, shocked at the departure, cried to him, "Hey, hey, boy, what is this? Do you call that play?" Beldham did not invent the cut— that honour belongs to Harry Walker, brother of Tom—but he excelled at it. "His peculiar glory," said Mr Mitford, "was the cut. Here he stood with no man beside him—the laurel was all his own; it seemed like the cut of a racket. His wrist seemed to turn on springs of the finest steel. He took the ball, as Burke did the House of Commons, between wind and water—not a moment too soon or late." When he could cut the balls "at the point of the bat," said Nyren, "he was in his glory; and upon my life their speed was as the speed of thought." No bowling came amiss to Silver Billy, fast or slow. Brown, of Brighton, who was a terrific under-hand bowler in those days, bragged that he would bowl Beldham "off his legs." "I suppose," said Billy, "you will let me have this little bit of stick in my hand?" pointing to his bat. "He went in," says Mr Mitford, "and fetched above 70 against him." In after-years, when the old man was in his decline, Mr Mitford made a pilgrimage to Beldham's cottage, near Farnham, to see this little bit of stick. "In his kitchen," he wrote, "black with age, . . . hangs the trophy of his victories, the delight of his youth, the exercise of his manhood, and the glory of his age—his BAT. Reader, beheve me when I tell you, I trembled when I touched it,—it seemed an act of profaneness, of violation. I pressed it to my lips, and returned it to its sanctuary." Mr Pycroft visited Beldham at Farnham in 1838, and afterwards incorporated much of the old man's conversation in 'The Cricket-Field.' Silver Billy died twenty-five years later, aged ninety-eight.
In 1788 I find from 'Scores and Biographies' that Hampshire played Surrey at Moulsey Hurst, Surrey being the winners by 9 wickets, while in 1789 Hants played and beat Kent at Bishopsbourne by 29 runs, and in less than a month after defeated England by 44 runs. Earlier in the year, however, on Windmill Downs, Kent defeated Hants by 56 runs. At the commencement of the present century, however, Hampshire cricket was on the wane; but in 1823 Hampshire beat England at Bramshill Park (Sir John Cope's seat) by 5 wickets, while two years later matches were arranged with Sussex, the first fixture at Petworth Park; the home side was victorious by 177 runs, while in the return Hants won by 72 runs.
Like Sussex, cricket in Hants was kept alive by prominent gentlemen in the county; but in the year 1842 Daniel Day, the old Surrey professional, migrated to Southampton, and, mainly through the patronage of Mr Thomas Chamberlayne, Sir Frederick Bathurst, Sir J. B. Mill, and others, he opened the Antelope Inn and ground. Cricket, however, did not prosper, and matches were few and far between. In 1863, however, during the progress of the match Fourteen of Hants v. Surrey, played on the Antelope ground in September, a large county meeting was held at the Antelope Hotel. Mr Thomas Chamberlayne of Cranbury Park took the chair, and Mr G. M. Ede was unanimously elected the first honorary secretary. In 1869 Mr Ede resigned, and was succeeded by Captain Eccles. Still Hants cricket did not flourish, and in 1874 Mr Clement Booth, the old Rugby boy, endeavoured to bring Hants again to the front. He was unsuccessful, but in the early eighties a meeting was held at the George Hotel, Winchester, when the county was mapped out into districts, each district being given representatives on the Executive Committee.
From 1880 to 1885, Colonel Fellowes of the Royal Engineers was joint honorary secretary with Mr Russell Bencraft, and in February 1895 Colonel Fellowes issued the 'Hampshire Cricketers' Guide.' It was mainly, too, through the energy of Colonel Fellowes that a county ground, consisting of over eight acres of land, at Bannisters Park, Southampton, was secured. It was the property of Sir Edward Hulse, Bart., and was leased to the county club for twenty-eight years. Subsequently the Hampshire Cricket Ground Company was formed, and this Company bought the ground outright from Sir Edward Hulse for £5400.
At present Hants is heavily handicapped, owing to military duties depriving the county of the frequent service of Captain Wynyard, one of the finest bats in the South. In 1894 for Hants he played consecutive innings of 117 v. Sussex, 116 v. Leicestershire, and 108 v. Essex; and in recognition of this he was publicly presented with a handsome pair of silver candlesticks.
Dr Russell Bencraft, too, has worked most loyally, while the following players have, collectively and individually, endeavoured to Resuscitate and popularise Hampshire cricket—Captain Quinton, Mr F. Eden Lacey, Mr A. J. L. Hill, Mr C. Robson, Mr D. A. Steele, H. Baldwin, V. Barton, E. Light, T. Soar, the late H. F. Ward, and J. Wootton. The President is Lord Aberdare; the Hon. Secretary Dr Russell Bencraft.
In the "Garden of England," the greatest of all our outdoor games has flourished from the period of the earliest records of cricket. In the Life of the Rev. Thomas Wilson, published anonymously in 1672, it is stated: "Maidstone was formerly a very prophane town, inasmuch that before 1640 I have seen morrice dancing, cudgel playing, stoolball, crickets, and many other sports openly and publickly on the Lord's Day." The 'Postman' for July 24, 1705, mentions, "This is to give notice that a match, will be plaid between eleven Gentlemen of the west part of Kent and those of Chatham for 11 guineas a man, the game to take place at Moulden in Kent, on August 7th next."
Mr Charles Box, too, in 'The English Game of Cricket,' published at the 'Field' office in 1877, mentions that Kent played All England in 1711; while in 'Mist's Journal' for May 26, 1719, it is recorded that the Men of Kent played the Men of London at cricket in Lamb's Conduit Fields for £60 a-side; while Mr Gaston has in his possession a copy of the 'London Evening Post,' of August 7, 1729, recording a cricket-match as follows: "On Tuesday was played a great cricket match on Kennington Common between the Londoners and the Dartford men for a considerable sum of money, Wager and Betts; and the latter beat the former very much."
In the 'Grub Street Journal' of Thursday, July 10, 1735, I gather the following:—
A great match at Cricket has been made between His Royal Highness the Prince and the Earl of Middlesex for £1000. Eight of the London club and three out of Middlesex are to play for the Prince against Eleven to be chosen by the Earl out of Kent: they are to play twice—viz., at Moulsey Hurst—next Saturday, and afterwards at Dartford in Kent.
And in the 'Grub Street Journal,' July 31, 1735, it is related:—
In the 'London Evening Post,' from Saturday, August 23, to Tuesday, August 26, 1735, it is announced:—
While the following year, in the 'Post' for July 21, 1736, it mentions: —
W. RASHLEIGH CUTTING.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
In 1746 Kent again played All England. This is the first cricket-match of which the full score has been preserved, Kent winning by one wicket. We are told in a mock heroic poem of that period—
"Fierce Kent, ambitious of the first applause,
Against the World combin'd asserts her cause;
Gay Sussex sometimes triumphs o'er the Field,
And fruitful Surrey cannot brook to yield."
Lord John Philip Sackville, playing for Kent in the above match, was father of the third Duke of Dorset, afterwards so keen a supporter of the game. He resided at Knowle Park, Sevenoaks, and he gave the famous old ground known as the Vine, by a deed of trust, for the use of cricketers for ever. A capital representation of this celebrated ground, depicting a match at Sevenoaks in 1780, may be seen facing page 304 of Mr Philip Norman's charming 'Annals of the West Kent Cricket Club, 1812-1896,' issued this year. It was owing to the Duke of Dorset, and to such sportsmen of position and territorial influence, that the game became so popular in Kent. Cricketers were part and parcel of their retainers, or employed by them in some capacity. Such another was Sir Horace Mann, a great patron of the game, who undoubtedly imported James Aylward, the Hambledon batsman, into Kent, and employed him as a bailiff; but John Nyren suggests that he was a much better player than a bailiff. Then a Mr Amherst probably secured another man in Crawte, of Alresford. Mr Amherst was the gentleman who arranged all the Kent matches, just the same as Mr W. S. Norton, of Town Mailing, did fifty years later, before there was any duly constituted county club.The "Lion of Kent" subsequently was Mr Alfred Mynn. He was born at Twisden Lodge, Goudhurst, January 19, 1807. For a long period he assisted Kent Mr Mynn was also a great
W. RASHLEIGH'S DRIVE PAST EXTRA-COVER.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
"With his tall and stately presence, with his nobly moulded form,
His broad hand was ever open, his brave heart was ever warm;
All were proud of him, all loved him. ... As the changing seasons pass,
As our champion lies a-sleeping underneath the Kentish grass,
Proudly, sadly, we will name him—to forget him were a sin—
Lightly lie the turf upon thee, kind and manly Alfred Mynn!"
Contemporary with Mr Mynn was Fuller Pilch, Tom Adams, Wenman, Martingell, "Felix," Dorrington, and Hillyer. In 1842 the first Canterbury week was inaugurated, in conjunction with the amateur theatrical entertainments. So widely known as the Old Stagers. In the subscription volume of 'The Canterbury Week,' published in 1865, I find that the initial prologue in 1842 was written and admirably spoken by Mr Tom Taylor (of 'Punch'), dressed as a cricketer, who stated—
"Your cricketer no cogging practice knows,
No trick to favour friends or cripple foes;
His motto still is 'May the best men win,'
Let Sussex boast her Taylor, Kent her Mynn,
Your cricketer, right English to the core.
Still loves the man best he has licked before."
No one has done more for Kent, however, than Lord Harris. At one period he was captain, honorary secretary, and the committee rolled into one. Kent has produced also a succession of brilliant amateurs, which include such names as W. Yardley, C. A. Absolom, the brothers Frank and A. Penn, Hon. Ivo Bligh, W. H. Patterson, E. F. S. Tylecote, S. Christopherson, W. Foord-Kelcey, R. T. Thornton, Frank Marchant, Leslie Wilson, W. Rashleigh, M. C. Kemp, C. J. M. Fox, J. Le Fleming, J R. Mason; while of the professional talent, in addition to those I have referred to in the early days, I would add the following, who have gallantly done their best, for the cricket honour of the White Horse: Willshire, Bob Lipscomb, Bennett, Wootton, "G. G." Frank, Walter, and Alick Hearne, Fred Martin, and Walter Wright. I append the present chief officers of the club:—
President—The Marquis of Camden. Hon.
Treasurer—F. W. Furley, Esq.
Secretary—Mr A. J. Lancaster, 46 St George's Place, Canterbury.
Captain—Frank Marchant, Esq.
By A. N. Hornby.
I have been requested by the author of this book to write some information regarding the history and progress of Lancashire county cricket, and to me it is a pleasure to be able to supply him with anything interesting regarding its origin. In the pavilion it has ever been customary to chronicle our club officials prominently, and from the earliest recollection that is possible to vouch for, we learn that the Manchester Club occupied some position in 1818, although when it was actually formed must be difficult to determine. In tracing the development of the old club, which undoubtedly gave birth to Lancashire, its first president, Jno. Rowlandson, who appears as far as it is possible to go back, occupied that position when the abode of the ground was in the Crescent, Salford. Little can be learned of how the game was conducted in those days, or when the members removed their quarters to Moss Lane, some mile and a half distant from the present Old Trafford ground; but it is certain the All-England Eleven appeared there in the forties. At all events, it is recorded that in 1842, on July 7, Manchester met the Gentlemen of the Marylebone Club at Lord's, and was practically overwhelmed; for whereas it was only able to compile 59, the Marylebone Club was credited with 220. Under these circumstances the match was not continued, and the comment was most discouraging, for it ran thus: " Conceiving they had no chance of winning, Manchester gave up the match. The bowling on the part of Manchester was very deficient, it being of the old under-hand school, which afforded the Marylebone gentlemen much amusement in hitting it away.
These were times evidently that must have been a batsman's paradise. However, as time wept on, there were more successful developments, and after a long tenure the Moss Lane fields were deserted, and a new ground acquired where now stands the Botanical Gardens, almost within a stone's-throw of the present occupation. It was in September 1857 that Manchester, now a more confident and experienced team, had the assistance of Wisden, Lillywhite, and Tom Davies of Nottingham, met Surrey at Eccles, and consequent upon some fine bowling by a very old colleague of mine, Alec Rowley, it was victorious by three runs. This year the Art Treasures Exhibition was held in Manchester, and fortunately, as all future history has proved, it was arranged to be held on the cricket-ground and surroundings they occupied. This was strenuously opposed at first, but eventually amicably settled; and now, after numerous wanderings, the present site was pitched upon, and the home of the future Lancashire team, then not dreamt about as regards the high excellence of to-day, definitely decided upon.
In and around the city there was a plenitude of support, practical and financial, and the year after, 1858, nominated by Mark Phillips and seconded by T. T. Bellhouse, S. H. Swire was elected; and, as it has proved, no more excellent organiser or resourceful diplomat has guided the destinies of any club.
Then we come to the days when Broughton, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Shrewsbury provided antagonism, and here find a different class of players who retired from the game at Lord's in 1842. There were the great family of Rowleys, seven in number, whose varied abilities in every part of the game were wonderful; Joseph Makinson, one of the finest players of his time; Middlemort, Bousfield, Barber, Rev. F. Wright, who now were able to hold their own with all comers. Hereabouts also saw the ground boarded in and a pavilion raised at a cost of £900, and this sufficed until the present fine structure was erected in 1894.The formation and progress of other county teams became an object of interest, and why Lancashire should wait, when possessed of such a grand array of players, was quickly answered with a meeting of the representatives of the various clubs held at the Queen's Hotel, Manchester, on January 12, 1864, and from that night was built up the fabric of Lancashire cricket. Those who were present on that auspicious occasion were—S. H. Swire, Frank Glover, H. W. Barber, E. B. Rowley, A. B. Rowley, D. Bleackley, T. Fothergill, Captain Ashton, A. Birley, E. Challender, J. Holt, jun., of the Manchester C.C.; R. K. Birley, J. Beckton, R. Entwistle, H. Ashton, of the Western C.C.; D. Long, H. Royle, W. Horner, Higgins, of the Liverpool C.C.; J. Whittington, J. B. Payne, R. Crawshaw, F. W. Wright, of the Broughton C.C.; E. Whittaker and E. Hobson, of Ashton C.C.; J. W. Allison and E. J. Bousfield, of Longsight C.C; J. Yates, S. G. Greenwood, of Blackburn C.C.; J. Smith of Accrington; T. Wall of Wigan; J. Swailes of Oldham; Alec Eccles of Huyton; H. M. Tenent, of Northern C.C. Mr Horner was voted to the chair, while the resolution to form a county club was adopted; and on June 15, 16, 1864, the first Lancashire team appeared at Warrington to oppose Birkenhead Park Club and Ground. It was a team
A. WARD CUTTING.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
The first Inter-county match was against Middlesex in July the following year, and in this Lancashire were victorious by 62 runs, this time assisted by the professionals Roger Iddeson and F. R. Reynolds. The latter player I have known now and played with for many years. He was a good, steady, right-hand bowler, and became identified with the club in its infancy. He has occupied an official position almost since the club's formation, and the fine condition and excellence of the Old Trafford ground is a splendid monument to his industry and ability.
I went to Harrow in 1862, and obtained a place in the eleven in seasons 1864 and 1865, playing against Eton each year. It was in 1867 that I first played in an important match, and that was for Lancashire against Yorkshire, at Whalley, near Blackburn, in 1867. My first real connection, however, with the County Palatine began in 1869, and pleased I was at the end of that season that I had happened to obtain the highest aggregate and head the batting averages. It was in 1871 that the county unearthed two wonderful cricketers, as the sequel proves, in the persons of Barlow and Watson. Then we had Arthur Appleby, one of the finest natural left-hand bowlers I have ever seen; and with E. B. Rowley, J. Makinson, J. F. Leese, Hickton, Reynolds, and Coward, there began to combine an eleven of exceptional strength.
In 1872 the only matches Lancashire played were home and home with Derbyshire and Yorkshire, all of which engagements were won. The cricketing status of the county was now fully assured, and, progressing satisfactorily for many years, we reached our greatest ambition in 1881, when in county cricket our record was untarnished. Derbyshire, Kent, Surrey, and Yorkshire were doubly beaten, one each were won and drawn against Gloucestershire, and the only match with Middlesex was drawn. It was a triumphal season I shall ever regard with pride, for, taking part in all the matches, it was my privilege to record my first 1000, runs in any one season. Since then Lancashire has developed in every direction in a manner altogether wonderful. I have tried to sketch its early history: that of more modern times is known to all who follow the interests of the game.
The committee are mainly composed of men who in the past liberally aided it practically and financially, and from the time, some twenty-five years back, when an annual deficit was customary, the club has been worked forward to a position of affluence. It is a matter of such dimensions now that it is more of a huge business, and when I say there are some 2800 members, whose number is continually increasing, to say nothing of some 650 ladies who take out subscription tickets, and the general management of the matches to take in hand, such an assertion will be readily understood. At Old Trafford I well remember when two professionals formed the ground staff, and to-day it is composed of 23. Inter-county fixtures have, too, increased to their highest point, and ten years ago, when Manchester, with twenty club-matches, thought it more than sufficient, there are on the list this season no fewer than seventy-nine. To accommodate thoroughly such a tremendous increase, in 1894 the new pavilion was erected, at a cost of £9100. Last season over 200,000 people passed the turnstiles, and to my mind the grounds at Old Trafford were never in better condition, or the whole club in a more healthy and flourishing position.
Perhaps I may be allowed now to say something about the men who have reared this great and lasting fabric, and whose talents lay in all directions. In its infancy what names are revered more than Mark Phillips, T. T. Bellhouse, and E. Whittaker? Then what a combination were the Rowleys, seven in number, whose cricketing abilities were of the most wonderful and varied type, and Sam Swire, Coward, Hickton, M'Intyre, and Reynolds. No finer bowler ever existed than Arthur Appleby, for with ease and grace and natural action no one could touch him. Of course there were many others a quarter of a century back whom one could dilate upon, but space forbids, and I will confine my remarks to more modern famous players. Taking them as they come first, what grand professionals Watson and Barlow were! The former for twenty-one years did wonderful service, and for length and ability to keep up there may be better, but I have not seen them. Barlow, too, was a great power, possessing all-round ability that for many years kept him in the forefront of professional cricketers. How many thousands, indeed, on both sides of the globe, witnessed poor Pilling's surprising skill! Ever on the alert, quiet, and confident, it was a sad blow to cricket generally when he was cut off in the height of a most brilliant career. Another very fine and altogether exceptional amateur was Allan Steel. Gifted all round at the wicket, or with the ball, he placed and got bowling away in a fashion peculiarly his own, and his deceptive power as a bowler troubled everybody. No better all-round man than Briggs, to sustain his form for so long, has ever represented us, and no one is known better all the world over. Very resourceful, he continues to maintain his position cleverly, and there is plenty of cricket in him yet. Walter Robinson, Nash, Crossland, Yates, and Frank Ward have all in their time rendered great service; and Messrs Frank Taylor, O. P. Lancashire, J. Eccles, S. M. Crossfield, G. Jowett, C. H. Benton, and others in the amateur division have represented it faithfully and well.
Coming to the team as at present constituted, during the last ten years no eleven has been more consistent without attaining the high position of champions. Wonderful, indeed, have been the exhibitions of Archie MacLaren. From his Harrow days up to the present he has placed on record a series of magnificent performances, at the head of which is his famous record score of 424, made against Somerset at Taunton in July 1895. Frank Sugg, Albert Ward, George Baker, and Arthur Mold are all players of the finest ability,—men who, in all the varied departments of the game, represent its truest interests, and are as well conducted as they are clever. Indeed I wish to speak in the highest terms of professional cricketers generally, who engage in a game of the most searching nature, and, by their respectfulness and respectability, make their profession one for which there is much admiration.
It would not be possible to conclude this article without referring to my excellent friend and honorary secretary, Sam Swire. First elected a member of the club in 1858, he has been in the thick of it throughout; and elected as honorary secretary in 1862, he remained until 1865, and resumed again in 1869, from which time until the present he has held uninterrupted office. He has been at the head in all its improvements and increases, and still guides it with power that few men possess.
By T. BURDETT.
Leicestershire is one of those counties in which cricket flourished in days long gone by, for we find it playing nine matches with Nottinghamshire between the years 1789 and 1829, of which Notts won five and Leicestershire four. It also had the good fortune to have one of the best county grounds in the country in the old Wharf Street ground; but this, through
A. WARD IN THE ATTITUDE TO CUT.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
From the records of those days the moving spirits of the club appear to have been Sir F. W. Heygate; Revs. E. Elmhirst, J. Bradshaw, H. J. Hoskins; Earl Stamford, Sir W. Dixie; Messrs Richard Sutton, Wm. Brookes, E. B. Farnham, J. D. Burnaby, R. Cheslyn, C. T. Freer, T. P. Seabrooke, A. Payne, W. W. Tailby, J. B. Storey, E. Warner, J. S. Nedham, G. C. Bellairs, T. Macaulay, and others.
After the breaking up of this ground there was an interregnum of some few years, when cricket was only able to be carried on at the various private grounds in the county till a portion of the old race-course was laid out for cricket, and county and other matches took place there under the management of a committee, which was afterwards merged into the Leicestershire Cricket Association. The want of an enclosed ground being felt (as no gate-money could be taken without enclosing the ground), in 1878 the present county ground was opened. The first county match played there was against the first Australian team, when Arthur Sankey and Wheeler scored 130 for the first wicket. The county club was established upon its present basis in that year.
The most successful year the county has had was in 1888, when it did not lose a single match.
The county have had amongst its players since the year 1870,—Earl Lanesborough, Lord Curzon; Revs. E. H. Willes, H. Gillett, G. S. Marriott; Messrs R. A. H. Mitchell, C. Marriott, W. H. Hay, A. Sankey, T. S. Pearson, H. P. Arnall Thompson, J. A. Turner, A. W. Crofts, S. R. Wright, G. W. Hillyard, C. C. Stone, J. Collier, Randon Bishop, Panter, Ryllot, Parnham Wheeler, Warren, Pougher, Woodcock, Tomlin.
It was in 1885 that Pougher, the professional, who has proved cf so much service to the county, first took a place in the County Eleyen, to which he has proved such a tower of strength, both in batting and bowling.
In 1887 Mr C. E. De Trafford made his début for the county, and in 1889 was elected to the captaincy, a position which he
H W BAINBRIDGE (Warwickshire)
C. W. WRIGHT (Notts).
C. E. DE TRAFFORD (Leicestershire).
The club is managed by a president, Sir A. R. Palmer, Bart, (a most enthusiastic cricketer, ably filling that position now), four vice-presidents, honorary secretary, honorary treasurer, and twelve members of committee, four of whom retire annually together with the whole of the officers, but are eligible for re-election. There are 700 members; and whereas the gate-money taken twenty years ago only amounted to a few pounds a match, last season it reached respectable proportions, showing the great interest taken in the game by the general public at the present time.
Middlesex, like Lancashire, first boasted a county club in 1864, but as far back as 1787 the county team participated in the first match recorded on the original Lord's ground at Dorset Square. Mr E. H. Budd, who played an innings of 76 for the County v. M.C.C. in 1808, was one of the hardest hitters of the early days. He invariably played with a bat 3 lb. in weight. A powerful club called the Islington Albion was founded in the early part of the century by Mr Gibson, while Mr Ford of Lynmouth, Devon, has in his possession a pamphlet intituled "Rules and Regulations of the Islington Union Cricket Club, agreed to at a meeting of the club held at the Canonbury Tavern, 19th April 1826." From the year 1830 (when "no-balls" were first recorded in the match Middlesex v. M.C.C.) to 1850, Middlesex County cricket was dormant, with the exception of a single match played against Surrey in 1844. A revival was effected in 1850 by the renewal of the matches with Surrey, and subsequently the formation of a bonâ fide county club was debated. With this object in view a ground nine acres in extent, at the rear of the Eton Tavern, Primrose Hill, was enclosed in 1854, but no county matches were played there. In 1859 Mr John Walker of Southgate invited the Kent Eleven to play Middlesex on his pretty ground, situated in close proximity to the charming Gothic Southgate Church. The home side contained five of the celebrated Walker family. Several county families in
A. E. STODDART DRIVING.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
Mr J. B. Payne, in his descriptive notes of Middlesex cricket, contributed to 'The Cricket-Field' in 1894, writes: —
Hearne had the bird stuffed, and it is still in his possession. I had the privilege of inspecting this curio at the Imperial Victorian Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1897.
In 1866 Middlesex had a splendid record. Matches were played against Lancashire, Surrey, Notts, and Cambridgeshire, and six were easily won, while the return with the lace county was drawn, the only loss being at the hands of Cambridgeshire, who won easily by an innings and 48 runs. On the strength of such an excellent season's work Middlesex tried conclusions with England at Lord's at Whitsuntide the following year, but "W. G." upset all chances of the metropolitan county with an innings of 75, and capturing 8 of the Middlesex wickets for 50 runs.
At the close of 1868 speculating .builders made their appearance and drove the club from their ground at the Cattle-Market, and for the next three years Middlesex was without a home. At Lord's, however, in 1871, though the M.C.C. contributed a first innings of 338 by the aid of some of the finest players of the day, including "W. G." and John Smith of Cambridge, who scored 161 while together for the first wicket, yet Middlesex won in an innings. The result came about in this way: Mr Walter Henry Hadow, the old Harrow boy, played a marvellous innings of 217, Middlesex totalling a first and only innings of 485. In the second venture the M.C.C. was dismissed for 92, Mr Edward Rutter, a capital slow left-hand bowler, obtaining six of the M.C.C. wickets for 43 runs. Mr Rutter was an old Rugby boy, and was the first left-hand bowler to place all the field on the off-side. He played in the famous tie match between Middlesex and Surrey in 1868.
In 1872 Middlesex established its headquarters at Prince's Ground, Chelsea, the first county fixture played at Prince's being against Yorkshire, who won after a keen struggle by 2 wickets.
It was while at Prince's that the county commenced to play Oxford University. In June 1874 the encounter was begun and ended on the same day—the only experience of this kind Middlesex have had. Quite another story has to be told of the 1876 match, for Middlesex, batting first, scored 439, "I. D." making no without a chance, Burghes 104, and Montagu Turner 82. Not in the least dismayed, the Oxonians replied with 612, which remained their record until 1895. Thereupon Middlesex began cutting and driving again with two such fine forcing batsmen as C. I. Thornton and C. E. Green, who only put on 120 in an hour, while when stumps and the match were drawn the total was 166 for 4 wickets. Thus 1217 runs were totalled for 24 wickets—a record for an aggregate at that date. One of the Oxonians on this memorable occasion was A. J. Webbe, who had the previous year made his début as a Middlesex player, in conjunction with his brother, H. R. Webbe, and undoubtedly the acquisition of such a man as "A. J." was the one consoling incident of 1875, for Middlesex never won a match that year. From that date to the present time A. J. Webbe has remained most constant to his native shire. It was a great task for him to follow such an incomparable captain and tactician as "I. D.," but he succeeded, and bids fair to render the county even longer service than the Southgate gentleman. Possibly no man who ever represented Middlesex has enjoyed greater popularity, and that deservedly, than A. J. Webbe, who will rank, too, as amongst the best of the scores of crack batsmen Middlesex has had. He was in the Harrow Eleven of 1872, and played for the Gentlemen of England in his Oxford days. Mr Webbe has, however, chiefly devoted himself to Middlesex county cricket. In 1887 he scored 192 not out v. Kent, and 243 not out against Yorkshire.
In the year 1B77 Middlesex migrated to Lord's, and has ever since remained there, while five years later, in 1882 and 1883, the brothers Messrs C. T. Studd and G. B. Studd were in fine form, and in these two years in first-class cricket C. T. Studd not only scored 1000 runs, but captured over 100 wickets—viz., 1249 in 1882 and 128 wickets, while in 1883 he was credited with 1193 runs and 112 wickets.
In 1885 Mr A. E. Stoddart first appeared for the metropolitan county, and it is doubtful if Middlesex ever had a better or more brilliant batsman than Stoddart. He is one of the very few batsmen in modern days who has achieved the honour of making two hundreds in a first-class match, a feat which he accomplished against Notts in 1893, contributing 195 not out and 124, while he also claims the record for the highest individual score, 485, for the Hampstead Club against the Stoics in August 1886.
Sir T. C. O'Brien's famous match against Yorkshire in 1889 will ever have a cherished memory in the history of Middlesex cricket, for in that never-to-be-forgotten game Middlesex had to get 280 to win in three hours and thirty-five minutes. Neither players nor spectators dreamt of anything but a draw. With an hour and a half left to play, 151 runs were still required with 6 wickets to fall. T. C. O'Brien came in to hit most lustily. At one time there were three men placed in the long-field to fast bowling, but it mattered little to T. C. O'Brien, who lashed the ball all over Lord's, and at ten minutes to seven the winning hit was made, O'Brien actually scoring his 100 runs in eighty minutes.
The most prominent bowler for Middlesex at the present time is J. T. Hearne, a nephew of Tom Hearne. He has twice captured over 200 wickets in a season—viz., 212 in 1893 and in 1896. He bowls— to use a technical phrase—from his toes, has a beautiful off-break, varying his pace with excellent judgment. For M.C.C. v. Australia at Lord's in 1896 he was credited with 13 wickets for 77 runs, while in the final test match between England and Australia at the Oval the same year he obtained 10 wickets for 60 runs.
Several famous names, too, must be added to this article of Middlesex cricket. George Howitt, a fine left round-arm bowler with a ripping break-back from the off, who bore the brunt of the bowling in the sixties; Mike Flanagan, who did fairly well with the leather in the seventies; Mr C. K. Francis, the Rugby fast trundler; Mr F. M. Buckland, the Oxford cricketer; Mr J. Robertson; Mr T. S. Pearson; Mr Stanley Scott; Mr G. F. Vernon, a splendid hitter, and one of the finest fields Middlesex ever possessed; Mr P. J. De Paravicini, Mr J. E. K. Studd, Mr A. W. Ridley, Mr A. P. Lucas, Mr Francis Ford, Mr Gregor M'Gregor, Mr R. Slade Lucas, Mr E. Nepean, Mr J. Douglas, Mr Cyril Foley, Mr P. F. Warner, Dr G. Thornton, J. T. Rawlin, and Jem Phillips. The President is the Earl of Strafford; the Hon. Secretary, Mr Percy M. Thornton.
The earliest recorded match played by Notts took place at Sheffield in 1771, the contest being brought to an untimely end through a dispute. There is little doubt that matches were played between Nottingham and other towns during the following few years, but no other record has been handed down until 1789, when Nottingham played and beat Leicester at Loughborough, a return match the same year reversing the verdict by a single run. In 1791 great excitement was caused in the town through a visit of the Gentlemen of M.C.C., who played a match with Nottingham on the Meadows before a crowd of 10,000 people. Matches were played during the next few years between Nottingham and other towns—viz., Sheffield, Rutland, &c.—and in 1817 an All-England Eleven played Twenty-two of Nottingham. In this match many celebrated names appear—viz., Lord F. Beauclerk and G. Osbaldeston, Esq., on the M.C.C. side, and William Clarke for Nottingham. Many important matches were played on the Nottingham Forest previous to 1839, but in that year the Trent Bridge ground was opened by William Clarke, the famous slow bowler. Notts played matches with Sussex as
GUNN—STROKE PAST POINT TAKING THE BALL ON THE RISE.
From photo by G. Caldwell, Nottingham.
William Clarke remained proprietor at Trent Bridge ground until 1847, and was then succeeded by J. Chapman, Mr Wildey, Mr J. Hickling, and Mr Jameson, in the order named. About the year 1859 or 1860 Mr John Johnson became secretary to the club, and, owing mainly to his exertions, the foundation was laid of the present club, and the Notts County Cricket Club may be said to date from that time. Mr Johnson resigned the secretaryship in 1869, and was succeeded by Mr G. B. Davy, of Colston Bassett. The latter gentleman filled the office until 1874, when Captain Holden was elected. Captain Holden resigned in 1882, when his great services to the club were acknowledged by a banquet being given in his honour at the George Hotel. Mr Henry Bromley (son of the late Sir Henry Bromley, a devoted member of the Notts Club) was the next secretary, and he was succeeded by Mr W. H. C. Gates in 1885, the latter acting until his death, which took place ten years later.
After the death of Captain Gates in March 1895 an entire change was made in the management, Mr William Wright being appointed honorary secretary, and Mr Henry Turner, a member of the committee, being asked to take the secretaryship of the club. The membership was then 1030, and a debt of £5400 rested heavily on the club. The two secretaries at once set to work to alter the state of affairs, and by an excellent business arrangement regarding the Trent Bridge Inn removed the debt without materially affecting the income of the club. In the balance-sheet presented at the annual meeting in January 1896 a balance in hand of £19S was able to be shown; and so successfully have the affairs of the club been carried on, that in the balance-sheet presented in January 1897 a surplus of over £1300 was shown. Great improvements have been made at Trent Bridge in the way of entirely enclosing the ground by walls, erecting a handsome covered stand, building bicycle-stores, and making a bowling-green. A club and ground staff has also been engaged, which promises well for the training of young cricketers. Mr Turner, on accepting the secretaryship, said that to make the club financially sound there must be 2000 annual subscribers. So energetically has this idea been worked that at the present time there are 1910 subscribers, and doubtless the 2000 will be reached this season.
In 1872 a new pavilion was erected where the present one now stands, at a cost of about £1500; but it was found, in the course of a few years, to be too small and unsafe, and it was demolished to make room for the present structure. In 1881 the ground was taken on a lease for ninety-nine years, and in 1886 the splendid pavilion now to be seen at Trent Bridge ground was erected. The cost was over £5000, and it is acknowledged to be one of the finest pavilions in the kingdom. The new hotel was erected about the same time.
Celebrated Notts Players.
William Clarke, died 1856, was the most celebrated slow bowler of his day. He once played seven gentlemen, and beat them singlehanded by an innings and 6 runs. Was manager of the first All-England Eleven that played Twenty-twos.
George Jarvis, died 1880, was for some years the most formidable of Notts batsmen.
Samuel Redgate and the celebrated A. Mynn, of Kent, were the first two round-arm bowlers who delivered the ball at a great pace with the arm straight and hand level with the shoulder. For several years Redgate was acknowledged to be the best and fairest bowler in England.
Joseph Guy, died 1873, played without intermission in the Gentlemen v. Players matches for fifteen years. Was a forward-player with a perfect defence.
George Parr, the "Lion of the North," died 1891. He was the finest and hardest leg-hitter ever seen, and in his day the best bat in England. Succeeded Clarke in the management of the All-England Eleven. Scored 130 against Surrey, 1859. Took a team to Australia in 1864, which returned to England unbeaten.
R. C. Tinley was a famous under-hand slow bowler, the best in England in his day. Was a member of Parr's unbeaten team in Australia, where his "lobs" had the extraordinary number of 270 wickets during the tour. Did excellent service for Notts during twenty-two years.
Richard Daft, born 1836, was the most graceful and stylish batsman that ever adorned the cricket-field. A most brilliant batsman, scoring heavily in almost every innings; his average for 1869 was 67·2. His biggest score for Notts was 161 against Yorkshire, in 1872. Can still hit up his 50 in local matches.
James Grundy, died 1873, was a very fine bowler and bat. Scored 69 and clean bowled 5 wickets first innings of Gentlemen v. Players match, 1852.
John Jackson was one of the fastest bowlers that ever lived. Was one of Parr's Australian team in 1864, a member of All-England Eleven, and took part in the Gentlemen v. Players contests for eight or more years.
William Oscroft, born 1843. A fine and free batsman. Largest innings for Notts, 140 v. Kent, in 1879. Served his county for twenty years, and was captain of the team.
Alfred Shaw has recently ceased playing, and has a world-wide reputation. Volumes could be written of his remarkable bowling performances, and perhaps it will be sufficient to say that no finer medium-pace bowler ever lived.
J. C. Shaw, Summers, Wild, Selby, Fred. Morley, and Scotton are some other well-known names celebrated in Notts cricket, about whom much could be said, the last two in particular having a worldwide reputation.
About the immediate past and present notable Notts cricketers—viz., Barnes, Flowers, Sherwin, Shrewsbury, Gunn, Attewell, &c.— space does not permit mention of their prowess in detail.
Very little can be chronicled as to the antiquity of cricket in Somerset. It is true that in the annals of the well-known Lansdowne Club we read matches were played between the Western Counties and the M.C.C., but there was no organised attempt to form a county club until after the match played at Sidmouth between the Gentlemen of Devonshire and the Gentlemen of Somersetshire in August 1875. A meeting was called and held at Sidmouth on Wednesday, August the 18th, 1875, the Rev. A. C. Ainslie being in the chair. It was proposed by the Rev. A. C. Ainslie, and seconded by the Rev. S. C. Voules, that E. Western, Esq. of Fullands, Taunton, be requested to act as county secretary. This gentleman, who is looked upon as the founder of the club, sent out the following circular:—
Neva House, Ilfracombe.
Sir,—I beg to enclose a copy of the resolutions passed at Sidmouth in August 1875, relative to the establishment of a county cricket club in Somerset. The following is the scheme:—
- That there shall be no county ground.
- That the club shall depend upon its support by voluntary subscriptions.
- That county matches shall be played on any ground in the county that may be selected by the Committee.
- That a president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary be nominated, and a committee consisting of nine gentlemen, three from each division of the county, shall be appointed.
This appeal is being made throughout the county, and it is hoped that the result will be such as to prevent the great expense of county matches falling too heavily on the individual players; otherwise many good men are excluded, and the county cannot do itself justice.—I am, Sir, yours faithfully, Edward Western, Hon. Secy.
Such was the start, and the first captain of the club was the Rev. Stirling Cookesley Voules, formerly a master at Rossall School, and now Rector of Rise Hull in Yorkshire. Mr Voules was a capital all-round cricketer, and was in the Oxford Eleven of 1863-64, '65, and '66. Mr Western after his retirement as honorary secretary was succeeded by Mr H. E. Murray-Anderdon, who has by his finance and assiduous duties done a great deal for Somerset cricket. After passing through many vicissitudes the County Club secured the freehold of the present ground at Taunton, and here many famous matches have been played not unassociated with brilliant achievements—to wit, the partnership for the first wicket of H. T. Hewett and Lionel Palairet, 346 against Yorkshire in 1892, which stood as a record until the present year, when Brown and Tunnicliffe in July, for Yorkshire v. Sussex, scored 378 for the first wicket; and the 424 by Mr Archie MacLaren of Lancashire, the highest individual score on record in a first-class match.
In 1890 Somersetshire defeated every county it encountered in its own rank, mainly owing to the superb batting of Mr H. T. Hewett, and the following year Somersetshire was admitted to first-class rank, when the Western county brought off a really magnificent win over Surrey in August, a victory which for enthusiasm has never been excelled on the Taunton ground. Three of the finest players in the Somersetshire Eleven of to-day are the brothers Lionel Charles Hamilton Palairet, Richard Cameron North Palairet, and Samuel Moses James Woods. The famous brothers have twice scored 100 during their partnerships in the same innings. Thus on June 3, 1895, at Lord's against Middlesex, "L. C. H." subscribed 109, and "R. C. N."
106, while on August 6, 1896, at Taunton against Sussex, "L. C. H." compiled 154, and "R. C. N." 156. Not even the brothers Grace can equal this record. Quite apart from the intrinsic value of such scores as 100 and 104 against Gloucestershire, 146, 165, and 113 against Yorkshire, 181 against Oxford University, 119 against Notts, and 147 not out, and 292 against Hampshire, Lionel Palairet is without a doubt one of the most stylish batsmen of the present day.
My friend Mr C. B. Fry has summed up the abilities of Lionel Palairet and S. M. J. Woods most emphatically when he states that Palairet's strokes are easy and unforced. Most of his runs come from off-drives. His treatment of good-length balls on or outside the off-stump is masterly. The left leg goes well across, body, arms, and bat swing easily to meet the ball close by the leg, and extra-cover scarcely sees the ball as it shoots to the boundary between himself and cover. The value of these off-strokes, now that the off-theory is universally adopted by bowlers, can readily be appreciated. Palairet has not cultivated strokes on the leg-side to the same extent as those on the off, probably because his style was formed in early boyhood by home practice with such accurate bowlers as Attewell and Martin. Much of his perfection of style is the result of a very careful education. His methods were irreproachable before he went to school, and he has improved every year he has played. At one time he showed an inclination to go in for pure hitting, but he gave it up in favour of a forward style. He is nevertheless an exceptionally fine hitter, and plants as many balls as any one into the churchyard that adjoins the Taunton ground. His hits fly like good golf drives. Nothing in cricket could be finer than some of his partnerships with Mr H. T. Hewett. Pure style at one end, sheer force at the other, and a century or two on the board with no figures beneath. No wonder the West-countrymen like the cricket at Taunton. For even if Mr Palairet fails to give them their money's worth, there is Mr S. M. J. Woods coming in later on to upset all apple-carts.Mr Woods can upset anything, and looks the part. To begin with, he is a giant. He seems big and strong in his clothes, but when stripped, his physique is even more striking. The power in his huge thighs, long back, and knotted shoulders is colossal. He does not bowl as fast as he used, nor quite as well. "I have to pretend I'm bowling now," he says. But he is a pretty good bowler still for all that, and will help the Gentlemen to get the Players out at Lord's for many years to come. If his bowling las deteriorated a bit, his batting has improved to a corresponding extent. He maintains he was always as good a bat as now, but did not have a chance. "They condemned me to be a bowler," he complains. Who "they" may be is a mystery, for he is captain of his own side. Mr S. M. J. Woods has a particular liking for the Surrey bowlers, generally managing to carve about eighty runs out of Lockwood's and Richardson's best stuff It is always a solemn moment at the Oval when "Great-heart," swelling with courage and pursing his lips into that child-like smile, comes from the pavilion to set right the failure of half his side. There
S. M. J. WOODS CUTTING WITH LEFT FOOT FORWARD.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
With the ball the two professionals, E. J. Tyler and G. B. Nicholls, in conjunction with their captain, have put in splendid work, Tyler with his insidious slows capturing 16 wickets in a match against Notts in 1892 and against Sussex in 1895; while Captain Hedley, too, has been of great assistance, one of his best feats being 8 wickets for 18 runs v. Yorkshire in 1895. Loyal support has been rendered to Somerset by the following: Mr J. B. Challen, Mr C. E. Dunlop, Mr G. Fowler, Mr L. H. Gay, Mr V. T. Hill, Mr A. E. Newton, Mr C. J. Robinson, Mr R. P. Spurway, the Rev. A. P. Wickham, and the Rev. G. R. Wood. The present president is the Hon. Sir Spencer Ponsonby Fane, K.C.B., the honorary treasurer Mr G. Fowler, and the joint honorary secretaries Mr H. E. Murray-Anderdon and Mr S, M. J. Woods.
As a county, Surrey's record can be traced to the prehistoric period of cricket. In 1747 a match took place between Surrey and All England, while on the Laleham-Burway ground, near Chertsey, Surrey defeated Kent by 35 runs in 1773, and in the return match, played at Bishopsbourne Paddock, near Canterbury, the same year, Surrey proved again victorious. This match has been immortalised by the Rev. J. Buncombe, in his famous poem, "Surrey Triumphant, or the Kentishmen's Defeat," a parody of "Chevy Chase," to which a reply was written the same year, "The Kentish Cricketers." In 1773, too, Surrey encountered Kent for the third time that season, the contest taking place on the Vine cricket-ground at Sevenoaks, Kent winning by six wickets. The following year Surrey tried conclusions with the celebrated Hambledon Club, and, according to the editio princeps of John Nyren's 'The Young Cricketer's Tutor,' lent me by Mr Gaston, I find that the leading cricketers in the Hambledon Club at that period were Surrey men—viz., William Beldham ("Silver Billy"), Tom Walker ("Old Everlasting"), Harry Walker, and R. Robinson ("Long Robin"). The break up of the old Hambledon Club in 1791 gave Surrey a splendid opportunity, and three years later at Lord's Surrey defeated England by 5 wickets and 197 runs. In this very match William Beldham scored 72 and 102. According to Mr Thomas Padwick of Red Hill, one of the greatest authorities on early Surrey cricket, the county was so strong at the commencement of the present century that Surrey frequently had to contend against Fourteen of England. William Beldham ("Silver Billy") was one of the finest cricketers of his day. He was a farmer, his family consisting of not twenty-eight children (which is so frequently chronicled by writers) but three sons and one or two daughters.
Of other famous early Surrey cricketers I would mention "Lumpy," whose real name was Edward Stevens. To "Lumpy" we owe the introduction of the third stump in 1775. To "Shock" White of Reigate the limit in width (4¼ inches) of the bat. Tom Walker was one of the first to discard underhand bowling for round arm. Thomas Boxall in 1800 wrote the first book on cricket, a very scarce publication now, but a beautiful copy is still in the possession of Mr Alfred Lawson Ford of Lynmouth, Devon. William Lambert in 1816 issued his 'Cricketers' Guide.'
Lambert played his first great match at Lord's for Surrey v. England on July 20, 1801. He was born at Burstow, in Surrey, and when a young man used to walk up to Lord's and back, twenty-six miles each way, to participate in matches. In later years, when he was better off, he had a horse and rode to London. Lambert is ope of the very few cricketers who scored over 100 runs twice in the same match, which feat he performed in 1817 for Sussex v. Epsom, contributing 107 not out and 157 against two of the fastest bowlers of the day—viz., Mr E. H. Budd and Howard. He was also a famous single-wicket player.
In 1808 at the Holt Ground, near Farnham, in the Surrey v. England match, Lambert was responsible for 86 in the second innings; and two years later at Lord's for the Hon. E. Bligh's Eleven v. Lord F. Beauclerk's Eleven, he played a superb not-out innings of 132.
In the same year Lambert and Squire Osbaldeston played a memorable single-wicket match at Lord's against Lord Frederick Beauclerk and Howard, two of the best players of the day, for £100 a-side. On the morning of the match the Squire was too ill to play, and after scoring one run, retired from the game, when Lambert alone, and unassisted, defeated the two English crack players. I append the full score of this famous victory:—
Lambert, on giving up first-class cricket, became the lessee of the Nutfield Fuller's Earth Works. He was also a noted bellringer. Lambert was about five feet ten inches in height, and had remarkably large hands. He was strongly built, but had a most quarrelsome disposition. He died April 19, 1851, aged seventy-two, and was buried at Burstow.
A few years after 1800 Surrey appears to have suffered a total eclipse, for there was no organised cricket of a representative character in the confines of the shire between 1810 and 1844. Truly there was an encounter with Sussex at Godalming in 1830, and a couple of contests with the Marylebone Club in 1839 and 1844, but these were of no import. The pastime was kept alive and practised on the village greens and in clubs on the outskirts of the metropolis. We read of the Montpelier Club, formed in 1796, which played at Hall's, Camberwell, and the Beehive, at Walworth, while they held their meetings at the Horns Inn, Kennington. There were, too, clubs at Richmond, Godalming, Farnham, Mitcham, Epsom, and Dorking, as well as the East Surrey, Camberwell, South London, West Surrey, and others which could be easily catalogued. But of all these bodies the Montpelier must be given the most honoured niche in history, for from this club Surrey emerged as an organised county.The acquisition by the builder of the old Beehive ground at Walworth necessitated in 1844 the removal of the Montpelier Club; but mainly owing to the personal influence of Mr W. Baker, an oval-shaped market-garden belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall was secured, and a lease was granted to him for a term of twenty-one years. The autumn of 1844 saw the foundation of the Surrey Club, and the first function of real cricket interest
ABEL AT THE WICKET.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
In the 1845 diary of the late Mr Briant, who occupied the "Horns," at Kenmngton, for over fifty years, is an entry which cannot fail to be of interest to Surrey cricketers. At least, it is an evidence of the initial ceremony which secured for them the possession of a county ground with proper appliances. "March 1845.—The nursery ground, the Oval, Kennington, taken for a cricket-ground by Mr Houghton, the President of the Montpelier Club, from the 'Bee-Hive,' Walworth; thirty-one years' lease, at £120; taxes about £20; turf laid by Mr South, greengrocer." The early history of the Oval was not one of unmixed success. The management of Mr Houghton, and, perhaps, a want of firmness on the part of the first honorary secretary, led to such a critical condition of things that the break-up of the CluB was very nearly accomplished. As it was, it was mainly the personal influence of the Earl of Bessborough which prevented such a disaster, and Surrey cricketers have primarily to thank him for the preservation of the Oval as a recreation ground from at least its first danger.
Even then there were difficulties which had to be overcome before the ground came under the direct control of the Surrey County Cricket Club. Mr Houghton was the man in possession, but Mr John Burrup, a name which will always be held in respect and veneration as long as the memory of Surrey cricket remains, happily furnished a way out of the embarrassment. A decision not to play any more matches at the Oval brought the lessee to his senses, and, as a consequence of his transfer, the lease of the ground fell into the hands of the Committee of the Surrey County Club, who have retained hold of it ever since. The first match played on the Oval, it may be of interest to state, was between the Mitcham and Montpelier Clubs, in 1845. In those days the wickets were pitched across the ground, and, with a due regard to the eternal fitness of things, the opening game produced a remarkable finish, resulting in a tie. Though, as was only to be expected, the early history of the Club shoved not a few vicissitudes, still, under Mr John Burrup's able management, which lasted from 1848 to 1855, the star of Surrey was unmistakably in the ascendant. For three successive years—1849, 1850, and 1851—the eleven could claim an unbeaten record. Their successes, just about this time, were still more pronounced, for in 1852 the County met, and moreover beat, England single-handed. Daniel Day and old Tom Sherman were the chief bowlers, with William Martingell as first change; and even then the eleven contained, in addition to veterans like those named, as well as Mr "Felix," George Brockwell, a pensioner of the County Club for very many years, Mr C. H. Hoare, its treasurer from 1844 to 1869, James Chester, Joseph Heath, a trio of professional players who were just beginning to lay the foundation of future greatness—W. Caffyn, Julius Cæsar, and Thomas Lockyer. After a long and successful tenure of office, the requirements of business compelled Mr John Burrup to give up the office of honorary secretary, but it did not pass out of the family, and in the hands of his brother, Mr William Burrup, the Oval commenced a new and lengthy career of prosperity. The contagion of the latter's enthusiasm soon spread itself, and the eighteen years he was at the head of affairs have been, and with reason, described as the palmy days of Surrey. The early part of Mr William Burrup's management saw Surrey pre-eminent. Of nine matches played in 1857, all were won, and in the following year the County eleven had the proud satisfaction of beating England, and in the most decisive fashion, by no less than an innings and 28 runs. Martingell, Sherman, Caffyn, Cæsar, and Tom Lockyer, were then in their prime; and the eleven was completed by the addition of H. H. Stephenson, Griffith, and W. Mortlock, with three amateurs, Messrs F. P. Miller, Fred Burbidge, and C. G. Lane.
Subsequently the brothers Humphrey (Tom and Dick), H. Jupp, and Pooley, enabled Surrey to maintain a position, but in the seventies, with the exception of the year 1872, Surrey cricket deteriorated considerably. Season followed season with disaster. In 1877, however, when Mr John Shuter joined the team, the tide turned, and to him, together with the co-operation of Mr W. W. Read and others, Surrey cricket has vastly improved, the honours of the past fifteen years being distributed amongst such well-known players as Mr K. J. Key, Mr W. E. Roller, Abel, Brockwell, Barratt, Henderson, Hayward, Lohmann, Maurice Read, Richardson, and Wood.
During next winter the Surrey executive purpose building a gigantic new pavilion and tavern at a cost of £24,000.
Patron—His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
President—Sir: Richard E. Webster, G.C.M.G., Q.C., M.P.
Vice-President—Lieut.-Gen. F. Marshall.
Hon. Treasurer—Wildman Cattley, Esq.
Secretary—C. W. Alcock, Esq.
Assistant-Secretary—V. W. Read, Esq.
Sussex, the oldest of all the first-class counties in the County Championship matches of to-day, can truly boast, with Hants, Surrey, and Kent, of being the pioneers of the game. It was Sussex that reared Richard Newland, the tutor of Nyren, the head and the right arm of the famous Hambledon Club. Royal associations, too, were connected with early Sussex cricket, for as far back as 1791 the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV., formed a cricket-ground at Brighton. This ground was afterwards known as "Ireland's Gardens," and it was on this classic sward that the great deeds of the nonpareil bowler William Lillywhite, Tom Box, the two Broadbridges, Morley, Meads, Lanaway, Pierpoint, and the old Etonian and Cambridge crack batsman Mr C. G. Taylor, were achieved. In 1834 a new ground was opened by Lillywhite in Brighton, where Montpellier Crescent now stands, but the ground was only in existence ten years. Nearly all the great matches, however, were played on Brown's ground, where Park Crescent is now, which was afterwards leased by Tom Box. The last grand match ever played on this ground was in September 1847, when Sussex with Alfred Mynn played All England and won by 27 runs.
The formation of the present County Club dates as far back as the ist of March 1839, the first honorary secretary being the Rev. George Leopold Langdon, M.A. The original circular convening the meeting is still in the possession of Mr Alfred J. Gaston of Brighton.
In 1848, speculating builders having acquired the Park Crescent pitch, the celebrated old Brunswick ground by the sea was opened. This was one of the finest grounds in England, and for twenty-three years many a famous match took place. In August 1857 the late Mr Bridger Stent, the late Mr Henry F. Stocken, Mr W. Grover Ashby, and Mr Henry Cooke were instrumental in extending the Sussex County Club on more popular lines, the most important districts in the county being represented on the committee. In the "sixties" Sussex could claim several noted cricketers—viz., John Lillywhite, Charles Payne, Henry Stubberfield, C. H. Ellis, and James Southerton; while later on Mr C. H. Smith, James Lillywhite, R. Fillery, and Harry Charlwood maintained the honour of the county.
Crowded out once more by the incessant enlargement of the "Queen of watering-places," in 1871 Sussex had again to seek a new ground. Chiefly owing to the liberality of the late Mr Vere Fane, Benett-Stanford, and the trustees of the Stanford estate, the present site was selected, the original turf being taken from the old Brunswick ground.In the autumn of that year, under the able superintendence of Mr Henry Cooke, a space—after a crop of barley had been garnered in—300 feet square was set apart for a match-ground, and so great was the care bestowed in the initial stages that the Brighton ground has for many years enjoyed the very highest reputation as one of the best cricket-pitches in the whole world—a veritable batsman's paradise. Records upon records have been made on the Brighton wickets, and the turf of to-day is as true and as perfect as when the first match was played thereon twenty-five years ago.
W. NEWHAM FORCING THE BALL ON THE ON-SIDE.
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
In 1895 I became qualified, and played my first match for Sussex v. M.C.C. at Lord's; and a most remarkable first match it was for me, contributing, as I did, 77 not out and 150. That year I scored as follows for Sussex:—
Last year I was even more successful, and for the. county I made a record for the number of centuries and for the aggregate, my feat also of obtaining two centuries in a being achieved in one day. My batting for Sussex follows: —
I append the present patrons, president, vice-presidents; and executive committee of the Sussex County Club: —
Patrons—His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, the Most Hon. the Marquis of Abergavenny.
President—His Grace the Duke of Norfolk.
Vice-Presidents—The Right Hon. the Earl Winterton, the Right Hon. Viscount Gage, the Right Hon. Lord Leconfield; Sir Henry Harben, J.P.; W. H. Campion, Esq.; Colonel Wisden; C. J. Lucas, Esq.
Treasurer—W. G. Ashby, Esq.
Auditor—E. Eager, Esq.
Committee: East Sussex—Hon. C. Brand; Mr S. Beard; Mr Spencer Austen Leigh; Rev. W. D. Parish; Mr W. H. Loder; Mr W. Keen. West SussexMr. A. C. Oddie; Mr H. E. Harris; Mr W. Smith; Mr A. F. Somerset; Mr Corrall Farmer. Brighton—Mr A. J. Cullen; Mr H. Cooke; Mr E. A. Smithers; Mr H. F. De Paravicini; Mr F. Ravenhill; Mr C. H. Smith.
Secretary and Collector—Mr W. Newham.
I append also a complete table of the whole of the centuries scored by Sussex players since the formation of the 'Sussex County Club in 1839, compiled specially for me by Mr A. J. Gaston, tabulated to July 24, 1897.
G. BRANN CUTTING (LATE).
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
The most famous bowlers for Sussex have been Frederick William Lillywhite (the nonpareil), George Brown, James Dean, George Picknell, Mr Edwin Napper, John Wisden, "Tiny" Wells, James Challen, Henry Stubberfield, James Southerton ("the player of many counties"), James Lillywhite, Richard Fillery, Henry Killick, Mr Arthur Smith, J. W. Juniper, the brothers Jesse and Arthur Hide, Mr W. Blackman, Walter Humphreys, F. W. Tate, and F. Parris.
The most celebrated wicket-keepers, whose deeds with the gloves are even now household names amongst cricketers, were Tom Box, C. H. Ellis, and Harry Phillips.
Since 1860 benefit matches have been played as follows: —
|C. H. Ellis||1869||H. Charlwood||1883|
|John Lillywhite||1871||H. Phillips||1886|
|R. Fillery||1880||Walter Humphreys||1891|
|James Lillywhite||1881||Jesse Hide||1894|
Of the descriptive writers on the game who have made their names famous in connection with Sussex cricket, I would mention Mr Arthur Haygarth, the indefatigable compiler of the fourteen volumes of 'M.C.C. Scores and Biographies'; Mr G. W. King; the Rev. C. F. Trower; Major Ewbank; the Rev. James Pycroft, author of the 'Cricket-field'; Mr John George Bishop, author of 'A Peep into the Past, Brighton in the Olden Time'; Mr G. F. Salter; Mr George Cole; Mr W. A. Bettesworth; and Mr Alfred J. Gaston.
The Warwickshire County Club at the present time owes much to the energies and influence of Mr William Ansell, and it is almost safe to assume that if there had been no Mr Ansell in Birmingham, Warwickshire would certainly not have been included amongst the first-class cricket counties. Cricket was, however, played a long time back in the Birmingham district, on the pleasant fields now covered with vast manufactories. The meetings were held in a field opposite the Monument House, Edgbaston, every Tuesday. In 1819, it is stated, there were but three houses on that side of the road between the Ivy Bush, Hagley Road, and the Dudley turnpike sandpits. The meetings were well attended, and the game was kept up with spirit for several years. The best player was David Hanbury, a fine powerful man, excellent at all points of the game. In connection with Warwickshire cricket an extraordinary incident occurred during Trinity term in 1833. A case was tried at the Warwickshire Assizes before Lord Denman to recover £20 on the following account:—
The Birmingham Union Cricket Club agree to play at Warwick on the 8th of October a match of cricket for £20 a-side with the Warwick Club; a deposit of £5 a-side is placed in the hands of Mr Terril on behalf of the Warwick club, the same for the Birmingham Club. Wickets to be pitched at ten; to begin at half-past ten, or forfeit the deposit; wickets to be struck at half-past five, unless the game is finished before. To be allowed to change three men according to the list sent this morning.
At the close of the first day's play Warwick was well ahead, and next day the Birmingham team refused to go in, owing to the fact of a Leamington man having played for their adversaries. The plaintiff, Hodson, as agent for the Birmingham club, gave notice to the defendant to pay over their deposit to him; but the defendant in the action paid it over to the Warwickshire club on receiving their indemnity. Lord Denman non-suited the plaintiff. Judging from the above curious action at the assizes, it is only natural to suppose that cricket had become a regular institution of the shire; but such was not the case. For a long time, however, the game was cultivated at Rugby, and mainly owing to the energies of Mr A. G. Guillemard, the scores of the matches at this famous school have been preserved since 1831. In the year 1841 M.C.C. played Rugby School, the captain of the school at that time being the famous author of 'Tom Brown's School Days.' The basis of the formation of the Warwickshire County Club of the present day was initiated in the early part of 1882. Colonel Jervis, who was then acting as secretary to the old Warwickshire club, which had its headquarters at Warwick, called a meeting at Leamington. This was attended by Mr Ansell, as secretary of the Birmingham Association; Mr David Buchanan, the famous old Rugbeian and left-arm bowler; Mr Morton P. Lucas, who at that time played for Sussex; Colonel Jervis; and the Rev. G. Cuffe, of Coventry. At that meeting Warwickshire cricket was on its present basis. It was the first step towards the accomplishment of an important scheme of county cricket. Circulars were sent to the various clubs asking them for assistance, and at a committee meeting held at Coventry in April 1882 Lord Willoughby de Broke was invited to become president. It was further decided that the representation on the committee should be as under: Birmingham and District Cricket Association, four representatives; Warwick Gentlemen's Cricket Club, late the Warwickshire Cricket Club, three; Coventry, two; and Rugby one representative; with the understanding that other districts might be represented as became necessary. It is interesting to record the fact that the first balance-sheet for the year ended November 1883 showed the subscriptions to amount to £14, 3s., the total receipts being £25, 16s. Committee meetings were held, principally at Coventry and Leamington, and the exertions of Mr Hugh Rotherham, of Horsley Grange, Coventry, the celebrated fast bowler, Mr Clements, and Mr Albut, as well as those of Mr Ansell, were most indefatigable at the initial stage of the association. There was a feeling prevalent that more publicity was necessary, and in the year 1884 a meeting was called at Leamington by Lord Willoughby de Broke for the purpose of deciding upon a permanent home for county cricket, as it was seen that the playing of matches in various parts of the county did not bring very satisfactory results. After considerable discussion, it was eventually agreed to secure a county ground at Birmingham, where gate-money might be obtained. The attention of Sir Thomas Martineau, who was then Mayor of Birmingham, was called to the great need of a county ground by the Australian match at Aston Lower Grounds in May, which finished in one day in consequence of the state of the wicket. Sir Thomas Martineau presided at the annual dinner of the Birmingham Cricket Association, and it was then that Mr Ansell urged the Mayor to lend his powerful aid in securing a county ground at Birmingham. The Mayor at once promised to do all he could to assist them, and the formation of the present enclosure in the Edgbaston Road was the ultimate result.
As representative of the Warwickshire County Club at Lord's, Mr Ansell made efforts to improve the status of second-class counties, and tried hard to obtain a proper system of promotion into the first-class rank. In November 1885 he called a meeting of the younger counties at the Pavilion at Lord's, and the following resolution was then passed: "That in the opinion of this meeting the older counties should encourage the growth of cricket of younger counties by playing home and home matches with at least one of them every year." This may be taken as the origin of the practice of the first-class counties giving minor counties a match or two during the season. It was all very well in its way, but it did not go far enough for Mr Ansell. He wanted to get a real system of promotion for second-class counties, and he did not relax his efforts. At a meeting of the County Cricket Council held in December 1889 at Lord's, a sub-committee was formed to classify counties and to provide means of promotion from one class to another. Mr Ansell was appointed one of the sub-committee representatives by Warwickshire, and he attended the subsequent meetings, where a scheme was drawn up which stipulated that the two weakest counties in the first class should play the two strongest in the second class for the right of place. This was afterwards altered to the effect that the weakest county of the first class should play the strongest of the second class, and so halved the chances of promotion for the second grade teams. In fact, this alteration rendered the process of promotion so slow that a meeting of the second-class counties was held with the object of considering whether more rapid means of promotion might not be put into force. This meeting, entrusted to Mr Ansell on behalf of Warwickshire the duty of presenting the alternative scheme formulated by the second-class counties to the Cricket Council. The result of the meeting called to consider the question at Lord's in December 1890 was that the County Cricket Council broke up on an amendment proposed by Mr A. J. Webbe of Middlesex, seconded by Mr W. H. C. Oates of Nottinghamshire. In the meantime Warwickshire cricket was advancing by leaps and bounds, and brilliant victories were gained over Yorkshire in 1889 and 1890.
In 1892 Warwickshire occupied the premier position in the tables of the second-class counties, and was bracketed with Derbyshire for the senior position in 1893. In 1894 Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Essex were officially recognised as first-class counties, and Warwickshire that year had a most remarkable start, gaining victories over Notts, Surrey, and Kent; and, singular to relate, the midland team had the unique distinction of being the only county to lower the colours of Surrey at the Oval, a result mainly brought about by the brilliant batting of W. G. Quaife and the bowling of Whitehead. With an increasing membership, ample funds, a vast population, and plenty of talent, Warwickshire possesses all the elements that go to make up a great cricketing county.
Having thus dealt with the history of the club, a few details in connection with the principal exponents of the game must be noted. The captain, Mr H. W. Bainbridge, the old Cantab., has played for Warwick since 1886, and has been of the greatest assistance,—an excellent leader of men and a sound batsman. The brothers H. G. and J. E. Hill, L. C. Docker of Smethwick, J. F. Byrne, A. C. S. Glover; A. A. Lilley, one of the best wicket-keepers of the day, who played in all the test matches v. Australia in 1896; the brothers Quaife, formerly of Sussex; E. J. Diver, J. Devey, A. Law, Pallett, Richards, Santall, Shilton, and Whitehead deserve notice.
The president of the club is Lord Willoughby de Broke; the honorary treasurer Mr F. Messiter; honorary secretary Mr W. Ansell; and the assistant secretary Mr R. V. Ryder.
A rare old sporting county is Yorkshire, and cricket was in evidence at Sheffield as far back as 1771. That year Sheffield played Nottingham. Darnall used to be the capital town for Yorkshire cricket, but Charles Box states that a match was played on the Knavesmire Ground, Ripon, as far back as 1809, between the Gentlemen of Yorkshire and the Gentlemen of the Wetherby Club for 100 guineas. Mr Fred A. Brooke of Rein Wood, Huddersfield, is the proud possessor of a fine collection of early cricket literature and prints, while the Rev. Robert Stratten Holmes, of Wakefield, has in his excellent "Notches," contributed to 'Cricket,' traced the history of Yorkshire cricket and cricketers from the earliest stages to the present day. In 1829 Sheffield became the county home for cricket, which honourable position the famous old cutlery town has ever since retained. Two celebrated Yorkshire players of long ago were James Dearman and Thomas Marsden. Dearman was especially great at single-wicket matches, while Tom Marsden, of Sheffield, was a left-hand batsman, and, like all left-hand players, a tremendous hitter. In 1826, for Sheffield and Leicester against Nottingham, he scored an innings of 227 runs. His feats have been preserved in song. The rhymester saith:—
"Then Marsden went in, in his glory and pride,
And the arls of the Nottingham players defied.
O, Marsden at cricket is Nature's perfection
For hitting the ball in any direction.
He ne'er fears his wicket, so safely he strikes,
And he does with the bat and the ball what he likes.
Then he drove the ball right over the people,—
Some thought 'twere going o'er Handsworth church steeple.
Then homeward I trudg'd to our county folks
To tell 'em a few of our cricketers' jokes;
But that joke of Tom Marsden's will ne'er be forgot,
When two hundred and tw«nty-seven notches he got."
In June of 1827 the first of three test matches between Sussex and All England took place at Sheffield, Sussex being victorious by 7 wickets; while eight years later Yorkshire, with the assistance of Cobbett, tried conclusions with Sussex, the fixture being drawn—Sussex, according to 'Scores and Biographies,' giving up the match. In May 1849 Kent played Yorkshire on the Hyde Park ground at Sheffield, the southern county winning by runs. In this fixture Mr Michael Joseph Ellison played on the side of Yorkshire.
Mr M. J. Ellison has watched Yorkshire from infancy. His name will be found in the Sheffield matches for many seasons, commencing in or about 1838, and to him Yorkshire owes a great debt, for his wealth and time have always been devoted to Yorkshire cricket. From the day that the present Yorkshire county club was formed in 1862 he has been the esteemed president. In 1855 the historic Bramall Lane Ground was opened, and still flourishes in all its glory. In July of this year on its famous sward J. T. Brown and Tunnicliffe established a record of 378 for the first wicket against Sussex.
Mr M. J. Ellison is the steward for his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, who is landlord of the ground, and who most generously, years ago, granted a lease at the nominal rent of £45 per year. At the present time Yorkshire can boast of other splendid grounds at Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, and Scarborough. Yorkshire has ever been renowned for its professional cricketers, and of those who have fought for the honour of the White Rose, the following are the most prominent: W. Slinn, Ike Hodgson, Edwin Stephenson, Joe Rowbotham, George Pinder, George Anderson, G. Atkinson, Roger Iddison, George Freeman, Luke Greenwood, Tom Emmett, Allen Hill, Ephraim Lockwood, John Thewlis, Andrew Greenwood, George Ulyett, E. Peate, W. Bates, Louis Hall, Robert Peel, J. T. Brown, Hirst, Moorhouse, Mounsey, David Hunter, Tunnicliffe, Wainwright, S. Haigh, and Denton.
George Ulyett was undoubtedly one of the best all-round cricketers of the county of broad acres. Like Emmett, Ulyett has assisted Yorkshire for twenty-one years. Of splendid physique, he has done yeoman service in all departments of the game.
Tom Emmett, the wag, the conversationalist, has also done much for his county, and throughout his long service was among the greatest of bowlers, Tom was the contemporary of George Freeman and Allen Hill, two of the finest fast bowlers in the sixties and seventies, while Robert Peel has made a great' name throughout England and the Colonies. All his famous deeds with the ball and the bat have been written bold and clear in the sporting press, and at his benefit match at Bradford in 1894 the gate receipts alone amounted to £1580, 9s. 9d.,—one of the largest takings at any Yorkshire v. Lancashire match played in Yorkshire. Like Lord Harris of Kent, Lord Hawke has been a capital leader
BROWN CUTTING (LATE).
From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.
of men. He is one of the very best sportsmen in the county; and it is characteristic of the tone of Lord Hawke that he has insisted upon one dressing-room at Bramall Lane for amateurs and professionals. For years he has been a most enthusiastic worker on behalf of the county. Mr F. Stanley Jackson, of the Harrow Eleven of 1887-89 and Cambridge 1890-93, is such a brilliant cricketer that no England team of the present day would be complete without him. Like Lord Hawke, Mr Jackson is idolised by Yorkshire cricket enthusiasts. In a lesser degree, Mr Arthur Sellers, Mr Ernest Smith, Mr Frank Mitchell, and Mr F. W. Milligan have assisted Yorkshire; while of the amateurs of the past, in addition to those I have referred to, mention should be made of such players as Mr T. R. Barker, Rev. E. S. Carter, Mr R. W. Frank, Mr E. T. Hirst, Mr G. A. B. Leatham, Mr E, Lumb, Mr C. H. Prest, Mr W. Brest, Rev. C. M. Sharpe, Rev. H. M. Sims, Mr R. F. Skelton, Mr W. R. Wake, and Mr Bernard Wake.
I append a few facts respecting the two most prominent amateur Yorkshire cricketers of to-day:—
Lord Hawke.—Although first seeing the light in Lincolnshire, the Hon. Martin Bladen Hawke (as his lordship was formerly known) came from a family which has been closely identified with Yorkshire for generations. Born near Gainsboro' on August 16, 1860, the eldest son of the Rev. Edward Henry Julius, sixth Baron Hawke, he entered Eton (after preliminary tuition at Aldin House, Slough) in 1874, but it was not until his fourth year at Eton that he obtained a place in the eleven. After leaving Eton the Hon. M. B. Hawke was given a further course of private tuition, and did not go into residence at Magdalen College, Cambridge, until after the long vacation of 1881. He had, however, previous to this played for Yorkshire in the Scarborough week against M.C.C. and I Zingari. His first appearance with the 'Varsity was against Lancashire, when Cambridge were all dismissed for 31 runs (7 of the best wickets being down for 9 runs!), but against Surrey at the Oval the same week he proved himself to be the best bat on his side by scoring 58 and 15. A few weeks after this he made his début in a county match for Yorkshire, playing against Surrey at Sheffield, and fully justifying his selection by scoring in the second innings 35 out of 44 required to win. On the invitation of the Yorkshire committee in 1883, he undertook the captaincy of the eleven, and that year Yorkshire had a more successful season than they had experienced for many years. Always batting in commanding style. Lord Hawke has a special liking for driving on the on-side, although his batting all round the wicket usually affords an illustration of clean hard hitting and excellent defence. Few batsmen hit more freely, his driving being particularly good, and he always plays the game, whether it be a winning or a losing one. And when he is in for one of his long scores, none can bat in better style. He was a
PEARCE, the Groundsman of
W. HEARNE, Celebrated Umpire.
THOMS, Chief of Ground Staff
APTED, the Oval Groundsman.
Mr F. Stanley Jackson is the son of the Right Hon. William Lawies Jackson, M.P. for Leeds (North Division). He has not been quite so successful in bowling this season, but he has upheld his reputation with the bat and in the field, proving himself capable of playing on any wicket; whilst on a bad wicket he can claim to have no superior.
His best performance in bowling was during the Gentlemen and Players match at Lord's in 1894, when he bowled through both innings, taking 5 wickets for 36 runs in 24 overs, 8 of which were maidens, in the first innings, and 7 wickets for 41 runs in 21 overs, of which 7 were maidens, in the second innings.It is just possible that at some future date he will be seen as a parliamentary candidate, when his popularity should ensure for him that success and support which is always afforded to an athlete, a scholar, and a gentleman.
Up to the present Yorkshire claims the record for the largest innings in a first-class match—887 against Warwickshire at Birmingham in May 1896. In this innings of Yorkshire there were four centuries scored, which is another record in matches ranking as first-class—Mr F. S. Jackson making 117, Wainwright 126, Peel 210 not out, and Lord Hawke 166. For this sketch of Yorkshire cricket I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to the Rev. R. S. Holmes for reference to his articles on Yorkshire cricket, and to Mr Fred. A. Brooke of Rein Wood, Huddersfield, for perusal of his copies of the 'Yorkshire County Cricket Annual.'
Mr J. B. Westinholm has been the popular secretary of the Yorkshire County Club since December 1864. At that time Yorkshire was in debt, but the balance-sheet for 1896 defines the club to be worth over £4200. The present officers are—
Patrons—His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, K. G.; the Right Hon. Earl of Londesborough; the Right Hon. Earl Scarborough.
President—Michael Joseph Ellison, Esq.
Secretary—Mr J. B. Westinholm, 10 Norfolk Road, Sheffield.