1732 English cricket season

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The 1732 cricket season was the 135th in England since the earliest known definite reference to cricket in January 1597 (i.e., Old Style – 1598 New Style). London Cricket Club continued to predominate and it was said that its team did not lose a game, although a team called London did lose to Croydon in May. The Artillery Ground came into more frequent use and its Master, Mr Jones, was mentioned in one newspaper report.

Cricket at this time was still played with two stumps and a bat shaped like a hockey stick, which was the ideal implement for dealing with the rolled ball. There was still no indication of the major rule changes that transformed the sport into its modern guise.

Important matches[edit]

The following matches are classified as important:[fc 1]

date match title venue result source
8 May (M) Croydon v London Walworth Common Croydon won "by great odds" [1][2]
notes

Although Croydon clearly won this match, a report at the end of the season (see below) says London played thirteen matches during the season and "did not lose a game this year".

5 June (M) London v Brentford & Sunbury Walworth Common London won "by very considerable odds" [1][3]
notes

According to the Dartford Cricket Club website, there seems to have been some confusion in contemporary accounts between this game and the one on Monday, 12 June. One account apparently had Brentford & Sunbury called Kent. In Appendix B of his Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, G. B. Buckley recorded that a source called The Craftsman on 3 June announced the match as "the whole County of Kent against the City of London and Bills of Mortality". This source also stated that the venue would be Walworth Common.[4]

7 June (W) London v Surrey Artillery Ground London won by 8 runs [5][2]
notes

This was reported on both Tuesday, 6 and Thursday, 8 June by the St James Evening Post. The pre-match notice said stumps would be pitched at one o’clock and, at the request of two (unnamed) gentlemen who have laid a very great sum of money, the ground is to be staked and all gentlemen are desired to keep outside the rope. On Thursday, 8 June, the paper simply reported that "London won by 8 notches".

12 June (M) Kent v London Dartford Brent London won [3][2]
notes

The Dartford club site recorded that "Kent lost to London on the Brent after 6/4 being laid against London in the middle of the game" (Whitehall Evening Post). According to F. S. Ashley-Cooper in his Kent Cricket Matches, the date was 5 June but see above re the confusion between this game and the one at Walworth Common on that date. The Dartford site had this game on 12 June and, logically, as London were playing at Walworth that day, this match must have been on another date.[3]

26 June (M) Surrey v London Sanderstead Downs, near Croydon match drawn [5][2]
notes

This was played by the same teams as on Wednesday, 7 June. The report states very ambiguously that "the London gamesters got 77 ahead the last hands and but 4 men out, time not permitting them to play it out", which means the match was drawn.

6 July (Th) London v Essex & Hertfordshire Epping Forest unknown [5][2]
notes

This match is the earliest known reference to Essex as a (in part at least) county team. The terms were "for £50 a side, play or pay; wickets to be pitched at one o’clock precisely or forfeit half the money". The match is also the earliest recorded mention of cricket in connection with the county of Hertfordshire.

7 August (M) London v Middlesex "Woolpack", Islington unknown [5][2]
notes

The advertisement echoes an earlier game by stating that the venue would be "the field behind the Woolpack at Islington".

29 August (Tu) London v Surrey Artillery Ground unknown [5][2]
notes

The game was unfinished at seven o’clock and so they "are to play it again on Monday, 11 September". This match is also mentioned in Dawn of Cricket with the date given as Wednesday, 30 August.[6]

4 September (M) London v Middlesex Kew Green unknown [7]
notes

The source states: ".... (those players involved on Wednesday, 13 September) will be the same persons that played Monday, 4 Sept., at Kew Green".

11 September (M) London v Surrey Artillery Ground unknown [5]
notes

This is the replay of the unfinished game on Tuesday, 29 August.

13 September (W) London v Middlesex Artillery Ground drawn [7][2]
notes

A very controversial match as the report states: "Middlesex went in first and got 88 notches; the Londoners got 84; the County went in again and got 58; the Londoners then went in for 63 notches to win; they got 56 and but four men out, when one of the County men would not play any longer, pretending the time was expired as they were to play to, which was six o'clock, although there wanted six minutes of the time by the scorer's watch. The London gamesters intend to go to law for the money, there being upward of £100 depending on the game. This is the thirteenth match the London gamesters have played this year and not lost one match". The last sentence contradicts the evidence of the match above on Monday, 8 May, which London lost to Croydon, unless that was a different London team.

Other events[edit]

There is a reference in The Craftsman dated Saturday, 26 February to Mr Christopher Jones, Master of the Artillery Ground, at the "Pied Horse" in Chiswell Street (which abounded the ground).[8]

The Whitehall Evening Post reported on Thursday, 3 August that there was a "great cricket match" at Kew on Thursday, 27 July, attended by the Prince of Wales.[5]

First mentions[edit]

Counties[edit]

Clubs and teams[edit]

Players[edit]

  • Christopher Jones (Artillery Ground keeper)[8]

Venues[edit]

County cricket[edit]

Although the results of some matches are unknown and others were drawn, there is no doubt that contemporary opinion held London to be the strongest team in 1732. It was said they had "not lost one match", although it would appear that they lost to Croydon unless that was a different London team. What is known is that London did defeat Kent and Surrey and were on the point of defeating Middlesex when the match was prematurely and controversially ended. It could be argued that London Cricket Club was not a county team but in fact it was independent of Middlesex and Surrey, both of whom were their opponents. London Cricket Club should be viewed as a county team by the same yardstick as W. G. Grace's Edwardian London County team.[fc 2][9]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ First-class cricket was officially defined in May 1894 by a meeting at Lord's of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the county clubs which were then competing in the County Championship. The ruling was effective from the beginning of the 1895 season. Pre-1895 matches of the same standard have no official definition of status because the ruling is not retrospective and the important matches designation, as applied to a given match, is based on the views of one or more substantial historical sources. For further information, see First-class cricket, Forms of cricket and History of cricket.
  2. ^ "Champion County" is an unofficial seasonal title proclaimed by media or historians prior to December 1889 when the official County Championship was constituted.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, p. 6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m ACS, Important Matches, p. 20.
  3. ^ a b c Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's – 1732". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, p. 237.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, p. 7.
  6. ^ Waghorn, p.11.
  7. ^ a b Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, p. 8.
  8. ^ a b Buckley, Fresh Light on Pre-Victorian Cricket, p. 1.
  9. ^ Leach, John (2008). "Champion cricket teams since 1728". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • ACS (1981). A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863. Nottingham: ACS. 
  • Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell. 
  • Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket. Cotterell. 
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press. 

Additional reading[edit]

  • Altham, H. S. (1962). A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). George Allen & Unwin. 
  • Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum. 
  • Bowen, Rowland (1970). Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. Eyre & Spottiswoode. 
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society. 
  • Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins. 
  • Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller. 
  • Maun, Ian (2009). From Commons to Lord's, Volume One: 1700 to 1750. Roger Heavens. ISBN 978-1-900592-52-9. 
  • Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane. 
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press. 
  • Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline. 

External links[edit]