1769 English cricket season

1769 English cricket season

The 1769 English cricket season was the last in which the original London Cricket Club and the Artillery Ground feature prominently in the records.

The increasing stature of the Hambledon Club ensured a shift in focus from metropolitan London to rural Hampshire and Broadhalfpenny Down became cricket’s main venue through the 1770s. The process was accelerated by Hambledon’s innings victory over Surrey.


* Champion County [An unofficial seasonal title proclaimed by media or historians prior to December 1889 when the official County Championship was constituted] – Hambledon/Hampshire [http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/cricket/histories/champions.html Champion counties from 1728] ]


Other events

From the "Middlesex Journal" (Thurs 6 July) — "Yesterday a Mr. Carter, a very eminent butcher of Grub Street, but of a corpulent body, was playing at Cricket in the Artillery Ground, making a stroke at the ball which he missed, he threw himself round with so great force that he broke his knee pan (knee cap). He was carried home, with little hope of ever recovering the use of his leg again" .

From the "Whitehall Evening Post" (Thurs 20 July) — "Nothing can exceed the vogue that Cricket has in some parts of Surrey and Hampshire: the people are so fond of it that it is common for them to ride 40 miles to be mere spectators at a Cricket match. A few days ago 22 expert players played a match not far from Godalming when each side got the same number of notches at both innings, which was esteemed very extraordinary" .

From the "Reading Mercury" (Mon 24 July) — "A letter from "An old Cricket Player" re the match Reading v. Sonning on Bulmarsh Heath on Fri., July 21, complaining of the latter’s unfair tactics. Sonning batted first and made 86: Reading then made 187, sacrificing their last five wickets: Sonning then made 125 which put them 24 ahead. There had been a bet between a player on each side on their total individual scores. The Sonning player made 9 the first innings, and between 60 & 70 the second : the Reading player having made 41 the first innings could not exceed the other’s total as only 25 runs were wanted to win the match. There was a dispute over that, but finally the Reading player agreed to go in for the game. Sonning at first refused to play or to pay the money, although there was nearly an hour to go ; they finally went into the held, and ‘by throwing the ball about, out of the way’ so delayed the game that it could not be played out" .

From the "Whitehall Evening Post" (Tues 1 August) — "We are informed that the great match at Cricket, which has been so long in agitation, will be decided one day next week on the downs at Calais. On this match near £5,000 is depending : the players are to be all English men" G B Buckley, "Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket", Cotterell, 1935] .

That visit to Calais may have been successful, unlike the one which the Duke of Dorset tried to organise in 1789: only to find that the French Revolution had begun!

First mentions

* Thomas Brett
* Edward "Lumpy" Stevens
* George Leer
* John Minshull
* Thomas Pattenden
* William Bowra
* Page
* Thomas Quiddington
* Fish (Kent)


External sources

* [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Seasons/1769_ENG.html CricketArchive match lists]
* [http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/cricket/main.html From Lads to Lord's; The History of Cricket: 1300 – 1787]

Further reading

* H S Altham, "A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914)", George Allen & Unwin, 1962
* Derek Birley, "A Social History of English Cricket", Aurum, 1999
* Rowland Bowen, "Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development", Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
* Ashley Mote, "The Glory Days of Cricket", Robson, 1997
* David Underdown, "Start of Play", Allen Lane, 2000

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