All-England Eleven

All-England Eleven

In cricket, the term All-England Eleven has been used for various non-international England teams since the 1739 English cricket season and it indicates that the "Rest of England" is playing against, say, MCC or an individual county side.

Origin of the name

The term was first used in reports of two Kent v All-England matches in July 1739.

The first match was at Bromley Common in Kent on Monday 9 July 1739. It was billed as between "eleven gentlemen of that county (i.e., Kent) and eleven gentlemen from any part of England, exclusive of Kent". Kent, described as "the Unconquerable County" won by "a very few notches".

The second match was at the Artillery Ground in Bunhill Fields, Finsbury on Monday 23 July 1739. This game was drawn and a report includes the phrase eleven picked out of all ("sic") England.

Generic usage

The term then became a generic one and was used on countless occasions over the next hundred years.

William Clarke's "All-England Eleven"

But it took on a specific meaning in 1846 when William Clarke formed the All-England Eleven as a touring team of leading players to play matches at big city venues, mainly in the North of England. Clarke's team was indeed a top-class side worthy of its title. The players in 1846 were himself, Joe Guy, George Parr (all Notts), William Lillywhite, Jemmy Dean (both Sussex), William Denison, Will Martingell (both Surrey), Fuller Pilch, Alfred Mynn, Nicholas Wanostrocht ("aka" "Felix") and William Hillyer (all Kent). Their matches in Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds were a huge success and very profitable, especially for Clarke himself who was careful to pay his players more than MCC did (from £4 to £6 per week) and so keep them interested. He kept the surplus for himself.

Clarke's touring team continued for several years to showcase the best players of the day. Subsequent additions to the squad included John Wisden of Sussex, William Dorrinton of Kent and Tom Sewell of Surrey. Because of its strength the AEE generally played sides composed of twenty-two men, though these odds were reduced when opposed to such sides as Sheffield, Manchester and some county teams.

The AEE lasted until 1880. In all matches George Parr with 10,404 runs (av 16.78) was the leading batsman for the side and William Clarke himself took the most wickets (2,385).

United All-England Eleven

In 1852, several players set up the United All England Eleven as a rival to the AEE. Clarke would have nothing to do with the UAEE, but he died in 1856, and from 1857 to 1866 the matches between these two teams were perhaps the most important contests of the English season - certainly judged by the quality of the players.

All-England Eleven players

The following are players who represented the All-England Elevens:
* [] Thomas Adams (cricketer)
* [] William Ashby
* [] John Bayley (cricketer)
* [] Thomas Box
* [] Jem Broadbridge
* [] Jemmy Dean
* [] William Denison (cricketer)
* [] William Dorrinton
* [] George Griffith (cricketer)
* [] Robert Grimston (cricketer)
* [] Joe Guy
* [] Charles Harenc
* [] William Hillyer
* [] Thomas Howard (cricketer)
* [] George T Knight
* [] FC Ladbroke
* [] Will Martingell
* [] George Millyard
* [] Will Mortlock
* [] William Nicholson (cricketer)
* [] Oliver Pell
* [] George Pinder (cricketer)
* [] William Searle
* [] Tom Sewell
* [] John Sherman (cricketer)
* [] Charles Taylor (cricketer)
* [] Cris Tinley
* [] TA Vigne
* [] Ned Wenman
* [] John Willes
* [] Edgar Willsher

External sources

* [ CricketArchive data as above]

Further reading

* H T Waghorn, "Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730-1773)", Blackwood, 1899
* H S Altham, "A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914)", George Allen & Unwin, 1926
* Derek Birley, "A Social History of English Cricket", Aurum, 1999
* Rowland Bowen, "Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development", Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
* Arthur Haygarth, "Scores & Biographies, Volumes 3-9 (1841-1866)", Lillywhite, 1862-1867
* John Major, "More Than A Game", HarperCollins, 2007 – includes the famous 1859 touring team photo taken on board ship at Liverpool
* "The Cricket Captains of England" by Alan Gibson, pp2-7

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