1726 English cricket season

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1726 English cricket season

1726 was the 30th English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. It is the first season in which a surviving newspaper report names a participant. The first players mentioned by name were Perry of London and Piper of Hampton who played in the earliest-known single wicket match. Details of two important matches have been found. The main story of the year, as in some earlier seasons, concerns cricket's relationship with the law, though once again the issue was non-payment of gambling debts.

Single wicket matches[edit]

The London Evening Post dated 27 August carried an advertisement for a single wicket match between players called "the noted Perry (of London) and the famous Piper (of Hampton)", the earliest definite reference to a single wicket contest.[1] The venue was Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey in Surrey, famous for various sporting activities, especially prizefighting, and was often used for cricket throughout the 18th century.[2]

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue result source
29 August (M) London & Surrey v Edwin Stead's XI (i.e., Kent) Kennington Common result unknown [3][4]

An important match played "for 25 guineas between the men belonging to Edwin Stead, Esq. of Maidstone and the men of London and Surrey". This is the only match in 1726 that could be considered an inter-county fixture. Kent, based on the esteem of the Dartford club and the successful patronage of Edwin Stead, is generally believed to have been the strongest county in the 1720s.[3]

? Sept (see 1724) Edwin Stead's XI v Chingford Dartford Brent result unknown [3]

This was the conclusion of the 1724 match which was unfinished at that time and became the subject of a lawsuit. Lord Chief Justice Pratt ordered it "to be played out", but he died in 1725 before it was played out.[3]

Other events[edit]

A letter has survived written by an Essex resident, complaining that a local Justice of the Peace had literally "read the Riot Act" to some people who were playing cricket on Saturday, 10 September. He had a constable with him who dispersed the players.[5] G. B. Buckley commented that it seems the JP considered any game or sport as a pretence covering the gathering of disaffected people in order to raise a rebellion. Given the ruling by Lord Chief Justice Pratt, who in effect ordered the Chingford v Stead's XI game to be played on Dartford Brent, the issue raised was that it was apparently lawful to play cricket in Kent but not in Essex.[5]

First mentions[edit]

Clubs and teams[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.


  1. ^ a b c d Maun, p. 33.
  2. ^ Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's – 1726". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e Waghorn, p. 6.
  4. ^ ACS, Important Matches, p. 19.
  5. ^ a b Buckley, p. 3.


  • 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.
  • Maun, Ian (2009). From Commons to Lord's, Volume One: 1700 to 1750. Roger Heavens. ISBN 978 1 900592 52 9.
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press.
  • Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.

Further 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.
  • Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket. Cotterell.
  • Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins.
  • Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller.
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society.
  • Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane.

External links[edit]