1727 English cricket season
1727 was the 31st English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. It is the first season in which matches are known to have been played in accordance with agreed, written rules. Articles of Agreement were written by the 2nd Duke of Richmond and Alan Brodrick, two of cricket's foremost patrons, to formalise the rules applicable to matches which they promoted. The best of the known professional players was the all-rounder Thomas Waymark, who was apparently a groom employed by the 2nd Duke of Richmond. Details have survived of four important matches.
|date unknown||2nd Duke of Richmond's XI v Sir William Gage's XI||venue unknown||result unknown|||
This match and the next one are listed by the source without comment from a brief reference in an earlier work, Pre-Victorian Sussex Cricket by H.F. & A.P. Squire (1951). The primary source is the Articles of Agreement drawn up for the Richmond-Brodrick matches (see below): "the Duke of Richmond to choose any Gamesters, who have played in either of His Grace's two last Matches with Sir William Gage". Although the Squires were probably correct, it is nevertheless an assumption that the "last two matches" were played earlier in the 1727 season.
|date unknown||Sir William Gage's XI v 2nd Duke of Richmond's XI||venue unknown||result unknown|||
Same comments as for previous match.
|? July||Alan Brodrick's XI v 2nd Duke of Richmond's XI||possibly Peper Harow ?||result unknown|||
This match and the next one are notable for the surviving Articles of Agreement that were drawn up by the participants. The Articles state: "the first Match shall be played some day of this instant July in the county of Surry (sic)". Peper Harow is mentioned: "Mr. Brodrick to choose any Gamesters within three Miles of Pepperhara (sic), provided they actually lived there last Lady Day". Peper Harow is about four miles from Godalming and was the home of the Brodrick family. There is a view that it was the venue of the match in July.
|? August||2nd Duke of Richmond's XI v Alan Brodrick's XI||Sussex (2nd Duke of Richmond's choice)||result unknown|||
In the Articles of Agreement: "the second match to be played in August next in the County of Sussex, the Place to be named by the Duke of Richmond". The chosen venue is unknown.
Articles of Agreement
References to the games between the Duke of Richmond and Mr Brodrick mention that they drew up Articles of Agreement between them to determine the rules that must apply in their contests. This may be the first time that rules were formally agreed, although rules as such definitely existed. In early times, the rules would be agreed orally and subject to local variations. This syndrome was also evident in football until the FA was founded, especially re the question of handling the ball.
A match was played at Cranbrook, Kent on Monday, 29 May between "14 old men of that town". The oldest, Richard Shefe, was 84. The match was to celebrate Restoration Day, also known as Oak Apple Day.
There was a game at Warehorne Green, near Ashford, Kent on Monday, 5 June that was arranged by George Baker, Esq. who is described as the General Receiver; and Thomas Hodges, Esq. The teams were Warehorne v Hawkshurst and they played 12 a side.
Clubs and teams
- 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.
- McCann, pp. 6–7.
- Marshall, p. 52.
- ACS, Important Matches, p. 19.
- Marshall, pp. 47–48.
- Bowen, p. 262.
- Maun, pp. 34–35.
- Buckley, p. 3.
- ACS (1981). A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863. Nottingham: ACS.
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- Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller.
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- Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket. Cotterell.
- Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins.
- 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.
- Leach, John (2008). "Classification of cricket matches from 1697 to 1825". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
- Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's – 1727". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
- Collins, A. R. (2016). "Historical Calendar". Dr A. R. Collins.