1738 English cricket season

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1738 English cricket season

1738 was the 42nd English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. Details have survived of eight important matches.

As in 1737, Kent seems to have been the strongest county, again defeating the combined London & Surrey team. London Cricket Club is featured in most of the surviving match reports. Chislehurst Cricket Club and Horsmonden Cricket Club became prominent. The earliest reference to cricket in the county of Dorset has been found.

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue result source
July London & Surrey v Kent Kennington Common Kent "won easily" [1][2]

This was a repeat of Kent's successes in two 1737 matches against the same opponents.

July Kent v London & Surrey venue unknown result unknown [1][2][3]

A return match to the above was intended but no details have been found. The odds were 2 to 1 on Kent.

11 July (Tu) Chislehurst v Horsmonden Chislehurst Common Chislehurst won [3]

Played for "a considerable sum of money". This is the first known reference to each of these teams who were prominent for a few seasons before and after 1740.

12 July (W) Chislehurst v London Chislehurst Common London won [3][2]

A game that "turned several times" until finally being won by London. The rematch was arranged a week hence.

19 July (W) London v Chislehurst Artillery Ground Chislehurst won by 5 wkts [4][2]

London scored less than 100 in their combined innings. Chislehurst had scored 73 in the first innings and won "without much difficulty".

21 July (F) Horsmonden v Chislehurst Horsmonden Horsmonden won by an innings and 4 runs [4]

The return match to the one at Chiselhurst on Tuesday, 11 July. Played for (again) "a considerable sum", it was won by Horsmonden "in one Hands (sic), all but 4 notches". The use of "hands" in this context means "innings", so Horsmonden achieved an innings victory, one of the earliest on record.

11 August (F) London v Mitcham Artillery Ground London won by 1 wkt [5][2]

Mitcham totalled 117-20 in two innings; London 118-19 in two innings. Strangely, the only report of this was in the Warwickshire & Staffordshire Journal dated Thursday, 17 August.

September London v Chislehurst Artillery Ground London won [6][2]

Betting on London at the start of the second innings was a guinea to a shilling.

Other events[edit]

An advertisement in the Sherborne Mercury dated Tuesday, 9 May, is the earliest reference to cricket in Dorset. Twelve Dorchester men at Ridgway (sic) Races challenged twelve men from elsewhere to play them at cricket for the prize of twelve pairs of gloves valued at a shilling a pair.[7]

September. An inter-parish match in Sussex between teams from Eastbourne and Battle. Lord John Sackville captained Eastbourne, who won by 4 wickets.[4]

First mentions[edit]


Clubs and teams[edit]


  • none



  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 Maun, p. 91.
  2. ^ a b c d e f ACS, Important Matches, p. 20.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Waghorn, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b c Waghorn, p. 21.
  5. ^ Buckley, p. 15.
  6. ^ Waghorn, pp. 21–22.
  7. ^ a b Major, p. 116.


  • 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.
  • Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins.
  • Maun, Ian (2009). From Commons to Lord's, Volume One: 1700 to 1750. Roger Heavens. ISBN 978 1 900592 52 9.
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773). Blackwood.

Further reading[edit]

  • Altham, H. S. (1962). A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). George Allen & Unwin.
  • Ashley-Cooper, F. S. (1880). Kent Cricket Matches 1719–1796. Gibbs & Sons.
  • 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.
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society.
  • Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller.
  • 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]