1774 English cricket season

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1774 English cricket season

1774 was the 78th English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. Hampshire did much better than in 1773 and were unbeaten in their known results to the end of July but then they lost twice to Kent in August.

On Friday, 25 February 1774, the Laws of Cricket were revised by a committee meeting at the Star and Garter on Pall Mall in London. The committee represented Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex and the London Cricket Club. Its members included John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, Charles Bennet, 4th Earl of Tankerville and Sir Horatio Mann.

It is particularly interesting that these Laws include leg before wicket (lbw) and the width of the bat. It seems likely that the two stump wicket remained in use for another few years. This is believed to have been the origin of the lbw rule, which was introduced in response to the practice of certain batsmen who deliberately protected their wickets with their legs.

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue source result
22–24 June (W-F) Hampshire v All-England Broadhalfpenny Down SB21[expand acronym] Hampshire won by innings & 52 runs

All-England 122 (J Minshull 37) & 133 (J Minshull 38, Earl of Tankerville 35, J Miller 26) Hampshire 307 (T Sueter 67, John Small 47, J Aylward 37, R Purchase 37, R Francis 29) S&B reports that the venue was Laleham Burway but research by ACS discovered that it was actually Broadhalfpenny Down. No bowling or fielding details are known.

Hampshire performed a remarkable feat for the times by totalling 307 with nine batsmen reaching double figures and the other two both scoring 9. John Minshull did very well for their opponents, scoring 37 and 38 in totals of 122 and 133.

8–9 July (F-S) All-England v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB17[expand acronym] Hampshire won by 169 runs

Hampshire 139 (J Aylward 29, G Leer 28; W Bullen 5w) & 182 (J Aylward 61, T Sueter 30; J Wood 3w, S Colchin 3w); All-England 88 (J Wood 27; E Stevens 2w, T Brett 2w, R Nyren 2w) & 64 (S Colchin 19; E Stevens 4w). Hampshire was greatly helped by having Lumpy as a given man.

Both of the two John Woods were playing for All-England and we do not know which of them scored 27 or which of them took the three second innings wickets. They might well have shared the wickets. Oddly enough, we do know that it was John Wood of Chertsey who took a catch in the first innings!!

William Bullen, Kent fast bowler, took five wickets in one innings. Though it must have occurred innumerable times previously, this is the first time in the statistical record (i.e., since 1772) that a bowler can definitely be credited with the 5wI feat.

This was the final appearance in important matches by John Frame, the famous Kent fast bowler who was held by John Nyren to have been “the other principal with Lumpy” (i.e., in opposition to Hambledon). His greatest years were behind him when the statistical record began (he would have been 39 in 1772). He started playing in 1749. S&B records that he bowled for the Dartford/Kent team that beat All-England twice in 1759. He was unquestionably an outstanding bowler during the 1750s and 1760s. The statistical record just caught the tail end of his career.

13–14 July (W-Th) Hampshire v Kent Broadhalfpenny Down KCM[expand acronym] Hampshire won by 10 wkts

The stake was £525. Kent had “Lumpy”, Thomas “Daddy” White and Sam Colchin as given men, though Colchin seems to have been a Kent man. Kent issued a challenge to play two further matches; these were played in August and have surviving scorecards.

28 July (Th) Surrey v Hampshire Guildford Bason SB18[expand acronym] Hampshire won by 7 wkts

Surrey 61 (W Palmer 26*; T Brett 5w, W Hogsflesh 2w) & 77 (H Attfield 16; T Brett 4w, R Francis 3w, R Nyren 2w); Hampshire 91 (John Small 28; T White 3w, J Wood of Chertsey 2w) & 48-3 (R Francis 14).

Thomas Brett’s haul of at least nine wickets in the match is the highest recorded since the statistical record began and the second known instance of 5wI.

Two Surrey players in this game were Muggeridge and T Quiddington, both well known at the time and certainly active before 1772. They were both members of the Chertsey club. Quiddington’s name has the alternative spelling of Quiddenden; his first name may have been Thomas but it is not certain. He is known to have been a long stop fielder and a “steady batter”. Muggeridge, of whom no details are known, played until about 1778.

The player called Richard Miller made a rare appearance in this game and the question has been asked about his possible relationship to Joseph Miller, who also played for Surrey on this occasion.

8–10 August (M-Tu) Kent v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB19[expand acronym] Kent won by innings & 35 runs

Hampshire 46 (John Small 18; E Stevens 4w) & 159 (John Small 55*, E Aburrow 26; F Booker 2w); Kent 240 (J Miller 95, Duke of Dorset 77, T Pattenden 24; T Brett 2w)

Joseph Miller’s score of 95 is the highest individual innings so far since the statistical record began in 1772, beating the 88 scored by William Yalden in 1773. Miller and Dorset are shown as the openers on the scorecard but it is unlikely that Dorset did open (there was a tendency to list the batsman in order of social status) and so we cannot say if a century partnership was made.

This was the final match in the “first phase” of Richard Purchase’s career. The Hampshire bowler did not appear again until the 1781 season but then continued to play regularly until he finally retired after the 1803 season.[1]

10 August (W) Maidstone v Sussex Maidstone TJM Sussex won by 1 wkt

Sussex had two given men, both from Kent. It is assumed that Maidstone was the Duke of Dorset’s XI. Sussex still needed three to win when their last man went in.

15–18 August (M-Th) Hampshire v Kent Broadhalfpenny Down SB20[expand acronym] Kent won by 4 wkts

Hampshire 174 (John Small 45, R Nyren 35, J Aylward 30; E Stevens 3w) & 129 (E Aburrow 33, R Francis 22; S Colchin 2w, T White 2w); Kent 168 (J Miller 40, T Pattenden 35, W Bullen 27, S Colchin 25; T Brett 3w, W Barber 2w) & 136-6 (T White 50, J Miller 45; R Nyren 2w)

William Hogsflesh evidently played as a substitute fielder in Kent’s second innings because he did not bat for Hampshire. We do not know if he fielded in the Kent first innings. The interesting thing is that he was allowed to bowl, as he took the wicket of Richard Simmons.

22–23 August (M-Tu) London v Chertsey Artillery Ground FL18 London won by 5 wkts

Chertsey scored 146 & 97; London scored 158 & 86-5.

24 August (W) Sussex v Maidstone Peasmarsh TJM result unknown

This was due to be played by the same teams as on 10 August. No report was found.

14 September (W) Hambledon Parish v Hampshire Broadhalfpenny Down FL18 result unknown

This has historical interest but, as with a similar fixture earlier, it is probably a minor match.

27 September (Tu) Surrey v Hampshire Laleham Burway FL18 result unknown

Advertised on Sat 24 September in the St James Chronicle. The stakes were £100 a side and Surrey were to have Samuel Colchin as a given man.

Single wicket[edit]

Mon 6 – Tues 7 June. A “fives” game at Moulsey Hurst for 100 guineas a side between Hampshire and Kent. Lumpy and Sam Colchin played for Hampshire and John Minshull for Kent. Hampshire scored 118 & 127; Kent scored 21 & 36. Hampshire won by a massive 188 runs. Sueter with 74 in the second innings scored more than both innings of Kent on his own (see WDC).

Mon 27 June. The Kentish Gazette on Wed 22 June advertised a single wicket match for £100 a side between the well-known Kent professionals John Wood (i.e., the bowler from Seal) and William Bullen of Greenwich. The outcome was not reported.

On the same day, there was a “fives” game Middlesex v London on Marylebone Fields and this has inadvertently found its way into the ACS list.

Other events[edit]

Mon 8 August. The ACS list has “Essex v Kent” at Ingatestone but, as Mr Buckley points out, this was on the same day as one of the great Kent v Hampshire matches so it must have been a minor game, probably between two parish sides.


The following players made their first known appearance during the 1774 season.

Leading batsmen[edit]

Note that many scorecards in the 18th century are unknown or have missing details and so it is impossible to provide a complete analysis of batting performances: e.g., the missing not outs prevent computation of batting averages. The "runs scored" are in fact the runs known.

runs player
241 Joseph Miller
241 John Small
197 James Aylward
154 Tom Sueter
120 Richard Nyren
118 Edward Aburrow
107 Duke of Dorset
103 Richard Francis
91 Thomas White
89 George Leer
89 John Minshull

Leading bowlers[edit]

Note that the wickets credited to an 18th-century bowler were only those where he bowled the batsman out. The bowler was not credited with the wickets of batsmen who were caught out, even if it was "caught and bowled". In addition, the runs conceded by each bowler were not recorded so no analyses or averages can be computed.

wkts player
18 Thomas Brett
17 Edward "Lumpy" Stevens
9 Richard Nyren
7 William Bullen
6 Samuel Colchin
6 Thomas White
4 John (Thomas) Wood
4 Richard Francis
4 William Hogsflesh
3 Francis Booker

Leading fielders[edit]

Note that many scorecards in the 18th century are unknown or have missing details and so the totals are of the known catches and stumpings only. Stumpings were not always recorded as such and sometimes the name of the wicket-keeper was not given. Generally, a catch was given the same status as "bowled" with credit being awarded to the fielder only and not the bowler. There is never a record of "caught and bowled"the bowler would be credited with the catch, not with the wicket.

ct/st player
5 John Small
4 Richard Nyren
4 Samuel Colchin
3 Thomas Brett
3 Richard Simmons
3 William Bullen
3 Waller (Kent)

The Laws of Cricket 1774[edit]

Settled and revised at the Star and Garter in Pall Mall on Friday 25 February 1774 by a Committee of Noblemen and Gentlemen of Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, and London.


In the Chair—Sir William Draper.
Present—His Grace the Duke of Dorset, Right Honourable Earl Tankerville, Sir Horace Mann, Philip Dehany, John Brewer Davis, Harry Peckham, Francis Vincent, John Cooke, Charles Coles, Richard James, Esquires, Rev. Charles Pawlet.


The ball must weigh not less than five ounces and a half, nor more than five ounces and three-quarters.
It cannot be changed during the game, but with consent of both parties.
The bat must not exceed four inches and one quarter in the widest part.
The stumps must be twenty-two inches, the bail six inches long.
The bowling-crease must be parallel with the stumps, three feet in length, with a return-crease.
The popping-crease must be three feet ten inches from the wickets ; and the wickets must be opposite to each other at the distance of twenty-two yards.
The party which goes from Home shall have the choice of the innings and the pitching of the wickets, which shall be pitched within thirty yards of a centre fixed by the adversaries.
When the parties meet at a third place, the bowlers shall toss up for the pitching of the first wicket, and the choice of going in.
The bowler must deliver the ball with one foot behind the bowling-crease, and within the return-crease; and shall Bowl four balls before he changes wickets, which he shall do but once in the same innings.
He may order the player at his wicket to stand on which side of it he pleases.
The striker is out if the bail is bowled off, or the stump bowled out of the ground.
Or if the ball, from a stroke over or under his bat, or upon his hands (but not wrists), is held before it touches the ground, though it be hugged to the body of the catcher.
Or if, in striking, both his feet are over the popping-crease, and his wicket is put down, except his bat is grounded within it.
Or if he runs out of his ground to hinder a catch.
Or if the ball is struck up, and he wilfully strike it again.
Or if in running a notch, the wicket is struck down by a throw, or with the ball in hand, before his foot, hand, or bat is grounded over the popping-crease; but if the bail is off, a stump must be struck out of the ground by the ball.
Or if the striker touches or takes up the ball before it has lain still, unless at the request of the opposite party.
Or if the striker puts his leg before the wicket with a design to stop the ball, and actually prevent the ball from hitting his wicket by it.
If the players have crossed each other, he that runs for the wicket that is put down is out; if they are not crossed, he that has left the wicket that is put down is out.
When the ball has been in the bowler’s or wicket-keeper’s hands, the strikers need not keep within their ground till the Umpire has called Play; but if the player goes out of his ground with an intent to run before the ball is delivered, the bowler may put him out.
When the ball is struck up in the running ground between the wickets, it is lawful for the strikers to hinder its being caught; but they must neither strike at, nor touch the ball with their hands.
If the ball is struck up, the striker may guard his wicket either with his bat or his body.
In single-wicket matches, if the striker moves out of his ground to strike at the ball, he shall be allowed no notch for such stroke.
The wicket-keeper shall stand at a reasonable distance behind the wicket, and shall not move till the ball is out of the bowler’s hand, and shall not by any noise incommode the striker; and if his hands, knees, foot, or head, be over or before the wicket, though the ball hit it, it shall not be out.
The umpires shall allow two minutes for each man to come in, and fifteen mi¬nutes between each innings ; when the Umpire shall call Play, the party refusing to play shall lose the match.
They are the sole judges of fair and unfair play, and all disputes shall be deter¬mined by them.
When a striker is hurt they are to allow another to come in, and the person hurt shall have his hands in any part of that innings.
They are not to order a player out, unless appealed to by the adversaries.
But if the bowler’s foot is not behind the bowling-crease, and within the return-crease, when he delivers the ball, the Umpire unasked must call No Ball.
If the strikers run a short notch, the Umpire must call No Notch.
bets.—If the notches of one player are laid against another, the bet depends on both innings, unless otherwise specified.
If one party beats the other in one innings, the notches in the first innings shall determine the bet.
But if the other party goes in a second time, then the bet must be determined by the number on the score.


  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. ^ There has been speculation that the absence of Purchase and some others, such as William Brazier, may have been connected with the ongoing American War of Independence. As explained on the talk page, the source for Purchase's "military career" seems to be verbal as it is not currently known if the view was written and published. As such, the view would be an unverified statement.


  • Ashley-Cooper, F. S. (1924). Hambledon Cricket Chronicle 1772–1796. Jenkins.
  • Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell.
  • Haygarth, Arthur (1862). Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826). Lillywhite.
  • Mote, Ashley (1997). The Glory Days of Cricket. Robson.
  • Nyren, John (1998). Ashley Mote, ed. The Cricketers of my Time. Robson.
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press.
  • Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.

Further reading[edit]

  • ACS (1981). A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863. Nottingham: ACS.
  • 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.
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society.
  • Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins.
  • Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane.

External links[edit]