1776 English cricket season

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1776 English cricket season

1776 was the 80th English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. According to Rowland Bowen, the earliest known scorecard templates were introduced. These were printed by T. Pratt of Sevenoaks and soon came into general use.

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue source result
5–7 June (W-F) Kent v Hampshire Moulsey Hurst HCC Hampshire won by 152 runs

Hampshire 225 (T Brett 43, Mr T Davis 40, John Small 38, T Sueter 36; R May 3w) & 186 (John Small 44, T Taylor 41, J Aylward 30; R May 2w); Kent 55 (W Barber 3w) & 204 (W Brazier 49, J Miller 39, T Pattenden 38; T Brett 4w)

Mr Ashley-Cooper reported that it was "played for 500 guineas". The venue is interesting as it was effectively neutral.

19 June 1776 Alresford, Waltham & Warnford v Petersfield & Catherington Tichborne Down Arlott result unknown

According to John Arlott in his Arlott on Cricket (quoting an unnamed source): "On Wednesday 19 June 1776, on Tichborne Down, Alresford with three of Waltham and two of Warnford v Petersfield and Catherington with the famous Messrs Small, Brett and Barber and H. Bonham Esq." Arlott comments: "Although no result is recorded, these matches, invariably played for wagers, were based on teams of more or less even strength; and to set three such eminent Hambledon players on the other side means that Alresford must have been immensely powerful."

25–26 June (Tu-W) Kent v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB27 Hampshire won by 75 runs

Hampshire 241 (R Nyren 70, R Francis 47, John Small 45, T Taylor 42; Duke of Dorset 2w) & 84 (R Nyren 19; T White 2w); Kent 173 (F Booker 41, W Brazier 34, W Bullen 29; T Brett 2w, R Nyren 2w) & 77 (W Bowra 20)

Mr Haygarth commented that, in other accounts, the Kent team is referred to as All-England but it is in fact a Kent team with Stevens and White of Surrey as given men.

2–4 July (Tu-Th) Hampshire v Kent Broadhalfpenny Down SB28 Kent won by 4 wkts

Hampshire 87 (G Leer 21; E Stevens 4w) & 221 (John Small 57, R Nyren 36; T White 4w, E Stevens 3w, John Wood of Seal 2w); Kent 163 (W Brazier 36, Duke of Dorset 34, W Bowra 31; T Brett 3w, T Taylor 2w) & 146-6 (J Boorman 38*, T White 38; R Francis 4w)

Hampshire used a substitute batsman in the second innings with Mr T Davis replacing the injured Tom Brett, but he made only 0* so had little impact on the outcome.

Thursday 4 July 1776 was the date of the Declaration of Independence in North America by the thirteen English colonies that formed the original United States of America: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia. The Declaration of Independence was drawn up by representatives of the colonies in Philadelphia and adopted by the Continental Congress.

15–17 July (M-W) Kent v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB28 Hampshire won by 6 wkts

Kent 154 (W Bowra 37, W Brazier 33, J Miller 27; R Nyren 2w) & 69 (J Miller 21; T Brett 2w, R Francis 2w); Hampshire 130 (John Small 59*; John Wood of Seal 3w, E Stevens 2w) & 94-4 (G Leer 47*)

22–24 July (M-W) Hampshire v All-England Holt Common SB29 All-England won by 5 wkts

Hampshire 88 (John Small 20; E Stevens 3w) & 113 (E Aburrow 25*; E Stevens 2w); All-England 135 (W Bowra 36, W Yalden 31; T Brett 4w) & 67-5 (W Brazier 19*)

The venue is intriguing and Arthur Haygarth says he "cannot now say" if Holt Common was the usual Hambledon venue at Broadhalfpenny or another place.

6–8 August (Tu-Th) Surrey v Hampshire Laleham Burway FL18 Surrey won by 1 wkt

Hampshire 94 (J Aylward 29; E Stevens 4w, J Wood of Chertsey 2w) & 176 (J Aylward 82*; J Wood of Chertsey 2w); Surrey 141 (T White 58; T Brett 3w) & 130-9 (T White 20, W Yalden 20; T Brett 2w, R Francis 2w)

James Aylward normally opened the innings so it is possible he carried his bat when making 82*. Despite his efforts, the more significant innings were by Daddy White with 58 and 20, his first innings score giving Surrey an important advantage when scoring was difficult.

The match must have had an exciting finish as the two not out batsmen both scored 19. Given the number of extras conceded too, Surrey must still have needed 30-plus when Stevens and Wood began their last wicket partnership.

19 August (M) London v Brentford Artillery Ground FL18 result unknown

No details known.

26–28 August (M-W) Hampshire v Surrey Broadhalfpenny Down SB30 Hampshire won by 198 runs

Hampshire 273 (John Small 85, E Aburrow 49, R A Veck 46, J Aylward 45; E Stevens 3w) & 155 (J Aylward 59, John Small 35; E Stevens 3w, John Wood of Chertsey 2w); Surrey 82 (W Bowra 34; R Nyren 5w, R Francis 2w, S Colchin 2w) & 148 (J Edmeads 47, H Attfield 28; R Francis 2w)

Details were obtained from the Hampshire Chronicle, which reported Attred as a member of the Surrey team. Although Arthur Haygarth decided not to alter the spelling in S&B, there can be no doubt it was a typo and that the player was Henry Attfield.

Surrey had Bowra, Minshull and Palmer as given men; Hampshire had Colchin as a given man. Quiddington and Yalden apparently batted as substitutes in the Surrey second innings for Bowra and Minshull, who were both taken ill, but the scorecard did not state which for which. Yalden batted twice in the second innings.

This was the last known match played by the Coulsdon batsman William Palmer, about whom very little is known. Unfortunately, he ended his career with a pair.

5 September (Th) Coulsdon v Chertsey Laleham Burway WDC result unknown

To be played for 50 guineas a side.

9 September (M) London v Coulsdon Artillery Ground FL18 result unknown

To be played for £50 a side.

Other events[edit]

A notice in the Leicester Journal of 17 August is the earliest known mention of cricket in Leicestershire.

FL18 records a notice re the Artillery Ground taken from the Morning Chronicle of Wednesday 28 August 1776. It reads: The old wall of the Artillery Ground extending from the end of Chiswell Street to the Bunhill Burial Ground is about to be pulled down and a new one built farther back, and in front of the new road a row of houses is to be erected. See also 18 July in the 1761 season.

First mentions[edit]


Clubs and teams[edit]



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
423 John Small
326 James Aylward
250 William Brazier
249 Richard Nyren
223 William Bowra
192 Thomas Taylor
186 Thomas White
177 Richard Aubrey Veck
158 Richard Francis
140 Joseph Miller
134 George Leer
131 Edward "Curry" Aburrow
122 Tom Sueter
99 William Yalden

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
27 Lumpy Stevens
25 Thomas Brett
14 Richard Francis
14 Richard Nyren
10 Thomas White
10 John Wood of Seal
6 William Barber

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
10 John Small
10 William Bullen
8 Francis Booker
8 Tom Sueter
8 William Yalden
7 Richard Francis
6 Thomas Taylor
6 John Wood of Seal


  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.



  • 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]