1777 English cricket season

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1777 English cricket season

1777 was the 81st English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. James Aylward made his world record score of 167 that stood until 1820.

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue source result
9–10 June (M-Tu) Chertsey v Coulsdon Sevenoaks Vine FL18 Chertsey won by 6 wkts

Chertsey was led by the Earl of Tankerville and Mr Stone; Coulsdon by the Duke of Dorset and Mr (later Sir) Peter Burrell. It seems to have been a grand social occasion that was reported by both the Lloyd’s Evening Post and the St James Chronicle in the next couple of days.

18–20 June (W-F) All-England v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB31 Hampshire won by innings & 168 runs

All-England 166 (J Minshull 60*, T Pattenden 38, J Miller 27; T Brett 5w) & 69 (J Miller 23; T Brett 2w, R Nyren 2w, T Taylor 2w); Hampshire 403 (J Aylward 167, T Sueter 46, R Nyren 37, John Small 33, T Taylor 32, R Francis 26; J Wood 5w, E Stevens 3w, W Bullen 2w)

The highlight of this season was unquestionably the major innings of 167 by James Aylward which set a new record for the highest individual score. In a contemporary report, it is stated that: Aylward went in at 5 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, and was not out till after three on Friday. We do not know the length of the innings in terms of actual minutes or deliveries, but we can conclude that he batted during or through six sessions of play. The team total of 403 was a huge figure at the time; the second highest score in it was 46 by Tom Sueter, while five other batsmen scored 20-plus.

Aylward’s innings completely overshadowed a notable effort by John Minshull in the All-England first innings. All-England had made 166 (Minshull 60*; Brett 5w) so Aylward beat their total by one. All-England collapsed in the second innings, probably in shock!

Aylward’s record stood until 1820, when it was beaten by William Ward.

Aside from Aylward’s exceptional score, the fascinating thing about this game is the fact that we know who was bowling when the four catches were taken during the Hampshire innings! We even have the first known c & b by John Wood, although we do not know which John Wood was playing.

Also of interest is the report in John Nyren’s book that this game was definitely played with three stumps in use. The third stump was originally allowed in 1775, as we have seen, but it is evident that teams did not always take advantage of it and many matches were played until 1780 in which the standard two stumps were used. It seems that the middle stump was universally adopted from 1780.

7–10 July (M-Th) Hampshire v All-England Broadhalfpenny Down SB32 All-England won by 25 runs

All-England 60 (J Minshull 21; T Brett 4w, R Nyren 2w, R Francis 2w) & 207 (J Miller 65, W Yalden 44, F Booker 29, W Bullen 27; John Small 3w, T Brett 2w); Hampshire 194 (R A Veck 54, R Francis 35, E Aburrow 25; T White 2w, Duke of Dorset 2w) & 45 (R Nyren 17; E Stevens 2w)

Back to Earth with a bump for Mr Aylward in the return game at Broadhalfpenny Down. He made only 16 and 0 as All-England recovered from a first innings deficit of 134 to win by 25 runs, Hampshire collapsing against Lumpy & Co. to be all out for 45 in the last innings.

16–18 July (W-F) Duke of Dorset v Sir H Mann ^ Maidstone KCM Mann's XI won by 1 wkt

Duke of Dorset’s XI 139 (T Pattenden 40, Rimmington 35; R May 3w) & 159 (Mr R Hosmer 46*, Rimmington 24; W Bullen 3w, R May 2w); Sir Horace Mann’s XI 87 (W Bowra 33; Mills 3w, J Boorman 2w) & 213-9 (W Bowra 67, J Miller 41, F Booker 27, Pennell 26; J Boorman 5w, Mills 2w)

The match was played "for 100 guineas". The finish must have been exciting as at least four runs were needed when the last wicket partnership began. Sir Horace’s team had been 52 runs down on first innings.

The curiously worded dismissal of knock down wkt which happened twice in the first innings has been taken to mean hit wicket.

22–26 July (Tu-S) All-England v Hampshire Laleham Burway SB33 Hampshire won by 30 runs

Hampshire 115 (Duke of Dorset 37, John Small 28; W Lamborn 3w) & 187 (G Leer 69; E Stevens 2w, J Wood 2w); All-England 143 (Earl of Tankerville 34, W Bowra 29; T Brett 4w, Duke of Dorset 2w) & W Bullen 36, W Yalden 32*; T Brett 4w, R Nyren 2w)

Another batting substitution. John Minshull hurt his knee so Henry Attfield batted in the second innings, but he was summarily bowled by Brett for nought. Brett took at least eight wickets as Hampshire won by 30 runs.

28–30 July (M-Tu) Sir H Mann v Duke of Dorset ^ Old Park, Canterbury KCM Mann's XI won by 21 runs

Sir Horace Mann’s XI 116 (W Bullen 50; R Clifford 3w, J Boorman 2w) & 77 (F Booker 22*; J Boorman 3w); Duke of Dorset’s XI 66 (Oakley 3w, F Booker 2w) & 106 (Mr – Stanford 28; W Bullen 3w)

The match was "played for 100 guineas". A notice beforehand implored spectators: The company are particularly desired to bring no dogs, as they will be shot. Evidently there had been complaints about dogs running loose on the field in an earlier match at Bourne.

Mr Ashley-Cooper commented that "neither Scores and Biographies nor the books by W Epps or Bentley refers in any way whatever to the above match(es) between Kent and Maidstone (sic)". His source was presumably local newspapers or scorebooks.

18–20 August (M-W) All-England v Hampshire Guildford Bason SB34 Hampshire won by 1 wkt

All-England 50 (J Minshull 33*; R Nyren 4w, T Brett 3w) & 249 (J Miller 64, Earl of Tankerville 45, W Yalden 42; N Mann 3w); Hampshire 133 (J Aylward 30; E Stevens 3w) & 167-9 (T Taylor 62, John Small 35; E Stevens 3w)

A tense finish at Guildford Bason as Hampshire beat All-England by 1 wicket. Needing 167 in the fourth innings, Hampshire owed much to a fine 62 by Tom Taylor but were still several runs short when the last pair, Sueter and Nyren came together. Sueter ended with 9* and Nyren with 4* to see them home. Incidentally, it is curious that one of these two should have been last man in, though Nyren "the General" was by now approaching the end of his career.

8–10 September (M-W) Hampshire v All-England Broadhalfpenny Down SB35 All-England won by 54 runs

All-England 146 (J Miller 51, W Bullen 46; T Brett 5w, N Mann 2w) & 187 (J Miller 39, J Edmeads 33*, W Bullen 31); Hampshire 117 (J Aylward 29, R Francis 24; W Lamborn 4w, E Stevens 2w) & 162 (J Aylward 47, John Small 30; S Colchin 3w, E Stevens 2w, W Lamborn 2w)

This match was obtained from the Hampshire Chronicle, as it was not in the old book of scores published that contained matches from 1772 to 1784.

15–17 September (M-W) All-England v Hampshire Artillery Ground SB36 Hampshire won by 131 runs

Hampshire 187 (J Aylward 56, T Taylor 24; E Stevens 6w) & 212 (R A Veck 79, G Leer 33, J Aylward 28; S Colchin 2w); All-England 151 (S Colchin 27; T Taylor 2w) & 117 (W Bedster 28; R Nyren 2w) Arthur Haygarth obtained the score from the Hampshire Chronicle, which said: "The Hambledon Club, out of 10 great matches they have played this year, have won 7, lost 2, and received forfeit of 1".

^ The Dorset v Mann fixtures of the period were essentially two Kent teams plus given men. Issues are always likely re the status of such games, but a clear majority of the players who took part were well enough known and there can be no doubt that these are major fixtures. Confusion often arises from the titles as the games were variously recorded as Maidstone v Kent or West Kent v East Kent. The Duke of Dorset generally used Sevenoaks in west Kent as his home venue (or Maidstone in the game above); Sir Horace Mann’s seat at Bourne was near Canterbury in east Kent.

Single wicket[edit]

  • 29 May (M) : Five of Hambledon v Five of England @ Artillery Ground. Hambledon won by 15 runs.


The following players made their first known appearance during the 1777 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
390 James Aylward
366 Joseph Miller
269 William Bullen
226 Richard Aubrey Veck
206 William Bowra
205 Thomas Taylor
186 John Small
180 Earl of Tankerville
168 William Yalden
155 Tom Sueter
151 George Leer
149 John Minshull
144 Richard Nyren
135 Richard Francis
123 Thomas Pattenden
106 Francis Booker
103 John Edmeads
96 Edward Aburrow

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
29 Thomas Brett
27 Edward "Lumpy" Stevens
16 Richard Nyren
12 John Boorman
11 William Bullen
11 John Wood of Seal
10 Lamborn
8 Noah Mann

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
11 William Bullen
9 John Edmeads
9 William Yalden
8 Richard Francis
7 Earl of Tankerville
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. 

Additional 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]