1779 English cricket season

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1779 English cricket season

1779 was the 83rd English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. It saw the beginnings of Berkshire as an important team for several years.

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue source result
14–15 June (M-Tu) Hampshire v All-England Itchin Stoke Down SB39 Hampshire won by 6 wkts

All-England 80 (W Bedster 23, J Miller 23; R Nyren 4w) & 179 (R Clifford 34, Mills 34, W Bedster 26, J Miller 25; R Nyren 2w); Hampshire 137 (T Sueter 44, R A Veck 30; E Stevens 4w, W Lamborn 3w) & 125-4 (R A Veck 39*, J Aylward 27, E Aburrow 25*; E Stevens 2w)

23–26 June (W-S) All-England v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB40 Hampshire won by innings & 89 runs

All-England 56 (W Bedster 22, E Stevens 21*; R Nyren 3w, N Mann 3w) & 87 (W Bedster 37; N Mann 3w); Hampshire 232 (R A Veck 79, N Mann 56; W Lamborn 5w, W Bullen 2w)

12 July (M) Berkshire Club v Hants & Berks Maidenhead FL18 result unknown

This must have been an early match arranged by the famous Oldfield Club which achieved prominence in the next decade. The opposition is described as 11 picked men out of Hampshire & Berks. Advertised in the Reading Mercury a week earlier.

21–24 July (W-S) Kent v Surrey Bishopsbourne Paddock FL18 drawn (rain)

Badly affected by rain, the game was abandoned and all bets were declared void. Surrey had scored 62 and Kent had replied with 83-8 when the rain intervened. Kent had two given men from Hampshire who were apparently Veck and Aylward. There was a return match on 9 August as recorded in S&B.

? August Alresford v Berkshire Odiham Down FL18 result unknown

FL18 records a notice in the Reading Mercury that "some time in August", there would be a match on Odiham Down between Alresford and Berkshire. It says that Alresford would have some of the Hambledon Club and Berkshire would be with the Maidenhead Club.

9–11 August (M-W) Surrey v Kent Laleham Burway SB41 Kent won by 5 wkts

Surrey 123 (J Minshull 40, W Yalden 27; J Boorman 3w) & 108 (H Attfield 25; W Bullen 3w); Kent 141 (R A Veck 55, J Miller 25; E Stevens 3w, W Lamborn 3w) & 91-5 (J Miller 25; W Lamborn 2w)

R A Veck, who as the country's leading runscorer had probably his best season in 1779, played for Kent as a given man and his innings won the match for them.

23 August (M) Hampshire v All-England Broadhalfpenny Down SB42 Hampshire won by 134 runs

Hampshire 167 (John Small 66, N Mann 45) & 182 (G Leer 58, T Sueter 24, N Mann 23; W Lamborn 4w, E Stevens 2w); All-England 112 (J Aylward 51) & 88 (J Miller 37; R Nyren 3w, N Mann 3w)

No bowling or fielding details were found for the two first innings.

In S&B, Mr Haygarth writes: "Another account says this match was played at Chertsey. In the score Berwick and Bowra were not mentioned as playing as given men for Hambledon, but as they do so in the next match, of course they must be in this. Why Berwick is a given man cannot now be said, as his doings do not entitle him to such a position. How the two sides were got out in their two first innings was not inserted in the score book from whence it was copied".

13–16 September (M-Th) All-England v Hampshire Moulsey Hurst SB42 Hampshire won by 2 wkts

All-England 91 (W Bullen 35, R Clifford 33; R Nyren 3w) & 242 (E Stevens 52, H Attfield 46, J Miller 34, J Minshull 34, W Yalden 25); Hampshire 172 (T Taylor 80, N Mann 38; E Stevens 3w) & 162-8 (R A Veck 43, E Aburrow 35, R Nyren 23*)

In direct contrast with the previous match, no bowling or fielding details were found for the two second innings!

5 October (Tu) Berkshire v Oxfordshire Henley FL18 result unknown

One of the earliest references to cricket in Oxfordshire was in the Reading Mercury on Monday 4 October: On Tues. Oct 5 at Henley, the County of Berks v the County of Oxford, for £25 a side (see FL18)

Other events[edit]

Mon 7 – Tues 8 June. There was a "fives" game at the Artillery Ground in which the Duke of Dorset’s team beat Sir Horace Mann’s by 1 wicket. Dorset’s team was James Aylward, William Brazier, Sam Colchin, Phillips and Polden. Mann’s team was Joseph Miller, William Bedster, William Bullen, Robert Clifford and one of the May brothers. This was reported in the Morning Post next day (see FL18).


The following players made their first known appearance during the 1779 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
280 Richard Aubrey Veck
176 Joseph Miller
167 Noah Mann
146 William Bedster
131 James Aylward
126 Robert Clifford
120 Henry Attfield
120 John Minshull
116 John Small
114 Thomas Taylor
107 William Bullen
105 Tom Sueter
102 George Leer
98 Edward "Curry" 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
18 Lamborn
16 Richard Nyren
16 Edward "Lumpy" Stevens
11 Noah Mann
9 William Bullen

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
7 William Yalden
6 William Bowra
4 William Bedster
4 John Small
3 several players


  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]