1789 English cricket season

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1789 English cricket season

1789 was the third season of cricket in England since the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). While Hampshire were playing Kent on Windmill Down, the Storming of the Bastille was taking place in Paris and the French Revolution ended the first cricket overseas tour before it even began.

Important matches[edit]

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

date match title venue source result
22–23 May (F-S) Sir H Mann v S Amherst Coxheath FLPV Amherst's XI won by 5 wkts
25 May (M) Gents of All-England v Middlesex Lord's (Dorset Square) WDC Middlesex won by innings & 64 runs
3–4 June (W-Th) Earl of Earl of Winchilsea v Sir H Mann Lord's (Dorset Square) SB91 Earl of Winchilsea's XI won by 140 runs
This match was postponed after 4 June and completed on Mon 15 & Tues 16 June 1789
8 June (M) Uxbridge v Moulsey Hurst New Ground, Uxbridge Moor SB91 MH won by 53 runs
Uxbridge was arguably a Middlesex XI and Moulsey Hurst arguably a Surrey XI.
10–12 June (W-F) Surrey v Kent Moulsey Hurst SB92 Kent won by 3 wkts
26-27 Jun (F-S) All-England XIII v Hampshire Lord's (Dorset Square) SB93 Hampshire won by 6 wkts
This match was postponed after 27 June and completed on Thurs 2 July 1789
29–30 June (M-Tu) Sir H Mann v S Amherst Coxheath SB93 Mann's XI won by 8 runs
8–9 July (W-Th) MCC v Essex # Lord's (Dorset Square) FL18 Essex won by 102 runs
13–14 July (M-Tu) Hampshire v Kent Windmill Down SB94 Kent won by 56 runs

The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on Tuesday 14 July at the outset of the French Revolution

23–25 July (Th-S) All-England v Kent New Ground, Uxbridge Moor SB95 All-England won by innings & 10 runs
30 July - 1 Aug (Th-S) Surrey v Hampshire Moulsey Hurst FLPV Surrey won by 221 runs
Neither side was fully representative of the counties, but the majority of players are recognised so the match is included as a major fixture.
4-5 Aug (Tu-W) Sir H Mann v S Amherst Coxheath SB96 Mann's XI won by 57 runs
6-7 Aug (Th-F) Essex v MCC # Langton Park, Hornchurch FLPV Essex won by 6 wkts
Re the Essex v MCC games, some reports referred to the Essex side as Hornchurch. The Hornchurch Club at this time was representative of Essex as a county.
11-14 Aug (Tu-F) Kent v Surrey Bishopsbourne SB96 Surrey won by 9 wkts
18-21 Aug (Tu-F) Kent v Hampshire Bishopsbourne SB97 Hampshire won by 29 runs
2-5 Sept (W-S) All-England v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB98 Hampshire won by 15 runs
7-9 Sept (M-W) Middlesex v London Lord's (Dorset Square) FLPV London won by 2 wkts
Excluded from earlier classifications due to "weak teams" and a view that Middlesex was really the Uxbridge club. The majority of players are recognised so this is a major match here.
10-11 Sept (Th-F) Chelsea v MCC Chelsea FLPV drawn?
This was definitely not a major fixture, due to lack of recognised players. It was "postponed till next week" but no report of a conclusion has been found. In Chelsea's second innings, the scorecard shows all eleven batsmen as out!
18-19 Sept (F-S) Bridge & Bourne v Aldington Bishopsbourne FLPV B&B won by 7 wkts
This game included James Aylward as a given man to Aldington. There were a handful of recognised players taking part.
21 Sept (M) Leicester v Nottingham ^ Loughborough SB99 Nottingham won by innings & 16 runs
23-24 Sept (W-Th) East Kent v Isle of Thanet Dandelion Paddock, Margate FLPV East Kent won by 10 wkts
5-6 Oct (M-Tu) Leicester v Nottingham ^ Loughborough SB100 Leicester won by 1 run
This match was postponed after 6 October and completed on Mon 2 November 1789.
7 Oct (W) Gordon Castle Club v 55th Regiment Aberdeen FLPV Gordon CC won by innings & 258 runs
This match was evidently organised by the Hon. Charles Lennox who scored 136 for the Gordon Castle Club.

Single wicket[edit]

9–10 July (Th–F) : Six of Hampshire v Six of Kent @ Itchin Stoke Down. Match drawn (bad weather).

Other events[edit]

John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, famous for both his cricket connections and his ambassadorship to France, tried to organise a tour of France by a team of English cricketers. The team, which included William Yalden, assembled in London and travelled to Dover where, unexpectedly, they met the Duke himself coming the other way. He was fleeing for his life from the French Revolution. So the intended first-ever overseas tour became instead the first tour to be cancelled for political reasons.

First mentions[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.

William Beldham with 306 scored the most known runs in 1789.

Other leading batsmen were James Aylward with 297 runs; John Wells 240; Harry Walker 228; Tom Walker 225; Richard Purchase 224; John Small 222; Thomas Ingram 219; George Louch 215; William Brazier 210; Joey Ring 198

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.

Robert Clifford with 39 took the most known wickets in 1789.

Other leading wicket-takers were David Harris with 38; Richard Purchase 30; John Boorman 25; William Bullen 25; Butcher 19; Noah Mann 18

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.

Robert Clifford was also the most successful fielder with 16 known victims (15 ct, 1 st)

William Beldham took 15 catches, John Wells had 14 victims (13 ct, 1 st), star fielder George Louch took 12 catches and there were 9 catches each taken by John Boorman, William Bullen and Henry Crozoer.


  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]