1791 English cricket season
1791 was the fifth season of cricket in England since the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The emergence of the Brighton club heralded a brief revival of Sussex cricket which had been prominent during the early 18th century, as with Hornchurch Cricket Club and Essex, the Brighton team was a fair representation of Sussex as a county and the county name is used where the opposition is another county team or All-England. The club's venue was the Prince of Wales Ground in Brighton, which had its name changed over the years and was known as Box's Ground in the 19th century.
|16–18 May (M-W)||MCC v Middlesex||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB110||Middlesex won by 30 runs|
|23–25 May (M-W)||MCC v Middlesex||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB111||Middlesex won by 6 wkts|
|30 May-2 Jun (M-Th)||Old Etonians v Gentlemen||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB111||Gents won by 6 wkts|
The Old Etonian and Gentlemen teams in the list were major sides, they were composed mainly of leading amateurs and had noted professionals as given men.
|2–3 June (Th-F)||MCC v Kent||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB112||MCC won by innings & 113 runs|
|13–14 June (M-Tu)||MCC v Essex||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB115||Essex won by 45 runs|
|20–22 June (M-W)||All-England v Hampshire||Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland||SB115||All-England won by 54 runs|
Burley-on-the-Hill in Rutland was the Earl of Winchilsea's country retreat, which he used as his base for foxhunting parties, it is not far from the Great North Road so communication with London was relatively easy at the time. Burley-on-the-Hill has been confused with Burghley Park near Stamford but it is quite different.
|23–24 June (Th-F)||Old Etonians v MCC||Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland||SB116||MCC won by 6 wkts|
|25 June (S)||Leicestershire v MCC ^||Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland||SB117||MCC won by innings & 4 runs|
|6–8 July (W-F)||All-England v Hampshire||Sevenoaks Vine||SB117||All-England won by 1 wkt|
|13–15 July (W-F)||Hampshire v All-England||Windmill Down||SB118||All-England won by 60 runs|
|22–23 July (F-S)||West Sussex v Hambledon Town||Goodwood Park||brit||drawn|
A return match took place on 20 Sept (see below) and was recorded in S&B.
|25–28 July (M-Th)||All-England v Hampshire||Perriam Down||SB119||All-England won by innings & 68 runs|
|28–29 July (Th-F)||Andover v MCC||Perriam Down||SB120||MCC won by innings & 43 runs|
|? July||Earl of Winchilsea v E Bligh||Burley-on-the-Hill||SB119||Bligh's XI won by innings & 64 runs|
Definitely a minor match with numerous irregulars, the date is also in doubt as Mr Haygarth points out.
|11-13 Aug (Th-S)||Essex v MCC||Langton Park, Hornchurch||SB121||MCC won by 166 runs|
|15-18 Aug (M-Th)||MCC v Kent||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB121||Kent won by 5 wkts|
|19-20 Aug (F-S)||MCC &c. v Essex #||unknown||brit||Essex won by 4 runs|
The venue was probably Lord’s but it is unrecorded.
|23-25 Aug (Tu-Th)||Surrey v Hampshire||Holt Pound, Wrecclesham||SB122||Surrey won by 17 runs|
Wrecclesham is in Surrey. Holt Pound was a small ground partly designed by William Beldham on behalf of the owner Mr Holt.
|26-27 Aug (F-S)||Waltham v Hornchurch||Waltham||brit||Hornchurch won by 10 wkts|
|29-30 Aug (M-Tu)||Nottingham v MCC ^||King's Meadow, Nottingham||SB123||MCC won by 10 wkts|
^ The MCC teams were good quality and it is clear from reference to 1789 that the Leicester and Nottingham teams were representative of the counties. These two matches are historically important and are major fixtures, the Nottingham v MCC game is also in William North's 1832 book of Nottingham Old Club Match Scores.
|? Sept||Windsor & Eton v Warfield||Eton Brocas||WDC||Warfield won by 2 wkts|
|12-14 Sept (M-W)||Hornchurch v Waltham||Langton Park, Hornchurch||brit||Waltham won by 57 runs|
|15-16 Sept (Th-F)||Essex v MCC &c. #||Langton Park, Hornchurch||brit||Essex won by innings & 23 runs|
# These two games were unknown until recently as Britcher is the sole source, the MCC &c. team in both games is properly titled 5 of Herts and 5 of MCC and Mr S Amherst.
|19-22 Sept (M-Th)||Sussex v Middlesex||PoW Ground, Brighton||SB125||Middlesex won by 21 runs|
The emergence of the Brighton club at this time heralded a brief revival of Sussex cricket which had been prominent during the early C18, as with Hornchurch/Essex, the Brighton team was a fair representation of Sussex as a county and the county name is used where the opposition is another county team or All-England.
|20-22 Sept (Tu-Th)||Hambledon Town v West Sussex||Windmill Down||SB125||West Sussex won by 11 runs|
The Hambledon Town v West Sussex game recorded in SB125 is considered minor due to lack of recognised players. Many of the Sussex team were in the Duke of Dorset’s side that played in the minor match at Lord’s on 3 June 1790 (SB101).
- Lord Frederick Beauclerk
- Charles Cumberland
- Thomas Mellish (MCC; amateur) – played 52 matches to 1815
- John Goldham aka Goldhawk (Middlesex) – played 35 matches to 1812
- W. Wells (Middlesex) – played twelve matches to 1816
- Littler (Essex cricketer) (Essex) – played nine matches to 1793
- Alexander Pitcairn (MCC; amateur) – played nine matches to 1792
- Welsh (MCC cricketer) (MCC; amateur) – played eight matches to 1793
- P. Vallance (Sussex) – played seven matches to 1792
- Collins (Hampshire cricketer) (Hampshire) – played six matches to 1792
- Gregory (Sussex cricketer) (Sussex) – played five matches to 1792
- Thomas Jutten (cricketer) (Sussex) – played five matches to 1792
- Thomas Liffen (Sussex) – played five matches to 1792
- J. Merchant aka Marchant (Sussex) – played five matches to 1792
- Sale (Berkshire cricketer) (MCC/Berkshire; amateur) – played five matches to 1793
- Sackville Tufton, 9th Earl of Thanet (Kent; amateur) – played five matches to 1794
- W. Chapman (Notts) – played five matches to 1803
- Hon. W. Harbord (MCC; amateur) – played four matches to 1791
- John Vallance (Sussex) – played four matches to 1792
- Miles (Essex cricketer) (Essex) – played three matches to 1793
- R. Stewart (MCC; amateur) – played three matches to 1799
- Humphrey Hopkin (Notts) – played two matches to 1800
- E. Streeter (Sussex) – played two matches to 1792
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 532 runs was the top scorer in 1791
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.
Captain Charles Cumberland with 41 known wickets was the leading bowler in 1791
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.
Star fielder George Louch with 21 took the most catches in 1791
Other leading fielders were William Beldham 20 ct; Tom Taylor 15 ct; Charles Lennox 9 ct, 3 st; John Wells 11 ct; Thomas Ingram 10 ct, 1 st; Edward Bligh 10 ct; Stephen Amherst 7 ct, 2 st; William Fennex 9 ct.
- 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.
- 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.
- Britcher, Samuel, A list of all the principal Matches of Cricket that have been played (1790 to 1805), annual series
- 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.
- Leach, John (2008). "Classification of cricket matches from 1697 to 1825". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
- Collins, A. R. (2016). "Historical Calendar". Dr A. R. Collins.