1773 English cricket season

The 1773 English cricket season saw a downturn in the fortunes of Hampshire and the Hambledon Club. They lost every known match played in 1773 and some of their defeats were heavy. Their poor results owed much to star bowler Thomas Brett being injured.

A grandstand was erected on two occasions at Bishopsbourne Paddock. The Surrey v Hampshire game in September was to have a stand built at Laleham Burway with the best accommodation provided there and at the White Hart at Chertsey by Thomas Swayne. Thomas Swayne was a Chertsey player who featured in a few games during the 1770s. On the other hand, another advertisement for cricket at Bourne warned spectators to leave their dogs at home, otherwise they will be shot!


Date Match Title Venue Source Result
21–22 June (M-Tu) Surrey v Kent Laleham Burway SB6 Surrey won by 35 runs

Surrey 175 (T White 44, Mr – Stone 35, R Francis 30) & 70 (T White 23); Kent 133 (Mr R Newman 28, T Pattenden 25) & 77 (J Miller 18). No bowling or fielding details are known.

28–29 June (M-Tu) All-England v Hampshire Sevenoaks Vine SB8 All-England won by innings & 5 runs

Hampshire 77 (T Brett 26; E Stevens 2w) & 49 (G Leer 15; E Stevens 3w); All-England 177 (J Miller 73, R Simmons 20; W Hogsflesh 3w, T Brett 2w)

This is the first match since cricket’s statistical record began where some bowling and fielding details are known, though no credit was given to the bowler when a batsman was out other than by being clean bowled, a convention in scoring that was not rectified until well inside the 19th century. Lumpy seems to have been the best bowler in the game, taking five wickets bowled and likely had more from catches. The All-England team was a strong Kent & Surrey combination with Joseph Miller scoring 73 in their innings of 177.

The card includes the first known instance of “hit wicket” (by John Minshull) and it is not mentioned again until 1786. It is believed that it was usually recorded as “bowled” so it is possible that, on this occasion, Minshull hit the wicket when not taking strike (e.g., hit the wicket whilst running, perhaps). This was another “first” for Minshull who scored the first known century in 1769.

2–3 July (F-S) All-England v Hampshire Artillery Ground SB7 All-England won by 6 wkts

Hampshire 132 (John Small 58, T Sueter 29) & 154 (T Sueter 32, John Small 25, W Barber 25); All-England 187 (W Palmer 52*, Childs 38, T White 24) & 100-4 (J Boorman 55, W Palmer 30*).

Coulsdon batsman William Palmer, who had an outstanding season in 1773, scored 52* and 30* in totals of 187 and 100-4.

9–10 July (F-S) All-England v Hampshire Artillery Ground WDC All-England won by 2 wkts

Mr Waghorn notes an unnamed source: Yesterday, July 9, began to be played in the Artillery Ground, the second grand match of cricket, 11 on a side, the Hambledon Club, against All England, which ended on the 10, in favour of the latter, who had 2 wickets to go down. Great sums were depending on this match; at pitching the wickets, the Hambledon Club, notwithstanding their late defeat, were the favourites, and it was generally believed they would have come off victorious, had it not been for a hurt received by Farmer Brett (Bowler) in the late single wicket match, which prevented his exercising his usual powers.

This is not included in the ACS list but Martin Wilson in his Index to Waghorn explains the situation and agrees with Ashley Mote in GDC that we have here an additional match that has previously been overlooked. The clincher would seem to be the fact that Tom Brett played on 2 July (see CricketArchive and SB7).

12–13 July (M-Tu) All-England v Hampshire Laleham Burway FL18 All-England won by 114 runs

Little is known about this game apart from an interesting report which Mr Buckley found in the Morning Post dated Fri 16 July: Hampshire being beat again last Tuesday on Laleham Burway they must now resign the Cricket laurel, though much against their will. The Duke of Dorset played on the part of England, and having run a considerable number of notches from off-strokes, the Hampshire people very unpolitely swarmed round his bat so close as to impede his making a full stroke; his Grace gently expostulated with them on this unfair mode, and pointed out their danger, which having no effect, he, with proper spirit, made full play at a ball and in so doing brought one of the gentlemen to the ground.

It seems on reading this report that the umpires were at fault for the 1744 Laws do state: They (the umpires) are sole Judges of all Hindrances; crossing the Players in running, and standing unfair to strike, and in Case of Hindrance may order a notch to be scored. What is interesting is that, despite his considerable influence on the sport, Dorset did not exert influence on the umpires here and merely dealt with the matter as a batsman.

13 July (Tu) Surrey v Middlesex Kennington Common WDC Middlesex won by 6 runs

The stakes were 100 guineas a side. Middlesex totalled 179 to Surrey’s 173.

19–21 July (M-W) Kent v Surrey Bishopsbourne Paddock SB12 Surrey won by 153 runs

Surrey 77 (W Palmer 22; Duke of Dorset 4w) & 217 (T White 60, W Palmer 38, R Francis 36; J Miller 3w, Duke of Dorset 2w); Kent 63 (Duke of Dorset 25; J Wood of Chertsey 4w, E Stevens 2w) & 78 (Mr G Louch 26, Sir Horace Mann 22; J Wood of Chertsey 2w, E Stevens 2w)

Close of play scores are known

Monday – Surrey 77; Kent 55/5
Tuesday – Kent 63; Surrey 65/2 (Palmer 36*, White 2*)
30 July (F) Hambledon Town v Hampshire Broadhalfpenny Down WDC result unknown

Played for 20 guineas a side. This has historical interest but it is doubtful that it was an important match. S&B, Epps and GDC all omitted it and Waghorn is the only one of the secondary sources to acknowledge it. It is included in the ACS list and Martin Wilson has accepted it.

4–5 August (W-Th) Hampshire v All-England Broadhalfpenny Down SB12 All-England won by 9 wkts

Hampshire 89 (Mr T Davis 30; E Stevens 4w, Duke of Dorset 4w) & 140 (T Sueter 39, Mr T Ridge 24; E Stevens 3w, Duke of Dorset 2w); All-England 202 (T White 69, W Palmer 68; R Purchase 4w, W Hogsflesh 2w) & 28-1

Richard Francis made his first appearance for Hampshire in this game, evidently as a given man. He began playing regularly for Hampshire in the 1774 season.

5 August (Th) London v All-England White Conduit Fields FL18 London won

The Middlesex Journal reported on Sat 7 August that London won “with great ease”. It may well have been a "gentlemen only" game.

9–10 August (M-Tu) Surrey v Kent Laleham Burway WDC Surrey won by 8 wkts

The stakes were 500 guineas per side and the match was concluded on the Tuesday evening. Mon 16 – Wed 18 August.

16–18 August (M-W) Kent v Surrey Sevenoaks Vine SB14 Kent won by 6 wkts

Surrey 170 (T White 59, W Palmer 20; F Booker 3w) & 70 (W Palmer 20; J Frame 3w); Kent 141 (J Miller 42, J Wood of Seal 36; J Wood of Chertsey 2w) & 100-4 (J Miller 32*, J Minshull 32)

This match provides incontrovertible proof that Thomas “Daddy” White and “Shock” White were two different people. “Daddy” was playing for Surrey against Kent at Sevenoaks Vine; indeed, he top-scored with 59 (see above). On the same three days, as reported in the Daily Advertiser (see FL18): in Tothill Fields, Westminster with Shock White from Brentford v. London for £20 a side. Hence the two Whites were Shock of Brentford and Daddy of Reigate.

26 August (Th) Hampshire v Surrey Broadhalfpenny Down SB13 Surrey won by 6 wkts

Hampshire 103 (P Stewart 32, R Nyren 28) & 51 (G Leer 29); Surrey 131 (R Francis 35, W Yalden 27) & 24-4. No bowling or fielding details are known.

S&B states that the scores were obtained from the Hampshire Chronicle as the match was not included in the old printed book of Hambledon scores from 1772 to 1784. S&B goes on to regret the absences of John Small senior and Thomas Brett, the best batsman and best bowler respectively of Hampshire. He says Hampshire fielded almost a “scratch side” as there were four debutants Cotton, Horne, Lawrence and M Lewis who do not appear again in recorded scores. Some or all of them may have been active before 1772.

Strictly speaking, the Hampshire team in this game was Hambledon Parish. Some regular players who lived elsewhere in the county, including the top players John Small and Thomas Brett, did not play.

16–18 September (Th-S) Surrey v Hampshire Laleham Burway SB15 Surrey won by 8 wkts

Hampshire 38 (T Sueter 13; R Francis 3w, J Wood of Chertsey 3w) & 145 (J Aylward 36); Surrey 120 (J Miller 37, J Minshull 29; J Frame 2w) & 64-2 (J Miller 30*)

27–28 September (M-Tu) Hampshire v Surrey Broadhalfpenny Down HCC Surrey won by innings & 60 runs

Hampshire 83 (J Bayley 24, T Sueter 22) & 82 (J Aylward 33); Surrey 225 (W Yalden 88, J Miller 39)

This match does not appear in S&B. The sources are Hambledon’s Cricket Glory, by Ronald Knight; and The Hambledon Cricket Chronicle, edited by F S Ashley-Cooper.

James Bayley of Hampshire made his final recorded appearance in this game. He may have been active in earlier years.

William Yalden’s score of 88 was the highest recorded in the 1773 season and the highest since the statistical record began in 1772. The previous highest was 78 by John Small senior in the first match of the 1772 season.

Other events

Wed 2 June. The first report in WDC for 1773 is an advertisement for a big “fives” game at the Artillery Ground for 200 guineas involving John Small, Tom Sueter, Richard Nyren, George Leer and Thomas Brett of Hampshire against “Lumpy” Stevens, John Minshull, Joseph Miller, Dick May and Thomas “Daddy” White of All-England. It was to take place in Whitsun week and was “the first great match this season”. In fact, it took place a little later and William Palmer of Coulsdon played instead of “Daddy” White. All-England scored 31 & 27-4 against Hampshire’s 24 & 33 to win by 1 wicket. Miller was 11 not out at the end and so proved to be the matchwinner. Leer with scores of 16 & 13 seems to have been the best batsman overall but to no avail. May, Lumpy, Brett and Nyren were named as the bowlers but we do not know who took the wickets.

On 30 July, there was a match at Bourne for which the grandstand was erected between Bourne and Chatham. It was rained off not long after it began. The Bourne team included Miller, Palmer, Fuggles, Simmons and one of the Mays, as well as (now Sir) Horatio Mann himself. The Chatham team contained no players of note except for the ubiquitous Mr George Louch, no less, who was just getting into his stride at this time and had already earned some rave reviews for his fielding in minor matches. Mr Louch went on to become just about the most prolific player of the 18th century and not even Small or Lumpy could match him for appearances.

A match was scheduled at Andover on Fri 24 – Sat 25 September between Sussex and Hampshire (see FL18). Sussex were due to have Lumpy Stevens and Daddy White of Surrey as given men; and also Bayton, the noted Hambledon batsman of the 1760s, though he may have been a native of Sussex. The match was cancelled because only seven of the Sussex team turned up! Apart from the three players named above, the Sussex team was not a top-class side. Hampshire, on the other hand, were due to play with this team: Davis, Aylward, Small, Sueter, Leer, Nyren, Stewart, Brett, Purchase, Barber and Hogsflesh.

First-class debutants

The following players made their first known appearance[1] in first-class cricket during the 1773 season.

Leading batsmen

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
328 Thomas White
316 Joseph Miller
305 William Palmer
186 Tom Sueter
174 William Yalden
167 Richard Francis
133 John Small
131 James Aylward
118 John Minshull
115 George Leer
113 John (Thomas) Wood

Leading bowlers

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 Edward "Lumpy" Stevens
15 Duke of Dorset
14 John (Thomas) Wood
6 William Hogsflesh
5 John Frame

Leading fielders

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
6 William Yalden
6 Richard Simmons
6 John Minshull
4 Charles Bennet, 4th Earl of Tankerville
3 Thomas White
3 Edward "Lumpy" Stevens
3 Richard Francis


  1. i.e., in matches adjudged first-class by CricketArchive


Additional reading

External links

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