1798 English cricket season

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1798 English cricket season

1798 was the twelfth season of cricket in England since the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). It was by now commonplace for important matches to involve town clubs rather than county teams.


Date Match Title Venue Source Result
2 & 3 May (W–Th) F Beauclerk v J Tufton Lord's (Dorset Square) SB230 Beauclerk's XI won by 19 runs

The above was excluded from a previous classification but the players are recognised so this has important match status. However, the return game between Beauclerk and Tufton on 24 August was nine a side with weak teams (SB245).

9–10 May (W–Th) MCC v London Lord's (Dorset Square) SB231 MCC won by 5 wkts
28–29 May (M–Tu) MCC v Montpelier ^ Lord's (Dorset Square) SB232 Montpelier won by 55 runs
6–8 June (W–Th) All-England v Surrey Lord's (Dorset Square) SB233 All-England won by 128 runs
13–14 June (W–Th) Montpelier v MCC ^ Montpelier Gardens SB234 MCC won by 175 runs

^ As in 1797, Montpelier had a fairly strong team, especially with given men, so their two games v MCC were good quality. The majority of players are recognised.

20–21 Jun (W–Th) MCC v Middlesex Lord's (Dorset Square) SB235 Middlesex won by 10 wkts
26–27 June (Tu–W) MCC v All-England Lord's (Dorset Square) SB235 MCC won by 17 runs
11–13 July (W–F) MCC v All-England Lord's (Dorset Square) SB238 MCC won by 7 wkts
13–14 July (F–S) F Beauclerk v R Whitehead Lord’s (Dorset Square) SB238 Whitehead's XI won by 7 wkts

The Beauclerk v Whitehead game on 13–14 July (SB238) was single innings, whether this was intentional or not, and the names of four Whitehead players are unknown. All things considered, this is a marginal fixture needing further analysis.

26–28 July (Th–S) Hampshire v MCC Stoke Down SB240 MCC won by 78 runs
2–3 Aug (Th–F) MCC v Hampshire Lord's (Dorset Square) SB241 Hampshire won by 102 runs
13–15 Aug (M–W) All-England v Surrey Lord's (Dorset Square) SB243 All-England won by innings & 12 runs
16–17 Aug (Th–F) All-England v Surrey Lord's (Dorset Square) SB244 All-England won by 13 runs
16–17 Aug (Th–F) Woolwich v Croydon # Barrack Field, Woolwich brit Woolwich won by 88 runs
29 Aug (W) Croydon v Woolwich # Duppas Hill, Croydon brit Woolwich won by innings & 25 runs
5–6 Sept (W–Th) Middlesex v Hertfordshire Lord's (Dorset Square) SB247 Middlesex won by 93 runs

Herts had a weak team here and was not an important team unless with given men.

26 Sept (W) Montpelier v Woolwich &c. Montpelier Gardens FLPV Montpelier won by 138 runs

This was a single innings game and the teams were local club standard only. Woolwich &c. in full is Woolwich, Crayford & Dartford (also on 8–9 October below).

1–2 Oct (M–Tu) Yorkshire Militia v Nottingham Militia Wetherby FLPV NM won by 58 runs
8–9 Oct (M–Tu) Woolwich &c. v Montpelier # Barrack Field, Woolwich brit drawn

# These three matches were unknown till Britcher’s scores came to light recently. They are minor matches involving local clubs only.

First mentions

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.

Fewer matches were recorded in 1798 than in previous years. The batsmen who scored over 100 runs were:

Lord Frederick Beauclerk – 369
Andrew Freemantle – 217
Benjamin Clifton – 187
John Tufton – 185
Thomas Ray – 179
Jack Small – 177
Tom Walker – 164
William Fennex – 148
Robert Robinson – 147
T A Smith – 146
Hampton – 141
William Beldham – 136
John Wells – 135
Harry Walker – 127
John Hammond – 112

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.

Thomas Boxall just led the bowlers with 42 wickets, beating Lord Frederick Beauclerk who took 40

Other leading bowlers were John Wells 30; William Fennex 23; Tom Walker 16; David Harris 15; Thomas Lord 15

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.

John Hammond with 9 ct, 9 st and John Wells with 10 ct, 8 st were the joint leading fielders in 1798

Lord Frederick Beauclerk took the most catches with 14, followed by William Fennex 11; Andrew Freemantle 8 ct, 2 st; William Beldham 7 ct, 1 st; Thomas Ray 7 ct.



  • Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell.
  • Haygarth, Arthur (1862). Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826). Lillywhite.
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press.
  • Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.

Further reading

  • 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.
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