John Nyren.

The Hambledon Men, being a new edition of John Nyren's 'Young cricketer's tutor' together with a collection of other matter drawn from various sources, all bearing upon the great batsmen and bowlers before round-arm came in online

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Online LibraryJohn NyrenThe Hambledon Men, being a new edition of John Nyren's 'Young cricketer's tutor' together with a collection of other matter drawn from various sources, all bearing upon the great batsmen and bowlers before round-arm came in → online text (page 2 of 20)
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he appeared at Lord's, on the rough, bumpy, and
often dangerous wickets, as used in his time, was
considered to have been equal to any other cricketer
of his day, especially against fast bowling, though
his hitting was poor, entirely through lack of physical
strength. From the age of eight to twelve (1833-
1837) he was at Temple Grove School, East Sheen,
Surrey, being part of that time under the care of
Doctor Pinkney, who was succeeded by Mr. Thomp-
son as head master. He went to Harrow School in
September, 1839, and having formed one of the Eleven
in 1842 and 1843, which contended victoriously at
Lord's v. Winchester and Eton, he left that "nursery
of amateur cricketers " in July, 1843, and it may be
added that during the twenty years he played at
Lord's he was never once late.

4 He also claims for the Scores and Biographies
that every line is a fact, and that no learned and
verbose dissertations, or arguments, or tedious and
minute theories, or penny a-line writing or averages,
have a place in any part of the work of fourteen
volumes. He has written several thousand letters
for the necessary materials, his chivalry always was
cricket, and in his day there were "no paid amateurs ".
Discrepancies, in the different published versions of
all matches, combined with illegible writing in many
accounts of scores obtained, have been the cause of


great additional trouble to him during the lengthened
compilation. He also collected and arranged, entirely
and gratuitously, for the late F. Lillywhite, the full
scores of the matches played between Harrow and
Winchester, Eton and Harrow, and Winchester and
Eton, they being first published in 1857, and there
were subsequently several editions of that small
manual. He has also inserted in Bell's Life and
other papers many dozens of letters and paragraphs
and suggestions, which can be found under the sig-
nature of " An Old Harrovian ", or " H. E. W."
His cricket writings from the first have always been
" a labour of love ", which remark will apply to few
other compilers. He rejoices that in his old age (69)
he can affirm with truth that he has saved from
oblivion an immense number of interesting facts
connected with our national sport ; and though he has
received kindness from many cricketers, in the shape
of materials asked for and contributed, he has also,
from a far larger number, experienced much ingrati-
tude, opposition and neglect. He intends, however,
now (1894) being in his seventieth year, to follow
the same plan, method, and arrangement as he did in
1842, when at the age of sixteen he commenced his
arduous task of compilation ; and he will continue to
work on as long as he can hold a pen or see a line of
writing. Vol. xiv is now, after a cruel delay of
fifteen years, presented to the cricketing world, and it
will be followed as soon as possible by others, if due
support is accorded.

'Tis not in mortals to command success,

But we'll do more deserve it ;
and his motto always has been " Facta non verba ".'

The first volume of Lillywhite's Cricket Scores and
Biographies came out in 1862 ; the last, xiv, in


1895. The scores went down only to 1878, but to
this volume (published under the auspices of the
M.C.C.) was added a biographical appendix carrying
the record to 1894. My set belonged to Bob Thorns
the umpire. Mr. Haygarth died in 1903 at the age
of seventy-seven.

The paper on Mr. Budd and his friends which
follows I have put together from various writers.
Mr. Budd, who was playing at Lord's in 1802, died
as recently as 1875. To know him must have been
a liberal education in sport and manliness. I am
surprised to find so few records of him. The M.C.C.
have no portrait.

I have to thank Mr. Andrew Lang and Mr. Alfred
Cochrane for making it possible to round off this
book with poetry. Both have written classical ballads
on the game : it was Mr. Lang who first called cricket
' the end of every man's desire ', and Mr. Cochrane
who fittingly stigmatized the wretch ' who snicketh
the length-ball'. Mr. Lang's introduction to Dafl's
Kings of Cricket contains, in my opinion, the best
writing that we have on the fascination of the

The illustrations, which might easily have been
multiplied by ten, have been drawn from various
sources. To Miss Nyren I am indebted for the
portrait of her grandfather and the score of Byron's
convivial song. Mr. Lacey, on behalf of the M.C.C.,
kindly allows me to reproduce certain pictures at
Lord's ; and the rest of the plates are from the col-


lection of Mr. Gaston. Of the Lord's pictures three
require special mention. First is the sheet of sketches
of cricketers made from life by George Shepherd
(1770P-1842) which I give, both in full as the frontis-
piece, and in detail, opposite pages 68, 76, 136, and
154. This pictureis extremelyinterestingand valuable.
It was acquired by the M.C.C. quite recently, and has
never been reproduced before ; and but for it we
should have no pictorial record whatever of David
Harris bowling, or Beldham at the wicket. Whether
or not Shepherd has quite carried out Nyren's
description of either is unimportant ; the important
thing is that here are sketches from life. Shepherd
was himself a cricketer and played for Surrey : his is
the figure beneath Harris's. Of the others represented
here, Tom Lord was the Middlesex player who
preserved the old ground in Dorset Square when these
sketches were made. Later, he opened a ground at
North Bank, Regent's Park, where the Paddington
Canal now runs ; and in 1813 or 1814* he opened the
present historic ground that bears his name, carrying
at each remove his turf with him. He came from
Yorkshire and, like Nyren, was a Roman Catholic. He
fielded well at the point of the bat, and was a good
slow bowler. In 1830 he left London and became
a farmer at Westmeon in Hampshire, where he died
and was buried in 1832, aged seventy-four. The two
Tuftons were the Hon. John who died in 1799, aged
only twenty-six, and the Hon. Henry, afterwards Earl
of Thanet, who lived till 1849 a good amateur


wicket-keeper and batsman. He does not seem to
have played after 1801. The Hon. Col. Charles
Lennox was also a wicket-keeper and an all-round
sportsman ; but he is even better known for fighting
a duel with the Duke of York in 1789, with the
Earl of Winchelsea as his second. He became Duke
of Richmond in 1806, and died from the bite of a fox,
or dog, in Canada, of which he was Governor-General,
in 1819. He was a fine cricketer and a very genial
man. Of Captain Cumberland I know little. It is
he who stands between Harris and Lord. He Avas
a regular performer at Lord's in his day, and was
playing in the match illustrated in the picture
opposite p. 144. The other figure needing mention
here (for we come to Harris and Beldham and
Tom Walker and Lord Frederick in due course)
is Captain (afterwards General) the Hon. Edward
Bligh, great-uncle of the present Earl of Darnley,
who is better known to modern cricketers as the
Hon. Ivo Bligh.

The next picture to which I would draw attention
is the match opposite p. 58. The curious thing
about this plate is the handkerchief worn by the
player who at the moment is bowling he whose
ordinary position in the field is, on the evidence of
this same handkerchief, known to be that of long-stop.
The long-stop is supposed to have worn it in order to
fasten up the trouser of his left leg (as navvies use
string), thus to enable him to drop more easily,
and without strain, on that knee to stop the ball.


As cricketers 1 trousers were made wider the hand-
kerchief went ; and now long-stop has gone too ; and
it looks almost as if point is to follow him.

The last picture of special note is that opposite
p. 238 the odd old gentleman, bat in hand, on the
lawn of his house. Who this is, and who painted it,
I have no notion ; but there is so pleasant an old-
fashioned air about it, and the scene is so obviously
Hampshire or Sussex (with the smooth grass down
rising behind), that it seems to me to consort with
peculiar appropriateness with this old-fashioned
Hampshire book, dealing with a time when cricket
had so little of fever about it that gentlemen could
continue to play in matches when well past middle
age. The conjecture of the M.C.C. catalogue is
that the picture, which is on wood, was once the
sign-board of a Sussex inn. So much the better.


April, 1907.










A Player in the celebrated Old Hambledon Club, and in the
Mary-le-Bone Club.


" &e Cncfeeters of qpg Ctme,"












$c. $c. fyc.


You have kindly consented to my wish of
dedicating my little book to you, and I am much
pleased that you have done so : first, because you are
a countryman of my own having lived in Hamp-
shire ; and secondly, and chiefly, because, as a
CRICKETER, I consider you the most worthy man of
the present day to reflect credit upon my choice as
a patron.

It would ill become me, Sir, in this place to allude
to other weighty reasons for congratulating myself
upon this point an insignificant book of instruction
as to the best mode of excelling in an elegant
relaxation, not being the most fitting medium for
digressing upon unquestionedly high public worth
and integrity, or private condescension and amenity :
at the same time, I cannot but feel how happily such
a combination of qualities in a patron must redound
to my own advantage.

I have not seen much of your playing certainly
not so much as I could have wished; but so far as
my observation and judgement extend, I may con-
fidently pronounce you to be one of the safest players
I remember to have seen. The circumstance of your
rising so much above the ordinary standard in stature


(your height, if I recollect, being six feet one inch),
your extraordinary length of limb, your power and
activity; to all which, I may add, your perfect
judgement of all points in the game ; have given
you the superior advantages in play, and entitle you
to the character I have given. As a proof of its
correctness, the simple fact will suffice of your having
gained the * longest hands ' of any player upon record.
This circumstance occurred upon the 24th and 25th
of July, 1820, at Mary-le-bone, when the great
number of 278 runs appeared against your name,
108 more than any player ever gained : and this, be
it remembered, happened after the increase of the
stumps in 1817.

May you long live, Sir, to foster and take your
part in our favourite amusement ; and may you never
relax your endeavours to restore the game to the
good old principles from which, I regret to say, it
has in some instances departed since the time I used
to be an active member of the fraternity. You are
aware that I principally allude to the practice that
the modern bowlers have introduced of throwing the
ball, although in direct infringement of a law pro-
hibiting that action.

I beg to subscribe myself,

Dear Sir,
Your faithful Countryman,

And obedient humble Servant,


March, 1833.



OF all the English athletic games, none, perhaps,
presents so fine a scope for bringing into full and
constant play the qualities both of the mind and
body as that of Cricket. A man who is essentially
stupid will not make a fine cricketer; neither will
he who is not essentially active. He must be active
in all his faculties he must be active in mind to
prepare for every advantage, and active in eye and
limb, to avail himself of those advantages. He must
be cool-tempered, and, in the best sense of the term,
MANLY ; for he must be able to endure fatigue, and
to make light of pain ; since, like all athletic sports,
Cricket is not unattended with danger, resulting
from inattention or inexperience ; the accidents most
commonly attendant upon the players at cricket
arising from unwatchfulness, or slowness of eye. A
short-sighted person is as unfit to become a cricketer,
as one deaf would be to discriminate the most delicate
gradations and varieties in tones ; added to which,
he must be in constant jeopardy of serious injury.

It is hoped that the present little work will be
found a useful as well as entertaining companion to
the young practitioner in this graceful and very
exciting game. The name of NYEEN was for many
years held in high estimation in the cricketing world ;
he was the father and general of the famous old


Hambledon Club, which used to hold its meetings on
Broad-Halfpenny, and afterwards on Windmill-down,
near to Hambledon, in Hampshire. While old
Nyren directed their movements, the Club remained
unrivalled, and frequently challenged all England.
The most polished players that this country ever
produced were members of the Hambledon Club if
John Nyren, the son of the good old patriarch, and
father of this little manual, be worthy of credit ; and
many eminent members of the Mary-le-bone Club,
both * gentle and simple ', can attest his solid judge-
ment, as well as his regard to truth and plain dealing.
Of the former class in society, the names of LORD
BROKE, will alone form ample testimony to his fitness
to speak upon such points ; while his first-rate in-
struction, long practice, and superior accomplishment,
will qualify him to impart his half a century's ex-
perience to the young practitioner.

The papers entitled * The Cricketers of My Time \
which conclude the work, have already appeared in
a weekly periodical. They have been collected at the
desire of a few friends, and published here. If they
afford any amusement to the young reader, it is to
be wished that he may at the same time be led to
emulate the skill of the most eminent men recorded
in the different papers, and not wholly to disregard
the sterling qualities of integrity, plain dealing, and
good old English independence the independence of
native worth and moral rectitude, not of insolence and
effrontery, which signalized many of their characters,


and endeared them to their equals, while it com-
manded the respect of their superiors in rank and

All the players there recorded were either members
or companions of the Hambledon Club, or their
opponents. As it formed no part of Mr. Nyren's
plan to include those of any other society, the reader
will perceive why several players of recent date, equal,
perhaps, in skill to those eminent veterans, have not
been included. These may, possibly, be installed
with their ancestors in some future edition of our
little chronicle, if fate, and the Cricketers, decree in
favour of a reprint.

c. c. c.



IN commencing the game the following preliminary
steps will be found requisite ; first, the


which in a complete game should comprise twenty-
two men, eleven on each side. The future description
of their different stations in the field, and of the
importance of each in his station, will convince the
young practitioner that the whole arrangement has
been the result both of judgement and experience.
He would find it difficult to spare one of them.
Upon occasions of mere practice, however, a fewer
number will answer the purpose : yet I would recom-
mend his availing himself of as many opportunities
as possible of playing with the full complement in
the field ; and for this purpose he must necessarily
enrol himself as a member of some club, which, from
the late increased popularity of this very elegant and
manly recreation, he will have no difficulty to ac-
complish. The next step to consider will be the


I need say no more on this head, than that the more
spacious and smooth, and the shorter the turf, the
better will it be adapted to the purpose. It should
be kept well rolled, and if possible fed down by
sheep. The nearer the centre, if the ground b>e


good, the better will be the spot for pitching the
wickets. These preliminaries being arranged, the


for the two parties must be chosen, to whom all
questions in dispute must be referred, and whose
decree must be final. These should be men of known
competence to judge all points of the game, also of
good repute for honesty of mind free from prejudice
and partiality.

The umpires take their post, one at each wicket :
he where the striker is should be partially behind it,
so as not to interfere with the fieldsmen ; and the
umpire at the bowler's wicket should place himself
directly in a line behind it, in order that he may
perceive whether the ball be stopped by the striker's
leg; for if such accident should happen, and the
ball have been delivered straight to the wicket, and
the batter not have touched it with his bat, any of
the adverse party may require the umpire to pro-
nounce whether he should be out or not. If the ball
have not been delivered straight to the wicket, and
strike the batter, he is not out. The ' Laws of
Cricket ' will describe the other duties of the umpire.


will be the next point of consideration. When
two matches are played to decide the question of
superiority, the party leaving home are allowed the
privilege of pitching the first wickets, also the choice
of going in first or not. The wickets must be pitched
within thirty yards of a centre that has been pre-
viously selected by the opposing party : but if one
match only, or even two matches, be contested upon
the same ground, then it devolves upon the umpires
to pitch the wickets. It is the duty of these to


choose, to the best of their ability, such ground as
will be convenient to, and for the advantage of, the
two parties.

The reader is again referred for farther provision
respecting the position of the wicket, to the * Laws
of Cricket \


is the last point to be attended to previously to
commencing the game. Full particulars under this
head the reader will find detailed, both in the frontis-
piece and in the body of instructions.

According with the Revision of them by the
Mary-k-Bone Club, in 1830


must not exceed in weight five ounces and three
quarters, or be less than five ounces and a half.
Either party may demand a new ball at the com-
mencement of each innings.


must not be more than four inches and a quarter in
width at the broadest part. There are no restrictions
as to the height of the bat ; it may be made as tall,
short, or narrow as the player chooses ; twenty-one
or twenty-two inches, however, will be found the
most convenient height for it, independently of the


must stand twenty-seven inches above the ground;
the stems must also be of sufficient substance to


prevent the ball passing between them. The bails,
when united, must not exceed eight inches in length.


must be a yard in length on each side of the stumps,
and be drawn in a line with them : at each extremity
of the bowling-crease there must also be a return-
crease, towards the bowler at right angles.


must be four feet distant from the wicket, and extend
parallel with it.


must remain quietly at a reasonable space behind the
wicket, and not stir till the bowler has delivered the
ball. If any portion of his body, limbs, or head be
beyond, or even over the wicket, the batter shall not
be considered out, although the ball hit the wicket.
The wicket-keeper also is not allowed to annoy the
striker, either by noise, uncalled-for remarks, or
unnecessary action.


must be pitched opposite to each other, and at the
distance between them of twenty- two yards.

It is not lawful for either party, during a match,
without the consent of the other, to alter the ground
by rolling, watering, covering, mowing, or beating.
This rule is not meant to prevent the striker from
beating the ground with his bat, near where he
stands, during the innings, or to prevent the bowler
from filling the holes, watering the ground, or using
sawdust, &c., when the ground is wet.

After rain the wickets may be changed with the
consent of both parties. . . .



shall deliver the ball with one foot behind the
bowling-crease, and within the return-crease, and
shall bowl four balls before he changes wickets, which
he shall be permitted to do but once in the same
innings. 1

He may order the striker at his wicket to stand on
which side he pleases.

If the bowler toss the ball above the striker's head,
or bowl it so wide that it shall be out of distance to
be played at, the umpire (even although he attempt
to hit it) shall adjudge one run to the parties receiv-
ing the innings, either with or without an appeal
from them ; which shall be put down to the score of
wide balls, and such ball shall not be reckoned as any
of the four balls.

If * No ball. r2 be called by the umpire, the hitter
may strike at it, and get all the runs he can, and
shall not be out except by running out. In the
event of no run being obtained by any other means,
then one run shall be scored.

When a fresh bowler takes the ball, before he can
proceed, he is not allowed more than two balls for
practice ; but is obliged to continue the next four in
the game, before he can change for another better
approved of; but when six balls are agreed to be
bowled, then he must continue the six instead of four.

The ball shall be bowled. If it be thrown or jerked,
or if any part of the hand or arm be above the elbow
at the time of delivering, the umpire shall call ' No

1 Formerly it was customary to bowl six balls before changing
over, and, by the mutual consent of the parties, this may still
be done.

3 This same law is binding in single wicket, unless the parties
decide otherwise by mutual consent.



if the bail be bowled off, or the stumps be bowled
out of the ground ; or

If the ball from a stroke over or under his bat or
upon his hand (but not wrists) be held before it touch
the ground, although it be hugged to the body of
the catcher ; or

If in striking, or at any other time, while the ball
shall be in play, both his feet be over the popping-
crease and his wicket put down, except his bat be
grounded within it ; or

If in striking at the ball he hit down his wicket ; or

If under pretence of running, or otherwise, either
of the strikers prevent a ball from being caught, the
striker of the ball is out ; or

If the ball be struck, and he wilfully strike it
again; or

If in running, the wicket be struck down by a
throw, or by the hand or arm (with the ball in hand),
before his foot, hand, or bat be grounded over the
popping-crease. But if the bail be off, the stump
must be struck out of the ground ; or

If any part of the striker's dress knock down the
wicket ; or

If the striker touch or take up the ball while in
play, unless at the request of the opposite party ; or

If with any part of his person he stop the ball
which, in the opinion of the umpire at the bowler's
wicket, shall have been delivered in a straight line to
the striker's wicket, and would have hit it.

If 'Lost Ball' be called, the striker shall be
allowed six runs ; but if more than six shall have
been run before lost ball shall have been called, then
the striker shall have all which have been run.

In single wicket, the striker shall be entitled to


three notches for a lost ball ; and the same number
if a ball be stopped with a hat.

The bowler or striker may claim one minute
between each ball, after its being dead.

If the batters have crossed each other, he that
runs for the wicket that is put down, is out ; and if
they have not crossed, he that has left the wicket

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Online LibraryJohn NyrenThe Hambledon Men, being a new edition of John Nyren's 'Young cricketer's tutor' together with a collection of other matter drawn from various sources, all bearing upon the great batsmen and bowlers before round-arm came in → online text (page 2 of 20)