October 9, 2023

Some cricket miscellanea


Four centuries with no record of feminine cricket intervened until the year 1745. Then, a year after the publication of the first agreed code of rules, and, as it so happens, in the self-same week in which the Young Pretender landed in Scotland, there took place the first recorded women’s match.

“The greatest cricket-match that ever was played in the South part of England was on Friday, the 26th of last month, on Gosden Common, near Guildford, in Surrey, between eleven maids of Bramley and eleven maids of Hambleton, dressed all in white. The Bramley maids had blue ribbons and the Hambleton maids red ribbons on their heads. The Bramley girls got 119 notches and the Hambleton girls 127. There was of bothe sexes the greatest number that ever was seen on such an occasion. The girls bowled, batted, ran and catched as well as most men could do in that game.”

From ‘Maiden Over’ by Nancy Joy, published by Sporting Handbooks Limited

That was on July 26th; the return match, according to the Reading Mercury, was played on August 6th, and, in historical parenthesis, Prince Charlie raised his standard on August 19th.

Incidentally Bramley CC still play on Gosden Common in Bramley, and helped stage a re-run of this famous match in 1995 to celebrate the 250th anniversary.

……August 1747
A great match at Cricket for 50 guineas a-side is made by the noblemen and gentlemen, and to be played on Monday next, in the Artillery Ground, between the gentlemen of Ripley, Bramley and Thursley in the west of Surrey, against the gentlemen of London. Wickets to be pitched by one o’clock. They play the following match the Thursday following on Ripley Green. These matches being attended with great charge, the door for the future will be six pence, two pence not being sufficient to defray expenses.