Those clubsí need for decent opposition cemented much needed contacts with teams in the north of the county such as March and Chatteris and eventually to the Union Club playing London club Islington Albion and the Hoop taking on Norfolk's Swaffham.
Elsewhere cricket spread to more and more villages throughout the county. Thus was the ground prepared for the concept of Cambridgeshire cricket as, at least slightly, a more unified entity rather than the earlier pattern of scattered but isolated pockets of the game.
Fuller Pilch of Norfolk, Kent and Cambridgeshire
Copied from The IIlustrated London News, July 15th 1843.
Fuller Pilch is best known for his appearances for Kent and in various "great matches" of the mid 19th century. Perhaps less well known are his connections with Cambridgeshire.
Having apparently severed his connections with the Bury St Edmunds club around 1831 he appears to have had connections with Cambridge in the early 1830s, possibly as an engaged professional with the university or town team or both.
More surprisingly, also in 1832, Pilch played one match for a Cambridge Town side and two for a Cambridgeshire side, all against the MCC. The latter two matches are debatably the first representative Cambridgeshire sides and his inclusion alongside William Caldecourt, definitely a Cambridge University professional, is probably explained by already being in the town. Cambridgeshire won these two matches thanks mainly to Pilch's efforts. See below and "The first Cambridgeshire sides" for more details of his Cambridgeshire connections in 1823,-32 and -35.
1823 - Fuller Pilch played on Parker's Piece in Cambridge for Bury St Edmunds against Biggleswade. The latter complained about this hitherto unknown (to them) player being included as a bowler and he was apparently prevented from bowling in that match.
1826 - The CCC played its last match having only played the odd match per season over the previous few years.
1828 - by 1828 the CCC had been replaced by the Union, Castle, Fountain and Hoop clubs which were all based at Cambridge pubs.
1824-36 - The pub clubs followed in the CCC's footsteps by playing old opponents such as Saffron Walden, Biggleswade and Newmarket and trod new ground by taking on such teams as Swaffham of Norfolk, Chatteris, March and Islington Albion.
1832 - A Cambridgeshire side, including players from Cambridge and Chatteris, Sir St Vincent Cotton, playboy and MCC member, from Madingley and given players Fuller Pilch and William Caldecourt, defeated the MCC twice. A Cambridge Town side, including Pilch and Caldecourt, defeated the same opponents. These victories were in large part thanks to the performances of Fuller Pilch who scored: 50 and 41 not out in the first Cambridgeshire match, as well as taking 5 wickets and a catch; 28 and 6 wickets in the 2nd match; and 18 and 2 notout with 5 wickets and a catch for the Town side.
Sir St Vincent Cotton
The nearest C19th Cambridgeshire cricket had to noble patronage was Sir St Vincent Cotton of Madingley Hall just north of Cambridge. He was also a player, renowned for being a hard-hitter,although in 68 innings played for a variety of teams including Gentlemen v Players, Clarence Club, MCC and Cambridgeshire he made only 4 innings of over 15 runs, top score 34. The rest were mostly in the low single figures. He also took 5 wickets in an innings just once. His appearances in Scores and Biographies run from 1829-35. Curiously two of his highest scores were made on Parker's Piece - 19 for MCC v Cambridge Town in 1833 and 34 for MCC v Cambridge University in 1835. An early chronicler of the game, the Rev John Mitford, had this to say:
"There are some exceedingly good players who occasionally appear in the field......and some very bad ones, who too often are seen, as Sir Vincent Cotton....."
Copied from Sporting Magazine 1863
By 1844 he was no longer playing but was president of Cambridge Town and County Club for the first three years of its existence, but if the new club were expecting financial help from his patronage they were probably disappointed. He was a profligate gambler who spent most of his mother's money. He is said once to have bet £1,000 on a snail race.
In his younger days Cotton had been a croney of fellow sportsman and gambler George Osbaldeston and had tried his hand at billiards, riding and boxing as well as cricket.
As his debts mounted he turned to driving horse-drawn coaches. In 1836 he bought "The Age", driving it between London and Brighton to supplement his income, sometimes under the name of Sir Vincent Twist. In sporting circles this appears to have been seen as a noble enterprise although not everyone agreed. In 1834, following an accident to the "Cambridge Star" driven by Cotton, the following comment was made in a letter from "A Traveller" to the Cambridge Chronicle: "I have no such confidence in Sir St Vincent Cotton; and I consider the lives of our fellow-townsmen too serious a concern to be put to hazard for the gratification of the ambition of him or any other amateur whip who may wish to try experiments of his own skill at other people's expence."
1834 - A similar Cambridgeshire side to the 1832 ones, but without Pilch and Caldecourt, was beaten easily by a Nottingham side.
1835 - Single wicket match on Parker's Piece. Charles Parnther, Wm Caldecourt and Samuel Redgate v Frank Fenner, Saunders and Fuller Pilch. The former team won by 25 runs.
- Dan Hayward senior and West scored 112 and 105 for Chatteris v St Ives.
1822-37 - Cambridgeshire based players from this period included John Boning, John Crouch, Davies, David Bush Edwards, F P Fenner, J & W Hall, and Sussums from Cambridge and Dan Hayward, West Fryer and Glasscock from Chatteris.
1837 - Cambridge Town Club (CTC) formed to formalise the Cambridge town team which had represented the town since 1830.
See "1822-37" and "villages 1822-48" for details of matches during this period.
Following a period in which Chatteris appear to have been effectively challenging Cambridge's dominance, the latter again took the lead through the town team that evolved first into the Cambridge Town Club and then the Cambridge Town and County Club in 1844.
1838-43 - First of 4 joint Town and University sides which played MCC during a period of close co-operation between the two clubs. The Cambridge Town Club had some success but did not play many matches.
1844 - Cambridge Town and County Club (CT&CC) formed in order to improve the administration and performances of the CTC. This was not a county club but seems to have had ambitions to be so.
1844 - Charles Pryor scored 103 for CT&CC v CU in the Town and County's debut match.
1844-7 - the Cambridge Town and County Club was phenomenally successful for four years, playing 26 matches and winning 19, including matches against Norfolk, the Auberies, Gravesend, MCC and Gentlemen of England among their defeated opponents.
1844-47 - players for CT&CC included Charles Arnold, Fred Bell, John Boning, Henry Cornwell, Alfred "Ducky" Diver, F P Fenner, Israel Haggis, Dan Hayward, RT King, OC Pell, Charles Pryor, Robert Ringwood, and Thomas Snow. FP Fenner was the club's major all-rounder, Captain and Secretary.
1846 - Earl of Stamford and Lord Burghley opened a private ground behind Cambridge Town Gaol. One of the matches played on this ground was an early match of I Zingari. Arrowsmith and Hill, in their "History of I Zingari" refer to there being a, probably local to Cambridge, professional called Magniac who was down to play in this match, but did not, in the event. do so. From what I can tell there was no professional cricketer called "Magniac", but there was a Bedfordshire family of that name known for its business dealings in China. It is possible that a member of that family was known to Stamford and Burghley and had originally agreed to play, "Scores and Biographies" has the name Magniac at number 11 but given as "absent". A report of this match in "The Anglo American" gives Magniac the title of "Mr" which again suggests that he was not a professional cricketer.
1848 - By 1848 the Cambridge University club was also reasonably strong and some of its members asked Fenner to develop a private ground. F P Fenner extended the Stamford and Burghley's ground, combining two adjacent fields. This became Fenner's Cricket ground the home of the CU Cricket Club.
1848 - The CT&CC refused Fenner's offer to play on his ground and folded without playing another match.
Rereading Pycroft's Cricket Field I came across a reference to Cambridge's Charles Winterton who played for the Cambridge Town and County Club, Cambridge Town Club and Cambridge Britannia Club from the 1840's through to the '60's, although he did not go on to represent his county. Pycroft confirms the impression from Felix's picture above ( Winterton is standing fourth from right with bat in hand) that the Cambridge wicket-keeper was "not much less" than 20stone in weight. More interesting, perhaps is Pycroft's apparent reference to Winterton as "a certain infant genius......of good Cambridge town". At the time of this edition (1851) Winterton was 29, although he had, to be fair, made his debut for the town at the age of 16. Unfortunately for him, he was replaced in the successful Town and County side by Dan Hayward, who was the better batsman - some things never change.
Picture - detail from the Town and University of Cambridge by Nicholas Felix. Used by kind permission of MCC.
1822-48 - During this period cricket was played for the first time in or by Little Abbington, Walton & Walsoken, Bourn, Long Stowe, Duxford, Linton, Chesterton, Whittlesey, Caxton, Elm, French Drove, Fordham, Ashley, West Wratting, Borough Green, Balsham, Soham, Sawston, Comberton, Haslingfield, Barrington, Melbourne, Willingham, Swaffham, Parson Drove, Haddenham, Chippenham, Kirtling, Granchester, Over, Shepreth, Littlington, Swavesey, Foxton, Fowlmere, Harston, Thriplow, Elsworth, Toft, Cheveley, Guilden Morden and Hinxton.
See "1838-48" and "villages 1822-48" for details of matches during this period.
- from 1848 on the University Club had principal if not sole use of Fenner's ground which was at least one factor in its gradual rise to first-class status.
- whilst cricket continued in Cambridge town, university and county it was not until 1857 that what has usually been seen as Cambridgeshire Cricket's peak period began in the form of a highly successful county side.
- in fact there was not one Cambridgeshire County Cricket Club during the period 1857-71 but several different bodies, some formal clubs such as the Cambridge County Club and Cambridge Town Club and some not. County matches across this period were arranged when they could be afforded and a team could be got together. Despite success on the field against the likes of Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Yorkshire this was not a stable time for Cambridgeshire county cricket. The Cambridge County Club had two periods of existence: 1858-62 and 1866-68.
- The make-up of the sides varied a little but especially in the early and mid-sixties it was dominated by Cambridge town players such as Robert Carpenter, Tom Hayward, Alfred Diver, Fred Bell, Billy Buttress and George Tarrant. On several occasions the whole side was made up of Cambridge players.
- the last of these matches was in 1871 and from then on there appears to have been little chance of a Cambridgeshire CCC forming.
- The next county club was formed in 1891 and joined the Minor Counties Championship.
See the "1857-71" page for a more in depth discussion of the county sides of this period.
Cambridgeshire Sides 1857-71
1857 Cambridgeshire (essentially a University side with some local professionals) v Surrey at Fennerís, Cambridge
Surrey v Cambridgeshire (as above) at Kennington Oval
1858 Surrey v Cambridgeshire (as above) at Kennington Oval
1861 Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Surrey at Fennerís, Cambridge
Cambridgeshire (Cambridge Town Club) v Kent at Parkerís Piece, Cambridge
Surrey v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Kennington Oval
Yorkshire and Stockton-on-Tees v Cambridgeshire at Stockton-on Tees
1862 Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Nottinghamshire at Fennerís Cambridge
Kent v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at New Brompton, Chatham
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Surrey at Fennerís, Cambridge
Nottinghamshire v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Surrey v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Kennington Oval
1863 Kent v Cambridgeshire (funded largely by Kent) at Mote Park, Maidstone
MCC v Cambridgeshire at Lordís
1864 Cambridgeshire v Yorkshire at Parkerís Piece, Cambridge
Cambridgeshire v Nottinghamshire at Lordís
Yorkshire v Cambridgeshire at Bramall Lane, Sheffield
1865 Cambridgeshire v Cambridge University at Fennerís, Cambridge
Yorkshire v Cambridgeshire at Great Horton Rd, Bradford
Nottinghamshire v Cambridgeshire at Old Trafford, Manchester
Cambridgeshire v Yorkshire at Ashton Club Ground, Ashton-under-Lyne
1866 Yorkshire v Cambridgeshire at Great Horton Rd, Bradford
MCC v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Lordís
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Cambridge University at Fenner's, Cambridge
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Nottinghamshire at Fennerís, Cambridge
Middlesex v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Cattle Market Ground, Islington
Nottinghamshire v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Middlesex at Fennerís, Cambridge
1867 Nottinghamshire v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Nottinghamshire at Fennerís
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Cambridge University at Fennerís
Cambridgeshire v Yorkshire at Queenís Rd, Wisbech
Yorkshire v Cambridgeshire at Dewsbury and Savile Ground, Dewsbury
1868 Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Cambridge University at Fennerís, Cambridge
Cambridgeshire (County Club) v Kent at Fennerís, Cambridge
Kent v Cambridgeshire (County Club) at Bat and Ball Ground, Gravesend
1869 Cambridgeshire v Yorkshire at Woodhouse Hill Ground, Hunslet
1871 Cambridgeshire v Surrey at Kennington