You are in [Events] [1852 Grand Cricket Match at Hungerford Park]

An important, but little-known, cricket match took place in Hungerford in July 1852.

The match was one of many that were held between players of the All England team and local town teams. It was held on the ground at Hungerford Park.

The All England team included several players who had been playing at Lord's Cricket Ground a few days earlier (on 19-21 July) in one of the regular Gentlemen v Players matches before they travelled to Hungerford to play on 26-28 July.

As was usual at the time, there were 22 players allowed in the local team.

The remarkable thing about the match was the result: England were disposed of for 12 runs only! This was their lowest innings on record.

The full report of the event, along with the score card, are reproduced in the Photo Gallery. This reprint by Hungerford Printing Works of 1928 is from the original printed by M Franklin of Hungerford in 1852.

The obituary of Mrs Bridget Richens, who died in 1951 aged 89 years, included the following "She was born at 13 High Street, where her father and later her mother were the proprietors of the butcher's business now carried out by Mr E Pratt. Thomas Hutchins was Constable of Hungerford from 1868 to 1871 and among possessions left by Mrs Richens is a cricket ball presented to her father in 1852. The ball was that used in a three-day match between a team of Hungerford townspeople and an all-England eleven, which, incidentally, ended in a draw, despite the fact that the England side were all out for 12 in their first innings." See also: Hopgrass Farm.

Photo Gallery:

The gallery includes

- a painting (from a book in the archives at MCC Lord's) of a cricket match at Hungerford Park - probably depicting the Grand Cricket Match of 26-28 Jul 1852, and

-  the report and score card of the match, originally printed by M Franklin of Hungerford in 1852, and reprinted by Hungerford Printing Works in 1928. [By kind permission of Jack Williams].

1852 Grand Cricket Match
1852 Grand Cricket Match

The report and score card of the match. Originally printed by M Franklin of Hungerford in 1852, reprinted by Hungerford Printing Works in 1928.
[By kind permission of Jack Williams]

1852 Grand Cricket Match
1852 Grand Cricket Match

Painting of cricket at Hungerfod Park - possibly depicting the Grand Cricket Match of 26-28 Jul 1852.

18520726 Cricket Match against All England team
18520726 Cricket Match against All England team

Grand Cricket Match, Played in Hungerford Park, July 26th, 27th and 28th 1852.
The All England's Lowest Innings on Record

"The quiet little town of Hungerford was enlivened last week by the appearance of the Eleven of England, who after the "town season", have commenced their tour again. The match was played in the beautiful park of Captain G Willes, an ardent supporter of the game. The playing part of the ground is hollow, but was got into first-class condition; the rain, however, which continued on Monday from early in the morning till four o'clock in the afternoon, did great injury to it.

The wickets were pitched immediately the rain ceased, by Barker and Oscroft, the umpires, and play commenced. Hungerford was fortunate enough to win the toss. The first day closed with the Hungerford gentlemen losing sixteen wickets for 68 runs.

The following morning, by a quarter to twelve, they had increased it to 80. Messrs Frere and Hughes "got well in", and the bowling was changed, Grundy going on at Bickley's end; the former marked 14, by four twos and singles. Mr Hughes played very slowly, being at the wickets some considerable time for the score of 10; he was at last run out for two twos and singles. Mr Graham played some overs very well; he made a square hit from Clarke for three, and shortly after, from bad judgement, ran out. Mr Marshall, the respected Secretary of the Lansdowne Cricket Club, quickly put on paper 12, by three threes, a drive and a square-leg hit from Grundy, and a square-leg hit from Clarke; Mr Yonge, one of the "Gentlemen of England", made 6 by a drive for three, a square-hit for two etc. Messrs Wombwell and Hicks also made six each, the former by twos &c, the latter by a two and singles. The fifth wicket fell for 9 runs, sixth for 28, seventh for 29, eighth for 36, ninth for 37, tenth for 49, eleventh for 51, twelfth for 55, thirteenth for 57, fourteenth for 57, fifteenth for 65, sixteenth for 68, seventeenth for 68, eighteenth for 80.

The Eleven commenced their innings, and as it will be seen by the score, were all disposed of for 12 runs only!!, a circumstance with such an Eleven, scarcely to be believed. We can account for it only by the slowness of the ground, coupled with the very fine bowling of Burrin and Mr Yonge; the latter bowling as well as, if not better, than he did in the Gentleman and Players match at Lords. The innings lasted rather more than an hour and a half. The bowlers, in this innings, were never once "collared" only bowling 13 overs each, three runs were got from Mr Yonge and eight from Burrin. The first wicket fell for 0, second for 2, third for 2, fourth for 5, sixth for 6, seventh for 8, eighth for 9, ninth for 10, tenth for 12.

Previous to the Twenty-two commencing their second innings there was an hour and a half's rain. They commenced at a quarter past three o'clock, and in a quarter of an hour, two wickets being disposed of, a tremendous thunder storm came on, whick completely saturated the ground; round the wickets (the hollow which we spoke of above) was a pool of water. In front of Lillywhite's printing tent the water was a foot deep, the "press" being almost afloat.

This heavy rain continued until half-past five, when the wickets were changed and the play was again resumed. 35 runs were scored that evening for the loss of ten wickets, being in a majority 103. This state of the game caused a deal of betting during the evening, England having plenty of backers, and 4 to 1 being speculated on Hungerford. On Wednesday the Twenty-two made 25 more, making a total of 60, leaving 129 to win. Mr Wombwell made (all in drives) 10, by a three, a two &c; Messrs Bradford and Gay 6 each. Mr Morris played very well for 9, obtained by a three (square leg from Grundy), two twos (drives from Grundy) &c. Mr Graham, too, played very nicely for 6, comprising two twos (a drive and a square leg hit); but, as in the first innings, he injudiciously run out. Mr David made a very good leg hit from Grundy for three, in his score of 5. Mr Fenwick also made a capital leg hit from Grundy for 3.

At a quarter to one o'clock the Eleven commenced their arduous task, Martingell and Bickley going to the wickets. These two were disposed of for 11 runs. the former made 9 by steady and good play, against first-rate bowling. Box, the third wicket, also fell for 11 runs. Parr then joined Guy, when they having scored four singles each, dinner was announced. Total for the loss of three wickets, 18. After the repast Guy was caught mid off the first ball. Mr Felix then became the companion of Parr, they alone getting England "out of the mess". Their very steady and cautious play deserves the highest praise. The field and bowlers were straining every nerve to part them. For the first time a change was made to the bowling, Mr Slocock going on at Mr Yonge's end; this, however, was of no use, and Mr Frere was tried, but with the like result. Mr Morris was next called upon to go on at at Burrin's end, but he onlybowled one over, and Burrin again took the ball. Mr Yonge having again took the bowling again at his end, Mr Felix drove the ball back to him. We need scarcely say that his runs were got well, for the bowling was all that could be desired. His 30 comprised a three (cut from Frere), three twos, and 21 singles; five wickets down, and 71 runs. Caffyn came, and got his leg before his wicket; 56 runs were now wanting, and four wickets to go down. This looked in favour of Hungerford; the time was a quarter past six, and the stumps were to be drawn at seven o'clock. Caesar joined Parr, who soon "got together" nine runs, of which was a remarkable fine drive from Burrin for four, the first made in the match; seven wickets down and 86 runs. Anderson then came, and with Parr retained possession of the wickets until the stumps were drawn. Anderson in a quarter of an hour made nearly as many runs as Parr did in four hours and a half! a circumstance somewhat extraordinary, for Parr generally obtains runs very fast. To him mostly must be attributed the near success of England. Anderson made some brilliant hits, and was very loudly cheered. The match, therefore, is a drawn one, England having three wickets to go down, and only 11 runs to get! Parr's score comprised a three, five twos, &c. Anderson's a four (a very fine leg hit from Morris), a three cut from Morris, three twos, &c.

The state of the game at the conclusion leaves but little doubt as to what the result would have been. We are sorry it is drawn as it would have been an extraordinary match for England to have won. We believe another will be played next season.

Mr Smith, the able manager of the whole affair deserves credit. We scarcely ever saw a twenty-two placed better in the field than on this occasion. The fielding, however, at the latter part of the game was nothing equal to the beginning. Mr Free, the spirited landlord of the Three Swans catered on the occasion, which he did in his accustomed good style."

See also:

- Hungerford Park

- Cricket Club

- Report and score card of the match (as pdf)