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Some Key Moments


... English colonists had introduced cricket to North America and the West Indies and the sailors and traders of the East India Company had taken it to the Indian subcontinent.

1622: An early record of ‘Cricket’ being played is in a legal case in Boxgrove. Two men were accused of playing Cricket in the church grounds. The churchwardens stated that it was "contrarie to the seventh article (Sabbath) and for that they use to breake windowes with the ball". Their defence was that the game they were playing ‘was not cricket’, hence the origins of the phrase ‘it’s not cricket’.

1647: A Latin poem by Robert Matthew contains a reference to a cricket match involving Winchester College pupils on St Catherine’s Hill. Although cricket was certainly played earlier in the county, this is the first written record of a game in Hampshire.

1654: During Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate the playing of cricket was prohibited on the Sabbath, and in this year the penalty fine was doubled to two shillings.

1660: The Restoration of the monarchy in England lifted the sanctions although the church continued to disapprove of the playing of the game on Sundays.


1729: Combined Hampshire, Surrey & Sussex side plays (away) v Kent

1733: Married Men beat Bachelors (sic) twice at Stubbington & Titchfield, the first known reference to a match in the county

1745: Hambledon Women v Bramley Women at Guildford

1749: Portsmouth Common beat Fareham & Titchfield at Milldam, Portsmouth (now a University building near the US Ground)

1750s: First matches played by the Hambledon Club/’Hampshire’

The side that played from the 1750s-1790s at Broad-halfpenny Down and Windmill Down, is popularly called Hambledon and is often described as the ‘cradle of cricket’.  Although this somewhat overstates its significance, it does have an important place in the history of English cricket, while the side is often identified in contemporary reports as Hampshire. As a consequence, many modern historians prefer to call the side Hampshire but Hambledon is used here for consistency:

1764: Hambledon beat Surrey at Chertsey. Birth of John Nyren. Further matches through 1760s

1769: Hambledon beat Surrey at Guildford - crowd believed to be 20,000

1771: Probably the first match between ‘England’ and Hambledon. England won by 10 wickets.

1772: Hambledon beat England by 53 runs at Broadhalfpenny Down.

1774: Hambledon beat England by an innings & 52 runs

1775: Hambledon beat Surrey by 296 runs (Small 136*, Nyren 98)

1776: Hambledon beat England by 6 wickets at Sevenoaks - ‘England’ may have been Kent.

1776: Hambledon seeking to replace Broadhalfpenny Down play England at Holt Common

1777: Hambledon beat England by innings & 168 runs at Sevenoaks - their largest victory

1778: England beat Hambledon at Itchen Stoke Down near Alresford

1780s: Some Hambledon v England matches perhaps Hampshire v Kent.

1782: Hambledon v England's first match at Windmill Down

1783: Perhaps Hambledon’s first drawn match (poor weather)

1788: First match at Thomas Lord’s Ground, Dorset Square, London.

1789: Hambledon play at Lord’s Ground, Dorset Square, for the first time and beat England

1790: No Hambledon matches but their players play increasingly for other sides

1791: XXII of Middlesex beat XI of Hambledon - the last match by the original Hambledon side

1792: Final recorded match at Broadhalfpenny Down for 116 years

1796: “No gentlemen” recorded in Hambledon’s Minute Book for 21 September. The club ended

1797: Hampshire v MCC

1832: John Nyren’s memories of the 18th century side were published for the first time in serial form as Cricketers of My Time.

1908: First-class match between England XII v Hambledon XII and the unveiling of the monument on Broadhalfpenny Down.


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