The idea for the tour came from WP Pickering (1819-1905), who had been captain of cricket at Eton College in 1837 and 1838. He had emigrated to Canada in 1852 and played for Canada against the United States the following year. He originally opened discussions for a possible tour in 1856 but financial problems meant that it was three years before the money could be raised. The English team required a guarantee of £750, which Pickering obtained through the Montreal Club.
Five matches were played, all against XXIIs, so none had first-class status. Three exhibition games were also played in which the 12 England players divided and added five North Americans to each team to make up eleven-a-side matches. Including travelling time, the trip lasted two months and each English player (all professionals) cleared about £90, a sizeable sum at... Read More