Essex county cricket teams
have been traced back to the 18th century but the county's involvement in cricket
goes back much further than that. It is almost certain that cricket reached Essex by the 16th century and that it developed during the 17th century with inter-parish matches being played.
The first definite mention of cricket in connection with the county is a highly controversial match in 1724 between Chingford and Mr Edward Stead
’s XI, which is recorded in The Dawn of Cricket
by H T Waghorn
. The venue is unknown but, if it were at Chingford, it is also the earliest reference to cricket being played in Essex as well as by an Essex team. The game echoed an earlier one in 1718 as the Chingford team refused to play to a finish when Mr Stead's team had the advantage. A court case followed and, as in 1718, it was ordered to be played out presumably so that all wagers could be fulfilled. Lord Chief Justice Pratt presided over the case and he ordered them to play it out on Dartford Brent
, though it is not known if this was the original venue. The game was completed in 1726 G B Buckley
, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket
, Cotterell, 1935.
The earliest reference to a team called Essex is in July 1732 when a combined Essex & Herts team played against the London Cricket Club
In July 1737, there was London v Essex at the Artillery Ground
, London winning by 45 runs. In a return game at Ilford on 1... Read More