market town of Ilkeston, Brimington, and Staveley, while at Derby a town club was in existence in 1850. From 1848 to 1859 William Clarke and his celebrated All-England Eleven made frequent visits, and played, as was their custom, against local Eighteens and Twenty-twos on Holmes's ground at Derby. According to Mr Arthur Haygarth's 'M.C.C. Cricket Scores and Biographies,' when the All-England Eleven played at Derby in August 1849 against Twenty of Derbyshire, the Twenty, gained a most decisive victory over the England team by an innings and 7 runs. The fixture was played for the benefit of Samuel Dakin, formerly of Leicestershire, and who was engaged as a professional at Chaddesden for the South Derbyshire Club. Dakin died at Cambridge in 1876 aged sixty-eight. In 1865 a new ground was opened on the race-course at Derby, and the initial match was between an eleven and twenty-two players of the district. In this fixture Dr William Grafton Curgenven made his debut in connection with Derbyshire cricket. Dr Curgenven came from an old Devonshire family, and was educated at Aldenham grammar-school in Hertfordshire. He played his first match at Lord's in 1864.
About this time Messrs Walter and Henry Boden, Mr E. M. Wass, Mr John Cartwright, and others, commenced to advocate the formation of a county club, but it was not until 1870 that the movement took permanent root. Mr Charles Box, in his 'English Game of Cricket,' mentions that on November 4, 1870, a meeting was held at the grand jury room, Derby, to consider the best means of establishing a cricket club that should represent the cricketing strength of the county. Mr Walter Boden, who had convened the meeting, moved, "That a cricket club be formed representing the whole strength of the county, to be called the Derbyshire County Club." In moving the resolution, Mr Boden mentioned that he was one of the oldest cricketers in the county. The Earl of Chesterfield was elected president, Mr G. H. Strutt of Belper vice-president, and Mr Walter Boden honorary secretary. Letters giving warm support to the movement were received from the Duke of Rutland, Lord Vernon, the Hon. W. M. Jervis, and Colonel Wilmot, M.P. (now Sir Henry Wilmot).
The first county match took place at Old Trafford in May 1871, the Lancashire team being actually dismissed for 25 in the first innings, mainly owing to the splendid trundling of Gregory and Hickton, Gregory dismissing six of the Lancashire players for but 9 runs. Derbyshire won their first county match by an innings and 11 runs.