Hants cricket did not flourish, and in 1874 Mr Clement Booth, the old Rugby boy, endeavoured to bring Hants again to the front. He was unsuccessful, but in the early eighties a meeting was held at the George Hotel, Winchester, when the county was mapped out into districts, each district being given representatives on the Executive Committee.
From 1880 to 1885, Colonel Fellowes of the Royal Engineers was joint honorary secretary with Mr Russell Bencraft, and in February 1895 Colonel Fellowes issued the 'Hampshire Cricketers' Guide.' It was mainly, too, through the energy of Colonel Fellowes that a county ground, consisting of over eight acres of land, at Bannisters Park, Southampton, was secured. It was the property of Sir Edward Hulse, Bart., and was leased to the county club for twenty-eight years. Subsequently the Hampshire Cricket Ground Company was formed, and this Company bought the ground outright from Sir Edward Hulse for £5400.
At present Hants is heavily handicapped, owing to military duties depriving the county of the frequent service of Captain Wynyard, one of the finest bats in the South. In 1894 for Hants he played consecutive innings of 117 v. Sussex, 116 v. Leicestershire, and 108 v. Essex; and in recognition of this he was publicly presented with a handsome pair of silver candlesticks.
Dr Russell Bencraft, too, has worked most loyally, while the following players have, collectively and individually, endeavoured to Resuscitate and popularise Hampshire cricket—Captain Quinton, Mr F. Eden Lacey, Mr A. J. L. Hill, Mr C. Robson, Mr D. A. Steele, H. Baldwin, V. Barton, E. Light, T. Soar, the late H. F. Ward, and J. Wootton. The President is Lord Aberdare; the Hon. Secretary Dr Russell Bencraft.
In the "Garden of England," the greatest of all our outdoor games has flourished from the period of the earliest records of cricket. In the Life of the Rev. Thomas Wilson, published anonymously in 1672, it is stated: "Maidstone was formerly a very prophane town, inasmuch that before 1640 I have seen morrice dancing, cudgel playing, stoolball, crickets, and many other sports openly and publickly on the Lord's Day." The 'Postman' for July 24, 1705, mentions, "This is to give notice that a match, will be plaid between eleven Gentlemen of the