Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/419

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397
LANCASHIRE.

LANCASHIRE.


By A. N. Hornby.


I have been requested by the author of this book to write some information regarding the history and progress of Lancashire county cricket, and to me it is a pleasure to be able to supply him with anything interesting regarding its origin. In the pavilion it has ever been customary to chronicle our club officials prominently, and from the earliest recollection that is possible to vouch for, we learn that the Manchester Club occupied some position in 1818, although when it was actually formed must be difficult to determine. In tracing the development of the old club, which undoubtedly gave birth to Lancashire, its first president, Jno. Rowlandson, who appears as far as it is possible to go back, occupied that position when the abode of the ground was in the Crescent, Salford. Little can be learned of how the game was conducted in those days, or when the members removed their quarters to Moss Lane, some mile and a half distant from the present Old Trafford ground; but it is certain the All-England Eleven appeared there in the forties. At all events, it is recorded that in 1842, on July 7, Manchester met the Gentlemen of the Marylebone Club at Lord's, and was practically overwhelmed; for whereas it was only able to compile 59, the Marylebone Club was credited with 220. Under these circumstances the match was not continued, and the comment was most discouraging, for it ran thus: " Conceiving they had no chance of winning, Manchester gave up the match. The bowling on the part of Manchester was very deficient, it being of the old under-hand school, which afforded the Marylebone gentlemen much amusement in hitting it away.

These were times evidently that must have been a batsman's paradise. However, as time wept on, there were more successful developments, and after a long tenure the Moss Lane fields were deserted, and a new ground acquired where now stands the Botanical Gardens, almost within a stone's-throw of the present occupation. It was in September 1857 that Manchester, now a more confident and experienced team, had the assistance of Wisden, Lillywhite, and Tom Davies of Nottingham, met Surrey at Eccles, and consequent upon some fine bowling by a very old colleague of mine, Alec Rowley, it was victorious by three runs. This year the Art Treasures Exhibition was held in Man-