this country can truly point to cricketing achievements of an illustrious character, but I doubt if any county can boast of a brotherhood of such fine physique, and such genuine all-round sportsmen, as the Walkers, of Middlesex fame. The most celebrated of this band of brothers were Mr V. E. Walker and Mr I. D. Walker. "V. E." was one of the finest lob-bowlers England has ever seen. He appeared for the Gentlemen of England against the Players when but nineteen years of age, and in 1859, for England v. Surrey, he scored 20 not out and 108, and obtained all the wickets in the first innings of his opponents. He repeated this feat of capturing all the wickets in an innings at Mote Park, Maidstone, in 1864 for the Gentlemen of Middlesex against the Gentlemen of Kent, while he followed this up for the third time in the Middlesex v. Lancashire match at Manchester in 1865. Very few noblemen or gentlemen have done more to encourage cricket than Mr V. E. Walker. In 1890 he presented to the Southgate Local Board fifteen acres of land of the value of £5000 for the purpose of a public recreation-ground. In May 1891 he was elected President of the M.C.C. But for the Walkers there would have been no Middlesex cricket.
Mr J. B. Payne, in his descriptive notes of Middlesex cricket, contributed to 'The Cricket-Field' in 1894, writes: —
Meantime the press was warmly urging the necessity of a county club for Middlesex, and a meeting was held in 1864, over which the Hon. Robert Grimston presided, at which it was actually formed. Two hundred and fifty members were mustered within a year, and a ground laid out at the back of the Lamb Tavern, Islington, afterwards known as "The Cattle-Market Ground." After a trial match between "Twelve Gentlemen and Fourteen Colts," which resulted in a tie, the Middlesex team went down to Newport Pagnell to meet the newly fledged Buckinghamshire Club. C. G. Lane, C. D. Marsham (the great Oxford bowler), Charles Marsham, Tom and George Hearne, were no mean opponents, but Middlesex, who played Pooley (afterwards of Surrey), left off with a good deal the best of the draw. Even in those days the "county qualification" exercised the minds of men, and the Middlesex eleven which thrashed Sussex in the first county match on the Cattle-Market Ground was impugned by one of the sporting journals. Tom and George Hearne were declared to be natives of Bucks, Mr T. Case of Lancashire, Mr J. J. Sewell of Gloucestershire, and Pooley of Surrey. Even "Tiny Wells was not spared, being inconsistently assailed as a resident in Sussex, though born in Middlesex. A man could then play for as many counties during one season as he could claim connection with; hence the two Hearnes divided their favours between Bucks and Middlesex. Suffice it to say that at the end of the season Hampshire had been beaten twice, Sussex once, and Bucks once, the only defeat being in the return with Sussex. The victory over Bucks was worthy of Stoddart