Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/448

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Pierpoint, and the old Etonian and Cambridge crack batsman Mr C. G. Taylor, were achieved. In 1834 a new ground was opened by Lillywhite in Brighton, where Montpellier Crescent now stands, but the ground was only in existence ten years. Nearly all the great matches, however, were played on Brown's ground, where Park Crescent is now, which was afterwards leased by Tom Box. The last grand match ever played on this ground was in September 1847, when Sussex with Alfred Mynn played All England and won by 27 runs.

The formation of the present County Club dates as far back as the ist of March 1839, the first honorary secretary being the Rev. George Leopold Langdon, M.A. The original circular convening the meeting is still in the possession of Mr Alfred J. Gaston of Brighton.

In 1848, speculating builders having acquired the Park Crescent pitch, the celebrated old Brunswick ground by the sea was opened. This was one of the finest grounds in England, and for twenty-three years many a famous match took place. In August 1857 the late Mr Bridger Stent, the late Mr Henry F. Stocken, Mr W. Grover Ashby, and Mr Henry Cooke were instrumental in extending the Sussex County Club on more popular lines, the most important districts in the county being represented on the committee. In the "sixties" Sussex could claim several noted cricketers—viz., John Lillywhite, Charles Payne, Henry Stubberfield, C. H. Ellis, and James Southerton; while later on Mr C. H. Smith, James Lillywhite, R. Fillery, and Harry Charlwood maintained the honour of the county.

Crowded out once more by the incessant enlargement of the "Queen of watering-places," in 1871 Sussex had again to seek a new ground. Chiefly owing to the liberality of the late Mr Vere Fane, Benett-Stanford, and the trustees of the Stanford estate, the present site was selected, the original turf being taken from the old Brunswick ground.

In the autumn of that year, under the able superintendence of Mr Henry Cooke, a space—after a crop of barley had been garnered in—300 feet square was set apart for a match-ground, and so great was the care bestowed in the initial stages that the Brighton ground has for many years enjoyed the very highest reputation as one of the best cricket-pitches in the whole world—a veritable batsman's paradise. Records upon records have been made on the Brighton wickets, and the turf of to-day is as true and as perfect as when the first match was played thereon twenty-five years ago.