Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/459

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A rare old sporting county is Yorkshire, and cricket was in evidence at Sheffield as far back as 1771. That year Sheffield played Nottingham. Darnall used to be the capital town for Yorkshire cricket, but Charles Box states that a match was played on the Knavesmire Ground, Ripon, as far back as 1809, between the Gentlemen of Yorkshire and the Gentlemen of the Wetherby Club for 100 guineas. Mr Fred A. Brooke of Rein Wood, Huddersfield, is the proud possessor of a fine collection of early cricket literature and prints, while the Rev. Robert Stratten Holmes, of Wakefield, has in his excellent "Notches," contributed to 'Cricket,' traced the history of Yorkshire cricket and cricketers from the earliest stages to the present day. In 1829 Sheffield became the county home for cricket, which honourable position the famous old cutlery town has ever since retained. Two celebrated Yorkshire players of long ago were James Dearman and Thomas Marsden. Dearman was especially great at single-wicket matches, while Tom Marsden, of Sheffield, was a left-hand batsman, and, like all left-hand players, a tremendous hitter. In 1826, for Sheffield and Leicester against Nottingham, he scored an innings of 227 runs. His feats have been preserved in song. The rhymester saith:—

"Then Marsden went in, in his glory and pride,
And the arls of the Nottingham players defied.
O, Marsden at cricket is Nature's perfection
For hitting the ball in any direction.
He ne'er fears his wicket, so safely he strikes,
And he does with the bat and the ball what he likes.

Then he drove the ball right over the people,—
Some thought 'twere going o'er Handsworth church steeple.
Then homeward I trudg'd to our county folks
To tell 'em a few of our cricketers' jokes;
But that joke of Tom Marsden's will ne'er be forgot,
When two hundred and tw«nty-seven notches he got."

In June of 1827 the first of three test matches between Sussex and All England took place at Sheffield, Sussex being victorious by 7 wickets; while eight years later Yorkshire, with the assistance of Cobbett, tried conclusions with Sussex, the fixture being drawn—Sussex, according to 'Scores and Biographies,' giving up the match. In May 1849 Kent played Yorkshire on the Hyde Park ground at Sheffield, the southern county winning by