The First Match

The First Match
The historic first match to be played at Old Trafford was between Manchester CC and Liverpool CC.

The game took place on the 10th & 11th June 1857, and it was between two of the foremost clubs in the area at the time.

Before then, the Manchester Club had occupied land that was required for the great Manchester Art Treasurers Exhibition of 1857. The organisers wanted an area that  was 'pure from smoke and dust'.

The Old Trafford area was described as 'a pleasent suburb of Manchester' when the site was chosen, and in giving up their ground, Manchester CC insisted that the owner, Sir Humphrey de Trafford, should provide a new ground.

The land he provided, a quarter of a mile away, was to become the Old Trafford ground of today. A small local club had played on the open fields chosen - Old Trafford was in the countryside then. A thorn hedge which divided the fields was removed, and accomodation provided for players in a new pavilion (see picture), although little was done for the spectators.

Farming was going on around the ground, and in an early match a covey of partridges disturbed by farmers, landed on the pitch-much to the astonishment of the players who proceeded to 'bag a few'.

The Manchester Guardian report of the match itself was brief, and two days of heavy rain threatened to ruin this opening match. Despite the ground being soft, the match went ahead with Manchester winning by 31 runs over two days. 

Below is the scorecard, while further down Lancashire CCC researcher/historian Don Ambrose has provided information of the some of the eleven players of Manchester Cricket Club. Not much is known about some, with missing and lost archives responsible, but the rest provide a fascinating glimpse in to the past. 

MANCHESTER CC  v  LIVERPOOL CC

 

The First Match at Old Trafford - 10/11 June 1857
Manchester CC 1st innings   2nd innings  
S.Fletcher Esq.  b Lawrence   

54 

b Lawrence    

1

H.Brandt Esq.  c Greig b Stewart 

 5 

not out  

  4

D.Bleakley Esq. b Lawrence     

 8

b Lawrence    

 5

E.H.Whitlow Esq.     c and b Lawrence    

 4

c T.Hornby b Lawrence

  9

G.Slater Esq.    b Horner     

 1

b Greig    

 4

J.H.Earl Esq.    b Stewart   

 14

c Greig b Lawrence   

 4

T.T.Bellhouse Esq.      run out    

 11

b Greig  

 8

C.H.Wolff Esq.        c and b Greig   

 20

run out

  5

J.L.Morley Esq.       c Barow b Stewart 

 0

b Greig    

 1

A.B.Rowley Esq.  b Lawrence   

 10 

b Greig    

 3

G.Matchett Esq.       not out      

 4

b Greig

 2

Extras (b-4, lb-1, w-16)

 21

   

 0

TOTAL

 (all out)

 152

 (all out)

 46

 

 

Liverpool CC 1st innings   2nd innings  
Lawrence Esq.    b Whitlow     

5

c Bellhouse b Whitlow  

0

Horner Esq.       b Rowley     

5

run out 

23

T.O.Hornby Esq.   c Earl b Whitlow 

3

b Rowley    

 0

Stewart Esq.     b Whitlow     

  0

c Bellhouse b Rowley

7

H.H.Hornby Esq.       b Rowley     

 8

b Earl

0

Chapman Esq.        b Rowley

22

b Rowley      

3

Greig Esq.        b Rowley   

21

b Rowley   

14

Haigh Esq.         b Whitlow       

7

b Rowley      

5

Phipps Esq.        b Rowley     

0

b Rowley   

12

Barow Esq.   c Earl b Whitlow    

4

not out     

2

W.Langton Esq.        not out      

 2

b Whitlow

   3

Extras

(b-4, lb-3, w-5)

 21

(b-3, w-6) 

 9

TOTAL

 (all out)

 89

 (all out)

 78

Manchester winning by 31 runs. Picture below, left: The New Cricket Ground, Manchester

THE PLAYERS OF MANCHESTER C.C.

A drawing of 'The new cricket ground-Manchester'BELLHOUSE, Thomas Taylor
Born in Manchester, 26th December 1818.
He was a solicitor and for many years a member of the Committee of the Manchester Cricket Club, being Treasurer and Secretary in 1849-50 and 1858-59, and Vice-President 1867-68. On 25 April 1860 he was presented with a testimonial by the club at The Queen’s Hotel, Manchester, consisting of  ‘a richly-chased silver centre piece, with three arms for holding glass dishes for fruit, with a suitable inscription on the base.’ He died at Sale, Cheshire, 9th June 1886.

His brother Richard also played regularly for Manchester (Born in Manchester 9th May 1825; died at Bath 7th February 1906) and his son, Thomas Percy (Born at Ashton-on-Mersey 26th December 1856) played for Manchester Club but mainly at Brooklands. Educated at Malvern his main claim to fame was as ABA Middleweight boxing champion.
We have recently been in touch with a descendent of the family, resident in Canada, who is writing a family history. We hold extracts in the Library.

BLEAKLEY, D.
We know virtually nothing about this man. He played for Manchester in the important matches against Sheffield in 1852 and 1854 and in 1859 represented The Gentlemen of the North against The Gentlemen of the South at The Oval and at Liverpool in 1859 and was again selected in 1860 at The Oval. He only scored 68 runs in all these matches with an average of 6.80 and took no wickets. He played club cricket for Manchester from 1852 to 1863 and turned out for Ashton-under-Lyne as late as 1867.

BRANDT, Herbert
Born 4th May 1836. The son of Robert Brandt, a barrister, who lived at Pendleton, Manchester. Herbert was educated at Cheltenham College which he entered at Easter 1846 in Turnbull House. He was a member of the school cricket XI 1852 and was coached by James Lillywhite senior and James Grundy. He left Cheltenham in June 1852. I am not sure what he did thereafter, but in 1866 he entered Salisbury Theological College and was ordained in 1868. H became Vicar of Holy Trinity, Barnstable in 1875. He died at Exeter, 15th April 1918.

Herbert’s younger brother, Francis (born 6th May 1840), was also educated at Cheltenham where he was a member of the cricket XI 1856-58 before going up to Brasenose College, Oxford in 1858 and gaining his cricket Blue 1859-61 and being captain in his last year. He joined the Indian Civil Service and became a judge of the High Court in Madras 1884-88. He was professor of Oriental Languages at Cambridge University 1892-3 and a member of the Council at Cheltenham College 1896-1919 – having married a daughter of the principal of the College some years earlier. He died in Cheltenham 17th July 1925.

EARLE, John Henry
Born 30th November 1822, at Quorndon, Leicestershire, or in another version in Manchester on 30th November 1823.  His father, John, who was born at Quorndon on 31s July 1788, was a prominent cricketer in Leicestershire  He moved to Manchester to take up a position in the cotton trade. Father (1844-52) and son (1846-58) both played for Manchester Cricket Club and the father was still playing at the age of sixty-three.

John Earl died at the age of 77, on 20th April 1866, and was buried at St.John;’s, Higher Broughton, Manchester.  His son died on 5th February 1874 and was buried in the same place.

FLETCHER, S.
We have no idea who this person is. This is the only match he played for Manchester. There was a T. Fletcher playing for Manchester about this time – perhaps the same man.

MATCHETT, G.
Again we have no information on Mr Matchett.

MORLEY, J.L.
He appears to have played for Manchester in 1856 and 1857 only.

ROWLEY, Alexander Butler
Grandson of the Rev. Joseph Rowley who was chaplain at Lancaster Castle from 1803 to 1858. Third son of Alexander Butler Rowley, a Manchester solicitor. He was educated at Rossall, which he entered in 1852 and left in 1854, being a member of the cricket eleven in 1853 and 1854. His brother Edmund Butler Rowley played for Lancashire 1865-80 and was captain 1866-79. There were five other brothers all stated to be proficient at cricket.

Alexander's first important match was for Manchester against Sheffield on the old Botanical Gardens Ground, Manchester, at the age of sixteen, when he bowled 32 four-ball overs, ten of which were maidens, taking no wickets and conceding 63 runs.

It was three years later that he appeard in his next important match, in September 1857, again playing for Manchester against the strongest side in England, Surrey. Manchester called up professional reinforcements and young Alexander found himself playing in the same team as John Wisden and John Lillywhite against W.Mortlock, W.Caffyn, J.Southerton, Julius Caesar and G.Griffith. He had benefited from further coaching by Tom Hunt, the club's professional, and scored 21 runs and took two wickets - W.Mortlock and Julius Caesar. To everyone's amazement Manchester won by three runs, Surrey's only defeat of the season.

His ability continued to grow, and in 1859 this was recognised by his being selected for the Gentlemen for the first time. In 1862 he was briefly based in the South and played one match for the Surrey Club, under the name of "A.Rawlinson." A few days later he represented the Gentlemen of the South against the Gentlemen of the North at Trent Bridge, under the name of "W.Miller," in spite of objections from the Northern team. Perhaps it was just as well that the game was drawn.

Alexander and Edmund Rowley were leading lights in the formation of a Lancashire County Cricket Club and both attended the meeting at the Queen's Hotel, Manchester on 12th January 1864, when the formation of the Club was agreed. In July 1865 he played in the Lancashire Club's initial first-class match against Middlesex at Old Trafford and was probably captain. He did not travel to London for the return fixture, but his brother Edmund did, and was also probably captain.

5ft.11 inches tall and weighing around 11 stone, he was a right-handed batsman, hitting with great freedom. He bowled left-handed, round-arm, "rather slow and twisting." It was said that he represented the hat, rather than the cap, days of cricket. "His hat, However, is described to one as a sort of compromise hat, low in the crown." He was one of the joint Secretaries of the County Club when it was formed and from 1874 to 1879 was President of the Club. He was vice-president of the Ashton-under-Lyne Club and , in 1870 on its formation, one of the vice-presidents of the United North of England Eleven. He played three matches for Cheshire 1863-69, making two fifties in his 149 runs and taking 14 wickets.

He was a mill-owner who was also a member of the firm of Rowley and Sons, solicitors, of Manchester. A Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Lancashire, he was Hon.Colonel of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.

The 1881 Census finds him living at Hanworth House, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, aged 41, Deputy Lieutenant for Lancaster, cotton clothing proprietor and solicitor, with his wife Hannah, aged 41, four daughters, Helen Elizabeth aged 15, Alice Blanche aged 13, Edith Campbell aged 11, and Constance Mabel aged 9, and one son Alexander Butler aged 7. There is a governess, a butler, and six other domestic servants.

In 1886 he stood as Liberal candidate in the Parliamentary election for Ashton-unde-Lyne unsuccessfully. A keen yachtsman he was the owner of the yacht "Mabel" and of the yawl "Latona."

In 1901 he married the mother of A.C.MacLaren (Lancashire 1890-1914 and England), James Alexander MacLaren (Lancashire 1891-94) and Geoffrey Maclaren (Lancashire 1902).

He moved to Dover, Kent, where he died leaving an estate valued at 139-16-7d.

SLATER, A.G.
He played for Manchester between 1855 and 1858, but know nothing else about him.

WHITLOW, E.H.
He played for the Manchester Club between 1852 and 1857 – this being his next to last match. He is described in The Lillywhite Guides for 1854 and 1856 as having a good defence and being an excellent field, ‘and with care will make a first-class cricketer.’ He apparently played for Broughton as well as Manchester, a fairly normal state of affairs at that time, and turned out for 22 of Rochdale in 1854.

WOLFF, C.H.
He played for Manchester from 1853 until 1873 and turned out three times for the Gentlemen of Lancashire.