For Henry Smith Reynolds perhaps the most interesting thing about his senior cricket is how he came to make a start; until he was selected for the Colts of England v MCC at Lord’s in May 1872, he was scarcely known, even in his home county of Nottinghamshire, and had played in no previous trials. He gave a good account of himself in the game – scoring 17 and 6 as an opening bat and taking one wicket – and was immediately drafted into the Nottinghamshire First Eleven.
He played in six of the county’s seven games of 1872; quite how he was afforded such a long trial is not clear as he bowled only once in those matches and came just three off the bottom of the county batting averages for the season.
Reynolds was not selected again until 1875 when the North v South fixture deprived Notts of four key players; he made 70no, the highest score of the match against Derbyshire and kept his place in the XI for most of that summer. In 1876 he played what proved to be his last First-Class game, making 2 and 8no for an England XI against Cambridge University at Fenner’s.
His complete First-Class record reads 17 games, 26 innings, 319 runs at 14.50 and a top score of 70no; he took just one First-Class wicket at the high price of 65 runs.
The great majority of his cricket – more than 250 games – was played in the leagues of Lancashire and Yorkshire where he played for Halifax, Warrington, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Scarborough and Burnley. He encountered the 1880 touring Australians on three occasions, twice in matches for Middlesbrough, the second of which was a ‘fill-up’ after the planned three-day fixture ended in two with the tourists triumphant. A month earlier Reynolds had been umpire when the Aussies played a Malton XVIII, with a similar outcome.
Reynolds also stood in a most unusual match in July 1890 – when English Original Lady Cricketers Red met English Original Lady Cricketers Blue in a three-day game at Burnley’s Turf Moor ground, though he may only have officiated on the second day according to one report.
He was a fast bowler, though clearly not much used at the highest level of the game, a hard-hitting batsman and a good fielder. Henry Reynolds was born in Ollerton on 6 January 1844 and died in Burnley, where he had moved on taking up his post with the cricket club, on 21 April 1894.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 133