Samuel Parr, the eldest of the three Parr brothers that graced Nottinghamshire cricket in the middle part of the 19th Century, made his debut in 1840 and his career with Nottinghamshire ran on to 1855, with 16 major matches.
He played 70 matches for William Clarke’s All England Eleven (AEE) - a number of Notts players spent much of their career with that side - Clarke’s side played between 20 and 30 three-day matches each summer and thus the players earned a good income. In contrast the Notts side played three or four matches a year and in some seasons during the 1840s and 1850s none at all. Most AEE matches are not in the First-Class records, thus Sam Parr is listed as playing 25 First-Class games, most for the Notts First Xi, in which he scored 533 runs at 13.32 with a top score of 53 made when opening for the AEE v Kent & Sussex in 1853. His most celebrated innings, however, was 40no for XIV of Nottinghamshire v England at Trent Bridge i n September 1845; Notts had lost seven wickets in a run chase when Parr came together with Joseph Guy for an unbroken stand of 71 to win the game.
He took just one First-Class wicket, James Dean of Sussex caught by Jonas Warwick at Trent Bridge in 1848, the only match in which he is recorded as bowling.
Parr, a right-hand bat who was 'rather too fond of 'having a pop' at the bowler', was a practical joker. Many of his jokes are related in Richard Daft’s memoirs but the recipients did not find the jokes amusing – perhaps that’s why Parr did not last as long as others with Clarke’s troupe of players.
Originally a commercial traveller in wines and spirits, Parr became landlord of the Spread Eagle in Long Row, Nottingham; whilst he was mine host there in the 1860s, AGM of Nottinghamshire CCC was held there. Later, he took over the Home & Away, where he died on 12 May 1873.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 44