William North's reputation, indeed his memorial, is the book of Nottingham scores he complied in 1829, preserving records of many early Nottingham matches, the oldest extant book on the game in  the county.

North, christened on 13 December 1807 at Barton in Fabis, Nottinghamshire, was primarily a schoolmaster; in 1836, he was appointed Inspector of Corn Returns for Nottingham.

North wrote two books A correct account of all the cricket matches played by the Nottingham Old C.C. from 1771 to 1829 inclusive, printed in Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham, price one shilling (5p) around 1830,  and a second book with a shorter title, Nottingham Cricket Matches from 1830-1835.  

William North played in three First Class matches, all for the Old Club against Sheffield in 1827-1828, and for Town v County in 1829.  In the relatively few games for which his details can be found, he was twice dismissed, 'hit wicket'. The highest score found for him was 62 for Young Forest Club v Annesley Robin Hood at Annesley in 1826.

He died, aged 48 years, on 6 March 1855.  The cause of death is not certain although at the time of his passing, there was a serious outbreak of smallpox in the city.  

Much of the information on William North comes from Early Books on Nottinghamshire Cricket, written and published privately by Duncan Anderson and we thank him for permission to quote from his book.


July 2020