Captain – William Clarke
Notts lost all four First-Class games they played during the season.
George Parr began 1854 in splendid form, giving no chances when hitting 116 for Gentlemen v Players at Trent Bridge. The Radcliffe batsman also hit 39 and 55 when Notts played England at Lord’s on 5 and 6 June, but he had so little support that England won by 59 runs with a day to spare. England scored 159 (John Bickley 4-65) and 117 (William Clarke 5-47), Notts 115 (William Buttress 7-35) and 102 (John Wisden 5-28). Parr was presented with the ball of the match suitably inscribed.
“The Old General” (Clarke) disputed an umpiring decision and actually walked off the field, stopping the play, whilst he appealed to the MCC Committee. The MCC overturned the umpire’s decision. The report comments: ‘At all events the umpire’s decision should not have been disputed by Clarke, whether wrong or right’.
The game at Trent Bridge with Surrey was ‘arranged by George Parr and Julius Caesar’ and therefore apparently not by the County Clubs. Played on 3, 4 and 5 July, Surrey hit 121 (Clarke 4-17) and skittled Notts for 46 (William Caffyn 4-20, Heathfield Stephenson 4-4). Clarke took 8-47 and Caffyn scored 57 in Surrey’s second innings of 163. Parr hit 53 and Stephenson took 6-51 in Notts’ 141, as Notts were defeated by 97 runs. Notts were without Bickley in the return against England at Trent Bridge which was played in mid August and which finished in two days. England won by an innings and seven runs. Notts not helping themselves with some poor fielding allowed England to score 208 all out (Clarke 5-74). Notts scored 110 and 91.
The return fixture versus Surrey was staged on the ground of Alexander Marshall Esq, Broadwater Park near Godalming, due to a dispute between Surrey and the proprietor of the Oval. The wicket was terrible, but Caesar decided the correct tactics were to hit out at everything and this paid off. Surrey led by 13 runs in the first innings scoring 113 (Caesar 41, Clarke 6-55, James Grundy 4-27) as Notts replied with 100, Charles Brampton scoring 38. A tall spare-built fellow, who was rather knock-kneed, he was a hard-hitting and consistent opening batsman. Also described as a ‘quick slip’, a plucky long-stop and a sure field, as well as a fast round-arm bowler’, he was a very useful all-rounder and represented the Players in 1859. Surrey scored 107 in their second innings with Grundy taking 4-27. Surrey then bowled out Notts for 55 to win by 65 runs; Thomas Sherman leading the way with 5-23.
Scorecards and stats can be seen here