Captain – G Parr

The only First-Class match played by the county in 1856 was on the Kelham Road Ground in Newark, where Notts played the All England Eleven (AEE) in mid-August. The match was organised by William Clarke; England, who lacked several well-known cricketers, still beat the County by seven runs (AEE 84 & 84, Notts 82 & 79). Alfred Mynn, now nearly 50, and Julius Caesar made the runs for England, but the highest innings for Notts was 26, in the second innings, which came from the bat of a local Newark player, James Chatterton. A tailor in his native town, Chatterton was a defensive batsman and played occasionally for Notts over the next ten years. One of George Parr’s brothers, Henry, also played for Notts in this match. Then aged 18 he was a promising batsman but died in 1863 aged 25. James Grundy took seven wickets in the AEE second innings.

Two days after this match – 25 August – the death occurred at his home in Wandsworth Road, London of ‘Old Clarke’. He had taken a wicket with the last ball he bowled – for the All England Eleven at Whitehaven in June 1856 – and his creation of that Eleven had transformed the English cricket scene.  During the final ten years of his life he had been increasingly autocratic. In 1852, 14 leading professionals signed a manifesto stating that they would refuse to take part in any matches arranged by Clarke and a rival travelling professional eleven was formed, the United All England Eleven. How he became captain of Notts is not known but, having taken over the job, Clarke was too strong a character to be dispossessed. Though some Notts games were organised without him, after his move from Trent Bridge, the County side seemed a little lost in his absence. The fact he employed the best Notts players from the time he started his England Eleven tied the hands of any Committee formed to stage Notts matches.

August 2020