Captain – George Parr
Owing to a disagreement, Notts did not meet Surrey in 1863, but two old fixtures were revived – v Kent and v Yorkshire. Two Colts Trials were also staged, the usual Easter match and a return match in September, the reason being that George Parr and three other Notts cricketers (Cris Tinley, John Jackson, Alfred Clarke) would be absent for Easter of 1864, still returning from their winter tour to Australia.
The first game started on 11 June and was versus Kent at Trent Bridge. Notts made 135 (Richard Daft 39) and Kent replied with 109 (George Wootton 5-35, John Jackson 4-43). The highlight of the match was an unbeaten 80 by Richard Daft in Notts second innings of 256. The match was drawn with Kent closing on 41-6 (Cris Tinley 4-29).
Notts lost by eight wickets at Great Horton Road, Bradford. Four Notts batsmen were run out as Notts were 128 all out off 151 4-ball overs. Yorkshire obtained a first innings lead of 16. Notts were 88 all out second time round, with Yorkshire captain Roger Iddison taking 7-30. Yorkshire made 73-2 in their second innings to win with plenty of time to spare.
Three weeks later, Notts managed to turn the tables unexpectedly in the Trent Bridge meeting. Yorkshire gained a first innings lead of 81, making 243 in their first innings with George Anderson top scoring with 82. Notts followed-on and made 181 in their second innings as William Slinn took 5-52. Thus the opponents only required 101 to win. But Yorkshire were all out for 94, James Grundy took 5-13; a collection raised £15 for him and he was carried in triumph off the field. Notts had won by the narrow margin of six runs.
In the return contest versus Kent at Cranbrook, Jackson and Grundy bowled unchanged through both Kent innings of 58 and 45, Jackson 12-43, Grundy 8-48 in the match. Jackson capped his bowling by hitting exactly 100, a quite remarkable feat considering he came at No 8; with Cris Tinley (43), Jackson added 109 for the eighth wicket as Notts made 280 runs. Notts had won by an innings and 177 runs with a day to spare.
Notts had won two, drawn one and lost one of their four inter-county games of 1863.
In August a benefit match was organised for Frank Tinley - Notts v Fourteen Free Foresters. The match built up to a remarkable climax. Notts were set 212 to win in the final innings, but collapsed to 148-9, when Sam Biddulph joined Wootton. Biddulph was dropped first ball and then the two batsmen slowly increased the score until the teams were level. at which Biddulph went down the wicket, missing the ball and was adjudged lbw. The match was tied. WG Armitstead gives a detailed description of the game in ‘Annals of Free Foresters’ and closes his passage with: ‘The Trent Bridge Ground was then a far more free-and-easy sort of place than, I feel sure, it is in these more highly organised days; the old pavilion combined a bar with its dressing room etc, and both sexes were admitted in it, and dressing seemed to go on in public, varied and enlivened by liquid refreshment.’
Chilwell-born Tom Bignall made his First-Class debut in the match at Cranbrook; he was a careful batsman and an efficient deep field. Dr Arthur Howsin appeared in two matches in 1863, but soon left his native county and was not therefore seen again in the Notts side.
Scorecards and stats can be seen here