Billy Beldham and Lumpy Stevens

Edward (Lumpy) Stevens (1735 – 1819), the most famous bowler of his age, changed the face of cricket.

Lumpy Stevens born in Send 1732 Reproduced with the permission of the Roger Mann Collection

Lumpy Stevens born in Send 1732
Reproduced with the permission
of the Roger Mann Collection

In 1772, cricket was played with two stumps and only a single bail. In a match against the famous Hambledon Cricket Club, Lumpy Stevens bowled the ball between the two stumps, without dislodging the bail and each time the batsman, John Small, was given not out. This caused a huge outcry.

Two years later the rules were revised and the third stump was introduced. The first match played with three stumps took place at the Burway ground on 6th September 1776 between Chertsey and Coulsden.

Edward Stevens became a semi-professional cricketer, whilst still employed as a gardener, playing for the national side. He died in 1821 and is buried in the churchyard of St. Marys Church, Walton-upon-Thames.

William `Silver Billy' Beldham.  Courtesy of the Rural Life Centre.  A version of this very portrait graces the  Cricketers Inn sign in Wrecclesham.  The original of this portrait now hangs  in Lords Cricket Ground.

William `Silver Billy’ Beldham.
Courtesy of the Rural Life Centre.
A version of this very portrait graces the
Cricketers Inn sign in Wrecclesham.
The original of this portrait now hangs
in Lords Cricket Ground.

William ‘Silver Billy’ Beldham (1766- 1862), an outstanding early cricketer, born Wrecclesham, Surrey, was for a long time the leading batsman in the country, playing both for Surrey and the MCC.

His first class career lasted from 1801 until 1821 when he played at Lords aged 55.

He retired to become landlord at the Barleymow, Tilford and made bats for local clubs.

Useful Links

The Origins of Cricket in Surrey

The Bedser Twins, modern cricketing heroes

Julius Caesar

Send and Ripley History Society

Rural Life Centre

Tilford

Walton on Thames

18th Century Surrey

19th Century Surrey

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