Cricket, played by the Gentlemens Club, White Conduit House, Islington - Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W
Cricket, played by the Gentlemens Club, White Conduit House, Islington- Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W
White Conduit Fields in Islington was an early venue for cricket and several major matches are known to have been played there in the 18th century. It was the original home of the White Conduit Club, forerunner of Marylebone Cricket Club.
The earliest match known to have been played at White Conduit Fields was the controversial encounter on Monday, 1 September 1718 between London Cricket Club and the Rochester Punch Club. This game provoked a legal case when the Rochester players walked off in an attempt to save their stake money, London clearly winning at the time. The case focused on the terms of the wager rather than the rules of the sport and the judge ordered the game to be played out. It was concluded in July 1719 at the same venue and London won by 21 runs.
London's 21-run victory is the earliest known definite result of any cricket match.
White Conduit Fields fell into disuse after 1720 because the London cricketers preferred to play at Kennington Common and the Artillery Ground.
It is believed that the club members were dissatisfied with the venue because it was "too open", so they sought a more private location. They authorised Thomas Lord, one of the ground staff bowlers, to find another venue. Thus Lords was born.