Thomas Waymark

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Thomas Waymark
Personal information
Born(1705-06-00)June 1705
Mitcham, Surrey, England
Source: CricketArchive, 13 July 2009

Thomas Waymark (probably baptised 17 June 1705 [1] ) was an English professional cricketer in the first half of the 18th century. He was probably born at or near to Mitcham in Surrey in June 1705. He is one of the earliest known players on record.


Cricket career

Surviving details of Waymark's life are few, but it is likely that he played cricket during the 1720s. The earliest definite mention of him is in the 1730 season when a match between the teams of his patron, Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, and Sir William Gage was postponed "on account of Waymark, the Duke's man, being ill". [2] [3] He was employed as a groom by Richmond at his estate at Goodwood, at least in part because of his cricketing ability, [4] [5] [6] and is referred to in contemporary sources as "the famous Waymark". [6] [7] In a report of a match two teams organised by Edwin Stead and William Gage at Penshurst Park in 1729, it states that "a groom of the Duke of Richmond signalised himself by extraordinary agility and dexterity". It is generally believed that this was Waymark playing for Gage's XI, who won the match by an innings. [8] [9] [10]

By the 1740s, Waymark was working at Bray Mills in Berkshire as a miller where he was employed by a Mr Darvile. [6] He is known to have played in a number of matches during the 1740s, including during the 1744 season in both of the matches of which scorecards have survived. On 2 June, he played for London against Slindon at the Artillery Ground―Slindon were backed by his old employer Richmond. [11] [12] Then on 18 June, Waymark played for an England XI against a Kent side at the Artillery Ground in the match which commences Arthur Haygarth's Scores & Biographies. [13] [14] With Kent needing three runs to win and with one wicket remaining, Waymark is reported to have "missed a catch" which would have ended the match in his team's favour; Kent went on to win. [15]

Waymark was a noted single wicket player and took part in several big money contests. [16] Single wicket was the most lucrative form of cricket in the 1740s; for example in 1748, Waymark and Robert Colchin played two doubles matches against Tom Faulkner and Joe Harris at the Artillery Ground. [17] At the time, these four were arguably the best players in England. The matches were played for huge prizes of fifty guineas each. Waymark and Colchin won them both, the first by 12 runs and the second by an unrecorded margin. [18] [19]

The last matches Waymark is known to have played took place in July 1749 when he played in a series of three single wicket "fives" matches against Addington, although Waymark did not play in the third match. [20] He is known to have umpired a match later in the year involving the sons of the Duke of Richmond, [3] [21] but there are no other references to him. It is not known when he died.

Style and technique

It is not known which hand Waymark batted or bowled using, but he was noted for his "extraordinary agility and dexterity". [9] [10] Throughout his career, the ball was bowled underarm along the ground at a two-stump wicket. He was an accomplished batsman, although not as highly regarded in this department as his single wicket partner Colchin. [22] The bat was curved like a modern hockey stick and the batsman generally attacked the rolled ball. Batsmen did not develop defensive techniques until the straight bat was invented in response to the pitched delivery, which was introduced in the 1760s, more than a decade after Waymark's career ended.

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  1. "Thomas Waymark's likely baptism record". England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database, FamilySearch. Retrieved 29 July 2023. Note – the date and location strongly suggest that this Thomas Waymark was the famous cricketer.
  2. Waghorn 1899, pp. 1–2.
  3. 1 2 Ashley-Cooper, p. 461.
  4. Class, cricket and the French Revolution, BBC News, 1 February 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  5. Light, p. 33.
  6. 1 2 3 Ashley-Cooper, p. 85.
  7. "Thomas Waymark". Cricket, April 26, 1900, p.85. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  8. Waghorn 1906, p. 7.
  9. 1 2 Birley, p. 20.
  10. 1 2 Light, p. 33.
  11. Ashley-Cooper, p. 22.
  12. "London v Slindon 1744" . CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  13. Haygarth, p. 1.
  14. "Kent v All-England 1744" . CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  15. Ashley-Cooper, p. 35.
  16. See, for example, Ashley-Cooper, pp. 36–37; pp. 52–53.
  17. Buckley, p. 22.
  18. Buckley, p. 22.
  19. Ashley-Cooper, p. 52.
  20. Ashley-Cooper, p. 53.
  21. Ashley-Cooper, p. 67.
  22. Ashley-Cooper, p. 84.