Sport, ancient and modern: Cricket, The Marylebone Cricket Club

Pages 273-274

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2, General; Ashford, East Bedfont With Hatton, Feltham, Hampton With Hampton Wick, Hanworth, Laleham, Littleton. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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The space at our disposal does not permit of more than a very inadequate mention of this famous club, which is indeed more a national than a county institution. The club virtually was the offshoot of the White Conduit Club dissolved in 1787. Thomas Lord established the first ground that bore his name in Dorset Square. After a temporary residence at North Bank, he opened the present ground in St. John's Wood, the first match played there being M.C.C. against Hertfordshire in 1814. The old pavilion was burnt in 1820. From time to time many alterations and additions have been made.

There are now nearly five thousand members of M.C.C. The administration is in the hands of a president, nominated annually by his predecessor, a treasurer, a committee of sixteen, four of whom retire annually, and a secretary with a subordinate staff. Any alterations in the laws of the game must be approved at a general meeting; and while these laws are implicitly obeyed in England, they form, with some modifications, the rule for cricket in all other parts of the world. Formerly the matches between M.C.C. and Ground and certain counties were of an importance far greater than is at present the case, but the minor matches of the great club are invaluable for popularizing the game. The match, North against South, has become as obsolete at St. John's Wood as the once famous matches of the All England and United All England elevens. The centenary of M.C.C. was observed in June 1887, when M.C.C. played England; Eighteen Veterans met the Gentlemen of M.C.C.; and a banquet was held at which the Hon. E. Chandos-Leigh, the president of the year, took the chair, among the speakers being Mr. Goschen, the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Bessborough, the Provost of Eton, M. Waddington, Mr. E. Stanhope, Lord George Hamilton, Sir A. L. Smith, Mr. Justice Chitty, and Lord Harris.