Scope and Content

The records mainly comprise minute books but also include some early scorebooks and a small number of other items. The lack of financial records is to some extent supplied, for the period from 1895, from minutes of the finance and finance and general purposes committee.

The governing body of the club was the committee. Some difficulty in description is caused by the formation of committees for various aspects of the club's activities. These are normally called committees, but occasionally sub-committees, and the committee itself is sometimes referred to as the general committee. The appointment of a match committee seems, from at least 1876, to have been made at the first committee meeting following the AGM, and at the 14 May 1879 committee meeting, the match committee was appointed, as was 'a sub-committee to frame regulations for the ground, pavilion, ground bowlers, ground boys and generally to supervise the arrangements of the ground'.

There was also at this date a sub-committee for members' tickets. Minutes, some signed, of the match, ground and finance committees, 1882-1890, are found in the rough minute book (-/7/9); signed minutes, 1890-1895, are in -/6/1 and thereafter in separate series (finance -/2/-, match -/3/- and ground -/4/-).

The series of score books covers 1856-1885 with considerable gaps. Books between that date and the Second World War are believed not to survive.

A detailed summary of the contents is below:

2042/1/ MINUTES OF COMMITTEE, ANNUAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEETINGS 1845-1898 The minute books contain many entries relating to routine administration of the club: election of members, finance, catering, etc. They also contain many entries relating to the cricket itself, including expressions of opinion on matters of the general organisation of county cricket. The use of The Oval for association and rugby football, cycling, athletics and other sports and the involvement of the club in Kennington life are also recorded. The entries listed below are given as examples of the range of content of the volumes.

Minutes of this committee, 1890-1896, are included in -/6/1 below. Minutes include reports on balances and lists of accounts recommended for payment. The latter are a useful record of expenditure in the absence of ledgers.

2042/3/ MATCH, FROM 1910 CRICKET, COMMITTEE 1895-1960
Minutes of this committee, 1890-1896, are included in -/6/1 below. Minutes include arrangement of matches, and organisation of championship, engagement of players and some team lists (in -/3/1).

2042/4/ GROUND COMMITTEE 1895-1958
Minutes of this committee, 1890-1896, are included in -/6/1 below. Minutes include state of pitch and outfield, pavilion and other buildings, ground staff, publicity and broadcasting.

The Pavilion sub-committee was originally set up to superintend extensions and alterations to the pavilion, although for a time it was responsible for the running of the pavilion, bar etc.

2042/6/ OTHER COMMITTEES 1890-1965

For committee agenda book, 1897-1902, see 2074/-.

2042/8/ SCORE BOOKS 1856-1890
Score books are almost identical with present-day score books, recording the batsmen's scores, run by run, and the bowling, ball by ball. Some of the books contain many loose pages, and it is probable that many of the pages relating to years other than those covered by the majority of the book have strayed from other books. Many of these loose pages do not identify the date of the match or the opposing team and extended research would be needed to identify many of these matches. The books include Surrey home and some away matches, including county matches and club and ground matches, and also include other matches played at The Oval, eg. Gentlemen of Surrey and Sussex v Gentlemen of England (10-11 Jul 1856, with the return match at Lords, 24 and 25 Jul); Married of England v Single of England (9 Aug 1858); Gentlemen of the North v Gentlemen of the South (15 Jul 1858). Later volumes include Australian tour matches (the 1878 tour in -/8/11, Surrey v Australians, 3 Jun; Players of England v Australians, 2-4 Sep; the 1884 tour in -/8/12, Surrey v Australians, 19-21 May; Gentlemen of England v Australians, 26-28 Jun; Players of England v Australians, 31 Jul, 1-2 Aug; England v Australia, 11-13 Aug) but do not include either the 1880 first test match in England or the 1882 'Ashes' test. The score book including the 1880 test match score passed out of the club's custody at some date, and was refused when offered for sale to the club (see 2042/2/5 p156). It has however since been acquired and is now retained at The Oval.

2042/9/ OTHER RECORDS 1927-1967

Administrative / Biographical History

Surrey County Cricket Club was founded in 1845, following a match between Gentlemen of Surrey and the Players of Surrey. It leased Kennington Oval from the Duchy of Cornwall Estates, and this has remained its headquarters ever since. The list of founder-members shows that the catchment area for membership was initially strongly concentrated in South London and, although members were increasingly drawn from all parts of the county, the club continues to serve the ancient area of Surrey, including those parts (including The Oval itself) which passed into the County of London in 1889 and those which passed into Greater London in 1965. The club also plays a few matches each year at Guildford.

The Club has always been one of the leading first class county clubs and has supplied many players for the England Test team. The Club's most successful period was in the 1950s when they won the County Championship for 7 consecutive years. The ground at The Oval has been used for Test matches against international teams from 1880, when the first match against Australia in England was played there.

Access Information

There are no access restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the secretary, Surrey County Cricket Club, in June 1976.

Other Finding Aids

An item level description of the archive is available on the Surrey History Centre online catalogue

Related Material

For other records of Surrey County Cricket Club see 2074 and 3035. These include registers of members, 1867-1919; minutes of County secretaries' fixtures meetings and fixtures sub-committee meetings, 1928-1957; Advisory County Cricket Committee, printed copy minutes, 1913-1970; Board of Control of Test Matches at Home, printed copy minutes and some letters, 1921-1925; Imperial Cricket Conference, printed copy minutes, 1921-1938; secretary's files on new east and west stands at the Oval, 1922-1927; colts' books, listing players, 1919-1930; scrapbooks, 1900-1925; records of match receipts, 1888-1946; first and second eleven scorebooks, 1938-1970; manuscript of portions of proposed history of Surrey county cricket, including many scores of early county matches, c.1900; letters from J B Hobbs to the Revd F S P L Girdlestone. 1931-1963; and manuscript index to volumes 5-8 of 'Score and Biographies', a publication comprising scores of cricket matches, 1855-1864.

Surrey History Centre also holds significant records of a number of local cricket clubs, some with archives that date from the latter part of the 19th century. The clubs represented in the archives include those at Banstead, Byfleet, Claygate, Epsom, Ewhurst, Guildford, Kenley, Kingston, Knaphill, Mitcham, Thames Ditton and Worplesdon.

Also deposited are letters and papers (ref. 8738) of Sir Alec Bedser (1918-2010) and his twin brother Eric Bedser (1918-2006) who both played for Surrey, with Alec also playing many times for England and becoming one of their finest ever bowlers.

The earliest nationally documented reference to cricket can be found in the Guildford court records (ref. BR/OC/1/2) on 17th January 1598 when John Derrick of Guildford, one of the Surrey coroners, aged 59, made a statement concerning a piece of land in the parish of Holy Trinity, on which he, a scholar at the Free School of Guildford, and his friends 'did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies' [presumably in about 1550]. The courts of the manor of Wanborough (ref. 1272/1/3), a village a few miles from Guildford, refer to an affray in 1613 involving a stick known as a 'crickett staffe'.


HDG Leveson Gower, Louis Palgrave and PGH Fender, Surrey County Cricket Club, a souvenir of the centenary of Surrey cricket 1845 to 1945, (1945);
Gordon Ross, The Surrey Story, A history of the Surrey County Cricket Club, (1957);
David Lemmon, The official history of Surrey County Cricket Club, (1989);
William A Powell, Surrey County Cricket Club, (1996);
Jerry Lodge, Surrey County Cricket Club, 50 Classic Matches, (2006);
Richard Spiller and Jon Surtees, 175 years of Surrey County Cricket Club (2020)

Geographical Names