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Marylebone Cricket Club Collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0390 MCC
Held at: Marylebone Cricket Club Library
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Full title: Marylebone Cricket Club Collection
Date(s): 1714-2015
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 29.96 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Marylebone Cricket Club


Administrative/Biographical history:

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was founded in 1787 - a fact gathered from a poster for a cricket match in 1837 between the North and South of England Box and Cobbet, announcing MCC's Golden Jubilee on 10 July 1837. As London's population grew, so did the nobility's impatience with the crowds who gathered to watch them play. In pursuit of exclusivity, they decided to approach Thomas Lord, a bowler with White Conduit CC, and asked him to set up a new private ground. An ambitious entrepreneur, Lord was encouraged by Lord Winchilsea to lease a ground on Dorset Fields in Marylebone - the site of the modern Dorset Square. He staged his first match - Middlesex (with two of Berkshire and one of Kent) versus Essex (with two given men) - on 31st May 1787. Thus the Marylebone Cricket Club was formed. A year later, it laid down a Code of Laws, which were adopted throughout the game - and MCC today remains responsible for the Laws of Cricket. After a short stay at Marylebone Bank, Regent's Park, between 1811 and 1813, Lord's moved to a new ground in St John's Wood in 1814. It remains MCC's home to this day.

In 1825 Lord sold the ground to a Bank of England director, William Ward, for 5,000. Having provided the Marylebone Cricket Club with a ground for 38 years, Lord retired and then died seven years later. Also in 1825, the Pavilion was destroyed in a fire and as a consequence the initial minute books and records were lost. Work commenced immediately on a replacement, which opened the following year. In 1866 MCC agreed to purchase the freehold of Lord's from Isaac Moses Marsden for 18,333 thanks to money advanced from William Nicholson. Then in 1867 MCC decided to build a Grand Stand and established the 'Lord's Grand Stand Company' - made up of figures including the MCC secretary and trustees - to achieve this aim. The Grand Stand was erected in 1867 at a cost of 1,435. In 1877 MCC accepted an application from Middlesex County Cricket Club to adopt Lord's as its county ground - an arrangement which continues today. Meanwhile, MCC in 1873 put forward plans to create a tournament for county cricket entitled 'Champion County Cup Matches', including regulations, and established county qualifications explaining that no cricketer was allowed to play for more than one county in the same season, and allowing players to choose between the county of birth and of residence at the start of each season. In 1888, the decision was made to erect a new Pavilion designed by the architect Thomas Verity and was built in 1889-1890 thanks to money borrowed from William Nicholson. Then in 1890 it was opened in time for the new season.

By the early part of the twentieth century, the Board of Control for Test Matches (1898), the Advisory County Cricket Committee (1904) and the Imperial Cricket Conference (1909) had been established to oversee domestic and international cricket, while MCC in 1901 became responsible for administering England tours, which were known as MCC tours rather than England tours until 1977. In 1933, following the death of Lord Harris, former cricketer, President, Trustee and Honorary Treasurer of MCC, the Committee decided to set up a memorial for him and thus the Harris Garden was built, which remains at Lord's today. During the Second World War the MCC Committee, the principal committee responsible for club affairs, became known as an Emergency Committee, the ground was requisitioned for use by the Royal Air Force, and Stanley Christopherson remained as President for the duration of the war, thus becoming the longest serving MCC President (Presidents usually served for a term of one year). 1953 saw the Imperial Memorial Gallery opened by the Duke of Edinburgh (twice MCC President in 1949 and 1974) which was dedicated to all cricketers who died in the First and Second World Wars.

In 1967 the MCC committee were warned that a form of re-organisation was required to maintain its status as the governing body of cricket. Since MCC was a private club it could not receive public funds, so in 1968 it set up a Cricket Council as the governing body of cricket and the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB, now known as the English Cricket Board) to administer professional cricket. It also established the National Cricket Association (NCA) to manage the recreational game. As a result, cricket started to receive financial help from the Government, but MCC's responsibility for the game was reduced. ICC became independent of MCC by 1993, while TCCB took control of the England team and arrangements for big matches including those held at Lord's. MCC celebrated its Bicentenary with a match between themselves and the Rest of the World in 1987, and elected to admit women among its 18,000 members in 1998. There have been fifteen secretaries of the MCC since 1825; Benjamin Aislabie, Roger Kynaston, Alfred Bailie, R A Fitzgerald, Henry Perkins, Francis Lacey, William Findlay, Colonel Rowan Rait Kerr, Ronald Aird, S C (Billy) Griffith, Jack Bailey, J R Stephenson, Roger Knight, Keith Bradshaw and Derek Brewer, who became Secretary and Chief Executive in 2012.


Scope and content/abstract:

Archives of the Marylebone Cricket Club, including:Secretariat Department: Main committee minutes, 1826-2002; secretaries' correspondence, 1872-1980s; Annual Reports, Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings, 1825-2007; deeds of Lord's Cricket Ground and surrounding properties owned/leased by MCC on Elm Tree Road, Grove End Road, Cavendish Road West, Wellington Road, St. John's Wood Road, 1835-1988; papers of Harvey Fellows, MCC Solicitor, 1848-1900.

Arts and Library Department: Sub-committee minutes, 1939-2005; department correspondence, 1850-2007; curator's papers, 1826-2009; manuscripts; photographs; collection valuations, 1902-2006; loans; visitor books, 1998-2011.

Estates and Grounds Department: Sub-committee minutes, 1984-1996; development sub-committee minutes, 1971-1982; departmental correspondence; architectural plans and working party papers for the Media Centre, Grand Stand, Mound Stand, Indoor School and Tavern; property and works sub-committee minutes, 1898-1984.

Club Facilities Department: Sub-committee minutes, 1967-1984; Indoor School: Sub-committee minutes 1976-1995; departmental correspondence; application forms for Easter Coaching Classes; architectural plans; files on coaching courses.

Accounts Department: Cash books, ledgers, petty cash books, gate receipts, purchase day books, c1867-1990; sub-committee minutes, 1972-1989; departmental correspondence; minutes of Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee, 1940-1950.

Tennis and Rackets Department: Sub-committee minutes, 1875-1889, 1926-1973, 1974-1995; departmental correspondence.

Cricket Department: Sub-committee minutes (1926-2000), departmental correspondence; scorecards for MCC matches, out-matches and matches at Lord's, 19th century - 2010; volumes on MCC matches, 1791-1885, first-class umpire lists, 1935-1958, files on MCC tours and international cricket tours to the UK, 1914-1980; Grounds and Fixtures sub-committee minutes, 1966-1988; files relating to the Laws of Cricket including working party minutes; Players and Fixtures sub-committee, 1989-1997.

Board of Control for Test Matches: Correspondence, 1954-1967; minutes, 1962-1968; Advisory County Cricket Committee: Correspondence, 1942-1949, 1957-1966; minutes, 1904-1968; Bicentenary Sub-Committee minutes: 1984-1987; Minutes of meetings held at Lord's Cricket Ground, 1900-1965 (including Imperial Cricket Conference, Board of Control for Test Matches, Advisory County Cricket Committee, First-Class County Captains)

Media Department: Photographs of MCC tours, scrapbooks, transparencies, photographic slides, videos, CDs, 2003-2007.

Membership Department: Membership books, lists of elections, from 1832.

Print Department: Samples, 2004-2011; Press Relationship Sub-Committee files, 1948-1960.

Refreshment Department: Minutes, 1896-1966, 1966-1970; correspondence, 1966-1970; balance sheet and accounts, 1927-1956; complaints and suggestions, 1930-1966; Photograph albums, 19th-20th century; Autograph albums; Newspaper cuttings, 20th century.

Audio-visual material: MCC Audio Archive 1989-2011; VHS tapes, 1947-2004, betamax tapes, audio cassettes, CDs, DVDs; Architectural model of Tennis and Racquet Courts, 1902; Prints, maps and plans of Lord's from 1788-present.

Records of persons / institutions connected to MCC: Middlesex County Cricket Club: correspondence, minutes (1901-1934, 1955-1960); insurance policies; scorebooks, 1914-1962; membership lists, 1880s; correspondence, 1928, 1947, 1959; Test and County Cricket Board / English Cricket Board: minutes, 1968-1973; correspondence; rules and regulations; Records of International Cricket Council (formerly Imperial Cricket Conference, International Cricket Conference): minutes; reports, 1979-1993; World Series Cricket: history, transcripts, 1976-1979; Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers: Minute Books, 1953-2006; BBC records: Outside broadcast file, 1952-1961; agreements, 1946-1952; correspondence, 1955-1961; broadcasting files, 1936-1938, 1946-1952; Slazenger brochures, 1963-2001 (incomplete); The Cricketer Magazine collection (23 boxes); Irving Rosenwater papers: scorecards, posters, photographs, ticket stubs, correspondence, invoices, fixture lists, membership cards, MCC rules, programmes, brochures (12 boxes); Gubby Allen's scrapbooks (24 volumes, 1922-1985); J Loraine Baldwin's I Zingari Cricket Club scrapbooks; Cricket scorebooks from various teams, 1714-1901; Scorebooks for Cross Arrows Cricket Club, 1925-1995; Alec Bedser Collection: correspondence, pamphlets, newspaper articles, 1951-2007; I Zingari Scorebooks: 1845-1969.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The files are divided into sub-fonds based on different departments; Secretariat, Arts and Library, Estates and Grounds, Media, Indoor School, Accounts, Tennis and Squash, Print, Cricket, Membership, Ticket Office, Human Resources, Events, Refreshment. Within these sub-fonds, the files are arranged in date order unless stated otherwise.

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment only. Records under 30 years are closed to the public for Data Protection purposes, records dated between 30 and 40 years require permission from the Club Secretary before access. All other records are open.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies available subject to the condition and status of the original.

Finding aids:

Staff can advise on the availability of material prior to visiting. Not all the material in the archive has been catalogued. A list of the material held in the archive, compiled between 1969 and 1978 can be located at

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Marylebone Cricket Club

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Curphey, Documentation Assistant, MCC, September 2012. The following sources were used to compile the history of the collection: MCC History,

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in accordance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000. Descriptions are indexed using the UK Archival Thesaurus and UNESCO Thesaurus and meet the National Council on Archives' Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
December 2012

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