Cricket Books, Manuscripts & Research From The George Bent Buckley Archive

George Bent Buckley (1885-1962). Celebrated cricket historian and authority on early cricket. Born in Saddleworth, Yorkshire, G.B. Buckley was a surgeon by profession, and served in WWI with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1916 'for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty'.

On his retirement he devoted his later years to researching eighteenth century cricket, compiling an extensive collection of cricket historian from early newspapers, publishing two classic works on the subject, 'Fresh Light on Eighteenth Century Cricket' (1935) and 'Fresh Light on Pre-Victorian Cricket' (1937). In 1938 Buckley moved to Weston-super-Mare in Somerset where he lived in a Victorian house close to his local cricket ground.

An interesting quote relevant to this collection by John Arlott in 'Barclay's World of Cricket' (1980) states that 'Mr. Buckley's researches were continued in volumes of photo-reproduced typescript and manuscript, produced under the aegis of Rowland Bowen in 1960. It is probable that even more unpublished notes by Buckley still exist'. This collection appears to confirm Arlott's prediction

Lot 838:
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William Denison. Three titles bound as one volume in contemporary quarter leather and brown cloth, raised bands and gilt title, 'Cricket', to spine, red speckled page edges. Each title lacking original wrappers, otherwise complete. Titles are 'Sketches of the Players'. William Denison. First edition, London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co., Rudolph Ackermann, R. Dark [and others], 1846. viii + 76pp. Padwick 876. 'The Cricketer's Companion; containing the scores of the grand and principal matches of cricket, played at Lord's and other grounds in the Season 1846 with... the Laws of Cricket, as altered 2nd June 1845'. William Denison. Fourth (and last) edition, published by Simpkin, Marshall and Co., London 1847'. xxviii + 108pp. Padwick 1068. 'New Laws of Cricket, revised by the Marylebone Club', published by Edgar Wallis, London c.1840. Padwick 179. 12pp. Unusually, bound in immediately before 'New Laws', is a fold-out engraving of 'The Cricket Ground' depicting an early match in progress in a rural setting. Not previously seen by the auctioneer. Laid down to the inside front cover and front endpaper are bookplates for Augustus Orlebar and Buckley. To the inside back cover is a typed extract of an obituary from 'The Times' of 1st October 1912, 'The Rev. Augustus Orlebar's death took place yesterday... Mr Orlebar was at Rugby [School] with [Dr. Thomas] Arnold and was a schoolfellow of Tom Hughes. He was regarded as the original of Tom Brown in the famous fight between Stogger Williams and B.O. Jones, afterwards chancellor. The character of the "New Boy" was taken partly from Orlebar and partly from Dean Stanley. Orlebar was captain of C.C. when Arnold died'. Some rubbing to spine, some spotting to early pages, creasing to the fold-out engraving, otherwise in good condition. Rare
Estimate: £2000/3000
Hammer price: £1800
William Denison was an important figure in cricket history as he was the first true cricket journalist, reporting on matches for several newspapers all over the country. F.S. Ashley-Cooper considered him to be 'the father of English journalism'. 'Sketches of the Players' was the earliest collection of player biographies. Dedicated to 'the Noblemen and Gentlemen, Members of the Marylebone Cricket Club', it is largely about Denison's contemporaries, though beginning with the earlier figure of Alfred Mynn. 'The Cricketer's Companion' was published over four years from 1844 to 1847, and set the precedent for Lillywhite's Guide and Wisden's Almanack.

Augustus Orlebar played one first-class match, for Oxford University v M.C.C. at Magdalen Ground, Oxford, 22nd & 23rd May 1845. Batting at number eleven he scored 1 and 0, did not bowl and took no catches.

Tom Hughes wrote 'Tom Brown's School Days, first published in 1857, based on his experiences at Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. Thomas Arnold was headmaster at the school from 1828 to 1841. Opinions differ on the veracity of the claim that the Tom Brown character was partly based on Orlebar with some sources suggesting Hughes' brother, George, as a candidate. Arthur Penrhyn 'Dean' Stanley was Dean of Westminster from 1864 to 1881
Lot 839:
Lot 839
'North America in International Cricket'. Rowland Bowen 1960. Original printed paper 1038covers. Published as a limited edition of 100 copies in the U.K. and 50 copies in the U.S.A. This copy signed 'With the compliments, grateful thanks, & best wishes of the compiler, R Bowen' to the title page. Odd minor ink annotations/ corrections apparently in Buckley's neat hand. Spotting to front wrapper, otherwise in good/ very good condition
Estimate: £40/60
Hammer price: £45
Lot 840:
Lot 840
'The "Old" Sheffield Wednesday Cricket Club Established 1820. Copy of Paper Read Feb. 5, 1896'. Compiled by L.A. Morley. Printed by J. Robertshaw, Sheffield 1896. Limited to 100 copies. Original red cloth covers, gilt title and emblem to front. 24pp. Small booklet comprising a history of the Club and its founding, and the scorecard for the match Sheffield and Leicester v Nottingham played at Darnall New Ground, Sheffield, 24th- 26th July 1826 in which Tom Marsden scored 227 and took eight wickets. Padwick 2995. Bookplate of G.B. Buckley to inside front cover. Good/ very good condition
Estimate: £50/80
Hammer price: £120
The Wednesday Cricket Club was founded in 1820 by local tradesmen, the name being derived from the founders' day off work. In addition to Tom Marsden, early notable players included George Ulyett, George Pinder, Tom Armitage and William Slinn
Lot 841:
Lot 841
'Surrey Cricket and Cricketers 1773 to 1895. A Complete summary of every match played with various interesting tables'. Rev. R.S. Holmes. Offices of "Cricket", London 1896. 80pp plus advertising pages. Original decorative paper wrappers. Padwick 2682. Ex J.N. Pentelow collection with his name annotated in ink to inside front cover and dated 6th May 1899. Bookplate for G.B. Buckley to first advertising page. Wear to spine, some age toning to wrappers, otherwise in good/ very good condition. Rare
Estimate: £70/100
Hammer price: £85
Lot 842:
Lot 842
'Surrey at the Wicket. A complete record of all the matches played by the County Eleven since the formation of the club...'. Compiled and published by Anthony Benitez de Lugo. Madrid 1888. Original red cloth boards. iii + 159pp. Padwick 2679. Bookplate of G.B. Buckley to inside front cover. Very good condition. Rare
Estimate: £100/150
Hammer price: £120
Lot 843:
Lot 843
'Old English Cricket. A collection of evidences concerning the game prior to the days of Hambledon'. H. P-T (Thomas Percy Francis). C.H. Richards, Nottingham, 1929. A set of six original pamphlets issued between 1922 and 1929, preceded by frontispiece, table of contents and introduction. Bound in red cloth, gilt title to spine, speckled page edges. Lacking original wrappers. Cocked spine, otherwise in good condition. Rare
Estimate: £150/250
Hammer price: £130
Lot 844:
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Kent County Cricket Club 1865. 'The Canterbury Cricket Week. An authentic narrative of the origin and career of the institution; including the programmes of The Old Stagers' Performances... Volume First'. Printed and published by William Davey, Canterbury 1865. First (and only) edition. Original red cloth, with gilt titles, and coloured and gilt border bands, all edges gilt. Coloured decorative half-title page. Includes sixteen real photographs on five plates of players and officials, and space for a seventeenth photograph of A.K. Oom. Photographs include N. Felix, F. Ponsonby, S. Ponsonby, J.L. Baldwin etc. Padwick 2084. Bookplate of G.B. Buckley to inside front cover. Replacement leather spine. Minor soiling to boards, slight breaking to front internal hinge and page block, lacking one interleaf, otherwise in good condition. A scarce volume
Estimate: £200/300
Hammer price: £480
The book covers the Canterbury Cricket Week between 1843 and 1851. For each week details are given of the cricket matches played between sides such as 'The Gentlemen of England' and 'The Gentlemen of Kent; plus the Kent county team. A commentary on the social events during each week is then followed by a precis of Old Stagers' productions performed to amuse the cricket followers once play had ended for the day including a selection of farces and extravaganzas
Lot 845:
Lot 845
Weston-super-Mare C.C. Complete run of eight issues of the official Club handbook for seasons 1954/55 (first year of issue) to 1961/62. Formerly the property of G.B. Buckley who is listed in each issue as a Vice-President. Rusting to staples, some soiling to the wrappers of the 1961/62 issue, others in very good condition. Sold with two Club membership and fixture booklets for seasons 1959 and 1961, both issued to Buckley. G
Estimate: £30/50
Hammer price: £60
Lot 846:
Lot 846
Cricket books. Small box of twelve various cricket books, the majority with the bookplate of G.B. Buckley. Titles are 'The Cricket Match. A Poem in Two cantos', Copthall Chambers 1859. 'Pastimes and Players', R. MacGregor 1881. 'Cricket', W.G. Grace, J. Pycroft, F. Gale etc. 1883. 'Old Cricket & Cricketers', H.H. Montgomery 1890. 'Cricket', W.L. Murdoch 1893. 'Cricket', E. Lyttleton 1894. Willow & Leather, E.V. Lucas 1898. 'Talks with Old Yorkshire Cricketers', Old Ebor 1898. 'Bat v Ball', J.H. Lester 1900. 'The Cricketer's Companion', F.D. Currie c.1917. 'How To Play Cricket', D. Bradman 1935. Also 'The Journal of the Cricket Society', Vol. I issue 1 April 1961. Wear and faults to most titles, only fair condition
Estimate: £50/70
Hammer price: £70
Lot 847:
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George Bent [G.B.] Buckley. Cricket historian. An important archive of writings and ephemera, originally from the collection of G.B. Buckley, contained in four boxes. Contents comprise original manuscripts, typescripts and cuttings albums relating to Buckley's extensive research into early cricket, and personal effects associated with his writings, his and his wife's love of card games, golf etc. The majority of written material is presented in binders. Titles include original typescripts of Buckley's 'Historical Gleanings' (published 1954) and 'More Historical Gleanings' (published in 1956), both profusely annotated in ink and pencil by Buckley throughout. A red cloth binder of 'Index of Scores & Biographies', the typescript with annotations and corrections in Buckley's hand, dated December 1956, in which Buckley provides an alternative indexing system to that published in 1903 by J.B. Payne for the first fourteen volumes of Arthur Haygarth's 'Cricket Scores & Biographies'. A large green cloth album comprising newspaper cuttings relating to cricket publications, matches played, cartoons etc. dating from 1833 to 1892 and 1935 to 1960. Two large ledger books of 'Cricket Notices', both handwritten by Buckley. One covers the period 1736-1833 (167pp), the other 1834-1850 (182pp). It is presumed these were Buckley's working manuscripts for his published typescripts of the same name which covered 1681-1854 and 1744-1845. Four exercise books of handwritten indexes for various publications. A typescript for 'Cricket Scores 1789-1850', comprising 511pp in two files. A twelve page booklet, 'Errata & Indexes to H.T. Waghorn's "Cricket Scores 1730-1773" compiled by G.B. Buckley', handwritten in black ink with red underlining in Buckley's own immaculately neat hand. A similar but slightly different printed version is being sold as lot 944 in this auction. The booklet, measuring 4.5"x7", comprises errata, a geographical index by county, clubs and a general index. Slight foxing to wrappers, otherwise in very good condition. Not recorded in Padwick. Buckley's association with local cricket clubs is represented by a typescript of 'An Account of the Weston-super-Mare Cricket Club [and some other Somerset Clubs] from 1845 to 1891' including references to matches played by the three Grace brothers, E.M., W.G. and G.F. Grace. Also a folder of correspondence relating to Dorking C.C. etc.

A further comprehensive quantity of correspondence and cuttings relating to Buckley's research and other activities is unbound, some slipped in to binders, including press cuttings from 1935 of reviews of Buckley's 'Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket' including Sunday Times, The Field, Morning Post etc., also two publisher's flyers promoting the book, one quoting favourable 'Press Opinions', the other listing 'Six typical notices out of One Thousand in the volume'. Correspondence includes a handwritten letter to Buckley from James A.H. Catton, dated 28th October 1934, who was compiling match statistics for the 1935 edition of the Wisden Almanack, and acknowledges Buckley's contributions. Other loose contents include disbound pages relating to cricket, golf and croquet from the book, 'Best of Everything by the Author of "Enquire Within"' published London 1872, and rule books, bank statements etc. relating to his membership of Leatherjackets Golf Club, an exercise book with handwritten results of golf matches played by the Weston-super-Mare golf club 1899-1910 etc.

Assorted ephemera includes a wooden travel writing desk with brass trim and escutcheon with working key, and brass plate to lid engraved 'G.B. Buckley'. Contents comprise a leather cased metal lidded ink well, a small bone letter opener in the form of a cricket bat, Buckley's ink dip pen, an unopened packet of cigars in original cellophane wrapping, and three incomplete packets of cigarettes. Closed, the desk measures 12"x9"x5.25". Small chip to veneer on one corner, otherwise in very good condition. Other items include a wooden desk tidy/ ink stand with lidded box containing a selection of medicine related blotters, 11"x8.5"x6", a framed colour aerial photograph of Buckley's home in Weston-super-Mare, an original sepia real photograph postcard, possibly of Buckley pre First World War, by A.N. Hart of Worcester, a white lace-trimmed table cloth with embroidered labels for 'G.B. Buckley' and '39', two leather pouches, possibly military issue medicine bottle holders etc. Also a box comprising various sets of standard playing cards in varying degrees of wear, a pair of wooden 'Draw-Bridge Compact Model' card stands in original box by Chas. Goodall & Son, London, Bezique set and scorecards, two wooden inlaid cribbage boards, auction bridge scorecards, rule books for Draw-Bridge, Auction Bridge, Piquet, Patience, and four sets of the card game 'The Counties of England' by Jaques & Sons of London, series 1-4 covering Northern, Midland, Eastern and Southern areas of England. Each series in card case with decorative label. An excellent collection from this notable authority on the early days of the game. Overall in good condition
Estimate: £800/1200
Hammer price: £1300
George Buckley devoted his retirement to researching early cricket, travelling all over the country visiting local libraries to glean cricket records from old newspapers, recording details of eighteenth century cricket, which were published in books such as 'Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket' (1935), 'Fresh Light on Pre-Victorian Cricket (1937), 'Historical Gleanings' (1954) and 'More Historical Gleanings' (1957). He died in Weston-super-Mare in 1962 aged 77 where he had lived since 1938

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