At the museum we get a steady trickle of inquiries from people have been told their ancestors played cricket for the county. Sometimes we have to disappoint them.
One recent inquiry came from a lady whose four-times great-grandfather was George Meads, born in 1797 at Lindfield. We were able to tell her, yes, he played fourteen three-day matches for Sussex, as a professional, between 1825 and 1836. This was in the days of underarm bowling, before the County Club got started in 1839, and when the home ground was roughly where The Level is located in Brighton. He regularly played for East versus West Sussex too; and he kept a baker’s shop in Russell Square in the town.
Sadly he was none too successful; he scored only 121 runs for the county and scorers didn’t credit him with a single wicket. However our inquirer was able to direct us to a portrait of him in the Royal Pavilion & Museums Digital Media Bank, Brighton & Hove and we show him here (above), with maybe a hint of lockdown hair. Cricket photography didn’t start until the 1850s, so we’re very lucky to show him at all.