The Revd George Langdon and George Taylor

Charles George Taylor

Charles George Taylor was born in Turnham Green, Middlesex, on 21 November 1816. He was described in his day as the best amateur batsman in England. Owing to the generosity of his maternal grandfather, a Mr Harrington, he was able to go to Eton and then Cambridge University, where he was captain. At Cambridge he gained the reputation of being almost unbeatable  at any ball game and he believed that given a sporting chance anything was possible.

He played for Sussex from 1839 until 1854 before becoming a farmer. In 1843, playing for the Gentlemen against the Players, he took a majestic 89 off a strong  attack which included William Lillywhite and Fuller Pilch of Kent.

George Taylor

He was given out, ‘Hat knocked on wicket’ as he avoided a bumper from Pilch. He was though a useful batsman who scored 1,060 runs for Sussex with a top score of 100* against MCC at Brighton, the first century for Sussex Cricket Club.

Alfred Taylor wrote of him: ‘Apart from his incomparable batsmanship, he was one of the most brilliant fieldsmen of his time, and a bowler with a ‘devil of a twist’, to use Nyren’s phrase.’

The Revd George Langdon and George Taylor

The Revd George Langdon was the moving spirit behind the formation of Sussex Cricket Club. As a young man of twenty he became the club’s first secretary, sending out a membership circular and enlisting the help of some prominent men as members of ‘the newly instituted cricket club’. This was followed by an invite sent being sent out on 1 March 1839 to an initial dinner that was held at the York Hotel. A Committee of 16 was established with Langdon as secretary and Earl Winterton as head of the committee with the Earl of March, Lord Vernon, Lord Templemore, Sir Adolphus Dalrymple Bart, M.P., Captain Pechell, M.P., and the Rev. Dr. Proctor as committee members. The Rules and Regulations of the club were drawn up, including the rule that a match would be played if possible every Monday of the season for Members, the Club shall engage one or two to bowl, for two or more days in the week for practice and that all members should be elected by ballot.

Langdon was himself a powerful left-hand batsman but played only four seasons before being ordained and taking over the parish of St Paul’s Cray near Maidstone. His personal record of 15 innings, once not out, and 130 runs at an average of 9.28 with a top score of 38 is not very impressive but his contribution towards the foundation of Sussex Cricket Club will be his lasting legacy.