Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.
William Lambert (Cricketer)
1779 – 19 April 1851
William Lambert (Cricketer) was an English professional cricketer in the first two decades of the 19th century. Playing mainly for Surrey from 1801, but also for MCC and some other county teams, Lambert was a right-hand batsman and an underarm slow bowler.
Lambert was described by Arthur Haygarth as “one of the most successful cricketers that has ever yet appeared, excelling as he did in batting, bowling, fielding, keeping wicket, and also single wicket playing”.
His main claim to fame is that he is the first player known to have scored two centuries in the same match, though others such as Tom Walker had come close. Lambert achieved this in the Sussex v Epsom match at Lord’s between 2 and 6 July 1817. Curiously, this turned out to be his final first-class appearance because he was banned for life soon afterwards following allegations of match-fixing in an earlier game.
Although he was a professional, Lambert played for the Gentlemen in the inaugural and second Gentlemen v Players matches in 1806. He and William Beldham were selected for the Players but, to try to balance the two teams, they were given men for the Gentlemen in the first match. In the second match, Beldham returned to the Players but Lambert was again a given man for the Gentlemen.
Lambert played in a great many matches that were not first-class including numerous single wicket events. Indeed, he was outstanding in the latter form of the game.
His first-class record from 1801 to 1817 has 64 matches. He played 114 innings (5 not out) and scored 3,014 runs at 27.65 with a highest score of 157 in the Sussex v Epsom game. He scored 4 centuries and 16 fifties.
He was a strong fielder and an occasional wicket-keeper, taking 61 catches and 26 stumpings.
Lambert’s bowling analyses are incomplete and we only know of his bowled victims. He took 187 wickets (bowled only) and his best tally was 6 in one innings.