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Philadelphia Cricket Club records


Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Philadelphia Cricket Club was founded in 1854 by William Roach Wister and fellow students at the University of Pennsylvania. For the first thirty years of the club’s existence, the athletes played on any grounds that were available in and around Philadelphia. The club found a permanent home in 1883 when Henry H. Houston made it possible for them to acquire property on West Willow Grove Avenue in Chestnut Hill. The Club expanded the use of its fields for the playing of lawn tennis in 1881. In 1897 the club was one of the four founding members of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. In 1924 cricket ceased to be played at the club. However, it was reintroduced in 1998. Today, the club offers squash courts and paddle tennis as well.

The Philadelphia Cricket Club records consists of four albums/scrapbooks (one of which has been disbound) with photos and newspapers clippings, official report booklets of international cricket tournaments, by-laws, and annual reports.

An album whose contents are dated from 1858 to 1883 primarily contains newspaper clippings (most of them undated). There are also several handwritten letters and memorabilia from the Cricket Club’s tours to England. This album includes copies of The American Cricketer (1878 and 1883) and an official handbook for the International Cricket Fete in Philadelphia, 1872. Also included is an official report for the years 1868 and 1872. There are several handwritten letters dated 1860 to 1866 describing various matches written by those who observed the games.

One of the albums is dedicated to the “gentlemen of Philadelphia Cricket XI on their trip to England” in 1889. The vast majority of the clippings in the album are descriptions of the games played on that tour (which included Ireland and Scotland). Many of the articles are loose and in fragile condition, are undated, or do not include their source.

A third album is made up primarily of photographs taken on a trip to England in June, July and August 1903. There are photos of women posed in elegant positions taken aboard a ship, presumably on the way to or from England. In the same series of photos, men appear to be playing competitive games on the deck of the ship, one of which is “wheel barrow,” in which one man lifts the legs of another and races against another such team. Other photos capture the hi-jinks enjoyed by participants of the trip. There are also photos of cricket teams, some in full gear, individual cricket players, and casual tourist photos. There are a few articles written about the tour including laudatory articles on the Philadelphia team and the tour published in British and American newspapers.

The fourth album celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The album is inscribed “Wissahickon, February 10, 1904.” A sample invitation is enclosed as are many replies.

Additional items include several pamphlets: Official report of the International Cricket Fetes at Philadelphia in 1868 and 1872; 1872 International Cricket Fete Official Handbook; The Halifax Cricket Tournament; Visit of the American Twelve of Philadelphia, August, 1874; and the Constitution and By-laws of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, 1858 (two copies).

There are by-laws of the Philadelphia Cricket Club from the following years: 1883, 1884, 1886, 1890, 1897, 1898, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1911; and Annual Reports from: 1883, 1884, 1888, 1889, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1921.

There are two volumes of the minutes of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The first volume spans from February 10, 1854 to September 13, 1864. The second volume has minutes from January 9, 1865 to April 9, 1879.

There are three reports of the Chestnut Hill Cricket Club dated 1878, 1879, and 1880.

Birley, Derik, A Social History of English Cricket. London: Aurum, 2013. Joseph S. F. Murdoch.

Gift of Percy H. Clark, 1952.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Randi M. Kamine.
Finding Aid Date
; 2015
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Collection Inventory

Constitution and by-laws of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, 1858.
Box 1 Folder 1
Philadelphia Cricket Club by-laws, 1883, 1886, 1890.
Box 1 Folder 2
Philadelphia Cricket Club by-laws, 1894, 1897, 1898.
Box 1 Folder 3
Philadelphia Cricket Club by-laws, 1902, 1905, 1908.
Box 1 Folder 4
Philadelphia Cricket Club by-laws, 1911.
Box 1 Folder 5
Annual reports, 1883-1899.
Box 1 Folder 6
Annual reports, 1894-1896.
Box 1 Folder 7
Annual reports, 1897-1899.
Box 2 Folder 1
Annual reports, 1900-1902.
Box 2 Folder 2
Annual reports, 1903-1905.
Box 2 Folder 3
Annual reports, 1906-1908.
Box 2 Folder 4
Annual reports, 1909-1911.
Box 2 Folder 5
Annual reports, 1912-1914.
Box 2 Folder 6
Annual reports, 1915, 1917, 1921.
Box 2 Folder 7
Report of the Chestnut Hill Cricket Club, 1878-1880.
Box 2 Folder 8
Halifax cricket tournament; Official Handbook of the Internal Cricket Fete, 1868, 1872, 1874.
Box 2 Folder 9
Scrapbook of clippings and letters [disbound], 1858-1883.
Box 3 Folder 1-4
Minutes of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, 1854-1864.
Volume 1
Minutes of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, 1865-1879.
Volume 2
Scrapbook - "Philadelphia Cricket Club clippings of a trip to England", 1899.
Volume 3
Scrapbook - "Tour of the Gentlemen of Philadelphia Cricket Club to England", 1903.
Volume 4
"Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Philadelphia Cricket Club", 10 February 1904.
Volume 5

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