Full name Thomas Lord
Born November 23, 1755, Thirsk, Yorkshire
Died January 13, 1832, West Meon, Hampshire (aged 76 years 51 days)
Major teams Epsom, Middlesex
Also known as Tom Lord
Height 5 ft 9 in
Relation Son - T Lord jnr
|First-class debut||Middlesex XI v Essex XI at Lord's (Old), May 31, 1787 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Marylebone Cricket Club v Middlesex XI at Lord's, Aug 14-16, 1816 scorecard|
Thomas Lord was a bowler - both slow and quick - but his major mark on the game was not as a player but as the founder and operator of the world's most famous cricket ground. His once-wealthy Yorkshire family had forfeited their possessions for supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 and it was in Norfolk that he was educated and where he learned his cricket. He moved to London as a bowler and general attendant at the prestigious White Conduit Club in Islington, and while there he was asked by the Earl of Winchilsea to find a new place for the club to play. With such powerful backing, he secured land at Dorset Square and opened his first ground in 1787, and the newly-formed MCC played there. Lord enclosed the land and charged sixpence for entry.
For 20 years the venture thrived, but the area declined and became the haunt of cut throats, and so Lord took his turf at moved to the nearby St John's Wood estate in 1811. That venue was not nearly so successful, and it was no bad thing when the government passed an act for the construction of the Regent's Canal through the land. He again took his turf and moved a few hundred yards to the present venue, which he opened in 1814.
In 1829, by now 74 and a widower for a year, he sold Lord's to William Ward for £5000 but continued to live in St John's Wood. In 1830 he took a farm in Hampshire, as much to ensure his son, also Thomas, would have an inheritance. He lived there for less than two years before his death at the age of 76.