Full Name

James Henry Dark

Born

May 24, 1795, Marylebone, London

Died

October 17, 1871, St John's Wood, London, (aged 76y 146d)

relations

(brother),

(uncle)

TEAMS

James Dark is a rather mysterious character. It is said he was employed as a ground-boy at Lord's from the age of ten, going on to become an occasional cricketers, a big-hitting batsman who had a poor defence and so who struggled on the universally bad pitches of the era. But he must have been successful, for in 1835 he purchased the remaining 58 years of the lease on Lord's from William Ward for £2000 and a £425 annuity. The ground was not as we know it now, but was undeveloped, with two ponds (filled with rubbish) on it, no seats for spectators and grazed on by sheep. In that year he made his one appearance for Gentlemen against Players, making 0. He lived near Lord's for the next 29 years, developing the venue and running a bat and ball manufacturing business. He opened a real tennis court in 1838, a telegraph scoreboard in 1846 and a printing office for scorecards in 1848. In his later years he umpired and also became the treasurer of the Cricketers' Friendly Fund Society. He sold the outstanding lease on his retirement in 1864, and when he died he left the not inconsiderable sum of £30,000 in his will.
Martin Williamson

Career Averages

Batting & Fielding
FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAve100s50sCtSt
FC17293225478.6500112
Bowling
FormatMatWktsBBI5w10w
FC17174/?00
Umpire & Referee
FormatMatUmpire
FC1010