Champions: Surrey 

Hampshire were admitted to the expanded County Championship along with Derbyshire, Essex, Leicestershire and Warwickshire. There were now 14 First-Class/Championship counties, with Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan and Durham to be added subsequently to make up the current 18. 

Hampshire followed-on in their first Championship match v Somerset at Taunton on 30, 31 May and 1 June 1895 but won (the first of three instances, also in 1922 and 2003). Bacon scored 15 & 92 in that match, his first-class debut for the county, and his second innings score remained the highest first-class debut score by a Hampshire player for 99 years, until passed by Paul Whitaker. Wicket- keeper Marmaduke W Deane who had played for Surrey 15 years earlier, replaced the injured Charles Robson in Hampshire’s second match and on debut v Derbyshire dismissed five batsmen in the second innings (4 ct 1 st). In the same match, Baldwin (8-93) and Soar (11-113) bowled unchanged, the first instance (of six) for Hampshire. 

Hampshire finished 10th (of 14) in this first Championship season, winning six of their 16 matches, including a surprising victory in Sheffield against a strong Yorkshire side. In a low-scoring match. Hill passed 40 twice and Baldwin, Soar and Edward Buckland dismissed Yorkshire cheaply. Another notable victory (by three wickets) came against Leicestershire in the first Championship match ever at Portsmouth. In the final game of the season, Surrey beat Hampshire by an innings to secure the title ahead of Lancashire and Yorkshire. 

Baldwin was the first Hampshire bowler to exceed 100 wickets in a season and Soar took 7-71 on Championship debut for Hampshire v Somerset at Taunton although he had played previously for Hampshire in ‘second-class’ matches. Captain Francis Quinton’s 178 v Leicestershire at Leicester was the first Championship century for Hampshire and at the time their highest maiden century and he led the season’s batting averages. Hampshire won that match by 342 runs – at the time their largest margin of victory in a county match. 

Four hundred new members joined for this historic season – the total approaching 1,000. Soar was now playing regularly as a professional bowler and Messrs Hillier and Holmes were working as groundsmen. Edward Martin came from the Oval as Head Groundsman. Captain EG Wynyard was the new President and at the end of the season, Bencraft – also secretary – passed the captaincy to Wynyard. 

This is the XI for Hampshire's first ever County Championship game in May 1895. 

Left to right, back row: H. Baldwin, Capt. Barton, G.W. Lewis (scorer), C. Heseltine, T. Soar. Front row: C. Robson, Capt. E.G. Wynyard, Dr.R. Bencraft, A.J.L. Hill, H.F. Ward. On ground: F.H. Bacon. V. Barton

1. FH Bacon 2. H Baldwin 3. VA Barton

4. CG Barton 5. HWR Bencraft 6. ER Bradford

7. EH Buckland 8. MW Deane 9. HW Forster

10. C Heseltine 11. AJL Hill 12. FE Lacey

13. SR Olivier 14. AL Porter 15. FWD Quinton

16. JM Quinton 17. CJR Richards 18. C Robson

19. T Soar 20. DA Steele 21. RA Studd

22. HF Ward 23. AS Webb 24. J Wootton

25. EG Wynyard 26. EIM Barrett


During the winter, an England side toured South Africa and played three matches later designated as Test Matches. They lacked many senior players so that the side that took the field in the First Test showed 11 changes from England’s previous Test, 11 months earlier and included eight Test debutants plus Sammy Woods who had previously played for Australia. 

The first England side included AJL Hill and CB (Charles) Fry, then of Sussex. England won by 288 runs after dismissing South Africa for 30 in their second innings. Hill was the first Hampshire cricketer and the first Hampshire-born Hampshire cricketer to represent England. In the latter case, the next would be Shaun Udal, more than a century later. 

Hill scored 25 & 37 and in the second Test 65, as England won by an innings and his Hampshire teammate Christopher Heseltine made his debut in the second Test and took 5-38 in the second innings. The British serving officer RM (Robert) Poore (born Dublin) who was stationed in the country, was selected by South Africa, scoring 20 & 10 – he returned to England and made his Hampshire debut in 1898. The future Hampshire cricketer Charles B (‘Buck’) Llewellyn made his Test debut for South Africa in the second Test. England won the third Test, again by an innings, with Hill scoring 124 and taking 4-8. He stayed in South Africa after the tour, missed the 1896 English season and never played in another Test. Of that Third Test side in South Africa, only Lohmann and Hayward were selected by England for the next v Australia at Lord’s in June 


Champions: Yorkshire. 

‘Teddy’ Wynyard took over leadership of the side. He had a fine season and scored the first double century for Hampshire in a First-Class Championship match, 268 v Yorkshire at Southampton. During the season, he played in one Test v Australia and the county also played their first first-class match v Australians. Frederick G Kitchener took 5-21 on debut v Sussex in a victory for Hampshire but in fine weather the bowling was less effective with Soar injured and Baldwin taking fewer wickets. Lionel Palairet’s 291 for Somerset at Southampton was the highest innings against Hampshire until 1920. 

Hampshire won only five of their 16 matches but moved up to eighth in the table – their victories were against Essex and Sussex twice and Leicestershire. Perhaps their outstanding performance was against the Champions as Yorkshire finished the match on 235-8, just 27 ahead when time ran out. Francis WD Quinton hit five consecutive half-centuries (his younger brother James played a few matches for the county) and also held five catches in one innings in the match v Yorkshire at Harrogate – a Hampshire record that has been equalled on six more occasions, most recently by Paul Terry in 1989. Barton and Ward batted well on occasions and Edward Barrett from Cheltenham College showed promise in August but he became yet another services cricketer who could not appear regularly. There were concerns around the country about bowlers’ actions and at Hampshire (Sir) Evelyn Bradford was called for throwing. 

During the winter football season of 1896/7 Southampton FC played at Northlands Road and won the Southern League for the first time. In the following season they won the league again and reached the Third Round of the FA Cup, playing at home with a crowd of 15,000. After this they moved to the Dell. They had previously played at the Antelope Ground after Hampshire CCC vacated it. The United Services Ground, Portsmouth was always and still is used for rugby union during winter months, hosting the United Services RFC and also Combined Services and inter- county matches. 


Champions: Lancashire. 

Hampshire made a poor start to the season and did not win a Championship match until mid-July, despite the return of Hill from South Africa. Unfortunately, Wynyard’s military duties kept him away for the early part of the season and Londoner Charles Robson who had played for Middlesex was the usual deputy. He also kept wicket and would eventually replace Wynyard as official captain. 

Hampshire played their inaugural first-class match at Bournemouth, v Gentlemen of Philadelphia and James Spensscored the first century for Hampshire on the ground. Ward scored 40 and 39 v Lancashire at Southampton but was taken ill and died within two weeks, while Henry Bethune played against Lancashire when 52 years, 5 months – the oldest first-class cricketer to play for Hampshire. Abel & Brockwell opened with a stand of 379 for Surrey at the Oval, then a first wicket record in all first- class cricket and all eleven Hampshire players bowled in an attempt to break the partnership and conclude the innings. Eleven men bowled again in the match v Warwickshire at Southampton. Hampshire won three matches in August and four overall but because the poor weather led to many drawn matches they finished ninth. Lord Aberdare was Hampshire’s new President. Entry to the (second) ladies pavilion was 1/- and £1,032 was spent on building the second tier. 


Champions: Yorkshire. 

Hampshire began with a couple of rain-affected draws before meeting Yorkshire at Southampton in Harry Baldwin’s Benefit Match. The first day was rained off and on the second, Yorkshire beat Hampshire by innings in the county’s only Championship match ever completed in one day. Hampshire were dismissed for 42, Yorkshire replied with 157 (four wickets for the beneficiary) and then Hampshire were dismissed again for 36. The match aggregate of 235 runs remains the lowest in Hampshire’s history and in four innings against Yorkshire in 1898, Hampshire’s totals were 42, 36, 45 and 83. Baldwin is reported to have received £237-10s. 

At Derby, four home batsmen scored centuries in one innings of 645. Hampshire played 18 matches this season but won only two and finished 12th (of 14) teams. Wynyard was often absent again, playing in just three matches, while Lacey was appointed secretary of MCC (until 1926) and eventually knighted – the first man ever to receive the honour ‘for services to cricket’. Hampshire played their first ever Championship match at Dean Park in mid-July, beating Somerset by nine runs despite trailing by 115 on first innings. Captain Hedley was a first innings centurion for the visitors apart from which only Major Poore passed 50 while Ted Tate from the New Forest bowled Hampshire to victory with 8-51. 

On his county debut against the same county at Bath, RM Poore carried his bat with 49* of 97 all out; he had played first-class cricket previously abroad. Thomas Sutherland took 6-111 v Warwickshire on debut. Edward English was caught on the boundary for 98 from the final ball of the drawn match at the Oval – his highest first-class score. He died in 1966, in his 103rd year and was then the oldest-ever Hampshire cricketer. Hill scored 199 in the same drawn fixture – he took 40 wickets in the season as well as scoring 662 runs. 

A scoreboard was erected at the Hulse Road end of the ground (£10) and a new printing press purchased for £20. However there were concerns about attendances at Southampton and an extra match was given to Portsmouth, which always attracted good crowds. A drama/music benefit concert was held in Southampton. 


Champions: Surrey. 

Major Robert M Poore enjoyed his great season, indeed one of the greatest seasons that any Hampshire player has ever experienced. He was a serving officer and began the summer taking the highest honours as a swordsman at the Military Tournament and he also played in the team that won the Army’s Regimental Polo Competition. Then in mid-June he travelled to Portsmouth and scored 104 & 119* v Somerset – the only man ever to score two first-class hundreds on that ground. He followed this with 111 & 40 v Lancashire, 11 v Essex, 175 & 39* v Surrey (back at Portsmouth) and after missing the match at Brighton, came the extraordinary performance at Taunton. His first three centuries were in successive innings, the first instance for Hampshire. 

Against Somerset, Poore scored Hampshire’s first triple century (304) in Hampshire’s highest innings in first-class cricket (672-7 declared) until 2005. Poore and Wynyard’s 411 for the sixth wicket remains a record in county cricket. Hampshire were the first side to score over 600 in a day’s play in first-class cricket, while Somerset’s wicketkeeper did not concede a single bye in the innings. For Poore, there was another century at Worcester, 71 v the Australians, 79 & 53* at Derby and 157 at Leicester. That match was drawn and then his season finished on 12 August after which he returned to the Army and was soon in South Africa for the start of the Boer War. In 12 completed innings for Hampshire that year he scored 1399 runs (at 116.58). 

While Poore and Wynyard were part of a generally strong batting side, only Baldwin with 78 wickets at 27.89 was effective with the ball and Hampshire won just four of their 20 matches, finishing 11th. Warwickshire’s 657-6 declared was the highest score against Hampshire until beaten 10 years later. Captain Bradford was twice called for throwing. 

The Guide reported that Hampshire’s new President, Mr LG Bonham-Carter, was “unquestionably one of the most popular sportsmen in the county”. He had played for Hampshire from 1884-1888. South African CB Llewellyn, Hampshire’s first ‘overseas’ cricketer, took 8-132 and scored 72 and 21 on debut for Hants v the Australians while qualifying to appear in the Championship but there were complaints that the pavilion was filled with non-members for this match. Worcestershire were the 15th side admitted to the County Championship. 

RM Poore tops the 1899 batting averages with 1399 runs at 116.58 in 12 completed innings in 1899.

Hampshire 1899

The line-up is: (back) Umpire, Webb, Gravett, Soar, Baldwin, V Barton, (centre) Robson, Poore, Wynyard, Quinton, (front) English, Bencraft, Heseltine