History of MCC Rediscovered
We’d exhausted all the possibilities…. turned out our attics, interrogated Trustees and past players, searched our former solicitor's offices, but nobody knew where they were. The deeds. Without them we were in a bit of a bind – we knew we owned the Cricket Club, but couldn’t actually prove it!
Conveyance of Broadleys to George Fishlock and his wife Jane , 1869
However, finally, after some sleuthing from Treasurer, Andy Pierce, they were rediscovered. A bundle of papers that had been stored by the Bank in a warehouse on an industrial estate in Wolverhampton for over 50 years since Broadleys was purchased in 1968.
It was an immense relief administratively, but more interesting because of the insight they provide into the history and ownership of the land. A treasure trove of documents that date back to 1844, containing parchment, wax seals, wonderful calligraphy and Victorian revenue stamps.
On April 18th 1844 Broadleys was included with adjoining land to the south (approx 8 acres total) sold by Sir Christopher William Bethel Codrington, Baronet, to William Golding of Marshfield, a gentleman. William died in 1861 and Broadleys passed to his son, John Golding the elder, with £8-4s-3d Inheritance tax being payable on the transfer.
Detail from the conveyance of Broadleys to William Davis, 1892
On 7th October 1869 John Golding, ‘late of Marshfield, now residing in Leeds out of business’ sold the northern plot (or ‘close’) measuring ‘three acres three roods and twenty-nine perches or thereabouts adjoining the road leading from the town of Marshfield to Hunters Hall’ to Mr George Fishlock, Labourer, and Jane his wife for the consideration of £400. This is the current field where Marshfield Cricket Club stands. Stamp duty of £2 was payable on this sale. The southern portion of the original plot (presumably now the potato field in which many a cricket ball is lost) was sold to Hester Wright, a Spinster.
Jane and George Fishlock died within two days of one another in 1891 and Broadleys was Auctioned by their executors on Friday 4th March 1892 in The Catherine Wheel - we have the handbill for the auction, now very fragile and yellowing, which we hope to have restored (see photo). The agents for the sale were Messrs Young and Howes and the solicitors Messrs Cox, Kitson & Trotman of Marshfield & Beaminster.
One of the conditions of sale was that the purchaser pay an additional £4 for ‘dressing, manure, labour, seeds and tillages’ expended by the vendors on the property. The successful bidder was William Davis, Licensed victualler and butcher, of The Nelson Inn (a theme emerging here…) who paid £230.
Detail from Conveyance of Broadleys to George Fishlock and his wife Jane, 1869
We know that, around a decade later, according to the Illustrated Parish Magazine, Marshfield Cricket Club was established in 1901 under the Presidency of the Vicar and playing on Mr Parker’s field (which may in fact have been Broadleys – reference is made to ‘Broadleigh’). Their headquarters was, of course, The Catherine Wheel, where the season ended in a ‘substantial meal’. There had been victories against The Rocks, Ashwicke and Doynton and losses to Two Mile Hill, Colerne and Castle Combe. The batting ‘required more science and art but the members had ‘decidedly improved in bowling’ it was noted.
Broadleys then passed in the early 20th Century from William Davis to his wife Rowena, then to Edgar William Davis, a farmer, of Northfield House, Tormarton Road, Marshfield in 1931. Edgar died in 1965 at Thornbury Hospital and his son Alec a bricklayer in Wick, and daughter Lillian Farmer sold the land to the Trustees of Marshfield Cricket Club on 2nd July 1968 for £1000.
The modern cricket club had been born. Over the next few months the members built the pavilion, aided by loans totaling £1400. The first game played there was a President’s XI match in May 1969.
Handbill advertising an auction at The Catherine Wheel, 1892
If you would like more detail or can add anything to this history please contact Jonathan Burnstone by email:
We hope to be able to make a limited number of prints of the 1892 Auction poster available for sale – let us know if you are interested in purchasing a copy.