The All England Eleven’s 1861-62 Australian Tour and Early Cricket Photography at the Sydney Domain

Photograph of the first All England team that toured Australia prior to their departure from England in 1861.
Figure 1: The All England team prior to their departure from England in 1861. Source: William Caffyn, Seventy one not out, after p. 172.

The All England cricket team’s tour of 1861–62 generated unprecedented interest and excitement in the Australian colonies. Cricket had surged in popularity in Australia in the mid 1850s, when inter-colonial matches began, and when Victoria and (to a lesser extent) New South Wales (NSW) were transformed by gold rushes. In 1861 two Melbourne restaurateurs, Felix Spiers and Christopher Pond, contracted a team of English professionals captained by H.H. Stephenson to tour Australia. Stephenson and William Caffyn had been members of the pioneering 1859 All England tour to North America; however, the Australian venture—by virtue of distance—was a much longer undertaking, lasting well over six months.1William Caffyn, Seventy one not out: the reminiscences of William Caffyn, Edinburgh, 1899, chs. 14, 17. Continue reading “The All England Eleven’s 1861-62 Australian Tour and Early Cricket Photography at the Sydney Domain”