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Lord Tankerville

It is quite possible that Charles Bennett, 4th Earl of Tankerville, played an important part in Chertsey's success. He was born in 1743 and was at school at Eton between 1753 and 1760. He succeeded to the Earldom in 1767.

 

In his younger days Tankerville seems to have enjoyed a rather dubious reputation. On one occasion he got into a fight with a coachman, and the press alluded to him as "the Rt Hon Earl of Tankerville renowned for nothing but cricket playing, bruising and keeping low company".

 

In 1771 Lord Tankerville married Emma, daughter of Sir James Colebrook of Gatton, and soon afterwards they settled at Walton on Thames. His residence was Mount Felix, which was a large house overlooking the River Thames, near Walton Bridge. This was not far from Laleham Burway, which was then within the parish of Chertsey.

 

In the 1770s and 1780s, Tankerville's butler at Mount Felix was William Bedster, one of the best known batsmen of his time. His gardener was an even more famous player, one "Lumpy" Stevens. Lumpy once won a £100 wager for Lord Tankerville by hitting a feather once in every four balls while bowling at the Burway.

 

For about 9 seasons, from 1773 to 1781, Lord Tankerville was a leading supporter of Surrey Cricket as well as a regular member of the Chertsey XI. He was one of the best amateur batsmen of his day.

 

Researched by Lionel Dodd

Edited by Kieran & Rorie O'Keeffe