Many of you might be taking a trip to Lord’s this summer to watch the cricket, but I wonder how many of you know that the founder of Lord’s, Thomas Lord, although a Yorkshireman by birth, retired to the Meon Valley and is buried just up the road at West Meon.
He would have been Scottish by birth had his parents not had to flee the country after the 1745 rebellion.
Thomas was born in 1757 in Thirsk, Yorkshire, and later moved to Diss, Norfolk.
At 23 he was the groundsman of the White Conduit Club where the MCC played.
At 30, he opened his own cricket ground in what is now Dorset Square, London. The MCC, knowing how Lord kept his pitch, moved with him.
With the expansion of London Lord was forced to move again, along with his sacred turf, to a site where the Regent’s Canal now winds it way. Again the MCC moved with him.
With the building of the canal Lord had to move yet once more. This time he took his turf to the present site where the pitch remains to this day.
Lord so loved the game he remained head of his ground until he was 73 when he sold and bought a farm at West Meon. The tired old gentleman of cricket died just two years later.
So, if you wish to pay homage to Lord, take a trip to West Meon and visit his grave and perhaps have lunch in the Thomas Lord pub.