According the Scores & Biographies he was "Height 5ft.10 1/2in., and weight '9 score 10lbs.'" - whatever that means!
He was a middle order right-hand batsman, a right-hand fast round-arm bowler and generally fielded at point or slip.
On 2nd and 3rd June 1871 he appeared in the annual Colts match, Sixteen Colts of Lancashire versus the Manchester Club and Ground at Old Trafford. He made 39 and 36 not out and took a wicket.
It was not surprising, therefore, that he was selected by the county to play against Kent at Gravesend, when he scored 0 and 33. This was obviously worth another chance and he was picked to play against Yorkshire at Old Trafford at the end of June, when he scored 5 and 0. His last chance came in 1873, when on 21st and 24th July at Derby he scored 11 & 3.
In 1872 he was engaged at the Castleton Club, Rochdale and for the month of May 1874 he was at Windermere College.
In June 1873 he played for Twenty-two of Rochdale against the All England Eleven, scoring 11 and 2 and taking a catch. The following year in the same fixture he bagged a pair, but took two wickets for 23 runs. In September 1875 for Twenty of Rochdale against Twelve of England he scored 9 and took one wicket for 38. On the 11th May 1878 he made another pair for Twenty of Rochdale against the United South of England Eleven but took one wicket - Midwinter - in the first innings for 12 runs and in the second innings two (Southerton and W.G.Grace) for 21 runs. On 10th August 1878, for Eighteen of Rochdale against the Australians he scored 5 and took five wickets for 32 in the Australians first innings. In 1879 he played for Eighteen of Rochdale against the United North of England Eleven scoring 3 runs.
He usually played for his home town club at Littleborough but in 1882 topped the Rochdale bowling averages with 48 wickets at an average of 10.08. He played throughout this period as an amateur.
He was employed as a moulder at Littleborough.
In the 1881 Census there are two James Taylors in Lancashire aged 35/36 who were iron moulders. One lived at Rumworth, Bolton and the other at Pendleton-in-Salford. By 1901 only one of these could be traced and he had moved from Rumworth to 19 Hilden Street, Bolton, giving his place of birth as Oldham; in 1881 he was also a local Methodist preacher. It is doubtful whether either of these men was the cricketer.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)
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