Marylebone Cricket Club was founded on May 31st, 1787 when the ambitious entrepreneur Thomas Lord staged his first match – between Middlesex and Essex – on a ground on Dorset Fields in Marylebone.
The following year, MCC laid down a Code of Laws, requiring the wickets to be pitched 22 yards apart and detailing how players could be given out. Its Laws were adopted throughout the game – and the Club today remains the custodian and arbiter of Laws relating to cricket around the world.
In 1814 MCC moved up the road to a new rural ground in St John's Wood - which remains their home to this day. A decade later, when Thomas Lord was 70, he sold the ground to a Bank of England director, William Ward, for £5,400. Having provided the Marylebone Cricket Club with a ground for 38 years, Lord retired before passing away seven years later - but his name lives on.
In the 1870s, MCC decided it wanted to get involved in county cricket, which was growing in popularity, and, in 1877, it invited Middlesex to adopt Lord's as its county ground - an arrangement which continues over 140 years later.