County cricket started in the eighteenth century, the earliest known inter-county match being played in 1709, though an official County Championship was not instituted until 1890. Having already been badly hit by the Seven Years' War, county cricket ceased altogether during the Napoleonic Wars and there was a period from 1797 to 1824 during which no inter-county matches took place. Inter-county cricket was popular throughout the 18th century, although the best team, such as Kent in the 1740s or Hampshire in the days of the famous Hambledon Club, was usually acknowledged as such by being matched against All-England. The most successful county teams were Hampshire, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. There was, however, often a crossover between town and county with some strong local clubs tending at times to represent a whole county. Examples are London, which often played against county teams and was in some respects almost a county club in itself; Slindon, which was for a few years in the 1740s effectively representative of Sussex as a county; Dartford, sometimes representative of Kent; and the Hambledon Club, certainly representative of Hampshire and also perhaps of Sussex. One of the best county teams in the late 18th century was Berkshire, which no longer has first-class status.