Obituaries in 1897

MR. W. Buckingham, who died on the first of February, was in the Harrow eleven in 1834, but did not meet with any success at Lord"s, either against Winchester or Eton.

MR. C. L. Hornby-an elder brother of Mr. A. N. Hornby-died about the middle of March. Mr. C. L. Hornby was in the Harrow eleven in 1862 and 1863, being contemporary with C. F. Buller, I. D. Walker and W. F. Maitland, three of the most famous of Harrow cricketers. In the 1863 match he went in first and scored 68 out of 179 put on while he was at the wickets. He entered the Army but kept up his cricket to some extent, playing at times for the Harrow Wanderers, as well as for his regiment. He served in the Transvaal.

MR. W. R. Wake, who died on Saturday, March 14th., will be remembered as an occasional member some years back of the Yorkshire County Eleven. Without ever taking a high place, he was a useful, hard-hitting batsman. He was in his forty-fourth year, and at the time of his death was Registrar of the Sheffield County Court.

Samuel Cosstick, died on April 8th., aged sixty, in Maitland, Australia. In the earlier days of Australian cricket, Cosstick was considered the best bowler in the Colonies. He played first for Victoria in 1861, and took part in his last Inter-colonial Match in 1876. He played against the first four English teams that visited Australia, and in 1865, as he was then residing in New South Wales, he appeared for that Colony against Victoria. Cosstick was a Surrey man and was born at Croydon, but as there is no record of his playing cricket in England, it is presumed that he went out to Australia when very young. Cosstick"s fame as a bowler was eclipsed by Allan, Evans, Spofforth and others, but at his best he was a great figure in Australian cricket.

MR. John Chapman, who died on the 14th of April at the advanced age of eighty-two, was a very notable personage in Nottingham cricket circles in the "40"s. In those now rather distant days he played against Sussex, Sheffield, the M. C. C. and more than one England Eleven, and met with considerable success. He died at Gainsborough, where he had for about fifty years been in practice as a veterinary surgeon.

George Panter, once so well-known in connection with the Leicestershire eleven, died on the 19th of April. Born on the 27th of September, 1837, he was in his fifty-ninth year. After giving up active cricket, Panter was nominated by Leicestershire as one of the regular umpires in county matches.

F. P. FENNER"S death, on the 22nd of May, destroyed one of the few remaining links between the cricket of the present day and the generation of Mynn and Fuller Pilch. Born at Cambridge on the 1st of March, 1811, Mr. Fenner had reached a ripe old age. In his day he was a capital cricketer, taking his part with no little distinction in big matches, but his fame rests not so much upon what he did in the field, as on the fact that he laid out the beautiful ground at Cambridge, which, though now the property of the University, is nearly always spoken of by old cricketers as FENNER"S. The ground was opened in 1846, and is still, after fifty years" play, one of the best in the world. Mr. Fenner played his first match at Lord"s in 1832, appearing for the Cambridge Town Club against the M. C. C. On that occasion Fuller Pilch played for the Cambridge Club as a given man and with scores of 50 and not out 41, won the match.

William Cuttell, who died on June 10th, was an old Yorkshire professional, who played for the county in 1862 and occasionally in some later seasons. He was born on January 28th, 1835, and was thus at the time of his death in his sixty-second year. He was the father of W. Cuttel, the Nelson bowler, who was tried for Lancashire two or three times last season.

THE REV. J. W. DOLIGNAN, who died on the 15th of June, was in the Eton eleven in 1832, and with a score of fifty-two, contributed in no small degree to Eton"s single innings victory over Harrow at Lord"s. He appeared for the Gentlemen against the Players at Lord"s in 1844.

MR. R. Baker, who died on the 28th of June, was for many years secretary of the Scarborough Club, and well known to everyone visiting the northern watering place during the annual Cricket Festival. Though a player of some skill, he never rose to distinction outside local circles.

THE REV. E. L. FELLOWES, died on the 23rd of July. Born on the 23rd of April, 1845, he was only in his fifty-second year. Though he had long dropped out of public cricket, Mr. Fellowes will be remembered as one of the best Oxford bowlers of his day. He first appeared in the University match in 1865, the Oxford eleven of that year-a splendid combination-including R. A. H. Mitchell, F. R. Evans, W. F. Maitland, F. W. Wright, and R. D. Walker. In this brilliant company Mr. Fellowes did very well, but his triumph came a year later, when, with the side by no means so strong as before, he was chiefly instrumental in gaining Oxford a hard-earned victory over Cambridge by 12 runs. In that match he took thirteen wickets, his success earning him, a week later, a place in the Gentlemen"s eleven against the Players. Owing to illness, he did not play in the University match in 1867, but he appeared in the Oxford eleven again in 1868, when Cambridge won very easily by 168 runs. Possibly he had to some extent lost his bowling by this time, but any way he was quite eclipsed by Mr. E. M. Kenney, who took fourteen wickets and had very bad luck to be on the losing side.

Surgeon-Captain J. E. Trask, who died of cholera, in the Soudan, on July 26th, will be remembered for his connection with Somerset cricket.

Nat. Thompson, one of the most famous players in the early days of Australian cricket, died on September 2nd, in his fifty-ninth year. Nat. Thomposon had a long and brilliant career, playing for New South Wales in Inter-Colonial matches for fully twenty years. He was a fine bat and wicket-keeper, and if the Australians had paid their first visit to England a little earlier than 1878, he would no doubt have been included in the team. He was indeed asked to become a member of Gregory"s eleven, but was not able to undertake the trip.

The REV. E. H. L. WILLES, died on the 9th of September. Mr. Willes was in the Winchester eleven in 1848, and in the Oxford eleven in 1852, 1853, and 1854. On some few occasions also he played for Kent. He is described as having been a free bat, a useful fast bowler, and a good field. His connection with first-class cricket ceased when he went into the Church.

MR. Joseph Coates, who died on September 9th, was for some time identified with the New South Wales as a right-handed slow bowler, and took part in several Inter-Colonial matches in company with Spofforth and Evans. Mr. Coates came to England in 1877, and played in the Whit-Monday match at Lord"s, but did not on that occasion have much chance of distinguishing himself. He was born on November 13th, 1843, and was thus at the time of his death nearing the completion of his fifty-third year.

MR. Calverley Bewicke, died early in September, at the age of 38. He was one of the chief supporters of cricket in Northumberland, and a mainstay of the county club.

Fred Lee, once such a prominent member of the Yorkshire eleven, died in September. Born on the 18th of November, 1856, he was thus a little short of completing his fortieth year. Lee had first-rate powers as a batsman, and for a time did brilliant work, but his career for Yorkshire was unhappily a short one. He first found a place in the county eleven in 1884. Playing in ten matches he scored 334 runs, with an average of nearly 21, and was at once recognised as a batsman of high promise. A year later he reached the front rank, scoring for Yorkshire 818 runs, with an average of 31, and being only second to Ulyett. In 1886 he showed a sad falling off, his batting being so unsuccessful that he only took part in eleven of the best county matches, but the season of 1887 found him in good form again, with an average in first-class county matches of 29. He did fairly well for Yorkshire in all matches in 1888, but his batting largely deserted him in 1889. and then he gradually dropped out of the eleven, playing in only sixteen matches out of thirty in 1890, and not appearing at all in 1891. At his best he was a very brilliant bat, with fine hitting powers.

MR. Percy Stanislaus McDonnell, the announcement of whose death at Brisbane at the end of September, caused a painful shock in English cricket circles, will always be remembered as one of the most brilliant of Australian batsman. He came to England with the teams of 1880, 1882 and 1884, and paid his fourth and last visit in 1888, when he was captain of the eleven. It seems he had been ill for some little time, and that his death was not so sudden as was at first supposed. A splendid hitter and under all circumstances a dangerous run-getter, McDonnell was in proportion a finer bat on bad wickets than on good ones. Indeed it may be questioned if on a pitch thoroughly ruined by rain he has ever been equalled. Time after time during his visits to England his fearless hitting under almost impossible conditions turned the scale in favour of his side, his greatest achievement being the memorable innings of 82 with which he won the match against the North of England at Old Trafford in 1888. Mr. McDonnell was born in London on the 13th of November, 1860, but inasmuch as he was taken out to the Colonies while quite a child, his early cricket associations were entirely Australian. A summary of his doings as a batsman during his four trips to England will no doubt be read with interest.

InningsRunsMost in an inningsAverage
1880 (Eleven-a-Side Matches)1941879 23.4
1882 559008217.16

Herbert Grout, Dunmow, Essex, died on September 25th, aged forty. Grout was at different times engaged as a bowler at Cambridge, and in the early days of the Essex County Club he played once or twice in the eleven.

MR. T. Burbidge, a brother of the famous Surrey cricketer, the late Mr. F. Burbidge, died at Brighton in September, after a long illness.

MR. GEO. H. WEST, died on October 6th, at his residence, Champion Hill, aged forty-five. After many years service on the staff of The Field, he became cricket correspondent of The Times in 1880, a post which he retained to the day of his death. Owing, however, to failing health, he was not, during the last season or two, seen so often at Lord"s or the Oval as in former years. At one time-beginning at the end of the "70"s-Mr. West was editor of Wisden"s Almanack.

MR. O. E. Winslow, who died on the 13th of October, in his forty-seventh year, was at one time a member of the Sussex eleven, and a very brilliant batsman.

MR. B. W. Holman, died on November 4th, aged 24. Mr. Holman, a son of Dr. Holman of Reigate, was educated at Charterhouse School, and was latterly a good deal interested in Surrey cricket. At the time of his death he was acting as aide-de-camp to Sir Arthur Lyon Freemantle, Governor of Malta,

SIR R. O. BRIGHT, who died on November 15th, was a member of the Winchester eleven in 1840 and 1841, and in both those years played at Lord"s against Eton and Harrow. After entering the Army he served all through the Crimean War, and in the Afghan War of 1879-80 did brilliant service in command of the Khyber Line field force.

MR. John Loraine Baldwin, who died on November 25th, at the age of eighty-seven, will always be remembered, in conjunction with Lord Bessborough-then the Hon. F. Ponsonby-Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane-then the Hon. Spencer Ponsonby-and Mr. R. P. Long, as one of the original founders of I Zingari. Mr. Baldwin had the satisfaction in 1895 of assisting at Lord"s at the Jubilee of the famous club, and made some small presentations to those taking part in the match I Zingari v. Gentlemen of England. He was also a great supporter of the Canterbury Cricket Week, and is said to have never missed the week"s festivities till declining health kept him away in 1896. Mr. Baldwin has a further claim on remembrance as chairman of the committee that revised the laws of short whist.

John Gilbert, the veteran Sussex cricketer, died at the end of November, aged about sixty-six. For many years Gilbert was employed by Lord Sheffield, and on the 27th of May, 1884, he played a remarkable innings of 250 not out for the Sheffield Park eleven against Newick. He was only batting one afternoon, and it is reckoned that he ran out nearly 400 runs, the boundaries on the ground being very few. He was much liked and respected at Sheffield Park, and indeed by everyone with whom he came in contact.

THE EARL OF DARNLEY, a great lover of cricket, and father of the Hon. Ivo Bligh, died December 14th. He was in his 70th year.

H. H. Stephenson, the once famous Surrey cricketer, died on December 17th, at Uppingham, where for nearly a quarter of a century he had been coach at the School. In that position he was conspicuously successful. Among the many fine players he helped to train being A. P. Lucas, W. S. Patterson, D. Q. Steel, G. MacGregor, G. R. Bardswell, and C. E. M. Wilson. Stephenson began to play for Surrey about 1854, and took his benefit at the Oval in 1871, when he retired from the active pursuit of the game. He was a first-rate bat, a good wicket-keeper, and during his first few seasons, a most effective bowler-rather fast with a big break from the off. As a batsman he perhaps reached his highest point in 1864-the last year till 1887 in which Surrey stood first among the counties. Apart from his merits as a player and a coach, Stephenson will be remembered as captain of the first English Eleven that went to Australia, the visit being paid in the winter of 1861-62. He was born at Esher on the 3rd of May, 1833, and was certainly one of the most popular cricketers of his day.

MR. T. R. Sutton, who died on July 17th, 1895, was for many years on the staff of the Manchester Sporting Chronicle, and was a familiar figure at Old Trafford. As a writer on cricket he was both capable and impartial. Mr. Sutton was editor of the Athletic News.

© John Wisden & Co