Full name Henry Perkins
Born December 10, 1832, Sawston, Cambridgeshire
Died May 6, 1916, New Barnet, Hertfordshire (aged 83 years 148 days)
Major teams Cambridge University, Cambridgeshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm slow (underarm)
|First-class debut||Oxford University v Cambridge University at Lord's, Jul 3-4, 1854 scorecard|
Secretary of MCC for 21 years from 1876, Henry Perkins has remained rather a shadowy figure in the history of Lord's, although only his successor, Sir Francis Lacey, has held office for longer. Sydney Pardon described him in Wisden as "an easy-going autocrat", which might lend some credence to the story, related by Sir Pelham Warner, that when handing over to his successor, Perkins advised Lacey, "Don't take any notice of the Committee!"
"Perkino", as he was known to every-one, was born at Sawston, Cambridgeshire in 1832 and was educated at Bury St. Edmunds and at Trinity College, Cam-bridge, where he won his Blue in 1854, scoring 5 and 27. A hard-hitting, middle-order batsman and, in the fashion of his time, a lob bowler, he played occasionally for Cambridgeshire, in the great days of Thomas Hayward, Carpenter and Tarrant, for Hertfordshire and for MCC. He was called to the Bar in 1858 and was well known on the Norfolk circuit before becoming Secretary of MCC.
During Perkins's reign, Middlesex came to play at Lord's in 1877 and the first Australians won that momentous match against MCC a year later. The Nursery was purchased in 1887 and the Pavilion was built in 1890. His finest hour came in 1891, when the Clergy Orphan School was acquired for the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. This body wanted to extend its operation into the heart of London, and Lord's was literally in its way!
Heated correspondence and stormy public meetings gave way to the more sober work of negotiation, and in the end both sides acquitted themselves with honour. MCC obtained the Orphanage site from the railway company and in exchange granted the right to tunnel under part of the practice ground. Lord's was saved by a whisker -- or rather by a tunnel.
Throughout his long retirement Henry Perkins remained a familiar figure at Lord's and up until his death he was one of the MCC auditors. He died at his home in New Barnet in 1916 in his 84th year.