Edward Ward

WARD, REV. EDWARD EWER HARRISON, of Cambridge, prominent in the Cobden match of 1870, died on March 25 at his home at Gorleston, Norfolk, aged 92. His death five days before that of A. C. Bartholomew, of Oxford, left F. A. MacKinnon, Chief of the Scottish Clan of Morayshire, the oldest living Cambridge blue. Mr. MacKinnon, who also played in the 1870 match, now holds seniority among University as well as International cricketers. He went to Australia in 1878 with the team captained by Lord Harris, and took part in the only representative match for the tour, which Dave Gregory's eleven won by ten wickets. H. C. Maul, who died on October 10, aged 90, was another member of that side, but did not play in the game which long afterwards was classed as a Test. Mr. A. J. Webbe, number three for England in that match, was 86 in January this year; he passed away in February.

Born on July 16, 1847, at Timworth Hall, Suffolk, in the family of Harrison, E.E. adopted the surname Ward after leaving Bury St. Edmund's School, when Mr. J. H. Marshall, a Cambridge Blue of 1859, taught him spin and length.

So well did young Harrison master control of his left-hand medium-paced bowling that, despite somewhat moderate physique and indifferent health, he accomplished long spells of successful bowling in University and county cricket. Making the ball go with his arm, he often pitched well to the off and hit the leg stump, delivery from little higher than the shoulder helping this natural flight--so awkward for right-handed batsmen--quite different to imparted swerve with high delivery.

When talking of his University experiences. Mr. Ward used to say: I was never robust, and knew my own strength and weakness, and always wanted to be my own captain. During Oxford's second innings in the 'Cobden' match there was a stand after I had taken the second and third wickets, and I asked to be given a rest. My captain agreed, and when I was put on again I soon took four more wickets.

In an interview at Mulbarton Rectory with an Eastern Daily Press representative some twenty years ago, Mr. Ward fully described Cobden's feat, about which many varying descriptions have appeared. This may be accepted as authentic.

From the first ball a run was made by Hill, and the match stood two to tie, three to win, and three wickets to go down. One hundred pounds to one on Oxford was offered and taken. The second ball Butler hit to cover point, a hard catch which Bourne managed to hold. Two more wickets were left--Stewart's and Belcher's. Cobden's third ball bowled Belcher off his pads. Stewart, the last man, was deadly pale and nervous when he walked past me, padded and gloved. A dead silence came over the players and spectators. Cobden crammed his cap on his head, rushed up to the bowling crease, and bowled what I have always thought was a plain long hop. Anyhow, the bails flew, and amid a scene of the wildest excitement Cambridge won by two runs!

The Hon. Robert Lyttelton, in the Badminton Library account of the match, did justice to Ward's share in the victory. He wrote: The unique performance of Cobden has unduly cast in the shade Mr. Ward's performance in the second innings. It was a good wicket and Oxford had certainly on the whole a good batting eleven. Yet Mr. Ward bowled 32 overs for 29 runs and got six wickets, and of these five were certainly the best batsmen in the side. He clean bowled Messrs. Fortescue, Pauncefote, and Tylecote, and got out in other ways Messrs. Ottaoay, Townshend, and Francis. It is hardly too much to say that in this innings Mr. Ward got the six best wickets and Mr. Cobden the four worst. In the whole match Mr. Ward got nine wickets for 62 runs, and this again, let it be said, on an excellent ground.

Ward was doubtful about playing in the 1871 match, which, curiously enough, made further University cricket history. S. E. Butler took all ten wickets in the Cambridge first innings, another record. The Dark Blues won by eight wickets. Owing to illness Ward wanted to stand down, but his captain, Bill Yardley, of high renown, would not hear of this. That Ward's knowledge of himself was sound came true, for, though bowling 36 overs (four balls each) at a cost of only 38 runs, he did not get a wicket

When playing for Suffolk, Ward met with much success. At Bury he once scored 46 out of 60 for the last wicket after dismissing six men cheaply, and in 1872 he took 13 M.C.C. Wickets for 46 runs. He became Secretary of the Suffolk County Club on its revival in 1876, and, as a prominent member of the side, excelled against Norfolk that year, taking 11 wickets at Bury, and in 1877 returning this extraordinary analysis:

first innings211875
second innings13873

Thirteen I Zingari wickets once fell to him for 47.

Mr. Ward gave 59 years of service to the Church of England, holding appointments in Suffolk, Northumberland, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Norkfolk, his last living being at Mulbarton, where he ministered for 24 years before resigning in 1931.

© John Wisden & Co