Victor Barton

VICTOR BARTON, a member of eleven seasons of the Hampshire eleven, died on March 23rd, at Southampton. Born on October 6th, 1867, he was only in his thirty-ninth year. He was a bombardier in the Royal Artillery when he first became associated with county cricket, being tried for Kent in 1889. At the end of that season he had a great share in gaining for Kent a startling victory over Notts at Beckenham. The match, even after the lapse of over seventeen years, is vividly remembered, as its result caused the championship to end in a tie between Notts, Lancashire, and Surrey. Kent had only 52 to get in the last innings, but the task, simple as it looked on paper, was in reality a heavy one, the pitch being extremely treacherous, Six of the best batsmen were out for 25, and Notts seemed to have the match in their hands, but G. G. Hearne and Barton hit off the remaining runs without further loss. The fact is worth recalling that Hearne took an hour and three-quarters to score 14 not out, his defence against the bowling of Attewell and Flowers earning him the highest praise. Though Barton started in such promising style he never established himself in the Kent team. He played in a few matches in 1890, and then transferred his services to Hampshire, for which county he appeared first in 1892. His success was immediate and pronounced, as he headed the Hampshire batting with an average of 39, and the bowling with nineteen wickets for 14 runs apiece. Thenceforward he was one of the most useful members of the Hampshire eleven, playing on till 1902. After that-by reason, we believe, of poor health-he dropped out. In the season of 1900 he played an innings of 205 against Sussex at Brighton, but nevertheless he was on the losing side. Barton had an attractive style of batting, and few men could drive with more power on the on-side. Fieldsmen who stood at mid-on had a wholesome dread of him.

© John Wisden & Co