Lord Frederick Beauclerk
Frederick Beauclerk (Lord Beauclerk)
May 08, 1773, London
April 22, 1850, Westminster, London, (aged 76y 349d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Slow
Trinity College, Cambridge
Lord Frederick Beauclerk was one of the great characters from the early days of MCC. He was a descendant of King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwynn, and although he was a cleric by profession, he also claimed to have made at least £600 a year - a colossal sum at the time - from playing cricket for stakes. He was one of the best single-wicket cricketers of his time: a fine batsman, his style was rather scientific, in the more orthodox manner of the professionals, while his under-arm bowling was very slow, but extremely accurate - and he could get the ball to rise abruptly off a length. Lord Frederick was the second president of MCC in 1826 and one of the handful who actually played while in office. He made eight centuries on the first Lord's ground, at Dorset Square, which was an exceptional achievement in an era of low-scoring and uneven pitches. It was Lord Frederick who persuaded MCC to call a meeting to ban round-arm bowling in 1822, even though he had been known to claim wagers when playing alongside the earliest round-armers like John Willes.
However, he was a "foul-mouthed, dishonest man who was one of the most hated figures in society ... he bought and sold matches as though they were lots at an auction". So unpopular was he, that it is said that a notorious criminal once refused to travel in the same coach as him on account of his "fluent and expressive vocabulary". Another source said he was "cruel unforgiving, cantankerous and bitter". When he died, in 1850, The Times didn't even give him an obituary.
Batting & Fielding