William Pickering

MR. WILLIAM PERCIVAL PICKERING, an old Cambridge Blue, famous as a cover-point in the days when fielding was considered of as much importance as batting and bowling, died on August 16th, at Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of eighty-five. From 1834 to 1838 he was in the eleven at Eton, where he was christened Bull Pickering, to distinguish him from his brother E.H., who greatly distinguished himself in the cricket field in after years. Mr. Pickering was the Eton captain in his last two seasons, and even as a schoolboy he won fame as a magnificent field. His batting and fielding gained him a place in the Cambridge eleven in 1840 and 1842, and twice afterwards he represented the Gentlemen at Lord"s, while for four years he played occasionally for Surrey. The critics were unanimous in saying that he was the greatest cover-point of his time, and those among them who had an opportunity of seeing the Rev. Vernon Royle, who was undoubtedly the best cover-point of more recent times, bracketed the two men as equally good. Mr. Pickering was a Surrey man, and one of the original members of the County Cricket Club; he was also one of the original members of I. Zingari. At the meeting at the Horns Tavern, Kennington, in October, 1845, when the Surrey County Club was formed, he stated that its object was to give the cricketers of Surrey an opportunity of proving that they inherited or retained much, if not all, the strength of play for which their forefathers in the game had been so distinguished. His career as a cricketer ended in 1852 as far as England was concerned, but in Canada, his new home, he played regularly until 1857, taking part in all the matches against The United States. It was chiefly through his efforts that George Parr"s team visited Canada in 1859. He returned to England for a few years, during which he served on the Committee of the M.C.C., but Canada again claimed him. For some years before his death he was in the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It will interest collectors of cricket literature to know that he wrote a little book entitled Cricket Wrinkles, and dedicated to the boys of a Toronto school. This notice of Mr. Pickering appeared in The Field. Mr. 'Bull" Pickering was not the only cricketing member of his family, for his elder brother, Mr. Edward Hayes Pickering, played for Eton in 1824-5-6, for Cambridge in 1827 and 1829, and for the Gentlemen against the Players from 1836 until 1844, whilst a nephew, Mr. F. P. U. Pickering, was a member of Mr. R. A. FitzGerald"s team which visited America in 1872. Mr. W. P. Pickering was born at Clapham, in Surrey, on October 25th, 1819.

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