Obituaries in 1891

Joseph Hunter, who was for several seasons a regular member of the Yorkshire eleven, died on January 4. He was only in his thirty-fourth year, having been born on October 21, 1857. Joseph Hunter followed George Pinder as the regular wicket-keeper in the Yorkshire team, and was in turn succeeded by his brother David. Though never taking the same rank as Pilling and Sherwin, Hunter, at his best, was good enough for any county team, and it is a matter for regret that his career should have been so short. For some little time before his death he had completely dropped out of first-class cricket, but continued to make occasional appearances for the Scarborough Club. He visited Australia in the winter of 1884-85 as wicket-keeper to Shaw and Shrewsbury"s second team.

George Wells, better known to the cricketers of his day as Tiny Wells died on January 23 in the sixtieth year of his age. He was born on November 2, 1831. Wells was probably one of the shortest men who ever acquired a reputation in the cricket-field. It would be an exaggeration to say that he was ever quite a first-rate player, but for a number of seasons he batted with considerable success, being associated with both Sussex and Middlesex. It was a peculiarity of his batting that he took his guard close to the stumps, and then came forward to meet the ball. He was a member of the first English team that went to Australia, under the captaincy of H. H. Stephenson, in the season of 1861-62.

J. W. Hill, of Stockton, died in January, aged twenty-three years.

Charles Bentley died at Torquay on February 2, aged seventy-six years.

Edward Barratt, born at Stockton-on-Tees April 21,1844, died February 27. Barratt first came prominently before the public in the season of 1872, when he played for North against South in the first important match that ever took place at Prince" Ground. His slow bowling - left hand with a tremendous break - caused a great sensation, and in the South"s innings he took eight wickets for 60 runs. After being attached for one season to the ground staff at Lord"s, he transferred his services to the Oval, and in due course became qualified for Surrey by residence. His connection with the Surrey eleven certainly formed the best and most prosperous part of his career. Playing first for the county in 1876 he remained a regular member of the team till the end of 1884; then, on the appearance of Lohmann and Beaumont, he gradually dropped out of county cricket. Perhaps his best year for Surrey was 1883, when, in the whole of the county"s engagements, he took no fewer than 176 wickets. The most remarkable feat he ever accomplished was in the match at the Oval in 1878 between the first Australian team and an eleven of the Players of England, on which occasion he took in the first innings of the Australians all the ten wickets. At his best Barratt was certainly a very fine slow bowler, being able on certain wickets to get more work on the ball than almost any other cricketers of his generation.

Richard Pilling, the greatest English wicket-keeper of his day, died on March 28. He was born on July 5, 1855, and was thus in his thirty-sixth year. Some few details of Pilling"s brilliant career were given in WISDEN"S ALMANACK for 1891, when his portrait appeared, in company with those of Blackham, Sherwin, Wood, and M"Gregor. Pilling made his first appearance for Lancashire in August, 1877, and was at once recognised as a wicket-keeper of the highest class. Succeeding Mr. Jackson in the county team, he was the regular wicket-keeper for Lancashire from his match in 1877 down to the end of the season of 1889, and, no doubt, but for the unfortunate failure of his health, would have retained the post for several years longer. Unhappily in the winter of 1889-90 he caught a severe cold while taking part in a football match. An attack of influenza and inflammation of the lungs followed, and from this he never recovered. His constitution, by no means a robust one at the best, broke down completely, consumption developing itself with great rapidity. He was quite unable to play cricket during 1890, and at the end of the season, as a last chance of restoring him to health, the Lancashire County Club sent him on a voyage to Australia. Unfortunately the disease had obtained too strong a hold to be alleviated, and when Pilling came back to England in March, it was seen at once that his case was quite hopeless. Indeed, he had only been in England two or three days before he died. Pilling"s career is too fresh in the memory of cricket readers to render any description of it necessary, but we may repeat the opinion we expressed last year that among the wicket-keepers of his day his only superior was Blackham. During his career he paid two professional visits Australia- as a member of Shaw and Shrewsbury"s first combination in 1881-82, and with the fourth in 1887-88.

Edward Lumb, of Huddersfield, died on April 5, aged thirty-eight. Owing to delicate health Mr. Lamb had for several seasons fallen out of public matches, but at one time he was one of the best known amateurs in Yorkshire. During the season of 1883 he played with great success for the county, and seemed likely to prove a most valuable acquisition to the team, but unfortunately he was soon afterwards compelled by the state of his health to give up cricket. At his best he was an admirable batsman of the defensive school, and was seen to the utmost advantage against fast bowling.

G. E. Jeffery ( Rugby and Cambridge University), who was born at Eastbourne on February 9, 1853, died on April 8. Though never in the highest class, Mr. Jeffery occupied a fairly prominent position among the amateurs of his day, and will be chiefly remembered for the important share he had in the Oxford and Cambridge match of 1873. In the first innings of Oxford Mr. Jeffery took eight wickets for 44 runs, but in the end Cambridge lost the match by three wickets.

George Parr ( Notts) died June 23. As he was born at Radcliffe-on-Trent on May 22, 1826, he had, at the time of his death, completed his sixty-fifth year. Readers of WISDEN"S ALMANACK will not need to be told that George Parr for many years occupied an undisputed position as the best bat in England, succeeding Fuller Pilch in that enviable distinction, and holding his own until he, in turn, was supplanted by Hayward and Carpenter. His career as a public player was a very long one, commencing in 1844 and not coming to an end until 1871. He lived all his life in his native village, and the attendance at his funeral there showed the respect in which he was held. With the wreaths on his coffin was placed a branch from the tree at the Trent bridge ground which has for a generation past been known as George Parr"s Tree. This name it acquired in connection with the great batsman"s leg-hitting. Parr was for many years captain of the Notts county eleven, a post which, on his retirement, was given to Richard Daft, and he was also for a long period captain of the old All-England Eleven, a position in which he succeeded William Clarke, the first organiser of the team. George Parr went to America with the English team in 1859, and he was also captain of the splendid eleven which journeyed to Australia in the winter of 1863-64. Among the many brilliant innings that he played for his county, the highest, and the one most often referred to, was 130 against Surrey at the Oval in 1859.

John Mullagh died in August. Mullagh was the best batsman in the Aboriginal Eleven which visited England in 1868. He played on one or more occasions for Victoria against New South Wales in the Inter-Colonial Matches.

DR. PETER ROYLE, a keen supporter of Lancashire cricket (father of the Rev. Vernon Royle), died November 12.

THE REV. F. B. WRIGHT died August 5, aged eighty-three.

Oliver Claude Pell ( Cambridge University and M. C. C.) died October 17.

H. E. Mayo born in South Lambeth, November 13, 1847, died on October 31. Mr. Mayo played for Surrey in 1869, and, without ever taking a high position, was a very fair all-round cricketer.

© John Wisden & Co