Copyright
Alfred Edward Thomas Watson.

The Badminton magazine of sports and pastimes online

. (page 41 of 52)
Online LibraryAlfred Edward Thomas WatsonThe Badminton magazine of sports and pastimes → online text (page 41 of 52)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


does not include any tried for the second eleven but not considered
worth a place in first-tlass matches : —

Baldwin, Suffolk. Henderson, Monmouth. Potter, Northants.

Beaumont, Yorkshire. Hobbs, Cambridgeshire. Sharpe, Notts.

Bowley, Northants. Lees, Yorkshire. F. E. Smith, Suffolk.

Diver, Cambridgeshire. Lohmann, Middlesex. W. C. Smith, Oxford.

Gooder, Middlesex. Lockwood, Notts. Southerton, Sussex.

Hay ward, Cambridgeshire. C. Marshall, Derbyshire. Wood, Kent.

It is curious to note that it was the persistency with which the
then selection committee of Surrey chose Henderson and Baldwin
that prevented so many great amateurs from finding places in the
team, and therefore some of them qualified elsewhere. For example,
Mr. C. B. Fry writes: "Once I played for Surrey, being qualified by
the accident of birth. No doubt I would have played again had I
been invited.'* What was Surrey's loss proved the gain of Sussex.
Beaumont at one time was in the Household Cavalr)'. Lockwood's
career, which has never been systematically told, would reveal a van'
determined character combined with superb technical ability,but ham-
pered by a violent temper. Some of the balls that he sent down when
really on his mettle have been as unplayable as any ever delivered.

On the day when Surrey twice dismissed Yorkshire after them-
selves having amassed some mammoth score, Lockwood bowled
Lord Hawke with a ball that broke back after pitching six inches
outside the oflf-stump. With that appreciation for ability in oppo-
nents which helps to make him so beloved, the Yorkshire captain
said to Lockwood as he passed him on the way to the pavilion :

** That was di pretty good one."

** Yes, it was a sneezer," replied the other grimly as he inwardly
hoped to repeat it — which he did, for it was his day and he had found
his spot.

I have been told by grumblers in the pavilion — and what
pavilion is free from them ? — of county teams without a single man
born in the county. Having myself studied the pages of Wisden, I
can assert that I have never come across such a side. Worcester-
shire, when rather short of Fosters, has occasionally shown a some-
what large majority of residents over natives in the composition 01
its eleven, and Leicestershire owes something to the acquired nature,
as Messrs. de Trafford, V. F. S. Crawford, with Whiteside and Gill
amongst others, are thus supplied.



Digitized by



Google



A CRICKET PROBLEM 533

At one time it looked as though Australian cricketers tried to
obtain places on tours to this country in order to settle down to
qualify here. That, however, was a passing phase, for after the com-
plete failure of Mr. J. J. Ferris in county cricket when representing
Gloucestershire a marked abatement was to be noticed. It is,
however, no secret that inducements were held out to Mr. Victor
Trumper to stay among us ; but it is curious that the bulk of those
professionals who, born in Australia, qualified for our counties
have not participated in Colonial tours. An amusing incident, now
probably forgotten, happened in 1878 when the first Australian team
was playing at Lord's and Gloucestershire at the Oval: Dr. E. M.
Grace and Dr. W. G. Grace swooped down on Midwinter, the
giant Colonial, and triumphantly bore him off in a four-wheeler to
represent the county. Among Australians who have played for
Universities, counties, or in other first-class fixtures on English sides,
may be mentioned Messrs. F. R. Spofforth (Derbyshire), C. W. Rock
(Cambridge and Warwickshire), J. J. Ferris (Gloucestershire), R. C.
Ramsey (Cambridge and Gentlemen), H. H. Massie (Gentlemen t;. I
Z.), H. Hale (Gloucestershire and Cambridge), W. L. Murdoch
(Sussex), R. J. Pope, G. L. Wilson (Sussex and Oxford), S. M. J.
Woods (Cambridge and Somersetshire), Dr. R. Mac Donald
(Leicestershire), L. O. S. Poidevin (Lancashire), as well as Midwinter
(Gloucestershire), Tarrant, Trott, Roche; Phillips (Middlesex),
O'Halloran (M.C.C.), Dwyer (Sussex), Cuflfe (Worcestershire), and
Kermode (Lancashire).

Some in the foregoing list will never be forgotten as long as
cricket is played, and it will be universally hoped that Mr. W. R.
Murdoch, who last summer averaged 45 at Repton, will in first-class
company prove ** a chip of the old block,'* and for his father's sake
he is sure to get a full trial at Cambridge. It is only right that the
sons and brothers of great cricketers should be repeatedly tried,
cases in point being Messrs. W. G. Grace, junr., G. N. Foster, R.A.
Studd, A. H. Hornby, and E. Rowley, some of whom have done
extremely well. Of course in the case of Mr. C. L. Townsend, the
son has proved of finer cricket mettle than his father, Mr. F. Towns-
end, who was a capital bat in the days when the Graces and
Gloucestershire seemed more inseparably associated than the Fosters
and Worcestershire are to-day.

There is no need to tell tales out of school how fathers have at
times tried to barter with committees that if their sons play for the
county they should be provided for. Just as a few schoolmasters
owe their billets to their skill in cricket, so a very few amateurs have
obtained excellent positions because they happened to be adepts in
the game ; but it must be borne in mind that in nearly every case



Digitized by



Google



534 THE BADMINTON MAGAZINE

they have proved worthy of the offices in which they found them-
selves, and merit has justified what was first given through enthu-
siasm for their prowess. On the whole a considerable percentage
of prominent men have been in their time enthusiastic cricketers,
and many an earnest worker has all his life been strengthened
because for a longer or shorter time he has participated in first-class
fixtures.

One of the least conventional appearances by qualification was
that of Alfred Shaw for Sussex. He himself wrote : " It must have
seemed strange to the cricketing public that a man of fifty-two
should, after seven years' absence from first-class cricket, reappear
with an adopted county. It appeared strange to myself at the time,
nor was it without some qualms of conscience that I donned flannels
on behalf of a county in which I was not born." Yet that season,
1895, he headed the Sussex bowling averages with 41 wickets at a
cost of a little over 12 runs each. One curious thing was that in the
match in which he reappeared, v. Lancashire at Old Trafford, when
Mr. W. Newham made a wonderful score of no right through
the Sussex first innings, no one else obtained double figures until
Shaw came in last and made 16, by his defence allowing the count}'
secretary to run into the coveted century. When he and Walter
Humphries started the bowling in one match in 1896, the united
ages of the two in charge of the attack was one hundred. Even m
the days of old Clarke such a record as this was probably not
created in county cricket.

There is not the least doubt that Lockwood and Sharpe would
have gone to Sussex instead of to Surrey had sufficient inducement
been offered, but at that time Lord Sheffield wielded financial
authority, and in the most sportsmanlike way he desired to tram up
Sussex-born men. Still, it is only just to Alfred Shawns discrimma-
tion to ascribe to him the acquisition by the southern executive
Marlow, George Bean, Killick, and Relf. Three tables ofqualifi^
tions having already appeared in this article ; a fourth shall not
added for Sussex, though it might show nearly a baker's do^en; "^
would Warwickshire, especially at the outset of its first-class career,
fall much behind.

One of the landmarks in any vista of qualification must he
temporary excitement that was caused by the prospect of Mr. '^•
MacLaren throwing in his lot with Hampshire. Lancashire ^'^
however, far too proud of the old Harrovian to let him go, i^ ^'
they were more fortunate than Worcestershire, who had ^^
Mr. W. H. B. Evans appear in the southern side. In recent y^^^^ ^^
a nice point whether Gloucestershire, Middlesex, or Hampsh^^^
played a greater number of individuals; but whereas the two lO



Digitized by



Google



A CRICKET PROBLEM 535

in August at least have regular sides, the Hampshire eleven seems
almost kaleidoscopic in its variations. Braund's possibly offers the
very best illustration of a deliberate and thoroughly justifiable
transference. As had been the case with Brockwell, Braund for a
long while hung on the fringe of the Surrey eleven, and in his
instance there seemed no possibility of getting a permanent place. A
selection committee naturally prefer trying a colt to giving a further
trial to a man whose capacity they consider has been more or less
approved in previous summers. Few things are so difficult as to
judge comparative merit in cricketers not yet accustomed to play
under first-class conditions.

Rhodes and Cordingley were both brought up to Lord's in May
1898, and the Hon. F. S. Jackson had a few balls from each to see
which should be given the last place for Yorkshire v. M.C.C. He
selected Rhodes, though not then foreseeing what a gap lay between
him and the other. Sussex eventually effected a transfer of the
latter, but without satisfactory result. The old Surrey selection
committee have before now heard some severe rebukes, but it would
be extreme to lay to their charge heavy blame in the case of Braund.
There are often on the fringe of county cricket youngsters who can
field smartly, make a few runs in good style, and bowl a bit. Occa-
sionally one seems to obtain that almost indefinable something which
makes him first-class. Many transfers are effected in the hope of
finding this. In Braund's case, as in that of Lees, eventual triumph
rewarded the county with the foresight and the available cash.

Other colonies besides Australia have given England a goodly
quota of cricketers. The West Indies claim Mr. P. F. Warner, and
during the tour of 1900 in this country the side was much dis-
appointed at his not assisting them on an occasion when he had
three spare days. After that tour, Mr. OUivierre remained in
England to support Derbyshire. He was by general consent the best
bat, and in 1904 he headed the county averages, scoring 321 for
once out v. Essex. Few batsmen are more essentially hard-wicket
cricketers. South Africa gave Hampshire Llewellyn, a cricketer
who at first seemed another George Lohmann ; but, perhaps slightly
too sensitive for the struggle, almost too keen for the fray, his sub-
sequent all-round form has fallen below the standard he himself gave
us reason to anticipate. Mr. R. O. Schwarz, of course, learnt his
cricket at St. Paul's, but it is permissible to say that he evolved his
swerves from his own intuition after seeing those of Mr. B. J. T.
Bosanquet. To call him a slavish imitator would be to detract from
his marked originality. Few brighter bats come into county cricket
the holiday time than Mr. C. O. H. Sewell, who never found the
transference from matting to grass wickets affecting his vivacity



Digitized by



Google



536 THE BADMINTON MAGAZINE

as a run-getter. It is a matter for regret that his name has not
figured in representative matches. In the series of Test Matches just
played in South Africa, Vogler, who has represented the Colonies, is
qualifying for Middlesex.

It must not be forgotten that change of county among amateurs
is due to the fact of their cricket being an agreeable feature in an
existence which has necessitated a transference of residence. An
illustration is afforded by the case of Major Hedley, R.E., who has
represented Kent, Somersetshire, Devonshire, and Hampshire in the
course of his military occupations. The only amateur in modern
cricket who has played for four first-class counties is Mr. G. N. Wyatt,
who has turned out for Kent, Gloucestershire, Surrey, and Sussex.
In the days before the restriction was so careful, Southerton, for
example, must have played for nearly all the southern shires.
Lord Dalmeny, M.P., is the youngest cricketer who has represented
three counties, as he appeared for Bucks, Middlesex, and Surrey
before he was twenty-three. The late Mr. J. S. Russel told me that
he fancied his own case was unique, for he had in turn played for
the Gentlemen of Ireland, the Gentlemen of Scotland, and the
Gentlemen of England. A certain laxity has always been shown in
making up Scotch teams against the Australians ; for example,
in 1880 the present Lord Darnley, then playing for Kent, and
Mr. A. G. Steel, then representing Lancashire, both played at
Edinburgh, whilst last summer Lord Dalmeny added yet a fourth
to his geographical appearances, and Mr. Gregor MacGr^or, the
Middlesex captain, kept wicket, under the birth qualification of
course.

Others who have played for three counties are Rev. R. T.
Thornton (Devonshire, Kent, and Wiltshire), Messrs. A. H. Heath
(Gloucestershire, Middlesex, and Staffordshire), J. Cranston (Glouces-
tershire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire), A. P. Lucas (Surrey,
Middlesex, and Essex), G. W. Hillyard (Middlesex, Herts, and
Leicestershire), O. G. Radcliffe (Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, and
Wiltshire), G. Strachan (Gloucestershire, Surrey, and Middlesex),
with S. F. Barnes (Warwickshire, Lancashire, and Staffordshire),
Bowley (Northants, Surrey, and Dorsetshire), F. H. Sugg (Yorkshire,
Derbyshire, and Lancashire), Hallam (Leicestershire, Lancashire, and
Notts), and Diver (Surrey, Warwickshire, and South Wales, having
been born in Cambridgeshire). It is noticeable that of these only
four were chiefly valued for their bowling. Of the twelve, four have
been chosen for England, and the majority have at one time or
another figured in Gentlemen v. Players, whilst Mr. A. P. Lucas,
Mr. O. G. Radcliffe, and Barnes have been on tour in Australia.

Considerable research has revealed no previous attempt to deal



Digitized by



Google



A CRICKET PROBLEM 537

with a topic that is always with crick'^ters. If a freshman at a
University shows promising form it is wonderful how quickly he is
snapped up by some county. When Mr. H. D. G. Leveson-Gower was
at Oxford, he had practically his choice to throw in his lot with
Kent or Surrey, with what seemed reversionship of either county
captaincy. It has also been told me — I know not with what
accuracy — that before Northamptonshire became first class efforts
were made to purchase the services of Thompson on behalf of a
county further south. Certainly that professional had no reason to
complain that his cricket was not appreciated, a remark also apply-
ing to the late Mr. Lucius Gwynne and Mr. Ross from Ireland.
Still, these are exceptions, and it is only natural that for representa-
tive cricket those accustomed to participate in big matches should
have the preference. When in England Mr. F. H. Bohlen, the
American bat, has often played for M.C.C.; and the great Australian
Mr. H. H. Massie appeared in the Jubilee Match of I Zingari.

From an Australian correspondent comes the story — ^judging by
form it must be fable — that in March 1905, when Mr. P. H. Newland
sailed for England, he is reported to have observed that possibly he
might settle down if some county wanted him over here. Even to
have brought him as reserve wicket-keeper shows how seriously the
colonial managers under-estimated our standard with the gloves.
Certainly no second eleven would find a place for *'the stumper
from Adelaide.** Mr. Kelly's marvellous immunity from injury had
materially jeopardised the repute of Mr. A. E. Johns in this country,
but last tour it undoubtedly contributed to stave off disaster.

If natural curiosity was baffled over the details of the meeting
of the Advisory County Committee at Lord's on March 27, it is
only right and proper that the proceedings should be private, in
order that the delegates can fearlessly and frankly express their views
without fear of misrepresentation through compulsory abbreviation
in reporting. In the official minutes, however, it is stated that the
revision of the rules concerning qualification was discussed and the
whole matter referred to the M.C.C. committee with a request to
them to revise them where necessary. This is a most sensible course
of action, and the present article, whilst reviewing the recent aspect
of this topical subject, in no way endeavours to decide what is now
sub judice. On the whole it m:iy be said that among a large per-
centage of good an occasional leaven of evil creates a dispropor-
tionate amount of friction which some more stringent legislation is
calculated to arrest ; but qualification remains a most difficult
problem.



NO. cxxx, vol., i^xu.-^May 1906 O O



Digitized by



Google



FALCONERS AND ATTENDANTS

FALCONRY IN THE FAR EAST

BY F. J. NORMAN

Judging by the amount and character of the literature they pos-
sess, falconry must have been held in notably high repute by the
Japanese at no very distant date. But, like so many other things
Japanese, this grandest of all old sports is now pretty nigh defunct
among them, and for this there can be little doubt the revolution of
1868 is mainly, if not entirely, responsible. For as it brought about
the abolition of the feudal system, so long in vogue in that country,
it also brought about the abolition of those chances for a countr)*
life the nobles of Japan once enjoyed, and without which this sport
can never be pursued aright. Many of the older nobles and
samurai, however, still keep hawks; but more, I fancy, because of the
atmosphere of romance and chivalry encircling the bird than for
any more tangible purpose.



The illustrations accompanying this artic'e were taken from an old dado or frieze, depiditi
the tale of a day's hawking in Japan of the Tenmei era, or in other words of the early fift if
the eighteenth century. The artist responsible for the work was one Ohio, and guiteaftmons
man of his time. Though stained and worm-eaten, the c lours on the scroll, some thirty or mm
feft in length, are $till marvellously fre§h and beautiful.



Digitized by



Google



FALCONRY IN THE FAR EAST 539

One such old friend of mine, a great authority upon the pur-
suits and pastimes of the bushi, or warrior class of old Japan,
who went in very extensively for rockwork in his garden, used to
keep a magnificent specimen of a large fish-hawk, or osprey,
tethered to a huge boulder of granite that projected over his orna-
mental waters. The effect, especially when his tame carp and
tortoise were driven past the base of the rock, was really superb.
The fierce and wild excitement of the bird, and the attitudes that
excitement induced it to strike, were an ever-fruitful source of
interest to the dear old man; for, though more than usually well
endowed with this world's wealth, he was an artist by occupation,
and one, moreover, who devoted his whole time and attention to



A nobleman's cortege



the depicting of hawks and eagles alone. Seated in his little studio,
the most elaborately rustic affair imaginable, he would study, brush
in hand, every move of the bird, and when something particularly
striking took his fancy it was immediately, and with rare skill and
rapidity, transferred to his Japanese equivalent of a canvas. The
result was, as will be understood by anyone possessing the slightest
knowledge of Far Eastern art, that my old friend's hawks and
eagles simply lived upon his canvases ; and, though I often examined
his sketches, I never saw two of them representing a hawk in exactly
the same position; and yet one often hears people declare that
Japanese art is conventional and untrue to nature.

O O 2



Digitized by



Google



540 THE BADMINTON MAGAZINE

Other old friends of mine also kept hawks — men of the same
good old school in contradistinction to the o'er pushful and too
often anything but interesting species who now rule and guide the
destinies of their native land, but who, while they undoubtedly have
contributed much towards its advancement along worldly lines,
have, on the other hand, left undone much that helped to make
the Japan of their fathers' days, if not actually the land of chivaln\
at least so of romance and interest. But it was my grand old



FALCON£RS



hatamotOj or retainer-noble of the Tokugawa clan, who taught me
all I ever learnt about falconry as it was pursued in Japan, and, it
may also be added, about many other no less interesting subjects
pertaining to the sports, manners, and customs of its people. Jost
how we drifted into friendship I can scarcely say; for, like the
majority of his fellow-countrymen, my old friend was by no means
a lover or admirer of Western folk. I met him first, if I remember
aright, at a semi-private fencing tourney in which I had been



Digitized by



Google



FALCONRY IN THE FAR EAST 541

invited to take a part ; and it was perhaps that fact, and that I had
spent some years in India prior to my arrival in Japan, that attracted
his attention towards me. For I must here explain that all Japanese
take a keen interest in everything relating to India; and no wonder,
considering the great benefits that have been conferred upon their
country by the introduction of Buddhism into it. It not only made
scholars and gentlemen of their old-time warrior class, but so
softened and refined the amenities of life in old Japan that her
artists now stand second to none in their own peculiar lines.

Inviting me to call upon him. I did so, and as I had seen a
little hawking in India when acting as a sort of tutor-companion to



REFRESHMENT BY THE WAYSIDE



the late Maharana of Dholepore, we very naturally foregathered
over the subject. From all he told me I judge the sport was intro-
duced into Japan from China; but, taking into consideration the
enclosed and general woodland nature of the country prevailing in
the former empire, I hardly think the Japanese were ever such keen or
skilful falconers as the Manchus have always been, and undoubtedly
are still. On the other hand, though necessarily based and built
upon the same governing ideas, the hawking furniture my old friend
used to take such a pride and delight in showing me was immeasur-
ably superior to anything of the kind I ever saw in China. Being



Digitized by



Google



542 THE BADMINTON MAGAZINE

an exotic sport, however, only the highest classes in Japan could
ever have gone in for falconry, while from what I have seen even
the poorest of the poor pursue it at times in China, at least in
Northern China. There lived, for instance, close to the old obser-
vatory in Peking, which the *' mailed-fist " expedition of Ger-
many so ruthlessly destroyed, an old Manchu bannerman; and
though one of the dirtiest individuals I ever came across, he was
without doubt as keen and skilful a falconer as ever lived. That his
methods were hardly of a high sporting order ma)* be inferred from
the fact that he flew his birds for profit, and I have seen him brin*;
lo bag no fewer than five or six pigeons within the space of that



HURRYING TO THB SCBNB OK ACTION



half- hour immediately prior to and following the setting of the sun,
during which all sensible birds are hieing themselves home to their
roosting places. He would station himself on the Tartar city wall,
just behind the parapet and close to one of the embrasures, and
when a homeward-bound blue-rock came within reach he would
literally hurl his hawk at it. How that bird, a species of sparrow-
hawk, recovered his wing in time to make good his grip on hisquarr}'
(for a strike in the ordinary sense of the term it certainly was not)
was always a wonder and surprise to me. But he had other methods
also, and certainly not the least interesting was the way he flew a
tiny hobby at such small game as sparrows, linnets, and hoopoes.
Seeing, say, a sparrow, he would stalk it till he came within some



Digitized by



Google



FALCONRY IN THE FAR EAST 543

twenty paces from it ; then, casting off his hobby — which I may here
remark had a long, thin, and exceedingly light leash or guide-line of
silk attached to its jesses — he would watch intently ; and if in his
opinion the quarry was likely to get away, he would check the flight
of his little pet — and a jollier and dearer little pet in the shape of
hawk's flesh surely never lived than that sime little hobby.

That the Northern Chinese fly their birds at higher and nobler
game than pigeons and sparrows I have also been witness of, for I
once saw a hawking party of them kill a hare, and if necessities of
travel and time had not prevented me I would doubtless have seen
them kill some wild ducks. That they train falcons and eagles for



STALKING THE QUARRY



Online LibraryAlfred Edward Thomas WatsonThe Badminton magazine of sports and pastimes → online text (page 41 of 52)