Second Test-playing tour of Australia by an
(September 1878 - March 1879)
spring of 1878 Curtis Reid, secretary of Victoria’s Melbourne Cricket Club,
had invited a team of English amateurs described as 'The Gentlemen of
England' to tour Australia, urging that two professional cricketers should
accompany them to ensure that the bowling was strong. The Middlesex
cricketing family, the Walkers, took responsibility for all the tour
arrangements though they were subsequently prevented from participating on
the tour because of a death in the family.
Walker, who would have been captain, assessed that his party "…ought to
hold its own against any but the very strongest team. I certainly think it
would defeat the Australian eleven now over here."
Harris, who had previously accompanied an English cricket side to North America in 1872, was asked to captain the side In
his absence. Harris led the team to victory in the colony matches but lost
heavily the sole "Test match" played against the 1878 touring
the team was its own umpire, a 22 year-old from Victoria, George Coulthard,
who travelled with them from match to match. At Sydney
his decision to dismiss the New
South Wales batsman Murdoch run out, whereupon the
non-striking batsman was called off in protest, provoked uproar. The crowd
invaded the pitch and jostled the team; Lord Harris was twice struck with a
stick, and play was called off for the day while peace was restored.
Eventually, the presumed culprits were charged with assault and fined but his
lordship was not satisfied.
Englishmen, or particularly Harris, held the actions of a few ruffians
against the whole country and he had by then already cancelled the planned
return match against the Australians that would have been the tour’s second
Test match. Wounded feelings between the two sides festered and Harris made
the most of the quarrel, partly because of his indignation that the
Australians were, like his own team, amateurs yet received payment. He would
not be mollified until the following year when he agreed to get up a team to
play the Australian tourists at The Oval.
Middle-order batsmen:Lord Harris, Alexander Webbe, Vernon Royle, Frank
Penn, Francis Mackinnon, Henry Maul
Wicket-keeper: Leland Hone
Medium-paced bowlers: Charles Absolom, Sandford Schultz
‡The absence of a title indicates a
Mr C A Absolom
MrA N Hornby
MrA P Lucas
MrF A Mackinnon
MrH C Maul
MrV P F A Royle
MrS S Schultz
MrA J Webbe
Kt- Kent (4)
Mx- Middlesex (1)
Wk- Warwickshire (1)
Maul never played first-class cricket
Ire- Ireland (1)
age ofteam at time of first Test
(2 January 1879) :
yrs 7 months.
Test Appearances made before the tour
Emmett 2, Ulyett 2, all others 0.
The Melbourne Cricket Club received a letter in May 1878 from
Isaac Walker, in which he stated that he "had got a team together"
but his brother Russell Walker, the Middlesex batsman and a prominent
committeeman at Lord's, played an equal part in choosing the side on behalf
of the Melbourne
Unavailable: Many leading cricketers, such as the Graces, were not
invited.Left-arm fast bowler Arthur
Appleby of Lancashire was wanted but was
unavailable for business reasons. Fred Morley was asked to tour as one of the
professionals but declined to go. Mr F
R Ayres, rather than Mr Frank Penn, was originally expected to tour.
I D Walker's
letter in May said that, as well as himself, his brother Russell Walker and
Thomas Pearson (both of Middlesex) and George Longman (of Hampshire) were
among the ten he had then chosen but none of them toured:
Original selection: Absolom, Harris, Hornby, G H Longman, Lucas, T S Pearson, Penn, I
D Walker, R D Walker, Webbe.
end, because of the death on 4 October of their brother, A.H.Walker, none of
the Walkers felt they could leave England;nor Pearson or Longman.
In Walker’s next list the two professionals had been added
but Penn’s name was missing and David Buchanan, the best gentleman bowler in England,
was included in the team. Mackinnon,
Maul, Schultz and Royle now filled the vacant places.Leland Hone, an Irishman who never appeared for a first-class
county, received a last minute invitation to tour because the team contained
no other wicket-keeper, but he was scarcely up to the job.
Tour Party Announced: September
Withdrawal : David Buchanan -Harris’s county compatriot Penn would join
On 17 October 1878 ten of the
team left Southampton on the P. & O. ship ‘Australia’,
Lady Harris and Mrs Hornby accompanying their husbands. They sailed, via
Gibraltar and Malta, to Suez where they were joined by Messrs Hone, Penn and
Webbe who had travelled overland to Brindisi
before taking a ship on to Suez.
The whole party then sailed
together on the mail ship ‘Assam’, via Galle
and Calcutta, arriving at the Adelaide Bay on 3 December 1878.That evening a coach conveyed them to Adelaide for ten days
of practice before their first match.
Time spent in Australia
(3 December - 11 March
None, although Penn injured his knee at Yarra Bend (Melbourne) on
17 February and could not play again until the match in America.
Though renamed in 1877 as the
Association Ground, the cricket ground at Sydney
continued to be known as Moore
• In the 'Test' match against Australia, 'The ‘Gentlemen
of England' never recovered from their first seven wickets falling for 26
runs, and eventually lost by 10 wickets.
•Nevertheless Emmett and Ulyett were not disgraced.
They bowled 121 overs between them out of the 160 overs bowled, with Emmett
taking 7- 68.
† includes odds matches,
limited overs, and any other non first-class.
Other first-class matches
† Minor matches
The Melbourne Club lost about £150 on the tour. The receipts
showed a gross revenue of £6500 but the club had to meet all the expenses of
the amateurs and give the two professionals a fee of £200 each. The expenses
of the amateurs were reckoned about £500 a man.
Return to England
Harris would not agree to play the scheduled return match against the
Australians at Sydney
(which would have been the second Test match), so the tour ended with the
Melbourne Club's farewell dinner on 8 March.
Emmett and Ulyett returned via Suez
and arrived in England
on 11 May.
March 1879 Harris, Hornby, Hone, Schultz,
Mackinnon, Absolom and Webbe embarked from Queen’s Wharf, Melbourne,
on thess Albion to Dunedin, New Zealand, from where they took a train to Christchurch and, after a visit to Otira Gorge, played a
match against Christchurch.
cricketers then joined the RMS Australiaat Auckland
on 1 April for Honolulu and San Francisco (24 April). Before sailing
from New York
there was a banquet organised by the Melbourne Cricket Club.
Lucas, Hornby, Penn, Webbe, Royle, Schultz and Hone
arrived at Liverpool on 19 May; Harris, Maul, Absolom, and Mackinnon arrived
Time away from England
(17 October - 19 May)
of the tour
“Diary of tour to Australia with Lord Harris’s
team”by V P F A Royle.Copy
of ms in Lancashire CCC library at Old Trafford (Padwick 2571)