and Lillywhite decided to press ahead with their fourth tour despite their
knowledge of a simultaneous English cricket tour to Australia,
led by Lord Hawke. The latter, known as Vernon's
team, was under the auspices of the Melbourne Club while Shrewsbury's
team was promoted by the Sydney Ground authorities in New South Wales.Melbourne, which had wisely backed down
from bringing a second English touring party the winter before, was not to be
discouraged again now but both ventures suffered a financial calamity.
The rival touring teams combined to play a Test Match against Australia at Sydney in mid-February 1888. This match,
which was won, was played under a compromise leader, Mr W.W.Read. Afterwards
each team played separate matches against the Australian side that would be
In the Test match Australia
was dismissed on a drying wicket for 42, its lowest innings score.
made a heavy loss, thought to be £2400.Shaw and Shrewsbury
were critical of Lillywhite and his failure to meet his share of the deficit.
Wrote Shaw: "…so ended our Australian cricket tours. At the finish we were much
worse off financially than when we had begun."Now Shrewsbury
joined with Andrew Stoddart to promote the first overseas tour by a rugby
union side, playing 35 matches in Australia
and New Zealand
The team was picked by James Lillywhite, Alfred Shawand Arthur Shrewsbury.
and Lillywhite, knowing of the Melbourne
club’s rival tour, quickly signed up Briggs, Lohmann. Read, Shrewsbury and Sherwin (who didn't
tour).For the first time they
included amateur players, and 'poached' Mr Charles (Aubrey) Smith from Hawke's
team for captain. Mr L C Docker took the final place.
Tour Party Announced : ?
Time between selection and departure from England
( ? - 17 September)
Alfred Shaw was a tour organiser but he remained in England.
The team sailed from Plymouth
on 17 September 1887. They joined Mr Newham and Mr Smith who were already on
as were members of the Melbourne Club side.All arrived in Port Adelaide on 25 October, where Shaw &
Shrewsbury's team stayed for two nights before travelling by train to Sydney
Unlike Mr Vernon's side, Shaw’s eleven (as it was usually known) did
not include matches in Tasmania, but it
played in New Zealand.
The team (except Mr Docker who stayed in Australia)
left for New Zealand on
the ss 'Hauroto' on 17 March and after a violent sea crossing arrived
on 22 March to play three odds matches.
Time spent in Australia
October -17 March)
The tourists managed without any assistance until the New Zealand leg of the tour where Docker was
not with the team and Pilling was unable to play in the two matches against Canterbury after
injuring his hand. Two local players, McCormick
and Charleston, were called upon to make up
drying wicket in the Test match at Sydney Australia was dismissed for 42, its
lowest innings score.
•Lohmann (5-17) and Peel (5-18) were the
bowlers responsible, and each man took four more wickets in the second
Table excludes the
exhibition match at Brisbane.
Other first-class matches
The Australian section of the
tour ended in Sydney and the team departed on
Saturday evening 17 March for New Zealand,
again on the Hauroto , arriving in Wellington on the
afternoon of 22 March
The team left Lyttelton
Harbour, Christchurch, on the 'Coptic' on the last day of March 1888,
sailing via Rio de Janeiro (23 April) and Tenerife (7 May), docking at
Plymouth on the morning of 12 May, and travelling on to London by rail.
Brann and Smith were to be in
the team for the football tour of Australia but had to return to England so Stoddart took their place, while Lillywhite and
Shrewsbury also remained to guide the team round Australia.
Time away from England
September -12 May)
“Football’s Forgotten Tour”by John Williamson(2003)covers the Australian
Rules tour that followed Shrewsbury’s cricket
tour and rugby tour, and was available from him at PO Box 1553 in Applecross, 6953, Western Australia
“The First Lions of Rugby”by Sean Fagan (Slattery Media Group, 2013)covers Stoddart’s rugby union tour.