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Mr. A. N. Hornby. It would hardly be possible to find a more complete embodiment of the general, and happily still growing, taste for physical culture than Mr. Albert Neilson Hornby, cricketer, football player, and sportsman in the best sense of the word. Of a good old sporting stock, nurtured in the best school for sport of every kind, Mr. Albert Hornby has been an athlete from his youth, nay, almost from his cradle, upwards. It is, however, as a cricketer that he has been, and perhaps is, best
VOL. LIII.-NO. 364.
known. Next perhaps to that of Mr. W. G. Grace, there is no name more familiar, none regarded with more respect, we may without exaggeration say with greater affection, than that of Mr. A. N. Hornby. Nor is his reputation confined to Great Britain. He has played a distinguished part on the cricket fields of Australia, of America, and Canada-in fact, his fame is cosmopolitan, and his enthusiasm and zeal for the game have become a byword wherever cricket is played or cricketers are gathered together. Albert Hornby, as we have already said, is the scion of a house known for generations for its active sympathy with field sports of every kind. Half a century ago The Hornbys were as well known in the world of athletics as they are to-day. Hardly a cricket match in the neighbourhood of the Dee or Mersey but found one or more members of the family on one side or the other. This is only another instance of the heredity of cricket tastes. A son of Mr. W. H. Hornby, a Blackburn manufacturer, he was born forty-three years ago in that town. Like his brother before him, it was intended that he should go to Harrow School, and there, after a preliminary course of tuition at Elstree—the great nursery for Harrow-he was duly entered. Even at Elstree, though the smallest of boys, he was already looked upon as one of the cricketers of the future, and many stories are told of his .exceptional capacity. By the time he was sixteen he had made his way into the Harrow eleven. Our own recollection of him extends as far back as his early school days, and it is difficult to recall him as he was then, beyond a doubt, one of, if not the smallest cricketer that ever figured at Lord's in an Eton and Harrow match. It will not be easy, indeed, for any one who knows his splendid physique of later days to picture the diminutive player who fielded alone on the on side for Harrow against Eton at Lord's, in 1864. Yet it is on record that he was only four feet and a half in height, and that he weighed, bat and ball, only six stone; though small in stature, he was the personification of pluck, and his popularity at Harrow was universal. The word fear was unknown in his vocabulary, and it is certain that he could take his own part with boys ever so much bigger than himself. His scholastic career was not a brilliant one, and it is said of him with a good deal of truth that he could make better use of his feet than his brains. Notwithstanding his small stature, however, he made a good show on his first appearance at Lord's; and Mr. Stow and he, as Harrovians well remember, put on 62 runs for the first Harrow wicket. He only remained at Harrow long enough to be in the eleven two years; and, unfortunately for University cricket, he did not go up either to Oxford or Cambridge. On leaving school he went into his father's business, but the work was not congenial to his tastes, and he soon gave it up. Fortunately it was not necessary that he should
devote himself to a business or a profession, and as a man of means as well as leisure, he has been enabled to give up a great part of his time to cricket, football, and other cognate sports. His first appearance for Lancashire was in 1867, since which time he has had an active and uninterrupted connection with county cricket. It is twenty years since he was selected to represent the Gentlemen against the Players; and even now, though he is, of course, not quite as active, his eye not quite so clear after a quarter of a century's prominent participation in the game, he is as keen as he was in his Harrow days, and is the same unselfish, energetic, and high-spirited cricketer as he was twenty years ago. To attempt to enumerate his many brilliant performances on the cricket field, at the length they would deserve, would require a whole number of BAILY. By his work he will be known, and his work is represented by the devotion of a lifetime to the furtherance of some of the noblest of our English sports.
In 1872 he was a member of the amateur team which visited America and Canada under the management of the late Mr. R. A. Fitzgerald, then secretary of the Marylebone Club. He became a great favourite there, too, as he did five years later in Australia, where he made, as indeed he has done everywhere, many friends. Bareheaded, however bright the sun, he is always—whether in the field directing the Lancashire eleven (which for many years he has captained with remarkable success and ability) or at the wicket-the very beau-ideal of a cricketer. A thorough sportsman, too, in the strictest sense of the word, his popularity is unbounded ; and even the great W. G. himself can hardly boast a greater number of admirers. An untiring worker, never losing heart however much the game may be going against him, with a scorn for everything that is artificial, much less underhanded, no wonder that he is idolised by the county eleven and the Lancashire public, to whose enjoyment he has contributed not only his time but a great part of his means unstintingly for so many years. Prominently connected with cricket as he has been, it must not however be understood that this is his only claim to distinction as an athlete. Though an old Harrovian, he subsequently devoted himself to the Rugby game, and as a back player he had few superiors for a time. Latterly he has given up football. He figured more than once in the English fifteen, and in the International matches against Scotland has generally acquitted himself with marked credit. He has, too, been known all his life as a bold rider to hounds; and as a shot has also few superiors.
Sport and Pastime at the Universities.
FROM Christmas to Midsummer the University athlete is pretty well en évidence; and the number of what may be termed public competitions which take place serves as an index to the amount of private practice which goes on. Parents of the sterner sort have, indeed, been found to declare that a University education consists chiefly in acquiring proficiency in athletic exercises, and an ability to appreciate the good things of this life. The author of " Lays of Modern Oxford "modern, that is to say, sixteen years ago—has left it on record that at one of the Halls now turned to purposes other than academic instruction, anyone who
Could eat, drink, and hunt,
Play cricket, and punt, answered the requirements of the place as fully as the Fellow of All Souls, who must be bene natus, bene vestitus, et mediocriter doctus. And this view of the situation is sometimes accepted as gospel ; though, in justice to the athletes of both Universities, it should not be left unsaid that the class lists know their names; and, as annals show, the undergraduate oarsman, runner, and cricketer is often first in the race for life. In the “Record of the University Boat Race (by Mr. Treherne, of Oxford, and Mr. Goldie, of Cambridge), the alphabetical list of Old Blues shows that no inconsiderable number have won distinction in after years. Lord Esher, Justices Denman, Chitty, and A. L. Smith-the last-named rowed for Cambridge in 1858, when the boat sank—Dr. Warre, of Eton, Dr. Hornby, late Head Master, Lord Cloncurry, and Bishop Wordsworth are among the many notabilities who have at one time or another been members of the University crews. In the first University cricket match ever played, Bishop Wordsworth was in the Oxford eleven, and Herbert Jenner was of the number of the Cantabs. The Rev. J. Pycroft, the author of the “Cricket Field” (who is now to be seen regularly on the Sussex County Ground at Brighton), and Dr. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool, were in the Oxford eleven of 1836. The Hon. R. Grimston, as famous in the saddle as in the cricket field, played for Oxford in 1838; in which year Lord Lyttelton—the first of a long line of cricketers—was one of the representatives of Cambridge, though he did not materially strengthen his side's batting, two O's being set against his name. The late Mr. H. O. Nethercote, author of the “ History of the Pytchley Hunt,” Dr. C. H. Ridding, Mr. Justice Chitty, the Hon. Chandos Leigh, Mr. Fitzgerald, the late secretary to