- Born 1844 Co Cavan
- Died Unknown
- Educated Privately by Reverend RD Browne; Dublin University
- Occupation Doctor
- Debut 22 June 1868 v All England XI at College Park
- Cap Number 111
- Style Batting hand unknown, slow round arm
- Teams Dublin University, County Cork, Stoics CC, Lord Bernard's XIV
Nesbett Browne is another early Irish cricketer, the majority of whose life remains somewhat of a mystery. Though he has been traced playing cricket in 1873, no record of him practising medicine has been found, nor has it proved possible to discover a will or any note of his death. We would obviously welcome further details which would enable these gaps to be filled. He was one of the two sons of Reverend Robert Browne who was a Church of Ireland Rector in Co Cavan and, subsequently, Co Cork. Robert evidently decided to educate his sons himself, though he was clearly successful in doing so as Nesbett was able to enter University to read medicine when 18 . He had also already developed his cricket skills as he was able to make one appearance for the 2nd XI in 1862 before establishing a place as one of the leading batsmen in the side between 1864 and 1869, though he was not always available.
The long vacation of 1866 saw him play twice against I Zingari as the wandering side ventured to Co Cork. He was one of the XXII of County Cork who took on the visitors, playing 12, at The Mardyke early in September. Unfortunately Nesbett, in company with most of his team-mates, failed badly. Batting in the middle order, he was bowled for 1 in the first innings by medium paced Robert Marsham, an Oxford Blue of the previous decade, and in the second, having failed to reach the same score, was caught off paceman Henry Awkright, ADC to the Lord Lieutenant, doomed to die in a Matterhorn avalanche. The poor batting performance of the hosts destroyed the good work done by Parker Dunscombe, whose lobs accounted for 14 wickets. IZ won by 26 runs.
Immediately after this match the tourists moved to Castle Bernard where they were hosted by XXII of Bandon who proceeded to win by 56 runs with Nesbett playing no small part in the victory. Batting first Bandon posted 105 with Nesbett at No 9 making 14, falling again to Marsham, one of only two double figures scores. However the visitors were then dismissed for 76, five wickets falling to WS Hunt, playing as W Stopford. Nesbett had one wicket, that of Awkright. However he made only 1 in the second innings but Bandon were able to set IZ 115 to win. They fell 59 runs short of their target, with Nesbett taking four wickets, including dangerman Captain CF Buller, whose batting prowess was celebrated in James Joyce's Ulysses but whose private life was the stuff on which today's tabloids thrive.
Nesbett's sole Irish game came in College Park the following season against the formidable all England XI who outplayed the Irish XXII to win by 9 wickets. Batting at No 10 he was run out for 6 in the first innings and in the second was bowled by the terrifyingly fast George "Tear Em" Tarrant for 2. That season also saw him make a number of appearances for the Stoics, a side mostly composed of former members of the University XI.
As mentioned above it has proved impossible to trace his medical career beyond his being conferred with his MB in 1869, however he featured in at least one more major cricket match of which a score has been seen.
This was again at Castle Bernard with Lord Bernard's XIV taking on Na Shuler who had a good looking side including CR Filgate and WS Hunt. Batting first they were, however, dismissed for 96, Dunscombe taking 7 wickets, to which the hosts replied with 101, Nesbett, second top scorer, contributing 13 at No 7. He was bowled by Captain William Middleton, a well known amateur cricketer in England, who bowled unchanged to take 8 wickets. Together with Filgate he then batted well so that the XIV were set 114 to win. They collapsed for 27, Middleton taking 4 wickets and again bowling unchanged. Nesbett avoid his clutches on this occasion, being run out for 2.
Edward Liddle, November 2014