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Biography
Edward Neville Seymour
  • Born 14 January 1906 Dublin
  • Died 12 February 1980 Dublin
  • Educated Masonic Boys' School, Dublin
  • Occupation Worked for Gouldings' Fertilisers.
  • Debut 9 July 1927 v Scotland at College Park
  • Cap Number 355
  • Style Right hand bat; right arm fast medium.
  • Teams Clontarf

Edward Seymour was a useful all rounder at club level, helping Clontarf to one League title during his rather brief time as a regular member of the 1st XI and also helping the 2nd XI to a trophy. Unfortunately he never really revealed his true form in his short international career, which ended in controversy.

Edward learned the game at Dublin's Masonic Boys' School. Situated in the suburb of Clonskeagh, the School has long been closed and is now the Architecture Department of University College, Dublin. Its reputation amongst former pupils has not always proved a happy one, but it was a fine nursery for cricket and rugby, providing several Irish internationals in both games.

Edward was therefore able to make his senior debut for Clontarf aged 18 and to hold a regular place in the side from 1925. In the meantime he helped the Seconds to the Leinster Intermediate Cup in 1924.

He was a forthright upper order batsman, often seen opening but more at home at No 4 or 5. His attractive stroke play was sometimes his undoing as he probably was too free and easy a player to make runs consistently at senior level. Nevertheless he won the Marchant Cup in 1930, awarded to the leading batsman in Leinster senior cricket, scoring 337 runs at 37.00. His overall batting figures in senior cricket must, however, be seen as rather disappointing for a player of his ability. In 75 innings, 3 of which were undefeated, he scored 1303 runs at 18.90. His highest score of 80 was one of seven 50s he hit at this level.

It was bowling which gained him his Irish selection in 1927, the year incidentally in which he won Clontarf's coveted Oulton Cup, a trophy presented to the member of each of the Club's elevens who has done most for the game on and off the field.

His best season with the ball was 1926 when he headed the Leinster averages with 34 wickets at 7.47. He got off to a flying start in the season's opener against Dublin University. The Club batted first but were routed by the pace of Noel Kelly who took 9-25, to bowl them out for 72. The University were probably quietly confident when Edward joined the attack with their reply standing on 32-2. He conceded a single in his first over and one more run was added to the total, before no fewer than seven wickets fell with the score on 34. He had taken six of them and added the seventh after a last wicket stand of 2 had raised the score to 36. Edward finished with the remarkable figures of 7.3 -6-1-7. In all senior cricket he took 129 wickets at 10.33. He was a popular captain of the Club in 1930 and 1931, having much to do with building the resolve in the side which propelled it to its first Senior League Title in 1932.

His three matches for Ireland came in the 1927 and 1928 seasons. His debut v Scotland in College Park was undistinguished, though the match was a thriller, with Ireland, with four wickets in hand falling two runs short of victory. A marvellous second innings hundred by the Scottish captain John Kerr and a delayed start to the second day's play on the Monday of the match, because of the murder of the controversial cabinet minister Kevin O'Higgins on his way to Mass the previous day, meant that they just ran out of time. Edward opened the bowling when Scotland batted first, but bowled only four overs as Tom Dixon destroyed the visitors' batting. He then found himself at 10 in the order as Ireland piled up a big lead, but contributed little to it, being out for 3 to leg spinner Alex Forrester. The Scottish second innings was dominated by John Kerr, who was somewhat severe on Edward who sent down eleven wicketless overs for 50. He was promoted to No 5 in the second innings run chase but e fell for 3, caught off the medium pace of Scotland's captain Colin Paterson.

His best match was his second, the epic victory over the West Indies in College Park the following summer. Again he failed with the bat. This time at 9 he made 3 and 2. However he did make a more worthwhile contribution with the ball, taking two wickets in each innings. In the first he did not come on until second change, Jacko Heaslip, whose off spin was very much a second string to his role as one of Ireland's leading batsmen, being given the new ball. However, Edward did a pace bowler's job, by knocking over two tail end batsmen, and thus ensuring that Ireland gained a valuable first innings lead of 31. He disposed of Vibart Wight, captaining the tourists in this match, who had made 26 and was getting on top of the bowling. In the second innings Edward again took a key wicket when he had Edward Bartlett caught at third man. Bartlett had made a quick 54 and was taking the match away from Ireland. The fielder was George McVeagh, who held four second innings catches which his captain, Jim Ganly, considered to be of at least equal importance to his famous hundred in bringing about the victory.

Edward Seymour's last match came later in the season against Scotland at Edinburgh's Raeburn Place. It was another exciting draw with Ireland again just deprived of victory. However from Edward's point of view it was a match he would have been better missing. Batting, he was out for a duck in his only innings and he had 0-7 with the ball in the hosts' first innings. Coming on second change in the second he bowled one over during which he was no balled for throwing. He was taken off and did not bowl again in the match. Though he continued to play for Clontarf until the end of the 1932 season, he had made his last appearance for Ireland.

I have been unable to discover whether his action had been the subject of controversy during the Scottish match or at any other point during his career. If it was, it seems strange that there appears to be little record of it. If it was not, it seems that Edward Neville Seymour may have been somewhat harshly treated, though, in all conscience it must be admitted, that he might well have been lucky to have held his place.

Edward Liddle, November 2009

International Matches
View Match Ireland drew with Scotland (3 Day, College Park, 9 July 1927)
View Match Ireland beat West Indies by 60 runs (3 Day, College Park, 4 June 1928)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Edinburgh, 7 July 1928)