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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (later Rt Hon First Baron Barrymore)
  • Born 17 January 1843, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
  • Died 22 February 1925 Westminster.
  • Educated Eton College, Oxford University
  • Occupation Politician
  • Debut 4 June 1869 v MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 108
  • Style Right hand bat, wicket keeper
  • Teams MCC, Cheshire, Warwickshire (pre First Class), I Zingari, Na Shuler, Cork City, Cork County.

Arthur Smith-Barry was a strongly built man who used his physique to be a hard hitting batsman, usually in the middle order. He was also a capable reserve wicket keeper. He was not in the XI at either Eton or Oxford, but soon became much in demand for a variety of club sides either side of the Irish Sea. His first major innings was in 1864. Playing for Cheshire, one of the family homes was in Northwich in that county, he hit a quick 124 v Shropshire at the, still in use, London Road Ground in Shrewsbury. He was then often seen in County Cork Cricket, appearing for I Zingari and Na Shuler touring teams as well as for local XVIIIs and XVIs against such visitors. On occasions he also kept wicket. Thus in 1867, though he failed with the bat for IZ v XVIII of Cork County, as he often did in these matches, he made two stumpings one off the slow lobs of WM Rose - destroyer of Ireland that season- and the other off the medium pace of RAH Mitchell, then just starting on his long term tenure of running Eton College Cricket.

For such a talented player it is surprising that Smith-Barry never made a big score in these matches. His highest, of which a scorecard has been seen, was 29 run out for Na Shuler v XVI of The Cork Club in 1870. The previous year, he had turned out for XVIII of Cork County against the Zingaros, and reached 27, before being bowled by Reverend Osbert Mordaunt, member of a well known cricket family, who bowled slow underarm, disconcertingly using either hand to deliver the ball. Mordaunt got Arthur again in the second innings. Smith-Barry also played a good deal of cricket in Cork, and, in 1874, was one of the founder members of the famous Cork County Club.

Smith - Barry played his one and only match for Ireland v MCC at Lord's in 1868. Possibly he and some other members of the XI owed their selection to London residence. Ireland won this match largely due to the batting of HH Montgomery, later Bishop of Tasmania and father of the Field Marshal and to the bowling of another cricketer with Cork connections WS Hunt. Arthur made 4 and 12, being dismissed by the professional bowlers, TH Nixon, a slow roundarmer, and George Mumford, fast left arm. He did not play for Ireland again but in 1869, turned out for I Zingari in a 12 a side match v Ireland at Vice Regal. His performance was no better: in the first innings, the leading Irish batsman WS Ashton bowled him for 3, while in the second he was run out without scoring. The match ended in a draw with the last IZ pair together well short of their target.

He also made a number of appearances for MCC, two of them first class. His first class debut, therefore, was v Oxford University at Lord's in 1873, opening the batting with fellow Cork County man Charles Purdon Coote. In the first innings Arthur made 9 before being caught behind off the pace of Samuel Butler, who had taken all 10 Cambridge first innings wickets in the 1871 University Match. Six were in his last 14 balls. For good measure he added a further 5 when the Light Blues batted again. In MCC's second innings Arthur failed again. He was bowled by CW Boyle, thought to be one of three fastest bowlers in England at the time, for a duck. Coote did no better making 0 and 4. Arthur's second and last first class match was v Cambridge at Lord's two years later. This time he fell to a Yorkshire clerical double act. In the first innings, batting first wicket down, he was dismissed for 3 by HM Sims, a fast bowler, later to enter the Church of England, besides playing three times for Yorkshire. In the second, Charles Molesworth Sharpe, a slow roundarmer, also destined to take Holy Orders and play- once- for Yorkshire disposed of him for the same score.

He had had rather better luck the previous season in two IZ matches. Against RMA Woolwich he struck a belligerent 79 on 30 May, following 10 days later with 69 against The Hussars. His record in major cricket, however, remained mediocre.

Cricket was only one of his interests. He was Admiral of The Royal Cork Yacht Club and a Master of Foxhounds. In those more leisured days, he also found time to be a Member of Parliament. A Conservative, he sat for Cork City from 1867 - 1874 and for South Huntington from 1886 - 1900. He became Member of the Irish Privy Council in 1896 and was created Baron Barrymore in 1900. He was also Vice President of the Irish Landowners Association. A Vanity Fair Cartoon, by 'Spy' at this time, "Irish Landowner," depicts a stout red faced man of rather choleric aspect. However he was well liked and respected in his circle. Though he was twice married, his only son predeceased him, thus making him the First and Last Baron Barrymore.

His obituary is in Wisden 1926 and his biography in Scores and Biographies Volume 10.