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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
The Venerable Archdeacon Edward Ambrose Hardy
  • Born 18 April 1842 Cavendish Suffolk
  • Died 9 September 1921, Bubbenhall Warwickshire
  • Educated Cavendish Grammar School, Suffolk Dublin University
  • Occupation Clergyman
  • Debut 17 June 1869 v All England XI at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 125
  • Style Batting hand unknown. Round arm hand and pace unknown

NB The cricketer whose biography follows below has previously been incorrectly identified - regretably by this writer - as Edward H Harvey. However, though both men were contemporaries at Dublin University and both became Anglican clergymen, there is no doubt that the cricketer was Edward A Harvey, the known details of his brief career in major cricket are set out below.

Edward Harvey was a useful all round cricketer who developed his early skills of the game at Cavendish Grammar School in rural Suffolk. The School has long been closed though its building, protected as listed, still stands. Edward did not enter Dublin University until he was 23, gaining a place in the 1st XI in 1869 and 1870. Both sides were led by Pat Casey and each fielded seven current or future Irish internationals. After leaving school Edward worked for a while as an Assistant Master at a small boarding school at Witham in Essex so that he did not enter Dublin University until he was 23, gaining a place in the XI in 1869 and 1870.

The biggest match which the University played during Edward's time was - as a XXII - against the United South of England XI in 1970. The home side was a Past and Present one and also included the coach Jesse Richards, then at the beginning of his long tenure in College Park. He was mainly responsible for dismissing the visitors, a strong side including Fred Grace but neither of his elder brothers, for 62. However as often happened in such matches the hosts found the bowling of the professionals, an attack which included Edgar Willsher and James Southerton, who proved too much for Ireland during this period, too much for them and collapsed for 82. Coming in halfway down the order Edward was stumped off Southerton for 0. The wicket keeper was Ted Pooley of Surrey who, eight years later, was languishing in a New Zealand Gaol, following a betting scam, when he should have been behind the stumps for England at Melbourne in the first of all Test Matches.

Batting again, however, the USE could do little better, being bowled out for 91. On this occasion, Edward played a leading role taking four wickets, including that of HH Stephenson who had led the first England team to tour Australia some nine years earlier and who, ten years later, would umpire the first Test match ever played in England. However, any thoughts the XXII may have had of a famous victory were soon dispelled as they were shot out for 48, Edward, unfortunately completing his pair, being caught and bowled by medium paced all rounder Frank Silcock.

His one match for Ireland had come the previous season against the All England XI, the first and best known of the Travelling Elevens, though it was now in its twilight years and was not to play Ireland again. The match was played at Rathmines on an uncertain wicket and was frequently interrupted by rain. The crowds were small, John Lawrence - publisher of the "Handbooks" - who was staging the game had been unable to agree terms with the University to hold the match in College Park, where the attendance might have been better.

The visitors, who had been playing at Burton on Trent until 5pm the previous day and endured a rough crossing, were dismissed for 131 with Edward Moeran, better known as a co-founder of NIFC, taking four wickets. The Irish fielding was poor but their batsmen, managed a 4 run lead to which Edward made scant contribution. Coming at No 21, he was caught by John Smith, the visitors' most successful batsman, for 2 off the fearsome George "Tear Em" Tarrant. The USE responded with 136 but had Ireland on 41-14 when stumps were drawn to enable the England players to catch the mail boat.

Edward appeared in two other matches of which scores have been seen, playing twice for the Gentlemen of Warwickshire in August 1871. Despite his Suffolk upbringing, the Hardy family had strong connections with Warwickshire and Oxfordshire so his selection for the team was unsurprising. He was, in fact, living in Coventry at the time, unfortunately the Gentlemen proved to be a somewhat weak outfit.

A match against the Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire at Warwick, scheduled for two days, was reduced to one with the first having been lost to rain. This was just as well for the hosts who were dismissed for 52 when play did begin. Edward, opening, made 20, the only score of any note, before being bowled by William Storey a fast bowler with considerable first class experience. The visitors then made 311 before time was called. Edward took one wicket thanks to a stumping. Two days later the Gentlemen of Lancashire provided the opposition and this time the rain held off, condemning Warwickshire to an innings defeat. Now at 4 Edward made 1 and 6.

Edward's ordination may well have ended his active career as a cricketer. He became for a time Chaplain to the Government of Malta but ended his days as Rector of Bubbenhall, a small Warwickshire village which then had a population of around 200. Even today it numbers less than 1000 inhabitants. The Church, though no longer in regular use, still stands in good repair.

Edward married Helen Jesse Alfreda Wilson in 1875. She died in 1894. She and the Venerable Archdeacon Edward Ambrose Hardy are buried together in the graveyard of Over Worton Church in Oxfordshire.