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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Arthur Tilson Shaen Carter
  • Born 14 September 1851 Watlington Park, Oxfordshire
  • Died 11 June 1894 Jamaica
  • Occupation Royal Navy Officer
  • Debut 4 September 1873 v I Zingari at Phoenix CC
  • Cap Number 479
  • Style Batting hand unknown; right arm fast underarm
  • Teams Leinster

Arthur Carter came from a mixed Anglo-Irish and English background. He was one of the nine children of Thomas Shaen Carter whose ancestor, also Thomas Carter, had been given lands in Co Mayo after the Battle of the Boyne and Maria Tilson of Watlington Park in Oxfordshire. The first Thomas had rendered "exceptional service" to King William during the battle and received not only the land but some of King James' books and papers as well. Maria's family owned the Georgian mansion of Watlington Park which still stands today, a listed building.

Arthur's career in Irish cricket was limited by his profession but, though he failed to catch the eye in his one match for Ireland, he had some useful performances for Leinster CC against strong opposition. Thus in 1876 a strong Yorkshire United side came to Observatory Lane, taking on a Leinster XXII. The visitors batted first and were dismissed for 116, with Arthur taking the last four wickets to fall. He removed the hard hitting Robert Clayton, who was also a dangerous fast bowler, John Thewlis an all-rounder, and Allen Hill who was soon to play in the first of all Test Matches as fast roundarmer. He later became a well-known umpire, officiating in one Test in 1890. Arthur's fourth wicket was that of the keeper, George Pinder who played in 179 first class matches, a skilful taker of chances from slow bowlers.

Leinster replied by being bowled out for 61, Arthur, at No 21 was no batsman it must be said, being bowled by Clayton without scoring. When the professionals batted again they made 116, Arthur again getting the wicket of Thewlis besides holding three catches, but Leinster collapsed again for 88, Arthur falling again to Clayton for 3.

His most famous wicket, however, had come two years earlier when the United South of England XI were the visitors to Rathmines. The USE, which had begun life as one of the Professional Travelling XIs, was now little more than a money maker for the Grace brothers, two of whom WG and his younger brother GF (Fred) were in the side, WG, of course, being captain. Neither had distinguished himself in the corresponding match two years earlier, in which Arthur had taken the wickets of the Humphrey brothers, Richard and Thomas, both among the leading batsmen in England, Thomas, a small but very strong man being known as "The Pocket Hercules." The match ended in a draw but WG, complaining bitterly about the standard of the wicket and the umpiring, was determined on revenge. Now, in 1874, he and Fred took the Leinster bowling apart, occupying much of the match with their partnership, WG made 153 and Fred 103. Arthur it was who broke the stand, having Fred caught. No Grace ever gave his wicket away on reaching three figures, so Arthur's achievement was indeed praiseworthy.

His one match for Ireland, a 12 a side game against I Zingari, is best remembered for two remarkable spells of bowling by the Rev James Byrne, the Vice Regal Chaplain. He took 18 wickets in the match extracting Ireland from a perilous position and being mainly responsible for an 11 runs victory. Arthur, at 11, was bowled for 0 by the Oxford Blue William Law in the first innings and fell to Castle Bellingham born George Macan, Cambridge Blue and slow round armer in the second. He had, however, been involved in a remarkable match. Away from cricket, Arthur Tilson Shaen Carter married Viola Bingham. They had one son, Claude. In his will Arthur left Viola just over 500. NB Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland 1904 gives Arthur's place of death as Malta and the date as 4 June. The date and place at the head of this article are from his Will and are thought likely to be the more accurate.