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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Henry William Brougham
  • Born 4 May 1853, Dublin
  • Died 12 January 1908, Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire
  • Educated St Columba's College, Oxford University
  • Occupation Schoolmaster
  • Debut 25 September 1879 v Philadelphia at Nicetown, Philadelphia
  • Cap Number 168
  • Style Wicket keeper, change bowler style unknown
  • Teams Phoenix, Co Carlow, Free Foresters, MCC, Na Shuler

Henry Brougham was a useful wicket keeper and a very good right hand batsman, highly rated by his former pupil GFH Berkeley, who described him as, "one of the best amateur batsmen I have ever seen." Berkeley continued that Brougham only missed a blue at Oxford because he went to Keble College," where everything that was done was derided." Brougham had picked up the rudiments of the game in the small town of Lismore, Co Waterford, where his father was Dean. He was then three years in the XI at St Columba's, though Pat Hone is in error as seeing him as a contemporary in the side of two members of the Hone family. They predated his entry to the College by 5 years.

From his time at Oxford, where he was awarded a 3rd Class Honours in History and so was not the Classical Scholar Hone thought him, onwards he was little seen in Irish cricket, except for some holiday matches mostly for Na Shuler and Co Carlow. In England, he never played a first class match but turned out regularly for Free Foresters and also appeared for MCC. His one appearance for Ireland, at home, was in the 12-a-side game against MCC at Phoenix in 1879. This match does not appear in his statistics on this website as it involved more than 11 players a side. He batted at 3, making 14 and 0, falling in each innings to Walter Forbes a fast round armer, who, three years earlier, aged 18, had thrown a cricket ball 132 yards. MCC won by an innings. Henry also bowled in this match taking 1-7.

He was a member of the Irish side which toured the United States that September, under the captaincy of Nataniel Hone. In the two cap matches v Philadelphia he batted high in the order and was again a failure, with scores of 7 and 2 in the first match, in which Ireland were outplayed thanks to the bowling of Dan and Charlie Nehwall. Brougham could at least claim that they only got him once as he was run out in the second innings! In the second, one innings, match he was out for a duck. Ireland won by 2 wickets, though the Americans had grave doubts about the Irish umpire, poetry writing Leicestershire professional Arnold Rylott. Brougham's main contribution to the tour was to write a book about it. Entitled "The Irish Cricketers in the United States", it gives accounts of the matches in dramatic style and is also full of social and geographical description. This writer counts himself fortunate to have been read the author's own copy; to find the book on sale is well nigh impossible and the price even more prohibitive.

Brougham spent his working life on the staff of Wellington College in Berkshire where he was a Housemaster, numbering Berkeley and Pat Hone amongst his charges. He is generally credited with "making" cricket at Wellington, where it had not previously been taken seriously. His protégés included not only Berkeley, but also the eccentric Gerry Weigall and GJ Mordaunt, Oxford captain in 1895. He was never in full health and no longer ran the cricket in Hone's time. Instead he founded the College debating society. His son, also Henry Brougham, was an Oxford blue in 1911 and an England Rugby International. Both men were top class rackets players, which sport Henry senior also developed at Wellington. His son-in-law was JH Bruce-Lockhart, a leg spinner who gained a blue at Cambridge and also represented Scotland, besides playing fly half for that country.

Henry William Brougham died of cancer at the age of 55.