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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Frederic Marshall (Later Lieutenant - General Sir Frederic Marshall KCMG)
  • Born 26 July 1830, Broadwater, Godalming, Surrey
  • Died 8 June 1900 9 Eaton Place, London
  • Educated Eton College; Royal Military College, Sandhurst
  • Occupation Army Officer
  • Debut 4 June 1856 v United All England XI at Phoenix CC
  • Cap Number 20
  • Style Right-hand bat; slow underarm bowler (arm unknown)
  • Teams Godalming, MCC, Surrey, Gentlemen of England, Household Brigade, I Zingari Officers of the Curragh Garrison, Phoenix, United Ireland XI, United All England XI, All England XI

Fred Marshall, the second of three cricket playing brothers, was a most dedicated and enthusiastic player, but, in company with his siblings, was - except on rare occasions - a somewhat undistinguished performer. He had the consolation of a highly successful army career, though his numerous appearances on the cricket field suggest that he would readily have traded his military fame, for some hours of glory at St John's Wood and many other grounds throughout our two islands.

The second son of George Marshall and Sarah Alexander, tall - 6 feet 3 inches - and strongly built, he was unable to find a place in the First XI at either Eton or Sandhurst but his devotion to the game was undiminished. Playing his early games with the Godalming Club on a ground owned by his family, he gained a reputation as a powerful hitter, who favoured the front foot and was very strong on the leg side. He was a safe field, generally in the covers or long leg and an occasional bowler.

During his career, he played 21 first class matches but was an almost total failure, aggregating 244 runs at 7.87 with a highest score of 31. This innings was played for the Gentlemen of England against the Gentlemen of Kent at Canterbury in 1859, his best season at this level as it was the only one in which his average reached double figures. Even allowing for the uncertain wickets of his era, it must be admitted that, as he was normally played for his batting - though his position in the order varied greatly from match to match - his overall record is poor.

For much of the early 1850s, he was in Ireland as ADC and Master of Horse to The Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Carlisle. This posting which may well have had something to do with his cricket, as the Earl was a great enthusiast, saw him play a number of matches for Phoenix and also travel the country with Charles Lawrence's United Ireland XI. He also appeared in another Lawrence managed fixture, Gentlemen of Dublin v Players of Dublin in 1852. He contributed 27 towards the Gentlemen's score of 307, easily enough to bring an innings victory. He was less successful the following year for XXII of Phoenix against the United All England XI being out for 0 in his only innings.

The hosts still won thanks to fine bowling by Lawrence and Peter Doyle. He also gained selection for XXII of Ireland against the United all England XI at Phoenix in 1856. The match ended in a narrow 6 runs victory for Ireland thanks to the bowling of Lawrence and cricketing clergyman Joseph McCormick, but Fred's contributions were miniscule. In the first innings he was caught off James Lillywhite for 3 while in the second John Wisden bowled him for 1. At least he was dismissed by a history maker!

Fred left Ireland for a brief interlude in the more inhospitable part of the Crimea, taking part in the siege of Sevastopol. As a cavalryman it is, perhaps, fortunate that he did not come under Lord Cardigan's command! However he was not lost to the Irish game as he was a frequent visitor with touring sides, notably I Zingari and the United all England XI, for which he played as an amateur and was President between 1859 and 1863. He and his younger brother, Henry, both played for the Gentlemen of England against Ireland at Rotunda Gardens in 1857, though neither distinguished himself. Fred making 0 in his only innings while Henry made 9 and 4, Lawrence and McCormick being too much for them.

His best innings in Ireland, and indeed the highest score of his career that has been traced, came for I Zingari against Ireland at Phoenix in 1859. Batting first IZ were dismissed for 198 Freeman's Journal recording that, "Captain Marshall stopped the straight, massacred the middling and banged the bad balls to the tune of 91 runs." As McCormick also bowled effectively and another former Irish player WN Creyke, the Lord Lieutenant's chaplain batted well, while a future one Bob Fitzgerald did likewise, it might be said that the English visitors would not have won without the help of some Irish players. Writing in September 2013, that sounds strangely familiar!

However in other visits to Ireland with both the Zingaros and the All England XI, Fred was far less successful, with, for example, a duck for the latter side against Ireland in 1860, followed immediately by a pair against NICC, who had recruited the fearsome paceman George "Tear Em" Tarrant to augment their ranks. He had 8-33 in the first innings, including Fred who remained In Ireland to play for IZ after the All England side returned home. He promptly made 0 against Phoenix, bowled by another underarmer, Thomas Quinn.

This catalogue of gloom had some brighter interludes when Fred found the form he had exhibited in the match against Ireland in 1859. Three other scores of 50 or over have been traced, of which the best was 88 for IZ against the Windsor Garrison in 1865. Coming in at No 7 with the visitors' batting faltering, he smashed his way to 88, before being stumped. IZ totalled 230 and went on to win by 101 runs, Fred's part having thus been notable.

His military career saw him serve in the Life Guards with campaign medals from the Crimea. Briefly retired on half pay as ADC to the Duke of Cambridge, Queen Victoria's cousin, he returned to become a Major- General in 1877. In 1879 he commanded the cavalry during Lord Chelmsford's invasion of Zulu land. He had the task of returning to the battlefield of Isandlwana some three months after the destruction of the British forces there by Cetshawayo's impis, to organise the burial of the bodies. Among what must have been frightful carnage and decay, was found a cricket bat.

Also taking part in other minor skirmishes of that bloody and pointless conflict, Fred returned safely to England with his horse Tom who had carried him throughout the campaign. Tom was allowed an honourable retirement and accorded a still standing memorial when he died.

Fred became a Major-General in 1884 and retired to become a director of the London and South West Railway Company a JP and a Master of Foxhounds. He was knighted In Victoria's Jubilee Honours in 1897, partly, so it is said, in recognition, of his friendship with the son of the Queen's favourite daughter. Better known as Kaiser Wilhelm II, he appreciated Fred's fluent German on his visits to England.

Fred, who served both as President and Vice President of Surrey, did much to help former professionals from the county who had fallen on hard times. Notable among these was the diminutive batsman the splendidly named Julius Caesar, with whom, and other members of the Caesar family, he had played for Godalming in his younger days. Julius was not the only one whom Fred helped financially.

He married Adelaide Laura Howard in 1861; they had one son and two daughters. The son Wilfred followed Fred's profession as did his (Wilfred's) son, the latter being killed in the First World War, ironically considering his grandfather's friendship. Fred's younger daughter Hilda married into the de Winton family, well known for producing military men. Her son William rose to be a General and died in 1991.

His obituary is in Wisden 1901 and biographies may also be found in S&B Vols 13 and 14.