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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John Westropp Brady
  • Born 1827 Bray, Co Wicklow
  • Died 1 March 1902 Slane, Co Meath
  • Educated Mr Snagg; Dublin University
  • Occupation Church of Ireland Clergyman
  • Debut 28 August 1857 v Gentlemen of England at Rotunda Gardens, Dublin
  • Cap Number 24
  • Style Hand unknown
  • Teams Dublin University

John Brady was a useful batsman whose appearances in major cricket were limited by his late entrance to University and then his calling to the Church. He was 28 by the time he entered Dublin University in 1853, so must have played cricket beforehand, though no record of this has been seen. He was five years in the University XI winning his colours each time, but unfortunately no averages were kept. Only a few matches were played each season which is regrettable as John's team-mates included players of the calibre of JP Mahaffy, Robert Gordon and RH Scott.

His first important match of which a score has been seen was for XXII of Dublin against Charles Lawrence's United Ireland XI at Phoenix CC ground in July 1857. The XXII were totally outplayed, as well they might have been against an attack of Lawrence, Joseph McCormick and underarm specialist Arthur Samuels. However John, in the first innings, showed his class. He topscored with a solid 20 at No 13 before being caught by Lawrence off Peter Doyle, the first Irish professional. His side totalled 103 and eventually lost by an innings and 47 runs. Their second innings was a procession with John, unable to repeat his first innings success, bowled by Lawrence for 0. In the corresponding match the following summer, Dublin again crashed to defeat. The destroyer in chief was Samuels who took 27 wickets in the match, John falling to him twice for 1 and 0.

He had played his one and only match for Ireland against the Gentlemen of England at the end of the previous season. The match was played at the Rotunda Gardens the first occasion on which Ireland had played away from Phoenix Park. It ended in a draw, very much in Ireland's s favour but, unable to declare under the laws of time, they batted too long in the second innings to force a victory. John made little contribution to proceedings being yorked in the first innings by the pace of the Hon CBTW Fiennes for 8 and being 0* when the second innings ended.

John graduated in 1858 and then entered the Church of Ireland. He was married in 1864 and filled various curacies until becoming Rector of Slane in Co Meath in 1885. John Westropp Brady was still at Slane when he died 17 years later.

I am indebted to Ms Aisling Lockhart of the TCD Manuscripts room and Noel French of the Meath Heritage Centre for their assistance.