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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John Uppleby Graburn
  • Born 12 May 1831 Bartron under Humber, Lincolnshire
  • Died 15 April 1894 East Molesey Park, Kingston upon Thames
  • Educated Cheltenham
  • Occupation Army Officer; Solicitor then Justice of the Peace
  • Debut 28 August 1857 v Gentlemen of England at Rotunda Gardens, Dublin
  • Cap Number 25
  • Style Right hand batsman
  • Teams Phoenix

John Graburn learned the game at Cheltenham, an institution with a long and proud cricket tradition. In March 1856, he was commisioned as Cornet in the Ist Royal Regiment of the Light Dragoons, whose HQ was In Dublin. He became a Lieutenant by purchase the following year, and, as was common with military cricketers, played for Phoenix. He then resigned his commission and returned to civilian life.

The one match of which there is any record of his having played was his appearance for Ireland. Played at the end of August in 1857, this was Ireland's third match, and, like the previous two was against the Gentlemen of England. It was played at the Rotunda Gardens, the first time Ireland had played away from the Phoenix CC and ended in a draw, very much in Ireland's favour. Had declarations been permitted then, the hosts would most certainly have won, with the bowling of Charles Lawrence and Joseph McCormick proving far too much for the visitors.

It may well be that John was picked for his bowling but never got on because of their dominance. Certainly he made little other contribution to the match. He was one of three debutants, the others being an Army officer ECR Vicars and a Dublin University medical student JW Brady. All three never played for Ireland again. John batted at 11 and failed in each innings, it is very likely that, in the second, he was under instructions from the captain JN Coddington, to get out quickly. He obeyed the order in each innings, being dismissed both times by the pace of the Hon CB Fiennes for 0 in the first innings and 4 in the second.

John's Irish sojourn had a more lasting result than his unsuccessful international cricket career, as his wife Emily hailed from Dublin. By the 1860s, they were living in Scarborough with two children a daughter, Elizabeth and a son William. Their son William Turbett Graburn (1865 - 1944) was to prove a much better cricketer than his father. Also at Repton, he batted high in the order in the 1st XI, under the captaincy of the future Cambridge Blue and test batsman FGJ Ford. Later William captained Yorkshire Colts and played for Yorkshire Gentlemen before moving south. Here he played for Surrey 2nd XI for many years and captained Club and Ground side, In this role he led Surrey against Ireland in 1893, scoring a dashing 35 in the second innings which almost won the match for the County. He appeared in two first class matches, captaining the County, as he was the only available amateur to an innings victory v Essex, in 1894, a few months after his father's death. A highly respected coach of young players, he continued to play for the Seconds until 1911 and was prominent in club cricket until the outbreak of war. His obituary is in Wisden 1945.

John Uppleby Graburn had moved south by the early 1890s and it is tempting to assume to assume that he often watched his son play, for example for the Hurst Park Club against the 1890 Australians, when William was dismissed by the great Hugh Trmble in each innings.