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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John Crocker Pennell
  • Born 7 May 1825
  • Died 3 June 1865, Kensington Palace
  • Educated Charterhouse; Queen's, Cambridge
  • Occupation Foreign Office
  • Debut 6 August 1860 v Colonel Buchanan's XVI of Scotland at Langloan, Coatbridge
  • Cap Number 43
  • Style Unknown
  • Teams Dublin United Ireland XI

John Pennell is a cricketer of whom very little is known. At Charterhouse he was three years in the XI. Research suggests that he is to be identified as the player shown by Scores & Biographies as G Pennell in 1857 and 1860, before John's Irish debut. The first of these matches took place in 1857 when a XXII of Dublin faced Charles Lawrence's United Ireland XI at Phoenix CC. Clearly the wicket was sub standard even for those far off days as the XXII were bowled out by Lawrence and Peter Doyle for scores of 69 and 61 with their much vaunted opposition mustering only 21 in between. Batting at 10, John, if it was he, was bowled by Doyle for 0 in the first innings and completed his pair by being caught off Lawrence in the second.

Three years later he is to be found in the United XI playing against XXII of Ireland at Leinster's ground on the Palmerston Estate. Batting down the order he again failed to score, being run out on this occasion.

He was, however, a member of the United Ireland XI which took ship for Scotland in August 1860 but began their brief tour by being beaten by the Clydesdale Club, going down by 43 runs. This website offers no prizes to those who guess his first innings score correctly, he was bowled by John Sands, a well known English amateur of the time, who played some cricket in Scotland also. He did improve on this somewhat in the second innings, reaching 2 before being bowled.

The Irish side then moved to Coatbridge to play Colonel Buchanan's XVI of Scotland, now regarded as an official Irish fixture. Ireland, who scored only 143, won by an innings dismissing the Colonel's men for 59 and 49.

Batting in what was surely his true position, John, who appears for the first time as JC in this match in S&B, yet again failed to score.

His second and final appearance for Ireland came the following year at Coburg Gardens on a wicket now submerged under the National Concert Hall. The visitors were much too strong for their hosts, playing as a XXII, who collapsed in both innings. The attack of John "Foghorn" Jackson, Edgar Willsher and George "Lion of The North" Parr, proved far too much for the Irish batsmen. Perhaps because better players were in no hurry to face such a triumvirate, particularly Jackson, who in those helmetless days of thin pads and gloves, must have been a terrifying prospect, John found himself batting at 10 . The promotion, however, did little good. In Ireland's first innings of 46, he was caught by Willsher off Jackson, while in the second, when Ireland reached 97, he was bowled by Parr. Readers will not need to be told the score he achieved in each innings!

John Crocker Pennell died two years later.