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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Henry Hodgson
  • Born 29 January 1840 Ireland
  • Died Second quarter 1905, Currarevagh, Oughterard, Co Galway
  • Educated Rugby School, Warwickshire; Dublin University
  • Occupation Justice of the Peace
  • Debut 4 September 1860 v All England XI at Palmerston Estate, Rathmines
  • Cap Number 46
  • Style Right hand bat; bowling style unknown though to be slow underarm
  • Teams Dublin University; Carlow; Vice Regal XI

Henry Hodgson was a useful all rounder at club level but made little impact in major cricket. Having learned the game at Rugby School, he entered Dublin University in 1858 but was not seen in the University 1st XI regularly until 1861 when he opened the batting with JC Graves. The team included seven current or future Irish internationals among them JP Mahaffy and Anthony Traill, later to be bitter academic rivals as they fought each other for positions of power within the University. No averages for the season survive.

The biggest match was against I Zingari played at the Vice Regal Ground in early October. Going in first Henry failed badly, being out for 4 in each innings. He was seen in action against he Zingaros again the following season when he played for XVII of the Vice Regal Club. The hosts were rather easily beaten though Henry did somewhat better with the bat in the second innings. Batting at No 14, was bowled for another 4 in the first innings but extracted some revenge by dismissing the bowler George Randall Johnson, when the visitors batted. In the second innings he made 10, joint top score in a total of 64. In the former year he had also played for Carlow against the touring team. IZ won with something to spare even tough the hosts were fielding a XXII, but Henry picked up five wickets in the match.

It must be said be said that his appearances for Ireland were also unimpressive, though in two of his matches his batting was pitted against the formidable bowling of the All England XI including several of the outstanding bowlers of the day. His first match, on the Leinster ground at Lord Palmerston's estate in Lower Rathmines, was against these giants of game. Ireland were swept aside, the visitors winning by 7 wickets. In his first innings Henry was brilliantly caught by Tom Hayward of Cambridgeshire for 0. Hayward was the uncle of the well known Surrey and England batsman of that name, who was to be the mentor of Jack Hobbs. Tinley a fast roundarmer, who changed to slow lobs, was regarded by some as the best bowler in England. He took 23 wickets in this match, including Henry's again in the second innings. His "partner in crime" in this match - and in many others the All England men played - was the celebrated roundarmer Edgar Willsher who took 16 wickets.

Ireland crumbled again the following year the first match played at Observatory Lane. Promoted up the order to 8, Henry was dismissed by the awe inspiring paceman " "Foghorn" Jackson for 8 in the first innings. Any chance of redemption in the second was swept away by the "Foghorn" shattering his stumps before he had scored.

His third and final match was against The Military of Ireland at Coburg Gardens in October 1861, played just after the University's match against I Zingari described above. It was hardly a contest as the soldiery were swept aside with Charles Lawrence, in his last match for Ireland, before he departed for Australia and a wider fame - though as his fragmentary autobiography reveals he had not originally intended to stay there - destroying the batting. In the first innings - he did not bowl in the second - Henry began the attack with Lawrence and took the wickets of TR Parr and HRS Chatfield, both well known in amateur cricket in England.

Henry was not seen in major Irish cricket again. However an H Hodgson may be found playing three matches for the Gentlemen of Yorkshire between 1867 and 1870. One of these games also included the NICC and Ireland all rounder CK Cordner. If the cricketer concerned was indeed Henry his form had not greatly improved. He totalled 26 runs at 8.33 and took 2 wickets for 33 runs.

Henry Hodgson was, away from the cricket field, a Co Galway landowner and Justice of the Peace. He also appears to have spent some time in North America in the early 1890s, but was living in his family home in Oughterard at the time of his death.