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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John MacDougall Joy
  • Born 1844 Co Antrim
  • Died 1890
  • Educated Harrow School; Dublin University
  • Occupation Barrister; Militia Officer
  • Debut 20 May 1867 v MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 86
  • Style Unknown
  • Teams Co Wicklow

John Joy was the son of George Joy and Louisa Maxwell Campbell MacDougall. George owned an estate in Co Wicklow and had a large property in Dublin, while Louisa came from a landed Scots family which claimed descent from a onetime King of Ulster. John was one of several children and was only four years old when his father died. He was four years at Harrow from 1858 but the school's Register shows no record of him having been prominent at cricket or any other game. Nor did he play for the 1st XI while at Dublin University, though he had several useful innings for Co Wicklow during the 1860s.

It is possible that he was resident in London at the time of his sole appearance for Ireland, as some other obscure players seem to have owed caps at Lord's to this fact. At any rate it was a somewhat unfortunate debut.

In a match scheduled for two days Ireland had reached 10/0 when the rains came and did not abate. Thus John never got onto the field in his sole appearance. He was, incidentally, one of six debutants, three others joining him in never playing for Ireland again.

Away from cricket, he is described by the Harrow register as a barrister and appears as such in the 1883 Thom's Ireland Directory. Strangely he is not listed in this publication after that year. A further curiosity arises out of his military rank. The scorecard for the match he "played" in shows him as Captain JM Joy, though he does not appear in the Army List of that year or any other in the 1860s. Again, according to the Harrow Register, he became a Captain in the Dublin Militia in 1875 and was later a Major. Any further information which throws light on seeming anomalies in John MacDougall Joy's life would be most gratefully received.

I am indebted to Ms Aisling Lockhart of Trinity College Dublin for her valuable assistance.