I have to admit that I have a fascination with the group of English cricketers that toured the United States and Canada in 1859.
Over the years I’ve tried to read as many accounts about their lives as possible and, heck, I’ve also been engaged in a project to locate their gravestones around England cemeteries [I'll write more about this next time] but this time I’ll use some blog space to talk about a couple of photographs that were taken while these guys were cricketing on this side of the world.
It is well known that the 1859 English cricketers tour to Canada and the United States was big news back in the day, so it should come as no surprise that many third parties tried to capitalize on its success.
Two products that come to mind are T. H. Henna and W.H. Mason’s photograph of the cricketers aboard the Nova Scotian and Edwin Ade’s commemorative belt. Both products proved to be pretty successful and were widely reproduced and even pirated in the old country.
Before getting into the main focus of this post, lets write a bit about Hennah, Mason and the famous cricketers photograph.
Photographer Thomas Henry Hennah was born in London in 1826. By 1852, Hennah and William Henry Kent, a photographer from the Isle of Wight, purchased a license from none other than William Fox Talbot, the photography pioneer, to make portraits using the calotype process.
In 1854, the Hennah and Kent partnership established a Talbotype Portrait Gallery in William Henry Mason’s Repository of Arts at 108 King’s Road in Brighton.
Business must have been very good back then for Hennah, Kent and Mason.
According to a letter addressed to Fox Talbot in 1862, it was said that it took a waiting period of a week to 10 days for a sitting at the Hennah and Kent studio!
William Henry Goodburn Mason (1810-1879), was a well known printseller and publisher (also a cricketer!) and the proprietor of Brighton’s Repository of Arts where he exhibited engravings, lithographs, aquatints and other works of art.
Mason had already been dealing in cricket lithographs since the early 1840s and he was the publisher of what is believed to be the most popular cricket print of any age titled ‘A cricket match between the counties of Sussex and Kent, at Brighton‘.
As the great John Arlott wrote in 1980, “Despite its popularity it was almost the ruin of the unhappy Mason. During the 30 years the plate lay idle, the picture was constantly ‘pirated’, copied, misattributed and wrongly described, but it was, meanwhile, becoming the best-known of all cricket prints; and still is to be met with in cricket pavilions all over the world.”
Hennah was sent to Liverpool to photograph the cricketers aboard the Nova Scotian on the afternoon of that memorable September 7th of 1859 and less than a month after, on October 2nd, the finished product was being published by Mason in conjuction with the firm of John Wisden, one of the celebrated cricket tourists.
And just like it happened with Mason’s Sussex-Kent lithograph, the ‘England’s Twelve Champion Cricketers’ picture -as it was titled-became an instant hit and yet again, photographers across England began to reproduce and copy the image in every format available. ‘Legal’ reproductions like the one sold in Carte de Visite format by the London Stereoscopic Company and even ‘cheap’ pirated copies without any credits are still being found today.
The cricketers were celebrities so it should come as no surprise that our good old American businessmen weren’t going to try and capitalize on the opportunity just like the folks across the pond were doing already.
Newspapers, merchants, restaurateurs and even the Astor House hotel that served as the English cricketers headquarters while in New York, did their best to attract customers attention and profit from the special occasion.
Noted photographers Mathew Brady [Click here for more on Mathew Brady and an early cricket ambrotype] and Charles DeForest Fredricks started advertising photographs of the celebrated cricketing visitors while the tour was still going strong.
So besides Henna’s photograph, -taken and published in England- the pictorial archive of the 1859 All England XI is very limited, and this is why I considered this an interesting topic to write about.
According to Brady’s ad, an “Imperial Photograph” of the group was being exhibited at his Broadway gallery and copies of “a fine stereoscopic view of the cricket ground, with cricketers playing” were available for sale.
On October 15th Harper’s published a couple of engravings, one of them [shown above] after an ambrotype by Brady and portraying the “Eleven of All England”.
It’s worth noting that John Lillywhite and John ‘Foghorn’ Jackson were not pictured with the rest of the cricketers for the occasion.
Brady’s ambrotype was most likely taken outdoors between October 3rd-5th and since John Lillywhite was nursing a “bad hand” and didn’t take part on the 3 day match, he officiated as an umpire and that’s why I assume he was left out of the picture. Don’t have a theory for Jackson’s absence, though.
But was this the “Imperial Photograph” of the cricketers that Brady mentioned in the newspaper advertisement as the one being exhibited in his Broadway gallery?
It could very well be the one but I can’t be sure.
By the mid 1850s Brady had been advertising a ‘new’ process to create life-size portraits from original ambrotypes with “even superior accuracy” to his already well known imperial photographs.
I couldn’t pass on posting this newspaper clipping from the October 17, 1857 issue of Harper’s Weekly.
The ‘Prince of Photographers’ revolutionized the business of photography and helped invent modern advertising with his newspaper ads and elaborate credit lines.
“PHOTOGRAPHY was born in the United States, and the sceptre has not departed from us.”
What about the “fine stereoscopic view of the cricket ground, with cricketers playing”?
Right now I can just remember about two images, both engravings, of the 1859 cricket match at Hoboken.
The fist one, and the one I think was made after a Brady photograph is the other engraving published by Harper’s on October 15th, 1859.
It appeared on the top-half of a double page spread [pages 664 and 665] above the earliest known Harper’s baseball woodcut.
I’m inclined to believe this is the same image after the photograph that was sold by Brady in stereoview format, but again, not sure.
I’ve asked a couple of sources, but they haven’t seen this particular stereoview, so the search has to continue.
The other image of the match was published in Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper on the same date as the Harper’s engraving, and this one, I think, is the one made after Fredrick’s photograph and also the one that ultimately made it into the advertised lithograph.
From his ad:
Mr. C.D. Fredericks [sic], Photographer, in connection with Messrs. Bien & Turner will publish on SATURDAY NEXT, 8th inst., a photo-lithograph of the ALL-ENGLAND ELEVEN, with autographs of the players and a correct view of the Cricket Ground at Hoboken, forming a most valuable picture – size 15 by 20 inches.
Copies may be obtained on and after Saturday of either of the above named parties, at 50 cents each.
Fredricks was known to provide photographs for Leslie’s Illustrated, but again, no luck while searching for this particular photo-lithograph.
Considering that Julius Bien was one of the most talented lithographic artists in New York around that time, this particular piece must have been fantastic and of similar quality to Edincott’s 1856 “All United States Eleven” lithograph [Shown here: Mr. Cuyp]
And there’s another photograph of the whole group of cricketers sitting in a studio, but I wasn’t able to find much about it other than a mention on Stephen Green’s ‘Backward Glances‘ about it being presented to MCC Museum at Lord’s in 1972 by Professor Howard Comfort on behalf of the C.C. Morris Cricket Library.
Unfortunately, Marylebone Cricket Club has no information regarding the photographer or the location of the studio where this photograph was taken.
SABR member Beth Hise, curator and author of ‘Swinging Away’ [go buy the book if you haven't already!] told me after an email contact [two if counting Tom Shieber's... Thanks Tom!] that she knew of the photograph, but guys at MCC were still cataloguing their photography collection when she was working on the book and exhibition and never came across the print from CC Morris there.
My research inquiry to C.C. Morris Library might yield some results after all. They don’t have information on the photographer/studio but they will try to remove the photograph from its old frame and see if there’s any imprint to be unearthed after all these years.
I just can’t wait.
Hopefully I’ll be able to update this post with new information in a couple of days.
Again, many questions and not many answers , but I just ran out of time, so shoot me an email or drop a comment below if you have something to share and would like to help with this research project.
Update [June 15, 2012]
Kathleen Burns from C.C. Morris Cricket Library went the extra mile and after removing the backing of the photograph, she sent the following information:
Unfortunately after removing the backing of the photograph, the photographer’s name was not available.
The following is the only writing on the back:
Parr’s Team of 1859
First English Cricketers to visit the United States.
Match played October 10th – 13th, 1859, versus Twenty-two Americans.
Englishmen won by seven wickets.
The writing on the mat is not very clear (G Sautter 4933?)
I need to search deeper but my first reaction is that the photograph was taken in a Philadelphia studio instead of a New York one.
The cricketers arrived in Philly on the midnight of October 9th and proceeded to the Girard House Hotel. (where they met Henry Chadwick)
They left the city on Saturday, October 15th.
‘G Sautter’ must have been George Sauter, a “manufacturer of Looking Glasses, Picture Frames & Passe-Partouts, Also, dealer in Paintings, Engravings, Chromos, and other works of art, 138 South Eighth Street Philadelphia”. The previous information taken from a paper label found in a non-related miniature portrait.
According to the 1860 census, George G. Sauter (1837-?) was living in Philadelphia with his parents, Charles F. Sauter, who seems to have had a furniture store, and Caroline Sauter.
George gave his occupation as “manufacturer of P Partouts” with assets of $4000.
By 1870 he was married to Christina Sauter and they had a daughter Mary Sauter, aged 2, but by 1880 he was living only with his mother, and even later in 1900 he was living as a lodger and his occupation was art dealer.
To be continued…
Update [June 21, 2012]
Found some interesting things while researching the ‘Philadelphia’ photograph and Sauter.
It didn’t occurred to me that George Sauter’s business was located just a couple of blocks away from the Girard House Hotel were the cricketers stayed while in Philadelphia.
I’m including a couple of map captures showing both addresses on a 1858-1860 Philly Atlas’ map and a current 3D view from Google Maps, with point A being Sauter’s address and point B marking Girard House’s location.
The photograph could have been taken in a nearby studio, but more than a dozen were established near these two locations. Henry C. Phillips studio was located next to the Girard House Hotel and J.E. McClees’ and Wenderoth’s were on the same block. James Cremer studio was close to Sauter’s at 18 South Eight Street and John Lawrence Gihon’s studio was located just a block away from the Hotel on Chestnut avenue for what it’s worth.
I’ve been unable to find a newspaper account that mentions the cricketers’ photo session or any kind of advertisement where the photograph was made available for sale.
I did, however, find a neat newspaper clipping of the cricketers arrival at the Girard House Hotel.
As mentioned before, the group arrived in Philadelphia on the midnight of Sunday, October 9th of 1859.
Fred Lillywhite, the cricketers (Tom Hayward’s not mentioned) and 3 others (highlighted in green) in the group registered at the Hotel that midnight.
Harry Lillywhite, Fred and John’s brother, traveled with the group from New York, and although he didn’t play in Philadelphia, he did take the field in Rochester later on October 21.
More on Harry can be read here: http://thenewyorkclipper.com/my-name-is/
William Ellis, an english-born canadian engineer and cricket player, also stayed at the Girard House.
He took part of the match played at Montreal on September 24-27 between the All Englanders and the Twenty-Two of Lower Canada and served as an umpire on the Philadelphia match.
Ellis was born near London, England in 1826 and traveled to Canada in 1853. Records show he was already playing cricket in Canada by 1856. In 1864 he was elected mayor of Prescott. By 1875, he was the President of the Prescott Cricket Club in Ontario.
The third person traveling with the cricketers was G.P. Baker.
Godfrey Phipps Baker was born August 25, 1822 in England.
Although some sources call him the ‘Father of cricket in Ottawa’, it was his father, George William Baker, the one who founded the Bytown Cricket Club in 1849, after arriving in Canada in 1832.
G.P. Baker accompanied the cricketers since they arrived in Montreal and was mentioned by Fred Lillywhite on various occasions on his tour book.
Here are some of the lines that Fred Lillywhite wrote about Baker:
“… a gentlemen to whose kindness and attention the cricketers owe a large debt of gratitude.”
“A more enthusiastic and true lover of the noble game of cricket never existed.”
Baker [picture shown at right] was was postmaster of the City of Ottawa for more than 25 years and was an active cricket player with the local club.
He died March 16, 1882.
The last name that got my attention was H. Sharp of New York.
Let me write a couple of lines on Henry E. Sharp, even though he deserves more than a full blog post just for him.
Sharp, a glass stainer by trade and then President of the New York Cricket Club had been an active and enthusiastic cricketer for many years.
Tom Melville wrote in ‘The Tented Field’ that he was probably the best recipient of the title of ‘Father of American Cricket.’ Couldn’t agree more.
In 1856 he tried to organize the first American vs English match, but unfortunately the affair was not successful.
He took the field on the Hoboken match and officiated as umpire in Philadelphia, where and according to some, one of his rulings marked international cricket’s first controversy.
Sharp inexplicably called a wide when English player Robert Carpenter was caught.
Jones Wister claimed that it had cost Americans the match when “the umpire declined to rectify his palpable error.”
Since I can’t stop writing about baseball, Sharp, who was also Wilkes’ Spirit of the Times cricket correspondent at some point in life, wrote that Jim Creighton’s fatal injury had occurred during a St. George’s vs Willow match.
Sharp was known for being -in the words of Melville- “Open minded and sympathetic towards baseball.”
Time to stop writing and resume the search for more clues on the whereabouts of the Hoboken photographs and the identity of the Philadelphia photographer…