Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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1890-1900

 
 
 

1890

Back Row (L-R): E.C.Plant, W.J.Locke, W.H.S.Laxton, W.Greenstock, M.A.North, H.G.Barlow, H.C.Tillard. Middle Row: A.T.Martin, G.W.C.Hutchinson, C.H.St.L.Russell, T.D.Davies, E.Pellissier, A.W.Targett, Rev E.B.Cook, S.T.Irwin, G.H.Clark, H.B.Jupp, H.R.Harper, W.D.L.Macpherson, Rev H.C.Watson, R.T.Carter, H.S.Hall, J.E.Pearson, E.J.Barff, J.W.Longsdon, A.T.Warren, J.G.Bradshaw, W.Fairbanks, Rev C.P.Wilson, D.Rintoul, E.N.P.Moor, G.H.Wollaston, Rev A.St.J.Gray, H.P.Luckman. Front Row: W.F.Trimnell, Rev A.E.Hillard, F.M.Bartholomew, E.H.C.Smith, W.W.Asquith, Dr.W.J.Fyffe, B.Heymann, James Maurice Wilson (Headmaster), Rev T.E.Brown, Rev B.Hartnell, Rev H.Wiseman, W.O.Moberly, C.W.A.Tait,

Above Masters of Clifton College in 1890. From a photograpgh taken by W.Clark with ex Clifton RFC player William Octavius Moberly (the England Rugby International and first Varsity Oxford Captain) and Walter Fairbanks (started at Clifton RFC 1875-76),(Gloucestershire Cricketer 1877-84).

1890/1 - Richard Dutton Budworth selected for England while playing for Blackheath. Born 17th October 1867. Died 7th December 1937 in London. He went on to play for Clifton from 1897.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD: England Caps 1890

Career Record: P3, W1, D0, L2, Tries 1, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

15th Feb 1890 v Wales (Dewsbury) L 0-1T

3rd Jan 1891 v Wales (Newport) W 7-3

7th March 1891 v Scotland (Richmond) L 3-9

OTHER RECORD: Barbarians Appearances 1890-92

Career Record: P5, W1, D1, L3, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

27th December 1890 v Hartlepool Rovers W (Hartlepool) 9-4

26th December 1891 v Devonshire (Exeter) D 0-0

28th December 1891 v Bradford (Bradford) L 0-14

29th December 1891 v Huddersfield (Huddersfield) L 2-7

11th April 1892 V Corinthians (Queens Club, London) L 12-14

Richard Budworth was an Oxford Blue in 1887-9. He scored his England try against Wales on 3rd January 1891. One of the original members of the Barbarians Club, Budworth was a clergyman, being ordained in 1902. He taught at Lancing College, Clifton College (1898 until 1907), was headmaster at Durham School and served in World War One. He became Canon at Durham Cathedral and retired in 1932. Budworth's first match for England was the first game England had played after the international dispute. The game started in controversy when England had been unable to field their star half-back, Fred Bonsor of Bradford. He had captained the side the previous season against the 'Maoris', but was thought to have deliberately withdrawn at a late hour from the game so that his Bradford co-half, Wright, could win his first cap for England. Well, Wright secured the coveted cap, but neither he nor his colleague ever appeared in England colours again.

For more on Richard Budworth click here

1891-92

W.H.Birch captained Clifton. He went on to also captain Gloucestershire and had 2 trials for England in 1894-95. For more click here

Above W.H.Birch as he appeared in the book Famous Footballers in 1896. He is wearing his Gloucestershire cap. The text with the above reads

"Rugby Football in the West of England has had a few more energetic exponents than the Captain of Gloucestershire XV., W.H.Birch. Born in South Africa, he went to school at Bath College, so that his early training as a Footballer was also in the West Country. At one time he was Captain of the Clifton F.C., and for six years he has been quite one of the foremost figures in Rugby Football in Gloucestershire. He has played continuously since 1891, and last season acted as Captain of the team. He also played during the winter of 1894-95 for the Western Counties, as well as for London and the Western Counties against the Universities, two of the International trials. Standing just over 6ft. and weighing littleover 13 stone, he is a strong scrummager, using his weight to the best advantage. In addition he is a resolute tackler, while his foot work is of the most brilliant description."

Above F.W.Hunt who joined Clifton in 1889 but moved to Bristol in 1892. Pictured here in the Bristol XV of 1893. As well as Hunt, Clifton would also loose W.H.Birch to Bristol.

1892 - Ex Clifton player and ex RFU President Arthur Budd contributes to the book "FOOTBALL - THE RUGBY UNION GAME" - Rev F Marshall.

The Revd Francis Marshall was the self-appointed scourge of professionalism in the years before the Northern Union broke away from the RFU in 1895. Headmaster of King James Grammar School , Almondbury, near Huddersfield, he was a well-known rugby referee, who frequently smoked a cigar while officiating.

Above left the Revd. Francis Marshall. For more details see the Print section above. Above right a picture of Arthur Budd from the 1892 edition of "FOOTBALL - THE RUGBY UNION GAME"

1892-93 - Three 1st team players leave and join Bristol. W.H.Birch, F.W.Hunt, A.W.Ford

The committee agreed to wind the club up but happily this proposition was rejected at a General Meeting and a rescue plan launched.

Club ground moved to Fishponds. For more details click here

Edwin Field selected for England (Full Back) while playing for Middlesex Wanderers. Born 16th December 1871 in Hampstead. Died 9th January 1947 in Bromley. He had previously played for Clifton from 1883

INTERNATIONAL RECORD: England Caps 1893

Career Record: P2, W1, D0, L1, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

7th Jan 1893 v Wales (Cardiff) (FN) L 11-12

4th Feb 1893 v Ireland (Landsdowne Road, Dublin) (FN) W 4-0

 

 

 

OTHER RECORD: Barbarians Appearances 1893-94

Career Record: P3, W2, D0, L1, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 1

1st April 1893 v Hartlepool Rovers W 10-7

9th February 1893 v Huddersfield W 9-2

21st February 1894 v Bedford L 3-7

 

For more on Edwin Field click here

Standing (L-R): ?, Frederick Charles Belson, ?, W.P.Gwynne, ?, T.Jones, B.H.Belson. Sitting: Frank Borwick, Edward Panter-Downes, Henry Lawrence Weekes Norrington, Edward Payne Press, William Wyamar Vaughan, Edward James Barff, C.Parkes-Smith. On Ground: Albert Stewart Hume

The original of the above photo (titled Clifton Rugby Football Club with A.S.H 1893) is part of the Hume Collection (UQFL10) and is reproduced courtesy of the Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. It includes Frederick Belson (standing second left) who in 1899 went on to become one of the first British Lions. Frank Borwick in the above picture became a Master of Clifton College and was also played County rugby for Middlesex. This photograph would have been taken towards the end of the 1892/93 season. The Clifton captain Edward Payne Press played in the first three Clifton v Bristol matches.

The Hume family lived at Drayton, Toowoomba, and in Brisbane. W.C. Hume was a surveyor and Chief commissioner for Lands for Queensland. The Hume Family Collection contains personal correspondence, photograph albums, travel journals, diaries of various family members, notebooks, and is available within the Fryer Library. A virtual exhibition is available at this site, and its introduction provides further information about the Hume family and the collection. The contents of the photograph albums have been digitised at 150 dpi, and are available here. They comprise family pictures, images of early Brisbane and Toowomba, overseas travel pictures, and a number of sketches. Many of the photographs were taken by W.C.Hume, his family and friends; some are commercial photographs.

Albert S. Hume (see below) played for Clifton from 1891/92 and is the A.S.H. referred to in the above photo. He was the son of W. C. Hume. For more details click here

The change of a try from 2 to 3 was made by the RFU in 1893 but the IRB adopted it in 1894.

1893-94

Club moved to a ground in Horfield. For more details click here

Back Row (L-R): W.James, F.Belson, N.Cooper, H.B.F.Bingham, W.Bunbury, W.P.Gwynne, A.B.Cridland, T.Jones. Front Row: W.W.Vaughan, B.H.Belson, W.J.Lias, H.L.Norrington, H.Bacchus, C.Rogers. On Ground: C.W.W.James

Above Clifton XV 1893-94

Above cap awarded in 1894. Its a little unclear why this is different. It has the initials CFC embroidered on the outside and HW on the inside. At the moment the thought is that its the Clifton Cap awarded to H.W.Wills.

1894 - Charles Alexander Hooper selected for England while playing for Middlesex Wanderers. Born 6th June 1869 in Stonehouse Glos. Died 16th September 1950 in Buckinghamshire. I suspect he started his club rugby with Clifton when he was at Clifton College but cannot be sure of the exact dates as the club lists him as an International but doesn't list him as a club member.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD: English Caps 1894

Career Record: P3, W1, D0, L2, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

6th January 1894 v Wales (Upper Park, Birkenhead) W 24-3

3rd February 1894 v Ireland (Blackheath) L 5-7

17th March 1894 v Scotland (Raeburn Place, Edinburgh) L 0-6

OTHER RECORD: Barbarians Appearances 1891-93

Career Record: P9, W1, D1, L7, Tries 4, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

31st March 1891 v Cardiff L 3-7

1st April 1891 v Devonshire W 11-0

26th December 1891 v Devonshire D 0-0

28th December 1891 v Bradford L 0-14

29th December 1891 v Huddersfield L 2-7

30th December 1891 v Swinton L 0-9

11th April 1892 v Corintians L 12-14

24th December 1892 v Leeds L 0-2

4th April 1893 v Newport L 3-8

Charles Alexander Hooper was educated at Clifton College (Jan 1880-1888), where he was head of school, was a Cambridge Blue and also played for Gloucestershire. A solicitor (1894-1914), he was a member of England's first four-three quarters line against Wales in what was also their only win during the 1894 campaign. He emigrated to Hong Kong in 1914 and served in the Hong Kong Special Police Force during World War one. He scored 2 tries for the Barbarians against Corinthians on 11th April 1892 and 2 against Devonshire on 1st April 1891.

For more on Charles Hooper click here

1894-95

Back Row (L-R): D.T.Price, T.W.Baker, E.L.Marriott, H.B.F.Bingham, H.W.Wills, S.H.Reynolds, T.H.Battye. Middle Row: A.B.Cridland, T.Taylor, Lieut Norrington, W.J.Lias, H.L.Norrington, W.P.Gwynne, H.Brimble. In Front: C.W.W.James.

Above Clifton XV 1894-95

It was on 29th August 1895 that the Northern Rugby Union was formed (which later became the Rugby League). The administrators acted over the coming years and changed the rules of the game (abolishing line-outs, reduced teams to 13-a-side and introducing the play-the-ball being the main variations) to improve the attractiveness of the spectacle and therefore paying crowds. Rugby League had begun. Rugby Union in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire suddenly reduced from 240 to 25 teams. By 1904 the Northern Union had more clubs affiliated to it than the RFU. It was not just a huge loss of numbers but quality as well. When a national county championship "was at last permitted" in 1889, Yorkshire won the initial title and then eventually won seven of the first eight years. The only year they lost it was to fellow northerners Lancashire.

Standing (L-R): C.J.Donaldson, C.Hall, W.H.Birch (Clifton), P.J.Ebdon, M.H.Toller, W.J.Lias (Clifton), H.T.Gamlin, W.E.Bildings. Seated: A.May, W.Jarman (Bristol), C.Thomas, E.Salter, F.Soane (Captain) (Bath), J.Bowley, H.Stoyle.

Above Western Counties side of 1895 with Clifton Captains W.J.Lias and W.H.Birch. This side was part of an England trial match

For more on William John Lias click here

1896-97

Moved to new ground at Westbury. For more details click here

Controversial match v Bristol at the County Ground on 10th April 1897. The game ended in a 6-5 victory for Bristol. Bristol scored a try in the last second as the whistle went for full-time. Clifton claiming that the ball had been touched down after the whistle. For more details click here

1897-1898

This season Bristol dropped the annual Clifton match from their fixtures. On September 30th 1897 The Bristol Times & Mirror reported the following.

The question as to wheather Bristol have done well in dropping the Clifton match this year is one that is keenly discussed in football circles. Here is a letter which we received from one who thinks it is an unwise move- "I understand that the reason put forward by Bristol Rugby Football Club last year for discontinuing their annual fixture with Clifton was that they had arranged a better list of fixtures this year, and consequently had no date open to enable them to give Clifton a match. Looking at the paper on Monday morning, I find that on Saturday Bristol played a team called London Wanderers, whom they defeated in a terribly one-sided game by 47 points to nil. As far as I can remember, Bristol just managed to scrape home last season against Clifton by gaining the winning point one or two minutes over the proper time. I, as a casual observer, would like to know if there are many other clubs like the London Wanderers included in Bristol's better list of fixtures this season, as if so, their excuse to discontinue the match seems to me to be a very lame one. Yours truly, 'ONE OF A CROWD'

Previous to that on the 24th September 1897 The Bristol Times & Mirror reported the following.

BRISTOL v. LONDON WANDERERS. - Mr. Beare has secured the services of four well-known Surrey county players for this match with Bristol, on the County Ground, tomorrow, viz., H.T.Wallis, J.E.Thomson, J.H.Kipling, and A.Warden. Wallis is a Cambridge University Blue, a very fast three-quarter, and plays for Blackheath; J.E.Thomson also plays for "The Club," and is the brother to W.B.Thomson, the well-known international; and Kipling plays for Surrey, and the South fifteen included him last season. The team will be a very strong combination.

1898-1899 - Gerald Harry Beloe is made captain. Born 21st November 1877 at Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Died 1st October 1944 at Brandon Hill, Clifton, Bristol. He also played cricket for Gloucestershire. A left-hand batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler.

FIRST-CLASS (1898 - 1899) Gerald Harry Beloe

 

M

I

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

100

50

Ct

St

Batting & Fielding

6

11

2

153

52*

17.00

0

1

4

0

 

Balls

M

R

W

Ave

BBI

5

10

SR

Econ

Bowling

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

His first cricket match for Gloucestershire was on 4th August 1898 against Middlesex at the County Ground in Bristol, in a team that also included W.G.Grace, Walter Troup and Gilbert Jessop. His last match was on 25th May 1899 against Middlesex at Lords. He captained Clifton for 2 seasons.

Standing (L-R): J.H.Board, G.H.Beloe, W.McHemingway. Sitting: W.S.A.Brown, C.L.Townsend, W.G.Grace, W.Troup, E.L.Thomas. On Ground: W.H.Hale, A.Paish, H.Wrathall.

Above the Gloucestershire CCC side of 1898 with Clifton RFC captain Gerald Harry Beloe (Middle Back Row). Sitting front left is Walter H Hale, whose son William H Hale went on to play rugby for Bristol (he is in the 1923-24 photo of Bristol sitting next to ex Clifton RFC player Bunny Chantrill). Walter's great-great-grandsons, Oliver Hale and William Hale, now play for Clifton RFC u12's and u10's respectively (2004-05). Walter Hale also played cricket for Somerset and rugby for Gloucestershire and Somerset. In 1901 he headed the Gloucestershire averages above Gilbert Jessop. Between 1897 and 1909 he played in 57 County Championship games for Gloucestershire.

In August 1898 Beloe proposed as a playing member to the Clifton club Gilbert Laird Osbourne Jessop. At the time he was in his 3rd year at Cambridge University, where he captained the cricket team. Born 19th May 1874 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the eleventh child to a doctor. Died 11th May 1955 at Fordington, Dorset. He played for Gloucestershire from 30th July 1894 to 3rd August 1914, Cambridge University from 1896-1899, Marylebone Cricket Club from 1896-1914 and London County from 1900-1902. He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1898. He was an all-round sportsman, a good soccer and rugby player. His first match for Gloucestershire was against Lancashire at Old Trafford and the Gloucestershire side included W.G. and E.M.Grace. Jessop was one of the most exciting cricket players of his era. His great innings’ included 286 in less than 3 hours, 157 runs in an hour against the West Indian team of 1900, and famously, the century that won the Oval Test of 1902. Going in with England 48/5 he made 104 out of 139 in 75 minutes, taking England to an improbable victory. Originally a fast bowler, he strained his back when over bowled in his first Test match in 1899, and afterwards was less effective. As a fielder, the power and accuracy of his returns from cover combined with fleetness of foot made him the undisputed master of that position prior to the 1st world war. Named after WG Grace, he eventually followed him as captain of Gloucestershire, and later club secretary. Originally a school teacher, Jessop married an Australian met on the boat returning from the 1901-2 tour (his son later played for Hampshire). When war broke out in 1914 he joined up, but was badly injured in an accident in 1916 and was unable to work again until 1924. He then became secretary to the Edgware Golf Club. When the club was sold in 1936, he went to live with his son at St. George's Vicarage, Dorchester, until he died in 1955, aged 80.

FIRST-CLASS (1894 - 1914) Gilbert Laird Osbourne Jessop

 

M

I

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

100

50

Ct

St

Batting & Fielding

493

855

37

26698

286

32.63

53

127

464

-

 

Balls

M

R

W

Ave

BBI

5

10

SR

Econ

Bowling

42442

2101

19904

873

22.79

8-29

41

4

48.61

2.81

 

TESTS (1899 - 1914) Gilbert Laird Osbourne Jessop

 

M

I

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

100

50

Ct

St

Batting & Fielding

18

26

0

569

104

21.88

1

3

464

-

 

Balls

M

R

W

Ave

BBI

5

10

SR

Econ

Bowling

732

28

354

10

35.40

4-68

0

0

73.19

2.90

Above left: Spectators at the 1897 Varsity Cricket match with Gilbert Jessop playing in his second season for Cambridge University. Above right: Lords pavillion during the match.

Above scene from the 1897 Varsity Cricket match at Lords.

Above G.L.Jessop, front centre, captain of the Cambridge University Cricket team in 1899

1899 - Ex Clifton player Frederick Charles Belson becomes one of the first British Lions when he is selected for a Great Britain touring team to Australia, referred to in those days as the Anglo-Australian Touring Team, not called the British Lions until 1924. A second leg to New Zealand was cancelled. The Australian tour started on the 14th June v Central Southern Union and finished on 12th August when they beat Australia 13-0.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD: British Isles Caps 1899

Career Record: P4, W3, D0, L1, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

14th June 1899 v Central Southern W 11-3

17th June 1899 v New South Wales W 4-3

24th June 1899 v Australia (Sydney) L 3-13

28th June 1899 v Toowoomba W 19-5

A badge from that tour.

For more on Frederick Belson click here

1899 - Moved to new ground at North View, Westbury-on-Trym. For more details click here

Above left a copy of an original Bartholmews map of 1901 of the north west of Bristol. Sneyd Park, Stoke Bishop and Westbury Park are still a small cluster of large houses outside of the city. Sea Mills, Coombe Dingle, Southmead do not exist. Above right key to grounds: Red:Kings Arms where it all began, Orange:Coldharbour Farm 1872-86, Blue:North View 1899-1914, Green:Redland Green 1919-1926, Yellow:Eastfield Road 1926-1976, Cyan:Cribbs Causeway 1976-present.