Born at Burton Joyce, Nottinghamshire, 29th August 1842.
Died at Gedling, Nottinghamshire, 16th January 1907.
He started as a framework knitter, playing his cricket for his village team at Burton Joyce but towards the end of the 1862 season he went as professional to the Grantham club, where he stayed for 1863. In 1864 he was with the Nottingham Commercial club at Trent Bridge and in the May of that year made his first appearance at Lordís in a Colts match. In the June he made his debut in first-class cricket for Nottinghamshire. He made 404 first-class appearances in all, including 193 for Nottinghamshire, 10 for Sussex and seven Test Matches. He toured North America in 1868 and 1879 and Australia in 1876/7, 1881/2, 1884/5, 1886/7, and 1891/2. He was a joint promoter of four Australian tours. He captained Nottinghamshire 1883-86 and after the 1886 season, when he was 44, it was felt that he was too old and after some disagreement he lost his place in the side. He took up an engagement with Lord Sheffield in Sussex and in 1894, at the age of 51, was persuaded to turn out again in county cricket for Sussex and came top of the county bowling averages. After leaving Lord Sheffield in 1898 he was a first-class umpire until the end of 1905.
Outside cricket he was for a time landlord of the Lord Nelson Inn, Burton Joyce, moving in about 1878 to the Prince of Wales Inn, Kilburn. In 1881 he returned to Nottingham, becoming landlord of the Belvoir Inn. Starting in 1880 he was partner in the cricketing business of Shaw and Shrewsbury, Carrington Street, Nottingham.
At the time of the 1881 Census he was living at 15 Kirkby Street, Nottingham, aged 38, a professional cricketer, with his wife Easter, aged 35. They have five children, Millicent aged 15, William A. aged 13, Arthur F. aged 11, John aged 8, and Betrice aged 5, all born at Burton Joyce. They have a 25 year old male visitor by the name of Tomlinson and one domestic servant.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)