Lancashire Cricket Club
Scorecard Archive
Lancashire player number 65 - Hillkirk, John Ritson
by Don Ambrose

Player:JR Hillkirk

Lancashire 1871-77
Born 25.6.1845 Manchester.
Died 8.10.1921 Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Educated at Ardwick School.

His club cricket was for Didsbury and the Manchester Club. His first match for the Gentlemen of Lancashire was in 1866 against the Gentlemen of Cheshire at Chelford and he played for them on a number of occasions up to 1876. On the 1st August 1867 he turned out for Twenty-two of Ashton-under-Lyne against the All England Eleven at Ashton, scoring 4 and 11, but not getting a bowl, in the presence of Hickton and Tom Emmett.

Almost 5ft. 11 inches tall and weighing almost 12 stone he was a powerful man, using a bat that weighed 2lb.7oz. He was a hard-hitting middle order right-hand batsman and a right-hand medium pace round-arm bowler.

His first match for Lancashire was on 26th and 27th May 1871, against Derbyshire at Old Trafford, when he scored 1 and 17. He also played in the return at Derby and against Kent at Old Trafford. During the next six years he appeared for the county fairly often, making a top score of 56 not out against Yorkshire at Sheffield in 1873. On 31st May and 1st June 1875 he played in his only match at Lord's, against the M.C.C. and Ground, scoring 26 and 5 and being bowled by W.G.Grace in his second innings. His last match for the county was against Derbyshire at Old Trafford on 31st May, 1st and 2nd June 1877 when he scored 3 in Lancashire's 10 wicket victory. He continued to play for Manchester until the mid 1880s, and was elected on to the Lancashire C.C.C. committee in 1880.

He was also an athele of some renown, a gymnast, an expert at wielding clubs, putting the weight and sword feats. He could throw the cricket ball 115 yards. He was a judge and referee at many athletic meetings in the Manchester area.

The Census of 1881 finds him living at Fern Bank, Alan Road, Withington, aged 35, a land surveyor, with his wife Caroline, aged 32 born Eccles, and their son Ritson H. aged 7, and three daughters, Carrie aged 6, Isabel G. aged 1, and Violet aged 1 month. There are three domestic servants.

At the time of the 1901 Census he was living at Claremont, Farnham, Hale, Guildford, aged 55 a retired architect-surveyor, with his wife Caroline, aged 53, and their three sons, Ritson aged 27, a cycle engineer, Cecil aged 25 an electrical engineer, and Norman aged 16, and four daughters, Isabel G. aged 21, Violet aged 20, Winifred aged 17, and Queenie aged 13.

He later moved to the Isle of Wight and at the time of his death he was living at Scandia, Union Road, Cowes, and was buried at Northwood Cemetery.

(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)

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