Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/401

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379
GLOUCESTERSHIRE.

of Students who resided with the Rev. Mr Woodford, of Coalpit Heath, and Mr Henry Hewitt. When Henry Grace was ten or eleven the Mangotsfield was fairly established, and some of Dr Grace's Bristol friends used to come out to Rodway Hill and play, while an enthusiast of the first order was Alfred Pocock, who had been a fine racquet-player, but had abandoned the court for the level mead of the cricketer. "Uncle Pocock" became a good round-arm medium-pace bowler and a very fair batsman. His devotion to the game was only equalled by his perseverance and the correctness of his methods—two most important faculties in tutoring youths. Probably no one did more to train the young Graces in the way they desired to go.

"W. G." was born July 18, 1848, while on December 13, 1850, George Frederick Grace increased the family at Downend House, which became too small for their requirements. Dr Grace accordingly removed to The Chesnuts, which had the appendage of a commodious orchard. "Uncle Pocock" and Dr Grace promptly proceeded to uproot the fruit-bearing trees and lay down a wicket. This, work they began in 1851, and a year later the pitch was most excellent. Once levelled and prepared, it became the duty of "E. M." to see that the pitch was kept in order. It was here that all the members of the family learned to play, and so perfected themselves that three of the brothers became worldfamous.

E. M. Grace, according to 'M.C.C. Scores and Biographies,' when but thirteen years of age formed one of the Twenty-two of West Gloucestershire v. the All-England Eleven. For a great performance at Canterbury in 1862 he was presented with a bat on the part of the M.C.C. and he afterwards received the ball, handsomely mounted on an ebony stand, bearing the following inscription: "With this ball, presented by the M.C.C. to E. M. Grace, he got every wicket in the second innings in the match played at Canterbury, August 14th and 15th, 1862, Gentlemen of Kent v. M.C.C., for whom he played [M.C.C] as an emergency; and in which, going in first, he scored 192 not out."

In the autumn of 1863 "E. M." paid a visit to Australia with George Parr's team, and fairly astonished the colonists by his dashing cricket. But just about this time "W. G." came before the public by playing for All England against Lansdowne, and that when he was but sixteen, while his début at Kennington Oval for South Wales against Surrey, and at Brighton for the same club against the Gentlemen of Sussex, was most sensational. On the fine turf of the old Brunswick ground by the sea he made