James Lillywhite

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James Lillywhite
James Lillywhite.jpg
Personal information
Full nameJames Lillywhite junior
Born(1842-02-23)23 February 1842
Westhampnett, Sussex, England
Died25 October 1929(1929-10-25) (aged 87)
Chichester, Sussex, England
BowlingLeft arm slow-medium
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  7)15 March 1877 v  Australia
Last Test4 April 1877 v  Australia
Domestic team information
1862–1883 Sussex
Umpiring information
Tests  umpired6 (1881–1899)
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Runs scored165523
Batting average 8.0014.30
Top score10126 *
Balls bowled34057,257
Wickets 81,210
Bowling average 15.7515.23
5 wickets in innings 096
10 wickets in match022
Best bowling4/7010/129
Catches/stumpings 1/–109/–
Source: CricketArchive, 21 September 2008

James Lillywhite (23 February 1842 – 25 October 1929) was an English Test cricketer and an umpire. He was the first ever captain of the English cricket team in a Test match, [1] captaining two Tests against Australia in 1876–77, losing the first, but winning the second.


Lillywhite was born in Westhampnett in Sussex, the son of a brickmaker, John Lillywhite. In the 1861 census the 19 year old James' profession is given as Tile Maker. He was the nephew of William Lillywhite, and so cousin to William's sons, James Lillywhite senior, John, Fred and Harry. Lillywhite is termed "junior" in sources to differentiate between him and his cousin James senior. He became a professional cricketer, and played first-class cricket for Sussex from 1862 and 1883. He played one final first-class match in 1885. Before the pre-Ashes Test-playing tour to Australia in 1876–77, Lillywhite also joined tours to North America in 1868 in a team led by Edgar Willsher, to Australia in 1873–74 in a team led by W.G. Grace. He also joined three further tours to Australia in teams led by Alfred Shaw, in 1881–82, 1884–85 and 1886–87.

Test cricket

James Lillywhite and Dave Gregory were the 1st ever Test Captains. Neither were great with the bat. Of the 2 James top scored in the 1st Test scoring 10 in the 1st Innings on 17-Mar and scored 4 in the 2nd Innings on 19 March. James, having lost the toss, had his side put into bat which meant that James was the 1st ever Test player as he led out his England side. He was 35 years 20 days old. As his team followed him out he was passed by England No: 1 Harry Jupp and England No: 8 Tom Emmett who were both 35 years old but older than James Lillywhite.

He stood as a first-class umpire between 1883 and 1901, including six Test matches. He umpired all four Test matches between Australia and England in the 1881–82 season (being partnered by John Swift in three matches and George Coulthard in the other). He was one of the organisers of Arthur Shrewsbury's team to Australia in 1884–85 but, in spite of his experience, the Australian captain Billy Murdoch refused to allow him to umpire the first ever Test match at Adelaide. However, along with Ted Elliott, he umpired in the second Test of that series, when the entire Australian team refused to play unless they received fifty per cent of gate takings. Nine new faces appeared for Australia, and were soundly beaten. Lillywhite's other match as umpire was the drawn fourth Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford in 1899.

He died in Chichester, the last English survivor of the first Test match.

See also

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  1. "International cricketers turned umpires". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
English national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Lord Harris
Preceded by
E M Grace
Oldest Living Test Cricketer
20 May 1911 – 25 October 1929
Succeeded by
Francis MacKinnon