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Lawrence, Charles (Charlie) (1828–1916)

from Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW)

The late Mr. Charles Lawrence, who died in Melbourne on Wednesday last, was one of the oldest cricketers in Australia.

He came out here as a member of H. H. Stephenson's team in 1868. The team consisted of the following players:—H. H. Stephenson (Surrey), G. Bennett (Kent), W. Gaffyn (Surrey), G. Griffith (Surrey), T. Hearne (Middlesex), R. Iddison (Yorkshire), C. Lawrence (Kent), W. Mortlock (Surrey), W. Mudie (Surrey), T. Sewell (Surrey), E. Stephenson (Yorkshire), G. Wells (Middlesex), The team left England towards the end of 1861, and were given a great reception on their arrival in Melbourne by the steamer Great Britain. Every ship in the bay was decorated with flags, and triumphal arches were erected at Sandridge, and several other places. Coaches and six and coaches and four were in attendance, and when the eleven took their places outside Cobb's coach, and were "tooted" into Melbourne by the smartest American drivers, they were followed by such a collection of coach, carriage, cab, car, and cavalry as was never seen elsewhere than at Epsom on Derby Day. On January 1, 1862, they commenced the first match of the tour, that against eighteen of Victoria, whom they defeated by an innings and 96 runs, and thereafter the opposing teams consisted of twenty-two players. The result of the tour was that six matches were won, two lost, and four drawn. The defeats were by New South Wales and Victorian combined (twenty-two), and by twenty-two of Castlemaine. Messrs. Lawrenc and Gaffyn did not return to England with the other members of the team. In 1871 or 1872, however, Gaffyn went home again, and until quite recently he and Mr. Lawrence corresponded. Gaffyn is now the only surviving member of Stephenson's team. On February 8, 1868, an aboriginal team, got together in their native state from Lake Wallace, and trained for fifteen months, by the late Tommy Wills and Lawrence, started for England. The venture was a plucky and a risky one, and was not a financial success. Their names were: Mullagh, Cuzens, Charlie, Bullocky, Red Cap, Twopenny, Tiger, Shepherd, Dick-a-Dick, Peter, Sundown. Mosquito, Jim Crow, and King Cole. Considering all things, they did fairly well from a cricket point of view, and showed that had they been favoured with the same opportunities of acquiring a knowledge of the game as their white contemporaries, they would have proved worthy opponents of any eleven. They were captained in England by Lawrence, and through Australia by Wills. Just prior to their departure they defeated the Army and Navy (assisted by E. J. Gregory and W. Gaffyn). In the match against Hampshire, Twopenny bowled 10 overs, 7 maidens, 9 runs, 9 wickets. On their return several returned to their old haunts. Mullagh and Twopenny, however, continued their cricket and at times distinguished them selves. The former, for his display against Lord Harris's team in 1879, received a gold watch.

Upon his return to Australia, Mr. Lawrence settled in Newcastle, and was appointed to a responsible position in the railway department. After many years' faithful service, he left the department, and proceeded to Melbourne, where he was appointed coach to the Melbourne Cricket Club.

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Citation details

'Lawrence, Charles (Charlie) (1828–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 October 2020.

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