William Josiah Hammersley: Australia's best known sportsman of the mid nineteenth century
Speaker: Gillian Hibbins
When: Thursday 21 May
Where: Royal Historical Society, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Time: 12.30 pm Tea/coffee 1.00 pm Lecture
Cost: Members - free; Non-members - $5.50
William Hammersley, sporting journalist and 1857 Victorian cricket eleven captain, was a colonial mover and shaker in the 1850s to the 1880s. Generally supporting all the 'manly' sports, Hammersley helped to codify Australian Rules Football, pushed the Albert Park Lagoon as a site for rowing and yachting, first used the term 'test match', advocated the introduction of the totalisator, started the athletics races with his pistol, encouraged the introduction of the Maribyrnong Plate, moved to get the first fence erected around the MCG, and used much ink trying to make horse racing honest and to prevent the professionalism of Australian cricket.
Gillian has published Sport and Racing in Colonial Melbourne which covers the start of many of our sports.