Francis Shillitoe: Local Hero.

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anthony.brown
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Francis Shillitoe: Local Hero.

Post by anthony.brown » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:48 pm

Francis Shillitoe, solicitor, coroner, and Hitchin FC's first captain.
A few selected events and dates.

Born about July 1848
Baptised 13th September 1848
1851 Living in Sun Street, Hitchin. Father Richard Rickman Shillitoe, surgeon, apothecary, and GP.
1861 Living in Tilehouse Street.

24th November 1865 Elected first captain of Hitchin FC
24th February 1866 Played in Hitchin FC's first match, v Mr Elphinstone's XI (W2-1)
17th March 1866 Played for Hitchin FC v Mr Lucas's Team
9th March 1867 Played for Hitchin v Old Harrovians
24th April 1867 Hitchin Athletic Sports (under the auspices of Hitchin FC) Winner of one mile race (won two handled silver cup) '...ran in an easy winner, at a great pace and with plenty of steam to spare'.Quarter mile race (won a tankard) '....the race was run with great spirit'. Second place in the two mile race.
3rd October 1867 Hitchin Athletic Sports (under the auspices of Hitchin Cricket Club) 100 yards, 'won easily'. One mile, 'won very easily'. Hurdle race 150 yards, 10 flights, 'winner'. Quarter mile race, 'again won easily'. Handicap, one mile, 'won at discretion'
17th October 1868 Played for Wanderers v Amateur Athletic Club (W2-0) .......'Shillitoe showed up well' Bell's Life report.
28th October 1868 Played for Wanderers v Westminster School (L0-1)
16th November 1868 Played, and was captain, for Wanderers v Eton Club (L0-3)
17th November 1868 Played, and was captain, for Wanderers v Harrow Club (D0-0)
26th November 1868 Captains Hitchin FC v Wanderers (D1-1)
12th December 1868 Played (?) for Wanderers v London Athletic Club (L2-3)
(Appears in Morning Advertiser reported team, but may have been absent from this game)
3rd April 1869 presents the 'handsome two-handled cup' to 'Logsdon' for winning Hitchin FC's Hare & Hounds cross country race (around the lanes of Charlton, Offley, and Preston).
25th September 1869 Played for Wanderers v Clapham Rovers (L0-1).....'by dint of skilful and energetic play, did much to redeem the credit of (his) side' The Field report.
2nd October 1869 Played his final game for Wanderers v C.C.C (Clapham Common Club) (D0-0)

note: in the age of footballing 'gentlemen', players would often be invited to turn out for another team, while remaining with their own club. The 1860's was a period where most matches were 'friendly' fixtures, and the 'Old Boy' network used frequently. Teams often played with less than eleven players and codes of play (rules) were mixed in pre-FA times. On match days, players would often switch sides to even out the teams. An early Hitchin friendly match was reported as having nine players v seven, I believe.

1871 Living in Tilehouse Street, Hitchin (Attorney)
29th January 1874 Marries Susan Elizabeth Grounds in Ludlow, Salop
1881 Living in West Lane, Hitchin (Solicitor & Coroner)
1891 Living in 2, Paynes Park, Hitchin (Solicitor)
1901 Ditto
1911 Ditto

He dies in Hitchin on 18th March 1924
Last edited by anthony.brown on Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:40 pm, edited 8 times in total.



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Stuart
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Re: Founding Fathers (2)

Post by Stuart » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:19 pm

Brilliant stuff again Anthony :thumbsup: , fascinating reading. Would love to know more about the "Hare & Hounds" cross country race, obviously an annual event around Hitchin, wonder what its origins were and when and why it was no longer held? I guess the war may have had something to do with it.

Really appreciate the history lessons here Anthony, :clap:
If music be the football of life, play on (extra time and pens if necessary)

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Re: Founding Fathers (2)

Post by anthony.brown » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:02 pm

Thank you, Stuart. Revisiting the original article, below, I realised my memory caused a couple of mistakes to be made in my summary of the race. F. Shillitoe did not win it, but presented the cup ('handsome two-handled' not necessarily silver!) to the winner Logsdon. He did lead off as one of the hares....................................................................

THE FOOTBALL CLUB - HARE AND HOUNDS

On Saturday last (3rd April 1869) the members of Hitchin Football Club held their first meet at the Dog-kennel Farm Field.
At two minutes past three the hares (Messrs F. Shillitoe and F. Holgate) started, followed in 15 minutes by the hounds. The course was across Mr Hill's farm, to the bottom of Offley Hill, across Offley Park, where there was a slight check to West-wood and straight to Preston, and into the 'Chequers' where another 'check' occurred. From the Chequers the hounds went at a rattling pace along the road leading to Hitchin but soon turning into Wain-wood, they went across Tatmoor Hills to the old Rifle Butts, and thence to Well-head, where they came to a brook. All got a ducking and from there, home, distance about one mile, an exciting struggle ensued between Logsdon and Atkinson - Logsdon eventually winning by about 20 yards; Layton, coming in third about 50 yards behind Atkinson; the rest straggling in at varying intervals, some about an hour after.
A handsome two-handled cup was given by Mr F. Shillitoe to the winner. The time as taken by Mr Pardoe, the Secretary (who kindly acted as time-keeper) was 1h 16m, the distance traversed being about ten miles, across pretty stiff country. There was a crowded 'gallery' to see the water jump and the finish.

Hertford Mercury and Reformer Saturday 10th April 1869

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Re: Founding Fathers (2)

Post by anthony.brown » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:51 pm

DEATH OF HITCHIN CORONER

One of the best known public men in North Herts is removed by death, which occurred at Hitchin on Tuesday, of Mr Francis Sillitoe,at the age of 75 years.
The late Mr Shillitoe, who was a son of the late Dr Richard Rickman Shillitoe, had at the time of his death been coroner for the Hitchin District, which stretches from the Beds border to Welwyn on the south, for the long period of 42 years. He had also been people's warden of St Mary's, Hitchin, for 30 years. For some 38 years he was the treasurer of the 'Cecil' Lodge of Freemasons.

In his younger days he was a foremost athlete, distinguishing himself particularly in cycling, football and swimming.
At one period he played for Wanderers FC, which may be compared to the present Corinthians.

Mr Shillitoe had held a number of important positions at Hitchin, including that of clerk to the governors of the Hitchin Grammar Schools.
He was a family solicitor of the old type and came of one of the oldest and respected of Hitchin families.
After a particular healthy and vigorous life he had a heart attack about a fortnight ago, from which he never rallied.
He was twice married. He leaves five sons and two daughters by his first marriage, and two young daughters, with a widow, by his second marriage.

Biggleswade Chronicle Friday 21st March 1924

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