PLUS SUBURBAN CARLTON IN 1864, & LINKS TO CARLTON PARKS & GARDENS, FOOTBALL JOURNALISTS
If anyone has any information or memorabilia on the Carlton Football Club, especially 1861-1864-1896, could they please contact the Blueseum on www.blueseum.org/tiki-contact.php
For a description of suburban Carlton in 1864 see below.
1861 - IS THE CARLTON FOOTBALL CLUB THREE YEARS OLDER THAN WAS PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT?
The first mention found so far of a Carlton Football Club was in The Argus newspaper in 1861.
This notice appeared in the classified advertising of the paper Friday May 17 on page 8;
Carlton Cricket Club-A Meeting of the members of the above CLUB will be held at Lindsey's Nelson Hotel THIS EVENING, at half past seven o'clock, to take steps to the formation of a football club. All interested are invited to attend.
T. J. Connor, Jnr, Hon. Sec.(Thomas J. Connor)
Four days later on Tuesday May 21 1861, p8, the following appeared;
Carlton Football Club-A MEETING of the above club will be held at Lindsey's Nelson Hotel tomorrow evening, 21st. inst, at half past 7 o'clock.
Business-Drawing up rules and enrolment of members.
T. J. Connor, Jun, Hon. Sec.(There was a Nelson Hotel in Cardigan Street, Carlton.)
According to the Carlton Cricket Club's web site history "The First 100 Years"
"The first Carlton (cricket) club was formed in 1860-1861, with Captain Radcliffe president and James, famous in the future of the club, one of the playing members.
The next season most of the top members transferred to the Royal Park club."
T. J. Conner played in 6 out of the 7 matches the Carlton Cricket Club played in 1861 starting in February. Ben James played in 3 matches.
(Bells Life June 15 1861 p4)
(The same Captain Radcliffe, who was a Captain in the Volunteer Rifles, was again elected as President on September 15. The following year, he was elected vice President of the Carlton Cricket Club on September 23 It was also known as the Carlton Union Cricket Club, and on September 23 1865, the Union name was dropped.)
The James referred to, is most likely Ben James who became the First Secretary of the Carlton Football Club.
Little is known about this 1861 attempt at the establishing a Carlton cricket and football club.
The cricket club seems to have got underway as the cricket club's history said that "most of the top members" next season defected to the Royal Park Cricket Club. (Formed 1858)
As a meeting of Carlton Cricket Club members was organised in May 1861 to start a football club, the Carlton Football Club may well have played the 1861 season too. (see below)
1861 September 05 (Age p8) A Carlton Cricket Club notice of a special meeting to held. T. J. Connor Jnr. (Hon sec) and J. W. Allen (Secretary)
1861 September 13 (Age p1) Thomas J. Connor Jnr's name appears in a classified ad. as the Hon sec of the Royal Park Cricket Club.
A meeting held between the committees of the Carlton and Royal Park cricket clubs resolved to amalgamate the Carlton club with the Royal Park club, and all cricket engagements of the former to be carried out by the Royal Park Cricket Club.(The Argus October 17 1861 p5)
The reason for the combine was to have a strong team to represent North Melbourne.
(In those days "North Melbourne" was the Carlton-Parkville area, and what is now known as North Melbourne was referred to as Hotham.)
Did the Carlton Football Club continue, disband, or amalgamate with Royal Park?
The Royal Park Football Club was established on Friday May 09 1862 at the University Hotel. (Age May 12 p5)
It is known that Theophilis S. Marshall first played for Emerald Hill, he then captained the Royal Park F. C. in 1863 and later crossed to the Blues and became Carlton captain in 1866.
Perhaps he had played with or against the earlier version of the Carlton club.
(An interesting item is found in the Referee July 08 1908 (p9). The writer called "Reform" attended the Melbourne and Carlton football match;
"Looking at the Melbourne-Carlton game on Saturday was another old veteran in the shape of Mr. T. Azeo, who was treasurer of the Carlton Cricket Club half a century ago. He is still hale and hearty, which is more than can be said for his contemporaneous secretary, the famous old Ben James, who for years acted as sole selector of Victorian elevens."
Perhaps the 1861 Carlton cricket club was formed in 1858?)
In 1914 September 09 (p13) The Referee in an article on the Jubilee of the Carlton Cricket Club mentions a T. Atyeo as being among the important people in the club's history.
The following newspaper reports all allude to the Carlton Football Club existing prior to 1864.
1887 - 25 YEARSThe Sydney newspaper Australian Town and Country Journal (September 10, p39);
"The Carltons, of Melbourne are still going on adding to their big record of goals. Last Saturday they netted against their opponents of twenty-five years' standing (the Melbourne club) 5 goals to 1."
1869 map showing the Carlton Orderly Room between Lygon & Drummond Streets. (see 1888 below)
Also shown, is what would become the Madeline Street ground on the right of the University precinct.
The area shown is approx 260 yards x 135 yards.
1888 - Carlton Football Club - Late 1850's?George F. Bowen writing for the Melbourne Punch under the alias of "Olympus" on May 03 p11;
"A paragraph in last week's Chit Chat column caught my eye with regard to an idea formulated by Mr. Andy McHarg, that the Victorian Football Association should at the end of each season suitably acknowledge the prowess of the members of the premier team by presenting each of them with a small Association medal.
Now, since his first connection with the original Carlton Football Club - a very, very small band who were wont to play amongst the gum trees at the rear of where the Carlton Orderly Room afterwards stood, away back in the latter end of the fifties - Mr. McHarg has been closely identified with our National Game."
(Trove; Argus Sept 07 1875 p7) (Blueseum's emphasis)
The Carlton Orderly Room was built in 1867 and was located in Grattan Street near the corner of Drummond Street, it's also quite a distance, nearly 2 km from Royal Park which is believed to be the first home ground.
This would seem to agree with the 1906 report of vice president W. Broach when he said that they first played among the gum tree of Princes Park and later adjourned to Royal Park.
See 1906 below.
Joe Kelly's Life Membership Certificate (see below) has printed on it "Carlton Football Club Founded 1860" backing up Bowen's claim.
1891 BALLARAT vs CARLTONMonday's Age (June 15) report of this match said;
"It is now 30 years ago since the Carlton and Ballarat clubs first met in a friendly contest, and among the spectators yesterday (Saturday) were several men who were included in the teams of long ago."
1893 GEORGE FREDERICK BOWEN - A CLUB FOUNDERGeorge, writing under his pen-name of "Nunquam Dormio" for the Daily News in Perth on May 03 (p2) and writing about the coming season said;
"Essendon will be a hard nut to crack this season; so will Geelong and South Melbourne, but there has been a lot of dissension among my old club fellows the Carlton (I was one of the original eight who started it in 1862; that's the day before yesterday, is it not?), and they will have to depend upon their juniors this year to pull them through. Strangely enough, they had to do the same in 1887 (Jubilee Year) - the last year they were premiers"
George Bowen mentions 1862 was the foundation year, and then mentions 1887 as Jubillee Year. A Jubillee is every 25 years, again, referring to 1862.
To read George's article click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article76923964
"So that there's no Urgent Necessity just yet for the Carlton Football Club to "Retire From the Scene Altogether." In an existence extending over thirty years now, it has invariably held a very high position (often the highest) amongst the top-sawyers until the past few season, and this despite the fact that it has always been terribly handicapped through not having a "local habitation."
Maybe a bit tenuous, the writer says "extending over thirty years." July 1864, or an earlier formation?
1896 FLOTSAM AND JETSAMThe Inquirer & Commercial News (p13) June 19 (Perth W.A.)
The paper's sporting writer George F. Bowen going under the name "Nunquam Dormio" (Latin: I never sleep) writing about the numbers of players on the ground, says;
"Being one of the earliest exponents of the Victorian game (a playing member of the Carlton first 20 in 1863-4), and having been intimately associated with the building up thereof, I am qualified to write with an air of authority on this particular subject; and I have come to the conclusion that the Australian (or, more correctly the Victorian) game would be a far more scientific one, and afford greater pleasure to the general public, were the numbers restricted to 15 a side."
Another tantalising hint that the club predates 1864.
To read this, and other football issues in the article, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66538560
1898 C.F.C. FORMED 1861George F. Bowen writing under his alias "Nunquam Dormio" in Table Talk (May 13 1898 p17) says;
"Of course when first twenty men of the calibre of O'Dea and Morrison offer their services "free gratis and for nothing" (and I can honestly aver that although I have known the C.F.C. since it's first inception in 1861, when George Waugh was secretary, I never knew its members to hold out any inducement for players to migrate to them from another club) ....."
To read George's Table Talk article click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145861416
1906 CARLTON FOOTBALL CLUB - PRESIDENT'S SMOKE NIGHTThe Coburg Leader (p4) December 8
The Carlton Football Club held a President's Smoke Concert at the Manchester Unity Hall on November 29 to celebrate the Blues' 1906 premiership victory.
In response to some speeches the Carlton senior vice president Mr. W. Broatch
"he could look back close to 45 years when the club played it's first game amongst the gum trees in Princes Park, close to their present ground.
Later they adjourned to Royal Park, where many stirring contests took place; such trifles as dressing rooms, boundary fences, or gate money being considered superfluous."
Mr. Broatch's 45 years from 1906 takes the year to 1861, another clue to the confirmation that the formation of the club was indeed in that year.
Also from a venue point of view, playing in Princes Park which predates Royal Park as a home ground.
To read the article, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66894025
1908 AUSTRALASIAN GAME - ITS BIRTH AND GROWTHThe Weekly Times' August 22 (p20) story on the development of Australian Football.
Part of the article says;
"It would be interesting to compare the financial movements of say the Carlton Club, to-day, with the monetary figures of 1862 - the year C.F.C. first saw the light.*
In those primitive times a few odd shillings wheedled out of the tradespeople by suppliant sons of good customers, often constituted the only "cash basis" of a football club.
Old Carltonians remember with pride the little fund so established. Their sense of satisfaction, when accumulated cash made the purchase of a ball possible, has lingered in the memory these 46 years."
(1908 - 46 = 1862) .*Blueseum's emphasis.
Later in the article;
"This brief account of the rise and development of Australasian football may appropriately be concluded by giving the birth-dates of our oldest clubs:- Melbourne 1858, Geelong 1859,
Carlton 1862, Albert Park (South Melbourne) 1864, and Essendon 1871."
1908 AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL - IT'S ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENTTo celebrate the 50 years of Australian Football in 1908, the various newspapers ran stories about the history of the game and it's personalities.
That year The Age on August 15 (p16), published an article by it's football writer who went under the pseudonym "Follower".
(Blueseum is trying to attain his name as he is most likely a former footballer.)
Writing on the history of the game, he says;
"The Carlton club came into existence in 1861. The first captain to lead the still prominent and successful "old blues" was the famous cricketer, Ben. James, who is still, I am happy to say, in the land of the living."
Further on in the article writing about some of the game's players;
"... and O. T. L. O'Brien ("Lanty" ) who joined Carlton in 1861, the year of it's formation, and who has for many years been, and still is, one of the best known officers of the Customs department, was the first man to introduce the 'punt'."
Another two references, this time on the one page to the earlier formation of the club.
27 July 2015, Trove has now digitalised The Age. The above references to 1861 are now easier to find.
"The Australian Game - It's Origin and Development."Click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197335688
"Some Honored Veterans."Click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197335687
The link to this article had been disabled. This has now been rectified as from February 26 2012.
The link below goes to The Age Friday August 14 (p1), the Saturday August 15 (p10) edition follows directly on after Friday's page 9, (or Page 4 of Google's Age toolbar) then move the page across with the cursor to page 16. (or Page 7 of Google's Age tool bar)
To read the article in full click here> http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=MDQ-9Oe3GGUC&dat=19080814&dat=19080814&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
1910 FOOTBALL OLD AND NEW - 1860?In The Daily Herald (Adelaide) April 09 p6, T. A. Reeves who has watched football for 50 years writes about the game in the early days.
He talks about the crowd encroaching on the field on the old Melbourne Football Ground when Carlton were playing, first games of the M.C.G., rules changes, size of the ball and the problems when a spare ball was not available, the beginnings of the games in S. A., the ages of football clubs.
"For my own part I believe I have witnessed that number, for my first attendance at a football match was when the Melbourne and Carlton teams were playing in 1860, and I have rarely missed a Saturday afternoon game since that time."
To read the article click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103873890
T. A. Reeves wrote two follow up articles the next week April 16, and on April 23;
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103874932 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103876005
1914 INFANCY OF FOOTBALL, INTERESTING REMINISCENCESThe Record (Emerald Hill) April 25, Saturday.
The previous Monday at the M.C.G. a smoke night was held and various speeches were made by former Carlton captain John Gardiner and the Rev. A. Brown who was the captain of the Albert Park Football Club in 1863.
The Reverend said that in 1863 there were 5 clubs and Carlton was one of them. (Geelong, South Yarra, Melbourne, & Albert Park)
To read the article, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74230903
The Reverend Alexander Brown says he was the first captain to place the players in the field, the inventor of the "stab kick," and he also claimed to have been the originator of the Australian Football.
The Argus mentions this last claim in the Reverend's obituary, see Pre VFL Rules of Football and scroll down to 1916 Originator of Football?
1914 EXIT FOOTBALL - ENTER CRICKETThe Essendon Gazette October 1 (p3) talking about Carlton's premiership win against South Melbourne says;
"The premiership win of Carlton was all the more acceptable to the followers of the club, because it comes at jubilee time.
The cricket team is in it's 50th. year, but the veterans of the football club say that their organisation began over half a century ago."
It is interesting in that if both the Carlton Football and Cricket Clubs were formed in 1861, and we know the cricket club had amalgamated with Royal Park and had reformed in 1864, maybe the football club had continued on.
Then the mention in the Essendon Gazette of the veterans saying that the football club is more than 50 years old supports that it was indeed established prior to 1864.
1914 CARLTON THE PREMIERSThe Weekly Times October 03 (p19) reporter "Rover" on Carlton's premiership victory said;
"Carlton's success is particulary welcome to local people at this time, coming as it does in the jubilee year of the cricket club. Football is an older game, in Carlton, than cricket, but the clubs are so mixed up that the jubilee celebrations of the cricketers are being enjoyed also by the footballers. In the dressing room it was recalled that fifty years ago Carlton won a football premiership from Geelong. The Blues are old hands at the game, indeed, and should know enough about it to occasionally win the pennant."
50 years from 1914 is 1864, the year of the club's official formation.
1934 JOE KELLY'S LIFE MEMBERSHIP - 1860February 01 1934, Joe was presented with his Life Membership certificate.
On the top of the certificate it says "Carlton Football Club founded 1860"
A misprint? Surely the club would have rectified the date on such an important document.
Are there other Life Memberships and documents from this era or earlier with 1860 on them?
Note: The Pre VFL premierships are recognized alongside the VFL premerships, However, the disputed
1869 premiership is not.
1938 "COME ON THE BLUES"Former Brighton and Essendon footballer Reg Wilmot (1869 - 1949) who was a football writer for more than 30 years and went by the name of "Old Boy" wrote in the Australasian June 11 (p21).
In an article on Carlton he says;
"Football in Carlton began on the Madeline street reserve; then the club moved to Royal Park, and also played in the University paddock where Newman College now stands, and finally in Princes Park."
This would fit in with George F. Bowen saying that the club was playing where the Carlton Orderly Room (was also known as Picnic Reserve) was later built prior to playing in Royal Park.
However, Wilmot at the start of his article does say that Carlton was established in 1864.
To read "Old Boy's" article click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144371844
2008 A SOCIAL HISTORY OF WORK PLACE AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL 1860 - 1939
Peter Burke, Doctor of PhilosophyOn page 46 of Burkes's thesis;
"The Carlton Football Club, which was formed in 1863, represented the 'new breed who worked for a living with their hands'. (41) Compared to other prominent clubs of the time such as Melbourne and South Yarra, which were characterised by patrician and exclusive airs, Carlton represented a more proletarian image:
which could be used to enhance their leisure time. These workers formed the clientele of the Carlton Football Club." (42)
(41) Robin Grow, (From) 'Gum trees to goal posts' p25
(42) Lionel Frost, 1998, Old Dark Navy Blues A History Of The Carlton Football Club, Sydney, Allen & Unwin p4
1864 - CARLTON FOOTBALL CLUB OFFICIAL FORMATION, JULY 1864Gold was discovered soon after the newly separated colony of Victoria came into existence in July 1851.
The gold rush radically changed Melbourne with the sudden new wealth came new politcal and social ideas.
Melbourne's population in July 1851 was estimated to be 29,000, by the end of the year 75,000, and by 1854 123,000. (wikipedia)
The population of Victoria on the 30 June 1864 was estimated to be 580,503.
The Argus Saturday January 23 1864, p5; a cricket match;
"In the University paddock between the Excelsior and the Carlton Cricket Clubs."
So by January 1864, and most probably earlier in the cricket season, the Carlton Cricket Club, (also known as the Carlton Union C. C. until September 23 1865), was again up and running.
The present Carlton Football Club was also established by members of the Carlton Cricket Club.
By 1864 the popularity of football had started to wane. Carlton was unlike the Melbourne, Geelong, and South Yarra clubs. These were more patrician in nature. Melbourne were made up of professional people and civil servants who readily could find the time off work to practice. Geelong were mostly from Geelong Gammar, sons of the the well to do and the squattocracy. South Yarra were school boys past and present.
Carlton were a mix of self employed tradesmen and working class men. Within a few years Carlton were matching it and defeating these strongest clubs. The Carlton - Melbourne games were close, exciting contests and their matches fired the imagination of the populace and attracted immense crowds. These games were so popular that these two clubs were fixtured to play each other four times per season for many years.
If Carlton had not happened when it did, then it is very doubtful whether Australian Football would have survived. The Blues also made direct input to how the game was played and are the only club to have played every season since it was formed.
The official formation of the Carlton Football Club is July 1864. Unfortunately the exact date in July is still unknown.
Robert McFarland became the club's first President, and like Ben James he was also a cricketer.
In fact McFarland scored the first century for the cricket club.
The football club played it's home matches on the open spaces of Royal Park.
See Pre VFL Venues
SIXTY YEARS ON - Carlton's Diamond Jubilee 1924The News (Hobart) June 05 (p2)
The News article mentions the club was formed in July 1864 by Ben James, O.T. L. 'Lanty' O'Brien, Andy McHarg, R. W. McFarland/ Robert McFarland, A. W. Waugh/ George Waugh, "G. F. Bonner" (a misprint, this is actually George F. Bowen, and Tom Power.
It also mentions that Carlton's first game was against Melbourne Grammar School.
Click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article233515958
After a victory against Essendon at the East Melbourne Cricket ground in 1889 the Melbourne Punch, August 29 (p139) wrote;
"Be it known by these presents that the match wasn't over when it finished. Not half over in fact. In the upper room of the East Melbourne pavilion it was played over again by a party of seven.
This was made up of Sir Herky, the Honorary Treasurer, the Gold Medallist ( Tom Power* ) , an Old Dark Blue Skipper (who with a mighty rush through the serried ranks of the foe would crush) ( This would be J. A. Donovan: Blueseum), the Commercial Traveller, Mine Host of the Duke of Wellington, and the Carlton Fat Man.
There were one or two bottles of Dry Monopole punished during the couple of hours' sitting, which passed pleasantly enough in recalling old-time reminiscences.
Strange to say, the Honorary Treasurer, the Gold Medallist, and the Fat 'Un were three of the original eight lads that started the Carlton Football Club, at the University Hotel, in 1864 - exactly a quarter of a century ago."
_*Tom Power received a gold medal for saddlery at the Paris Exhibition 1889.
The eight men who started the Club could have been the 1864 President (McFarland), Hon. Treasurer (James) and the six Committemen.
Robert McFarland, Ben James, George F. Bowen, Andy McHarg, O.T. L. 'Lanty' O'Brien, Tom Power, Robert Richardson, and George Waugh.
Robert McFarland's brother Archibald is also credited for being a founder of both the football and cricket clubs.
See Robert's page and an entry for Archibald is at the bottom.
In October 1914 when Carlton went to South Australia to play Port Adelaide on an end of season trip, George H. Ievers sent a message to the Port club wishing them well. The Daily Herald newspaper report said George had been a member of the Carlton Football Club for 50 years.
A few weeks later on September 19 1889 the Melbourne Punch (p187) pondered over Carlton's future as the M.C.C. had taken over the Melbourne F.C.
The M.C.G. had been The Blues home ground since 1885;
"What will be the ultimate fate of the Carlton Football Club is fit food for conjecture at this present time. It is exactly five and twenty years ago since it was first founded by Ben James, Tom Power, Andy McHarg and some five others at a meeting held in the University Hotel."
In 1895 May 23, George F. Bowen was a sports journalist for the Melbourne Punch, he was writing about Carlton's plight and plummet to the bottom of the ladder, he said;
"Physique is not a strong point with the Carlton lads this season; but every week is helping to alter matters in that respect; and as Andy McHarg, Archie McHarg, Archie McFarland, and Ben James and "Lanty" O'Brien, and Tom Power and "Chubby" Forrester will tell you if you ask them, the Carlton team never experienced more prosperous time than when it included in its ranks,
As Duncan, Guy and Hillsden"
Harry Chadwick was the club's first Captain, and therefore he has the distinction of being Carlton player No.1. *
He was the first in a long line of players to wear the club's colours, which in first year consisted solely of an orange cap.
In 1865 a blue band was added to the cap.
This was later changed in 1871 to a cap of dark blue.
A proposal in May 1866 to have the club colours altered to blue and white was temporarily shelved.
The Australasian October 03 1868 (p11) in it's season review said "... the Carlton have just completed their fifth season."
"The Footballer" annual, the first publication dedicated to football which ran from 1875-1881 was edited by Carlton pioneer player Tom Power. It carried a write up on each club and gives the formation of Carlton as 1864
At the Carlton Annual General Meeting, April 26 1878, the report to the members mentions that in it's 14 seasons the club had played 165 matches, Won 84 Drawn 64 and Losing only 17.
Also, Carlton historians mention that John Newton Jacomb has the unfortunate distinction of being the first Carlton player to break his leg.
The Argus on Monday July 4, 1864 has a brief mention of the incident occurring in Richmond. (Richmond Park/Yarra Park)
This would have placed the match on Saturday July 2, possibly Carlton's first football match.
(However, The Age reported that Mr. Jacomb was a member of the Melbourne Club. Players were not obliged to play excluvisely with one team and swapped clubs from time to time.)
Also, as games were over when one team scored two goals, games could be over quickly, and players may be looking to play another match.
Newton Jacomb's relation has contacted Blueseum and says his name was John John Newton Jacomb, and that he was schooled at Scotch College. We are awaiting details of his football career from the family.
-*The Launceston Examiner, August 21, 1886, quoting the Melbourne publication "Weekly Times" mentions that the club has been established for 22 years and gives a list of Carlton captains to the present. (1886)
The first player it lists is Ben James, followed by the recognised first skipper, Harry Chadwick, then Dave Adamson, etc.
To read the article see 1886 August 21.
See also the above article 1908 Australian Football - It's Origin and Development. It also mentions that Ben James was the first Carlton captain in 1861!
Apart from Robert McFarland and Ben James, other known original Carlton players were; Lanty O'Brien, James Byrne, Frank Hillsden, J.Clark, Bill Williams, Jim Williams, W. 'Bill' Gorman, Tom Gorman, Harry Guy, Andy McHarg, George Waugh, George F. Bowen, T. P. Power, Robert Richardson, Dr. Jim C. Duncan, Harry Chadwick and John Newton Jacomb.
At half time during the Carlton vs Fitzroy match at Princes Park, Sept. 1 1934, there was a past players gathering.
The Argus reported that one of the guests was a brother of one of the members of Carlton's first team in 1864.
By the end of it's sixth season in 1869 the club had achieved the ultimate prize, the first of it's 23 Premierships.
This first success is disputed with Melbourne who also claim the top honour for that year.
The club won the Premiership again in 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1877, and 1887.
Some of the key players in these years prior to 1897 were Jack Conway, John Gardiner, George Coulthard (a Carlton champion who tragically died at his peak), Jack Baker, Tommy Leydin and William Strickland.
The Blues remained one of the driving forces of Australian Football until the early 1890's when internal division, poor administration, lack of leadership coupled with the defection of key players, and poor on field performances almost tore the proud club apart.
In 1893 after the July 22 game against South Melbourne when the Blues were on the end of an unprecedented 11 goal thrashing,
The Carlton Gazette had this to say;
"It is hoped that the committee, as well as the team, will work a little more in harmony in the future or the club may just as well disband."
Due to internal friction, Carlton had lost former skippers and key leaders in Tommy Leydin to Fitzroy in 1890, and most crucially Billy Strickland to Collingwood in 1893 (Strickland would later be named Champion of the Colony and lead the Woods to their first VFA flag.) This left the club lacking an experienced on-field "general."
In those days before coaches, it was the captain who set the team placings and made changes throughout the match.
When Strickland walked out on the Blues just prior to the start of the 1893 season, he also took experienced players H. Simpson and George Williams along with him. Other players would also desert the Blues for other clubs, and all their places were filled with inexperienced youth.
In those days the game was supposed to be "strictly amatuer," however, "inducements" to lure experienced players to some of the newer clubs were most inviting, especially during the 1890's depression.
Carlton suffered the most of any club, losing half of their regular starting twenty players, this plunged the Blues into the darkest period in it's history.
For a decade the club was at a low ebb, but the appointment of former Fitzroy captain and champion Jack Worrall as the competition's first full time coach in 1902, stirred the club into action, and the Blues won more Premierships, this time 3 in a row; 1906, 1907, and 1908.
Another 13 Premierships would be added in the remainder of the twentieth century; 1914, 1915, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, and 1995.
The Carlton Football Club has always played in the elite competition of the day, from the local Melbourne Rules, Challenge Cup Competition, Victorian Football Association, through to the Victorian Football League/Australian Football League.
From 1894 - 2002, the Blues never finished last in the competition, although it had been through very tough times in the mid 1890's to the early 1900's.
The first decade of the twenty-first century would deliver a different story.
However, the Australian Football League's crackdown on clubs that broke the salary cap, imposed huge monetary fines and most importantly the loss of draft selections on the Club.
The Blues were burdened with penalties that would have put most other clubs permanently out of business.
After a very bleak period 2002 - 2007, Carlton is now regaining it's rightful place in the football world.
Carlton is one of the world's oldest football clubs, and it is the only football club to have played every year from it's beginning in 1864 to the present day.
A PIONEER OF THE EARLY DOINGS OF THE DARK BLUE OF THE VICTORIAN GAMEThis is a reproduction of an article which appeared in the Sydney newspaper The Referee 03 March 1915 p13.
By "RAMBLER"Great enthusiasm was aroused at the jubilee meeting of the Carlton Football Club, when Mr. Andrew McHarg, one of the original players, was pointed out to the gathering by Councillor Ievers, and the veteran was forced to acknowledge the hearty applause. Though not residing in Carlton now, he is essentially a Dark Blue, and will talk interestedly of the past. One evening during the week he and Mr. W. Law, a one-time newspaper proprietor of Carlton, chatted of the doings of other days, and a few pleasant hours was spent.
The first playing ground was under the gums in Royal Park. The next area was the Madeline-street Reserve, opposite the Bay View Hotel (also called the Christian Brothers' Reserve), where it is proposed to erect a Roman Catholic college, afilliated to the University. Finally the club transferred to Princes Oval, where it's present ground - the largest League ground in Melbourne - is located. Mr. Law told of the struggles the Blues had before they found their present resting place. The club could not charge admission to the Madeline-street ground, consequently they were compelled to play the more important games on the Melbourne Cricket Ground, whose revenue was benefiting considerably. It was considered that the M.C.C. influence was being used to prevent the Carlton Club getting a ground at Princes' Park, so when "Jack" Gardiner, a captain, and one of the leading lights of the club (who is now president) decided to stand for Parliament, there was hope expressed that if elected the grievance would be remedied.
His opponent Hon. James Munro, was a Minister of the Crown, and the Carltonian's chance was not highly thought of, but the unexpected happened. However, the opposition was too powerful, and sometime elapsed before the present area was secured. The old ground was near the cemetery, and the spectators took a short route, which carried them close to the latter place. This was thought unseemly by the authorities, who decided to barricade the entrance. The valiant "Jack" Gardiner, however, armed himself with an axe and a few powerful stokes cleared the way again.
AMONG THE PIONEERSEarliest members included T. P. Power, who Mr. McHarg considers was mainly responsible for the improvements made in the pastime. He was the brains of the game in those days, and was always on the lookout for opportunities of advantageously amending the code. Others were T. S. Marshall, now secretary of the Country Fire Board, who managed the rifle team which was successful at Bisley a few years ago; Harry Boyle, who is better known as a cricketer; Jack Conway, who was manager of the first Australian eleven that visited England; Billy Newing, who held the reputation of being one of the fastest players ever in Carlton; Billy Dedman, the best of all goal sneaks - when in a corner he would find no difficultly in screw-kicking or turning his back, he would kick over his head.; Orlando Lanty O'Brien, well known later as a Customs official; Jack Donovan, a captain of the Blues. There was also a namesake of the veteran Otago champion well known on Rugby fields - Jimmy Duncan. This Carltonian is the player who is credited with kicking a goal after the ball had circumnavigated a tree six or seven times! He was subsequently a leading medical practitioner. The follow Billy Lacey (considered by many the finest centre Victoria has produced), Charlie Nudd, Paddy Gunn, Bill Dalton, M. B. Hearne (now treasurer of the ground committee), Loch Bracken (a fine player at kicking goals), Harry Guy a dashing rover, Jimmy Robertson, George Magill, Ted Barrass (the present cricket umpire), Joe Williams, W. C. Williams, Jim Byrne, Chadwick, the two Gormans, Charlie Donovan, Joe, Harry (?), James Richards* (the first-named of whom was a long distance kick), Jack Turnbull, George Coulthard (one of the best rovers), George Tom, and Quirk Kennedy (who afterwards went to South Australia), George Robertson (who was termed "the steam roller," and who is still a man of weight in Carlton circles), "Billy" Donaldson (who came from the second team and undertook the secretaryship), Sam Bloomfield, Dick Frayne, Mick Whelan, Tom McCracken, J. Moorhouse, G. Curry, George Cook, Jack Keane, Tom Leydin (who was captain of the premier team of 1887), Jack Baker (a one time captain), Billy Strickland (who subsequently went to Collingwood and at present in New South Wales), Frank Goodall, J. Clark, James Ellis, J. McGibbon, E. Dobson, J. Dunsmore, J. Blanchard, S. Wallace, Harry Bannister, S. Gorman, F. Hillsden, Alf McMichael, F. Wilson, George Smith, William Beggs, Adolph Berry, Wally McKechnie, Jim Aitken, Dan Hutchison, Jack Lorraine, J. Urquhart, Frank Johnson, Brook Hannah, Charlie Newton, Albert and Charlie Coulson, E. Green, Harry Smith, Jasper Jones, and "Dookie" McKenzie were some who either blazed the trail or carried on the work. The names are not given in order of merit or chronologically, but just as they occurred to the veterans in an informal chat.
.* There was a Joe, John, and James Rickards
EARLY CLUB OFFICIALSGeorge Coppin of theatrical fame, who just missed bringing out the first English eleven, and saw Messrs. Spiers and Ponds make a fortune out of the venture, was one of the leading officials in the infancy of the club. Ben James and "Bot" McFarland were the early secretaries, but Tom Power did most of the work until the eighties, when W. C. Donaldson assumed office. Messrs. John Walls, Joe Harrington, Col. Robertson, Jack Gardiner (who is again in the presidential chair), Gillespie rendered yeoman service. With Gilbertian humor, the players of the eighties christened H. McKay, their trainer, "Bonner," simply because he was physically the direct antithesis of the international cricketer.
It was at the close of the sixties that the colors were decided upon. Prior to that time the players wore yellow and black caps, but the balance of the apprel was not uniform. Jack Donovan, who was the first to appear in knickers, caused a sensation when the question of a regular costume was being discussed. Lanty O'Brien wished that the French Zouave unifrom should be adopted. "Lanty" was on the side of the French in their struggle of that period, and, said Mr. McHarg, he would be to-day. There was also a proposal that the light blue of Cambridge should be worn. Mr.T. S. Marshall moved that the color be Oxford Blue, and this suggestion was carried.
A FAMOUS GAMEThe presence of the British regiments In Australia at the close of the New Zealand war enabled games to be played against the soldiers under Lieutenant Noyes. the rules permitted practically anything. Rabbiting, hacking, etc., were legal, and hard knocks were given and taken without a mumur. The military men with the Maori war cry "Ake' Ake Kia Kaha!" fresh in their ears, determined to display a similar spirt before the Colonials, and "fight on for ever and ever." The "Fourteenth" met Carlton under Jack Conway at Royal Park, and Mr. Jack Blackham, father of the famous wicket-keeper, burst into poetry about the event. Mr. George Bowen frequently recited the lines, snatches of which were recalled by Mr. McHarg as follows;
With their forage caps and singlets grey.
When Lieutenant Noyes with his broths of bhoys
Came rushing along with a wild hurrah.
Another portion recollected was -
Knock 'em to blazes, and bark their shins
And I'll bet you my life the Fourteenth wins.
But sturdy Carlton stood the shock,
Immovable as some sea-girt rock;
The backward dashes, the clouds of foam,
The waves that thronged it's stormy home.
Of Jack Conway the poet wrote -
There was mighty strength in his collarbone,
And there was many a moan and wirra ochone.
As Fourteenth after Fourteenth lay o'erthrown.
Mr. McHarg smiled as his mind went back to these struggles when they played 20 aside, and for a hour each way. The ball then was round like the one used in Soccer. Unlike most veterans, he thinks the players are better now. The game has been improved, and is faster. He remembers playing one match in the morning and a return game on the same afternoon. Richmond Park was a famous battleground then, and owing to it's roughness it was termed "the gravel rash." The stand on the Melbourne Ground was reversible, and in Winter it faced the park, being turned to the oval when the season finished.
The club won the South Yarra Presentation Cup from the South Yarra team in 1871. The winning team was composed of Frank Goodall (back), J. A. Clark (back), Billy Newing (forward), Billy Dedman (goal sneak). Harry Guy (rover), Jimmy Robertson (wing), Orlando O'Brien (wing), Jim Ellis (centre forward), J. McGibbon (back), E. Dobson (back), John Donovan (captain), J. A. Dinsmore (forward), J. Blanchard (centre),
S. Wallace (centre), Harry Bannister (half back), Joe Williams (back), W. C. Williams (forward), George Kennedy, Andrew McHarg, Frank Hillsden and Sam Gorman(forwards).
George O'Mullane was captain of South Yarra.
Mr. McHarg is an unusual kind of veteran. He gives great credit to the present players. Of "Billy" Dick he speaks with the warmest admiration. "He always goes for the ball, and not for the man," says the pioneer.
At the last annual meeting of the "Blues" members were presented with certificates of life membership. Some of these have been playing a comparatively short time. Could not the committee recognise the works of those who did the spade work 50 years ago, and elect Mr. A. McHarg a life member?
Mr. J. Melville the Carlton C. C. hon. secretary, is another who figured in the ranks of the football team. He also speaks highly of the work of Mr. Power, and considers the latter does not receive the credit that is due to him. "Jack" Gardiner is his ideal of a captain. He played ably, and by example and advice urged on his men.
The Melbourne clubs have histories, but no members are prouder of their club's past than the Carltonians.
An enlargement from a map made in 1855 showing the Carlton / Princes Park / Royal Park area
Image: courtesy of State Library of Victoria
CARLTON 1864Within a month of the Club's formation, The Melbourne Punch, on 4 August 1864, published an article on suburban Carlton.
Mr. PUNCH ON HIS TRAVELSCarlton may be described as the opposite of Flemington. For whereas Flemington is interesting on account of it's decay, Carlton claims attention because of it's freshness. It is within the memory of persons of an extremely tender age, that northwards, from the eastern portion of Latrobe Street, there was a vast waste extending into an unknown distance, which to penetrate, demanded some sort of heroism.
You might, for anything you knew have to go to Kilmore, or perhaps to Sydney, before you came in sight of civilized habitations. The Cemetery was somewhere in that direction, and somebody might have mentioned to you that there were quarries miles away; but you did not care to extend your walks in that region. You could not tell what casualty might chance to you.You might have heard of Brunswick, and there were reports of a prison being built at Pentridge, but the intermediate space was unoccupied.
Carlton was not, or if it existed at all, it was only denoted by certain pegs and landmarks, which might suggest, but did not show the greatness it has since achieved. At this moment Carlton is a rising suburb of Melbourne. Not that pretends to rival the exquisite neatness of Emerald Hill (South Melbourne), the elegance of South Yarra, the self-assertion of Fitzroy, or the quasi-aristocratic pretension of St.Kilda. But it displays undoubted evidence of vitality, that its increasing importance in the community is more obvious every day. Perhaps more than any other quarter of this metropolis, it indicates the thorough independence which characterises the British mind. There are scarcely two houses exactly alike. Every man who builds seems to consider himself bound to build in a style different from that his neighbour has adopted. Mr. Punch experienced a continual glow of pariotism as he passed along the streets. He saw that he was among the descendants of the men who obtained Magna Charta; for only these are distinguished by the uncompromising self-reliance which prompts men to live and move as if they themselves individually constitute the popualtion of the world. Hence the varieties of architecture in Carlton are very numerous. It is true they belong to no order in particular, but this shows a thorough originality of feeling of the inhabitants; they not only think for themselves as regards the size and proportions of their dwellings, but invent the style of each.
This diversity, as maybe supposed, augments the picturesqueness of the neighbourhood. There are no long wearisome lines of structures, every one being so much the fellow of the other that you might find difficultly in recognising your own residence, but there is instead a perpetual individuality, so that if you visit a street once, you are sure to know it again. Thus you may observe successively, within the space of a couple of hundred yards, a two-story plastered house, as if it had been scliced out of a row of similar ones; a bluestone two-roomed cottage; a weather-board mansion painted yellow, with green doors; a weather-board ditto, not painted; a fancy Chinese-looking villa, whitewashed; a cottage of two windows and one door, dark brick; a cottage of three windows and no door visible, of white brick; a row of "genteel" residences of red brick, with varied doors; a two gabled wooden structure with corrugated iron verandah; a one gabled corrugated iron structure with wooden verandah - and thus to the end of the street.
So with respect to the space between the houses and the street, there is the most charming variety. Some are placed back, as with a defiant distain of any sort of familiarity with the outer world. Others are found close to the edge of the footway, as if, with an equally defiant motive it were to challenge anybody's right to question their possession of the ground. Some have verandahs very low, signifying that the sun is no match for the contrivances against his summer fierceness; others have no verandahs at all, the obvious meaning being that the sun may do his worst, and they don't care.
Where the houses are "flush" with the causeway, there are of course no gardens, but where space has been left, and gardens are, the British character is admirably kept up, for, having once been laid out and planted, they are left to the uncontolled operation of nature, to show that the proprietors are too busily, and therefore too profitably occupied to engage in the trivialities of domestic horticulture.
The abundance of business occupation is further evidenced in the condition of the back-yards and rights-of-way. Very fastidious persons might pronounce these to be disorderly and filthy, but que voulez vous?* People cannot do two things at the same time, and if a man is constantly toiling in the pursuit of his avocation, he has no leisure to put his back premises to rights, or to see that the scavengers cleanse the approaches thereto. So that when you find in the more northerly portion of this quarter a hundred little rills, whose waters are black, turbid, and unsavory and which inosculate and cross each other at many different points, you are not to suppose that this drainage from the rear of the house on the hill is actually desired by landlords and tennants, but you are to regard it as a gratifying evidence ot the commercial activity, and therefore the social prosperity of the people.
But if you should, with the censurable obstinacy, persist in looking at these trivial contingencies, with the eye of a too rigid sanitarian, be good enough to remember how many other claims Carlton has upon your favourable consideration for other reasons. Does it not include within it's borders the classic grounds of the University, that nursery of the great men of the future Victoria? Does it not contain that model institution, the Lying-in Hospital with it's most pleasant and genial house-surgeon? Is there not a rifle company, whose members never quarrel among themselves, never bully their captain, and never have a grievance? and have they not the most picturesque orderly-room in the metropolitan district?
Is there not a "Refuge" whose purposes are excellent, ableit its management is open to question? Is there not also the new Cemetery, most sylvan of retreats, so full of pictures, that when visiting it one forgets to be solemn, and cannot help being artistic?
And to go from "grave to gay," is there not at this moment, in Madeline-street, a merry-go-round, with a crowd of children of all ages, looking on with highest admiration as it makes its revolutions? And, speaking of children, it is necesary to allude again to the prevailing high spiritedness which extends downwards from those of adult age, even to infants in arms. Indeed it may be seen, perhaps in its state of highest development in the boys. Nervous people might take exception to their habits of stone-throwing, fighting, loud shouting, and general tendancy to break things; but this superabundance of animal vigour only proves how worthy of their race the boys are, and how certainly they will grow up to be as commercially active as their elders.
Finally, to prove how really well-conducted a neighbourhood Carlton is, and how groundless is the alarm that the apparent turbulence of these young persons is anything more than the natural exuberance of young and active minds, there are no policeman in the district.
Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.
-* French; What do you want?
When Carlton were finally given a permanent football home in the northern section of Princes Park in 1896, the area had to have rubbish removed and former quarry sites filled before an arena could be constructed and readied for the 1897 season.
Some of the following newspaper items describe the North Carlton section of Princes Park leading up to the 1890's.
1871 FILLING UP THE CARLTON QUARRY HOLESTo the Editor of The Argus (31 October)
Sir, - Ten thousand pounds thrown into the Carlton quarry holes is rather too much of a joke. If the money was devoted to the purpose it was intended, namely, to relieve distressed unemployed men, it would have been far better to have made a present of a £5 note to all of the incorrigible loafers, and give them notice to clear out of Melbourne, for in a few weeks when, this vote is spent, the thousand odd men at present employed will be as needy as ever. A large percentage of the money is swallowed up by an army of officials, I could hardly enumerate them all. I have noticed, though, that some of our professional agitators have worked themselves into billets at the quarry holes.
I think that Mr. Longmore must dread going down to the works, for he is bored to death by legions of shabby-genteel persons seeking light employment as timekeepers, overseers, &c. The good-natured gentleman has to make a hasty departure to escape the importunities of his motely followers.
As for the £10,000 being sufficient for filling in all the quarries, I don't think that five times the amount would do it. There is not sufficient earth to be got in the neighbourhood; in point of fact, it would take a large slice off Mount Macedon to fill up all the excavations in North Carlton. - I am, &c., XY
1877 SANITARY IMROVEMENTS"In truth, the plain lying between the Melbourne Cemetery and Brunswick abounds in dangerous mantraps, in the forms of holes from 12ft. to 20ft. deep, altogether unfenced, some of them dry and others nearly filled with water and mud."
"Altogether there are 48 acres of Crown lands in the district under consideration. Of these 26 acres are afflicted with quarry holes, which the aggregate area is 8 3/4 (8.75) acres. What makes these holes particularly dangerous is that, besides being themselves quite unprotected, they stand in unenclosed ground, through which benighted pedestrians are tempted to seek near cuts, and to adopt diagonal courses that they may cut off obtrusive corners. And so they meet their fate."
To read the entire article click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5932896
1881 CARLTON NUISANCESTo the Editor of the Argus (April 05 p6)
Sir, - As your columns are at all times open to expose public nuisances inimical to health, I beg the favour of your noticing the abandoned quarry holes in North Carlton, for the quarrying of which the Government received rent.
Some of these are in gradual process of filling by dead cats, dogs, goats, &c., with an occasional cow or horse that dies from drinking too freely at these holes.
Adjacent to Lygon-street is an abandoned quarry that is the depot for closet pans that are past repair, and while we can put up with dead animals whose bones may be picked clean by crayfish, or other edibles, one would draw the line at closet pans.
Having made Lygon-street at this part pretty unsavoury, the scavengers have found a fresh depot on the gully at Rathdowne-street, and will doubtless find another when this last is also stunk out.
The open land at North Carlton is an airing ground for numerous dairy cattle, and it must be evident that milk from cows drinking this filth cannot be wholesome.
It is to be hoped on this caution that the police and corporation officers will exert themselves to catch the delinquents - Yours, &c.,
1886 CARLTON FOOTBALLERS & CRICKETERS - USE OF PARKLANDTo read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11577329
1891 PRINCES-PARK AND FOOTBALLTo The Editor Of The Argus (March 23 p7)
Sir, - Your columns have contained more than one protest against the proposed transference of portion of Princes-park from the city Council to the Carlton Football Club, but the matter is to come again before the council on Monday next, and despite all the common-sense reasons the common right of the citizens will probably be bartered away to appease the clamorous outcry of the football section and it's representatives in the corporation.
The conveyance of the ground to the football club will mean it's permanent alienation as a public reserve; it will be used exclusively by the votaries and followers of football for their personal gratification, and to serve the mercenary ends. No one can be silly enough to imagine that the football club will allow the public to enter the ground without charge, or that it will be available for public uses - free, and without tax - as it was meant to be when granted by the Government.
And what are the uses of football in these days? Do they tend to the practice and development of a manly exercise, or do they but subserve the purposes of those who take up the game as a partial means of livelihood, or as a lever for notoriety and public advancement?
I have before me the balance-sheet of the Carlton Football Club, season 1890, which contains figures strikingly suggestive in relation to the sport. The receipts from members, including donations, amount to £361 5s. The income from gate money is £818 16s 10d. The expenditure side shows that £500 19s. was voted to defray the cost of sending 20 players to Sydney - say, £25 per head; £206 1s 10d. was disbursed for "training"; £31 12s 6d. spent on "testamonials;" and £27 wasted on the "annual ball."
In my young days, Sir, football players were high-spirited enough to play without fees, and their training was done without the assistance of "gate-money." I am old-fashioned enough to think that athletics in those days were on a healthier basis, in every sense, than they now are. If people will support the "manly sport" of football on the system shown in the balance-sheet I have referred to, I do not challenge their right to do so, but I do protest as a citizen and admirer of genuine athleticism against the closure of a public reserve to suit the views of those who ultilise the game of football for purely selfish ends.
I cannot understand how the members of the City Council who are unfettered by football shackles can agree to such a betrayal of trust. Councillor Gardiner's advocacy of the alienation is of course easily understood. His seat for Carlton largely depends upon it. Councillor Moloney, who has an eye upon the same seat, is also, for the time, a football sympathiser; and Councillor Ievers, who looks forward to kicking a goal in South Carlton in the next election, must needs support the proposed spoilation of the park. But I appeal to the older members of the council to protect the citizens' right. - Yours, &c.,
Carlton, March 21
1946 Memories Of Old Melbourne - Joseph Iredale
CONTINENTAL CARLTONNearly 100 years after the formation of the Carlton Football Club, The Argus wrote in 1956 about the suburb of Carlton and how it has changed since the 1850's.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71792717
CARLTON'S PARKS & GARDENSMelbourne University has produced an interesting history of the Carlton Parks and Gardens, which is on the web.
To view, click here> http://www.unimelb.edu.au/infoserv/lee/htm/carlton_parks.htm
FOOTBALL's PIONEER JOURNALISTSTom Power - Carlton pioneer player and administrator, started the first football dedicated annual, "The Footballer" 1875 - 1881. It is believed Power wrote under the name "Orange and Blue"
Carlton pioneer player Dr. James C. Duncan occasionally wrote under the name "True Blue"
"Nunquam Dormio" & "Olympus" - George F. Bowen pioneer Carlton player, wrote for Victorian, West Australian, and New Zealand newspapers until early 1900's.
"Old Boy" - Reginald Wilmot, former Brighton & Essendon player, wrote for The Argus from 1889 for at least 46 years - AFL Hall of Fame 1996.
The following come courtesy of www.australianfootball.com web site;
"Peter Pindar" - Robert Wallace, wrote for the Australasian from the 1860's - to mid 1880's.
"Fair Play" - Ben Goldsmith, Melbourne footballer 1868-1877, Australasian 1870's.
"Markwell" - John Healy, long time writer for the Australasian 1888 - 1911
"Kickero" - Tom Kelynack, Herald writer 1889 - 1931
"Observer" - Donald McDonald, former 1880's footballer who wrote for the Argus until his death in 1932.
"Follower" - Wrote for The Age circa 1908.
If anyone knows "Follower's" identity, or any other football writer not listed above, please contact Blueseum.
See Pre VFL Rules of Football, & Pre VFL Venues, for more newspaper articles of Football in the Nineteenth Century