Historical information

These verses are handwritten and this suggests they originated locally but they were published in a Melbourne paper in 1874 and the writer is unknown.The verses refer to the cricket match in Warrnambool in January 1874 when a team of 22 players representing the Western District played the touring All-England Eleven captained by William Gilbert Grace, the famous English cricketer. The match in Warrnambool, one of 15 matches played in Australia, was won easily by the English team after one and a half days in a scheduled three day match but W.G.Grace did not star, making only 18 runs in the first innings and not required to bat in the second innings. Frank Allan of Allansford,who played for Victoria and Australia and was later called 'the bowler of the century.' took 6 for 28 in the first innings. Grace made a bad impression in Warrnambool with his brusque and insolent tone, refusing to attend the local Ball put on for the English team because the 'professional' players would be in attendance. The poem echoes the lack of goodwill and condescension shown in Warrnambool by Grace and refers to 'the greatest bat in all the world' making only 18 and sends a message to the English team - 'Don't quarrel and don't blow!'


This poem is of considerable interest because it shows the ill-feeling in Warrnambool engendered by the attitude taken by W.G.Grace when his English Eleven was playing in Warrnambool in January in 1874. It is a reminder also of one of the 19th century highlights in Warrnambool's sporting history.

Physical description

These are two sheets of blue paper with 15 stanzas of poetry in black handwriting. The paper has ruled red lines and probably came from a ledger. It is torn at the edges in places where it has been folded.