Dr H J H Scott

Dr H J H Scott

I wrote earlier about an outstanding professional who chose to make his home in Scone in the late 1800s. This was lawyer J A K Shaw. If anything he was surpassed by one of his closest friends in Dr H J H ‘Tup’ Scott. They shared similar backgrounds in proving to be outstanding sportsmen in their chosen fields: Shaw in Rugby at Sydney University and Scott in cricket for East Melbourne and Victoria. Scott achieved even greater renown as the Captain of the Australian Test Team in England in 1886. This was only the second (white) team to make the journey. An Aboriginal side had pre-empted them both earlier in the century.

The featured image shows the Robertson Electorate Cricket XI in 1895. (Federation Publication no 2 – Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society). The equivalent team today would be the Upper Hunter Select XI. Charles W. Rock (second left back row) was also an outstanding individual and sportsman. He grew up in Tasmania and excelled at Launceston Grammar School. A brilliant scholar Charles Rock attended Clare College, Cambridge where he was considered to be the best amateur cricketer in England. He returned to teach at Launceston Grammar School and then at William Pullings’ Scone Grammar School. He was selected to play for Australia in a Test Match in 1888 but had to forgo the opportunity due to illness. It can safely be claimed that Pulling, Scott, Rock and Shaw formed an exceptional and eclectic sporting professional claque. I wonder if it has ever been exceeded as a cabal. It is almost certain that rising writer, journalist, sportsman and bard A B ‘Banjo’ Paterson visited Scone on regular occasions to catch up with his friends Scott, Shaw & Co.

Alf Ebsworth, related to the White Family of ‘Belltrees’ was also a notable cricketer of the times before forfeiting his life on the South African Veldt in 1900 during the Boer War. J H Bettington was from the eminent Brindley Park/Terragong, Merriwa family and also distinguished himself overseas. In his case, together with brother J B Bettington, he was in the winning Guy’s Hospital XI Cricket Team which won the Inter-Hospital Challenge Cup while both were studying medicine in London. He also performed outstanding feats for the University teams of the day.

Dr Scott and Charles Rock together formed the Robertson Electorate Cricket Club. They must have provided formidable opposition? All of them proved to be eminent and outstanding citizens in what seems like a more genteel age. Dr Scott was a magistrate and twice Mayor of Scone. Both he and J A K Shaw shared many common interests with the Local Government, Jockey Club, nascent Polo Club and also the Masonic Lodge. I am indebted to erstwhile friend and direct descendant of Dr Scott Ms Belinda Scott for writing the article on her ancestor in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. I have a penchant for acknowledging eminent citizens who have gone before us.

Scott, Henry James Herbert (1858–1910)

Belinda F. Scott


This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, (MUP), 1976

Henry James Herbert Scott (1858-1910), cricketer and physician, was born on 26 December 1858 at Toorak, Melbourne, son of John Scott, company secretary, and his wife Elizabeth, née Miller. From 1871 he was educated at Wesley College and was already a promising batsman. On leaving school Scott worked in the Bank of Victoria. By 1877 he had joined the St Kilda Cricket Club and in February 1878 played for Victoria against New South Wales in Sydney. He nearly won the match for Victoria when he took 6 wickets for 33 runs in the second innings. In 1879-80 he studied civil engineering at the University of Melbourne and then took up medicine.

In the summer of 1882-83 Scott played for the East Melbourne Cricket Club, scored several centuries and won the club’s batting trophy and prize for the best all-rounder. By 1883 he had played in four intercolonial matches and in 1884 visited England as a member of the Australian team. With 102 against England at the Oval he finished the tour third in the batting averages with 973 runs at an average of 22.62. Back in Melbourne he completed the third year of his medical course and played in several intercolonial matches. In 1886 he captained the Australian team in England. The tour was not a great success although Scott compiled 1298 runs at 21.27, and won a match against Yorkshire by hitting three sixes and a four off one over. He remained in England and in 1888 became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London, and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Returning to Australia Scott practised in New South Wales. In July at St Kilda, Melbourne, he married Mary Minnie Mickle. The same year he became government medical officer and vaccinator in Tuena but in March 1889 bought the practice at Scone and became government medical officer, public vaccinator and medical officer at Scone Hospital. He built up an extensive practice among country families who organized relays of horses at appropriate stages and provided escorts for flooded crossings. He often assisted at Muswellbrook Hospital particularly in surgical cases and epidemics. Kindly and generous, he attended his poorer patients without payment.

Scott was a magistrate from the early 1890s and mayor of Scone in 1893-97 and 1899-1900. He was worshipful master of Lodge Scone in 1892, 1898 and 1908. Sometime vice-president of the polo club, he was vice-president of the jockey club (for amateurs only) from 1898, an office-bearer in the Scone Cricket Club and a founder of the Robertson Electorate Cricket Association. He played in local cricket and polo teams and brought a tiller-steered motor buggy to Scone. A member of the Union Club, he visited Sydney for the race carnivals and Test matches. In the 1890s he was active in the administration of the Scone troop of the Australian Light Horse, in 1898 vice-president of the local Federation League and a committee-man of the Sir John Robertson Memorial and Dreadnought funds.

Survived by his wife, a son and two daughters, Scott died at his home from enteric fever and pneumonia on 23 September 1910 and was buried in the Church of England cemetery with Presbyterian forms. His estate was sworn for probate at £4817. In 1913 the new Scott Memorial Hospital was named in his honour.

Select Bibliography

  • S. Altham, A History of Cricket, vol 1 (Lond, 1926)
  • D. Mickle, Many a Mickle (Melb, 1953)
  • Australasian Medical Gazette, 29 (1910)
  • Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Journal, 1 (1960), 122, 292
  • Town and Country Journal, 2 Mar 1878
  • Cricket: A Weekly Record, May 1884
  • Scone Advocate, 27 Sept 1910
  • Referee, 28 Sept 1910
  • Scone municipal records (Shire Council, Scone)
  • Private information.

Tup Scott

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tup_Scott

Henry James Herbert “Tup” Scott (26 December 1858 – 23 September 1910) was an Australian cricketer who played first-class cricket for Victoria and Test cricket for Australia. He acquired his nickname during a cricket tour of England in 1884 from his love of London sightseeing tours which cost two pence or “tuppence“.

Scott was born in Toorak, Victoria, and soon moved to Melbourne, where he began to play cricket at a high level. He made his first-class debut in February 1878, and was soon chosen for the Australian team. By the time of the 1886 Australian tour of England, he had been appointed captain, but he remained in England at the tour’s conclusion to pursue a career in medicine, and played no further first-class cricket. Scott began as a right arm fast-medium bowler and achieved his best analysis of six wickets for 33 runs on his first-class debut. But it was as a middle order batsman that Scott developed into an international player. He scored four first-class centuries, including one for Australia when he scored 102 at The Oval in 1884. Scott assumed the leadership of the Australian team following a dispute between English and Australian authorities which resulted in the dropping of Billy Murdoch, the Australian captain. However, the team which he led was afflicted by internal disputes over which he could exert no authority, and the tour was unsuccessful.

Scott returned to Australia as a qualified medical practitioner. He retired from cricket and set up a practice in the rural New South Wales town of Scone, where he later served as mayor and chief magistrate. He died at Scone of typhoid in 1910.

Early years

Scott was born at Toorak, Victoria on 26 December 1858 to John and Elizabeth Scott. His father was secretary of the Melbourne Gas and Coke Company. Scott was educated at Wesley College and the University of Melbourne, from which he and two of his brothers graduated in medicine.[1]

Scott was spotted by Sam Cosstick, an influential figure in Victorian cricket, when playing for his college aged thirteen; Cosstick remarked: “That little nipper will make a good ‘un!” Scott played successfully for St Kilda Cricket Club as a schoolboy. Fully grown, Scott was 5 ft 9 in (175 cm) tall and weighed 11 st 8 lb (73.6 kg).

First-class career

Victoria: 1878–84

Scott’s obituary in Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack said that “in his young days he was a fast bowler, but his reputation as a cricketer was gained entirely as a batsman”. Scott made his first-class debut at the age of nineteen in February 1878 when he played for Victoria against New South Wales at the Association Ground in Sydney. He scored just 2 and 0 but distinguished himself as a fast-medium bowler in the New South Wales second innings by taking a career-best six for 33. His next match for the colony was not until March 1882 when he played against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval. South Australia won by 31 runs. Scott, who opened Victoria’s first innings, scored 9 and 10.

Wisden recorded that Scott’s potential was first noticed in 1882 and he became a Victorian regular in the 1882–83 season. In the opening match of the 1883–84 season, Scott scored 114 not out against New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Wisden said this innings “was the main cause of his being given a place in the Australian team that came to England in 1884”.

1884 tour of England

Scott had a very successful tour in 1884 with Australian team, under the captaincy of Billy Murdoch. In its summary of the tour, Wisden said: “Scott (who had not visited England before) proved an emphatic success”. Scott made only 12 in the First Test at Old Trafford but achieved large scores in the other two. In the Second Test at Lord’s, he scored 75 and 31 not out. Wisden recorded that “Scott once more proved how well he merited a place in the team. He was admirably supported by Boyle, and before parting 69 runs were put on for the last wicket. Scott played cool, confident, skillful cricket”. Commenting on Australia’s second innings, Wisden said: “On the last day Scott made a gallant effort to save the innings defeat, but without avail. He was highest scorer in both innings of the Australians, and his total of 105 for once out was a very fine performance”. When caught for 75 in the first innings, he became the first player to be dismissed by a substitute; the catcher was his own captain, Murdoch, who was fielding as a substitute for England.

Scott scored 102 in the Third Test at The Oval. Wisden stated: “Scott was batting three hours and a half for his 102, out of 207 put on while he was in”. His partnership of 207 with Murdoch for the third wicket was the first time a partnership of 200 had been achieved in a Test.

Among his other successes on the tour, Scott scored 82 not out against the Gentlemen at Lord’s, 79 against Gloucestershire at Clifton College Close Ground and 65 in the second match against Gloucestershire at College Ground, Cheltenham. He appeared in 31 first-class matches on the tour, scoring 966 runs in 50 innings at an average of 23.00 with the one century and six half-centuries. He held 24 catches and took 3 wickets. During the tour, Scott acquired his nickname “Tup” through his love of London open-topped bus rides, each of which cost two pence, or “tuppence“.

Victoria: 1884–86

Having returned to Melbourne in November 1884, Scott became embroiled in a dispute between the Australian team and a touring English team formed by James Lillywhite, Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury. On 1 November, while the returning Australian team was still at sea, the Australian newspaper The Age reported that the English tourists “are not desirous of playing any matches in Australia against Murdoch’s Eleven”. When the English team played Victoria later in the month, Scott was one of seven Victorians, all members of Murdoch’s team, who refused to take part. Consequently, the Victorian Cricket Association suspended the players pending an inquiry. When the English team travelled to Sydney, the New South Wales contingent of Murdoch’s team also refused to play. It was not until 27 December that details of the dispute became generally known when The Age published correspondence between Lillywhite and the Australians’ manager George Alexander which revealed a disagreement about the share of the gate money from the first two Tests to be played in January and February. Members of the 1884 Australian team, including Scott, made up the entire home side in the First Test but boycotted the second match, forcing Australia replace the entire team. On 17 January 1885, The Australasian published an account written by Scott, Joey Palmer, Harry Boyle and Jack Blackham of alleged “underhand dealings” by John Conway who was representing the English team’s interests.

In late February, Scott played in the third Test. Australia won by six runs but Scott failed. He was not selected for either of the two remaining Tests and played no further first-class cricket that season.

Before the 1885–86 season began, the Melbourne Cricket Club announced that it was to send an Australian team to England in 1886. It was the first time the club had formed a touring party and the historian Chris Harte says it did so largely on the advice of Lord Harris, who convinced them a team with official club backing would be “far better received in England”. At a meeting of the Melbourne Cricket Club on 12 December 1885, it was announced that thirteen players including Tup Scott had agreed to form “the strongest all-round team available in the colonies”.

Scott played three first-class matches in the 1885–86 season. He began with 111 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Victoria against New South Wales, which helped his team win by an innings and 69 runs. His good form continued with 74 for an Australian team against his home colony, the tourists winning by 10 wickets. But in the final match, playing for Victoria against New South Wales at the Association Ground, he was dismissed for 16 and 0 as his team lost by 150 runs. While playing cricket that season, Scott completed the third year of his medical course at Melbourne University.

1886 tour of England

The Melbourne Club was aware that, in the aftermath of the 1884–85 dispute, there were proposals in England to ban certain Australian players. The club decided to omit former captain Murdoch, Bannerman and Percy McDonnell from the team. This move caused widespread criticism, especially as Boyle, Tom Horan and Hugh Massie had already declared themselves unavailable. Scott, now aged 27, was chosen as captain. In Wisden’s view: “It was a misfortune for Scott  … Under happier circumstances he might have got on well, but fortune was against him”. Harte comments that it was Scott’s “misfortune in a way to be following the blazing success of Murdoch’s captaincy with a team that looked good on paper but was, in fact, growing jaded”.

The tour was a great disappointment for Australian cricket. The team won only nine of its 39 matches and were soundly beaten in the Test series, but the real difficulty was the indiscipline of some players. According to Wisden, quarrels began among the players during the opening match at Sheffield Park, Uckfield and Scott had “neither the strength of character nor the experience as a leader that the difficulties of his position demanded”. Scott and the team manager Ben Wardill spent a lot of time adjudicating quarrels and the stress of the captaincy impacted Scott’s performances as a batsman. The 1887 edition of Wisden bemoaned the absence of Murdoch, saying: “W. L. Murdoch, who was chief in the field of the three teams of 1880, 1882, and 1884, may not have exhibited all the qualities which go to make up that rare and valuable being, an ideal captain – but he certainly had a larger experience and a stronger will than the gentleman who, with the best of intentions, and the greatest sincerity of purpose, led the team of 1886”.

England won the First Test at Old Trafford by four wickets. Wisden called it a “remarkable match” and described Scott’s innings of 47 in the second innings as “capital batting”. This was the closest Australia came to beating England in the series and Wisden said “they made a splendid fight of it”. In the Second Test at Lord’s, Australia had two low totals and were well beaten, Wisden remarking that “the Australians thus suffered a most crushing and decisive defeat by an innings and 106 runs”. Wisden commented on the poor form of the Australians in the third Test which meant “England was left with another decisive victory, by an innings and 217 runs”. W. G. Grace made his highest Test score of 170 after he was dropped by Scott when he had scored only six runs. Scott made only 110 runs in his six Test innings at 18.33 including his highest score of 47 at Old Trafford. But Australia’s batting was poor with only one half-century scored for the team in the series.

Scott played some good innings and totalled 1,278 runs on the tour at an average of 22.03 with a best score of 123 against Middlesex at Lord’s. In an innings of 67 not out against Yorkshire at Bramall Lane, Sheffield he scored 22 runs in one four-ball over from Saul Wade.


At the end of the tour, Scott decided to remain in England to complete his qualification as a medical practitioner. On his return to Australia, he went into medical practice and retired from cricket. Years later, Scott was asked if he would have liked to continue playing and he replied: “I have captained Australia and hit a Test century. Many would have liked two such honours as these”. Scott made 85 first-class appearances of which only 17 were in Australia; he played 68 times on his two tours of England.

The cricket writer Ray Robinson suggests that Scott’s batting “was noted for grit rather than gaiety” but he did sometimes reveal an adventurous streak as shown when he landed a ball from A. G. Steel onto the pavilion roof at The Oval and by his assault on Saul Wade’s bowling at Bramall Lane. In 1884, England found that Scott was the hardest man to bowl out in the Australian team.

Later years

Scott began his medical career in June 1888 as a surgeon at the mines in the East Australian Cordillera. In July, he married Mary Minnie Mickle at St Kilda, Victoria and they eventually settled at Scone, New South Wales; Robinson wrote that Scott “undertook the life of a pioneer country doctor with a spirit service that won him even greater esteem than (his) Test deeds”. Scott is said to have dealt with unpaid accounts by ruling them out of his books. He was elected mayor of Scone and held office for three years, also serving as the town’s chief magistrate.

On 23 September 1910, Tup Scott died of typhoid. When a new hospital opened in Scone, the townspeople named it the Scott Memorial Hospital.