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Ralph Milbanke Hudson - Founding Cricket Member ( 2 of 2)

The previous blog took Ralph's story from his birth in 1813 up to the formation of our cricket club in 1834. At the time Ralph was only 21 yet had a key role to play during the early years of what was then known as Bishopwearmouth C C. For many years he served as secretary and captain and was said to be an excellent cricketer. On the business front too he was a real pioneer running a couple of ships regularly from the Wear to London - mainly for passengers. At the time it was the best way to travel significant distances. His firm was also one of the first into transporting frozen meat - mainly from South America. He was on all kinds of committees and was consul to Denmark - a job which gained him an award from the Danish King. At times he also looked after local trade with both Russia and the U.S.A. He rarely travelled abroad but when he did in the 1860s he got embroiled in a mini civil war in Spain and was held captive by one of the sides and threatened with execution! Fortunately the captors could find no incriminating evidence and he was released unharmed. When interviewed on his 90th birthday he claimed that the secret to a long life was fitness. He played tennis into his 70s and disapproved of 'over-eating' and 'excessive drinking'!

He died at his home in the Cedars in 1908 said at the time to be the oldest shipowner in the country and, according to the Dundee Courier 'related to Lady Byron, the wife of the poet'. ( She was a Milbanke and the Milbanke family occupied Seaham Hall).One of Ashbrooke Sports' Club's most prized possessions is a handout dated 1843 (attached) relating to a fixture with Newcastle C C. It is mostly in Ralph's hand.




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