MIDWINTER, William Evans.
Born at St Briavels, Gloucestershire, 19th June 1851.
Died at Yarra Bend, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3rd December 1890.
Taken to Australia at the age of nine he learnt his cricket on the Bendigo goldfields. He played in a non-first-class match for Eighteen of Victoria in 1873/4 against the English team led by W.G. Grace. In 1874/5 he made his debut for Victoria against New South Wales and also was a member of the first Australian Test team. He returned to England and played for Gloucestershire in 1877. In 1878 he was included in the Australian side to tour England and played for them in a couple of matches. Just before he took the field for them at Lord’s he was virtually kidnapped by W.G. Grace who dashed him across London to play for Gloucestershire at The Oval and he remained with the county for the rest of the season, playing 58 matches for them between 1877 and 1882. In 1881/2 he toured Australia with the English team and played in four Test Matches for England. He returned to Australia, played with Victoria, and then toured England with the Australian team in 1884, bringing his total of Test Matches for Australia to eight. In 1885 he became the lessee of the Clyde Hotel, Carlton, near Melbourne, but about 1888 he was at the Victoria Hotel, Moray Street, South Melbourne. He was during this time also a share and stockbroker in Melbourne. Overall his businesses were not a success and his wife and two of his children died about this time. As a result he became “hopelessly insane” and was confined to Bendigo Hospital early in 1890. He was transferred to the Kera Asylum, Yarra Bend, where he died later in the year aged 39. He was buried in the general cemetery, Melbourne.
There was no trace of him in the 1881 Census.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Don Ambrose)