England Football Online
Players Index Page Last Updated
24 September 2021

Francis Birley

Oxford University AFC, Wanderers FC

2 appearances, 0 goals

P 2 W 0 D 1 L 1 F 3: A 4
25% successful

 captain: none
minutes played:
photo credit: University College, Oxford


  Francis Hornby Birley JP
Birth Wednesday, 6 March 1850, at 12 York Place, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Lancashire [registered in Chorley, June 1850].
Although history book state that Francis was born on the 14 March, his coffin inscription states he was in fact born on 6 March 1850.
Baptism 2 June 1850, in St. James' Church, Birch-in-Rusholme. To Thomas Hornby & Anne, living at York Place in Chorlton.
According to the 1851 census, Frances is the youngest of three children to Thomas and Irish-born Ann (née Latham). His father is a cotton skinning and waterproof manufacturer. They live at 12 York Place in Chorlton-upon-Medlock.
Cannot be found on the 1861 census.
According to the 1871 census, Francis H is an undergraduate, the eldest of two children (the other was Caroline) living with their father and eleven servants, living at 49 Eccles Old Road, Pendleton in Salford.
photo credit: University College, Oxford
Marriage to Margaret Kenrick, on 1 August 1876 at Reigate Parish Church [registered in Reigate, Surrey, September 1876].
"BIRLEY―KENRICK.―On Tuesday, the 1st August, at the Parish Church, Reigate, by the Rev. J. N. Harrison, Vicar, Francis Hornby Birley, son of Thomas Hornby Birley, of Hart Hill, Pendleton, Manchester, to Margaret, youngest daughter of the Revd. Jarvis Kenrick, of Reigate, Surrey" -
Manchester Courier, Friday, 4 August 1876.
  According to the 1881 census, Francis H. and his wife, Margaret are visiting his widowed father, Thomas H., with their daughter, also Margaret, at The Mansion in Hart Hill, Pendleton. Francis was a non-practicing barrister.

"We deeply regret to announce the death of Mr. Thomas Hornby Birley, which took place at his residence, Seedley Terrace, Seedley-road, Pendleton, on Monday." - Manchester Courier, Wednesday, 28 January 1885.

  According to the 1891 census, Francis H. is now a practicing barrister, with three more children, Elizabeth, James and Katherine. With four servants and a visitor, a certain Charles HR Wollaston. They live at Claridges House in Haxted, in Dormans Lands in East Grinstead.
  According to the 1901 census, Francis Hornby, still practicing and still married, with a fifth child, George Hornby, and still at Claridges House. With six servants.
Bank Holiday Monday, 1 August 1910 at Claridges House, Lingfield, Dormans Lands, Godstone, aged 60 years 140 days. [registered in Godstone, Surrey, September 1910].
"BIRLEY.―On the 1st inst, at Lingfield, Surrey, Francis Hornby Birley, of Claridges, Lingfield, son of Thomas Hornby Birley, of Hart Hill, Pendleton, Manchester, aged 60." -
The Globe/Bedfordshire Mercury, Friday, 5 August 1910.
  According to the 1911 census, Francis had died seven months previously, his widowed wife remained at Claridges House.  His eldest daughter had married and her new family were also residing with their mother. With fiver servants. The census also reveals that Francis and Margaret had seven children, and that two had tragically died.

Francis Birley's gravestone in Dorman's Land
3.15pm, Thursday, 4 August 1910 at St John's Evangelist Church, Dormans Land, in Surrey, where he is also buried alongside his wife. (left, courtesy of gravestone-photos).
"Amid numerous manifestations of sympathy and regret, the funeral took place at St. John's Church, Dormans Land, on Thursday of last week, of Mr. Francis Hornby Birley, of Claridges, Lingfield, who passed away to his rest on Bank Holiday. A large and representative company attended the funeral service...where the deceased gentleman for many years occupied the position of people's warden. The blinds of nearly all the places of business and private houses were closely drawn, while the last sad rites were being performed. The service, which was conducted by the Vicar (the Rev. T. A. Purvis. D.D.), and the Rev. Kenneth Clarke (Vicar of Lingfield), was fully choral.
"The grave was lined with choice white blooms. The coffin bore the inscription: 'Francis Hornby Birley, born 6th March, 1850, died 1st August, 1910.' There was a very large number of people in the church, which was almost filled with relatives and friends of the deceased gentleman." -
The Surrey Mirror & County Post,  Friday, 12 August 1910.
"Mr. Francis Hornby Birley, J.P., of Lingfield, barrister-at-law, aged 60, who
left estate valued at £37,429, gave £52 per annum to his gardener, Allen Webster, payable from the time when he shall be incapable of work, and after his death, his wife, Mrs. Catherine Ann Webster, shall receive £39 per annum, and the testator stated that he made these provisions as his said gardener had been a good and faithful servant." - The Surrey Mirror & County Post, Friday, 14 October 1910.
Probate "BIRLEY Francis Hornby of Claridges (Dorman's Land) Lingfield Surrey died 1 August 1910 Probate London 8 October to Margaret Birley widow Jarvis Kenrick and James Leartham Birley esquires and Charles Henry Reynolds Wollaston banker.
Effects £37420 8s. 2d." [2019 equivalent: £4,440,896]
Source Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Playing Career

Club(s) At the age of 13, Birley started at Winchester College where he remained until 1868. He was an all round sportsman who played for the school at both cricket and football. He was also a keen athlete and was the school champion at the pole vault and high jump. In 1868, he went up to University College at Oxford, taking his BA degree in 1873, he represented the university at football in 1874. Joined Wanderers FC after 1874.
Club honours FA Cup runners-up 1872-73, 1875-76, 1876-77 (as captain); winners 1873-74;
Individual honours Middlesex FA
Distinctions Played first-class cricket for Lancashire, Surrey and Cheshire and a member of the East Grinstead cricket club. Also played billiards.
Height/Weight not known.
Source Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of seven who became the 21st players (23) to appear for England.
Position(s) Full-back
First match No. 3, 7 March 1874, Scotland 2 England 1, a friendly match at The West of Scotland Cricket Ground, Hamilton Crescent, Partick, Glasgow, aged 24 years 1 day.
Last match No. 4, 6 March 1875, England 2 Scotland 2, friendly match at The Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London, aged 25 years 0 days.
Distinctions None

Beyond England

A barrister by profession, called to the Bar 26 January 1876. He later worked on the Northern Circuit, but 'rarely practiced' and became a Justice of the Peace in Surrey. A one time mebr of the Godstone Board of Guardians and Rural District Council, and he also served on the Vestry, Parish Council, and the Old School Board. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.34/5./obituary

The Numbers
parties Appearances minutes captain
2 2 180 0 none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
2 0 1 1 3 4 -1 0 0 1.50 2.00 25.0 -1

Match Record

Venue & Competition P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home Friendly matches 1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2.00 2.00 50.0 =0
Away 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 00.0 -1

Match History
 Club: Oxford University A.F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) F.A. Committee (Charles Alcock) - two full appearances (180 min)x
apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

Age 24
1 3 7 March 1874 - Scotland 2 England 1
The West of Scotland Cricket Ground, Partick
Fr AL   fb
one of seven who became the 21st (23) players to appear for England
the fifth player from Oxford University AFC to represent England

 Club: Wanderers F.C. - one full appearance (90 min)  

Age 25
2 4 6 March 1875 - England 2 Scotland 2
The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington
Fr HD   fb

one of four players (twelve) from Wanderers FC to become the eleventh to represent England
the first to play on his birthday