Arthur Thomas Ashwell has a significant place in the sporting history of his home city Nottingham but not for his exploits on the cricket field.
Although reckoned to be a ‘fair bat’ on the basis of his performances with Nottingham Amateurs, in his two First-Class games for Nottinghamshire he batted once in each and was out for nought in both innings. He was not called upon to bowl and took no catches!
Those games were Championship fixtures against Yorkshire and Surrey in August 1876. Ashwell had fared a little better some years earlier when in a game between the Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire and the Gentlemen of Warwickshire at Beeston in 1872, he scored 12no and 7, though could not prevent the home side subsiding to an innings defeat. His one significant innings in a fairly short cricket career came for his school, Rugby in a match against the MCC in July 1871 when Ashwell, opening the batting, scored 11 and 55, his only half-century and by some margin his best score.
His major claim to local recognition is that in 1881 he was chairman of the meeting that saved Notts County FC from being wound-up owing to financial problems. His connections were such that he represented Notts County at the inaugural meeting of the Football League in 1888. Ashwell ‘umpired’ (that term was used rather than referee in that era) for County at around that time.
Ashwell, who also served on the Committee of Nottinghamshire CCC between 1878 and 1880, was a solicitor who formed a practice with John Johnstone (Ashwell and Johnstone Solicitors) at 14 Fletcher Gate, in the 1870s that was dissolved in 1889.
He was born in Nottingham on 8 February 1853 and died in Canterbury, Kent, on 30 September 1925.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 152