Business commitments – he was successful in Nottingham’s lace industry – meant that George Murray Royle had few opportunities to establish himself in First-Class cricket. He did, though, have a long and distinguished life in club cricket in the county.
Royle appeared for the XVI Colts v Nottinghamshire in 1865, scoring a single in each innings, but did not appear again in the county ranks until August 1871 when he played against Gloucestershire, his First-Class debut. He made 45 and was part of a century second wicket stand with Thomas Bignall; even so, it was two years before he played in the first team again – less successfully, making 2 and 0 against Surrey. His third and final First-Class did not come until 1881, when Surrey were again the opposition, at The Oval; Royle made 0 and 5 as Notts followed-on, to lose by an innings and 22 runs.
His modest First-Class figures are three matches, 52 runs at 10.40, with 45 remaining his top score, and he took two catches.
It was in club cricket that he prospered, featuring for Nottingham Commercial CC, the most affluent and one of the most influential clubs of late Victorian Nottingham. He captained the side and served on the club committee. In 1868, Royle made exactly 100no for Nottingham Commercial in their match against the touring Aboriginal Australians. The Commercial side contained mainly amateurs though many, including George Royle, played for the Notts First XI.
Royle – a right-hand bat and right-arm slow bowler – was Hon Secretary of Lace CC in Nottingham, for which team he made 144 against a Hosiery XI in 1878. He was elected to the committee of Nottinghamshire CCC and served for 16 years.
George Murray Royle was born in Nottingham on 9 January 1843 and died in Sherwood Rise on 26 February 1910. His grandson, Eric Vernon Royle, represented Notts Second XI in July 1939 and after the War played once for Oxford City v an Australian Services that included future Test skipper Lindsay Hassett.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 132