Henry Enfield is a familiar name to local historians of Nottingham, as Town Clerk, his name appears on boundary posts and way markers from the Victorian era. His namesake and nephew, who played for the county is not so visible, unless you are a fan of Victorian seascapes. 

This Henry was born in Hampstead on 12 September 1849 and educated at Brighton College, where he was in the cricket XI from 1866-68; he was described as a ‘very fine bat…a very useful bowler and brilliant field in short places’.

That reputation did not translate to the First-Class game and in his two First-Class games for Nottinghamshire, both against Yorkshire, he scored 0 and 2 and then 0 and 4; he did take three catches but did not bowl.  In other matches, Enfield did rather better – scoring 115no for HB Watson’s XI v Richard Daft’s XI at Bestwood Park and 103 for Mapperley Park CC v Gitanos. 

He represented the Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire on ten occasions and played one game for Radcliffe-on-Trent that ended in a bizarre fashion.  What should have been a three-day game between the XXII of Radcliffe v the All England Eleven finished early when William Oscroft – a Notts player and captain later in his career – retired not out for 30 in the AEE second innings to ‘catch a train’ and thus the game was ended.

Enfield was studying for the bar, but seems to have abandoned the legal profession in favour of painting, for in 1876 he had moved to France to become an artist; he also lived in, and painted in, Germany for several years. A painter of seascapes and ships, he exhibited nine times at the Royal Academy in London.  Local records show that he exhibited at  Local Artists Exhibition in Nottingham in 1879, 1880, 1883, 1890, 1894, 1902, 1903, 1908 and 1911.

It would appear,therefore, that he did return home and continued painting his land- and seascapes in watercolour and oil whilst working at the family firm of solicitors in Nottingham. The record price for his work at auction is $3,512 USD (approx £2,750) for Naeroy Fjord, sold at Christie's, South Kensington in 2004. Another painting of the same Norwegian scene, painted by Henry in 1902, is in the collection at Nottingham Castle Museum.

Henry Enfield died at his sister's home in The Park, Nottingham on 19 September 1923, one week after his 74th birthday.  In addition to his cricketing and artistic abilities, he was also a talented violinist.


November 2023

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 122

See Henry Enfield's career stats here