Sir Henry Bromley, who was born at Stoke Hall on December 25, 1816, was the principal patron of Nottinghamshire cricket through the 1860s and 1870s. Although he never played for Nottinghamshire in a major match, he played regularly for Gentlemen of Notts and in other local matches, it is fitting to include the short tribute to him, which was originally published in 1874:
‘He is a good judge of play and players, and for many years used to entertain the members of the old Nottingham Commercial Club, including the two Dafts, and other well-known cricketers, on the occasion of their annual match with his eleven at East Stoke. After this we are not surprised to learn that he is beloved by all cricketers.’
Sir Henry was elected to the Notts CCC Committee in 1861 and then elected the Club’s first President in 1869, a post he retained until he declined re-election in December 1877.
He was also President of the Gentlemen of Notts Club in May 1867 – the Club having moved from its original home in Southwell to Beeston. Sir Henry was a magistrate and also Deputy-Lieutenant of the County. He was 6ft 8ins in height and weighed about 18 st.
Sir Henry is a descendant of the Smith banking family of Nottingham and thus linked to another great and venerable local institution - Bromley House Library. The late 18th Century building that houses the subscription LIbrary was built by one George Smith who later took the name Bromley to curry favour with more affluent relatives.
Sir Henry Bromley died at his family country seat of Stoke Hall on September 21, 1895; Stoke Hall is reputed to have as many windows as there are days in a year!