Many of the cricketers from Nottinghamshire’s past also had careers – and considerable success – in other sports but few, if any, quite so stellar as Vincent Cartwright, whose seven First-Class games for the County are eclipsed by his lifetime in Rugby, culminating in him serving as President of the RFU in 1928 and 1929.
Vincent Henry Cartwright was born in The Park, Nottingham on 10 September 1882 and was educated at Rugby School before going up to Oxford University in 1901. It was whilst at Rugby that he began to play both that game and cricket – he represented the School in 18 matches between 1898-1901 – although his talents were better expressed in the handling code.
While still a university student, Cartwright was selected for the England national team during the 1903 Home Nations Championship and for the remaining two games of the tournament. He continued his international career throughout his time at Oxford, with two caps in the 1904 Home Nations and all three of the 1905 Championship. After leaving Oxford in the latter half of 1905 he joined Nottingham, becoming the first player to be capped for England directly from the club. His first international cap while a Nottingham player saw him given the captaincy of the England team, in the 1905 encounter with New Zealand.
In all, he played 14 times for England, including skippering the team in 1906 in the first international against a South African touring side – some portents of the future, perhaps, in the 29-0 victory for South Africa. England improved somewhat in the second match of the tour, Cartwright’s last cap, drawing 3-3 with the tourists.
After retiring from paying, Cartwright became a rugby referee and remained within the game, eventually being elected as President of the Rugby Football Union in two successive years.
In addition to that clutch of games for his school, Vincent Cartwright played First-Class cricket for Notts in 1901 – when he made his top score of 22 against Surrey – and in 1904. He made just 60 runs in his eight innings at an average of 7.50, batting right-handed, his last appearance being v Yorkshire at Park Avenue, Bradford in 1904.
Cartwright served in the Royal Marines during WWI, mainly on the Western Front, and was twice mentioned in dispatches, being awarded a DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and the Croix de Guerre.
He died in Loughborough on 25 November 1965.