Charles Nepean

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Charles Nepean
Personal information
Full name Charles Edward Burroughs Nepean
Born (1851-02-05)5 February 1851
Mayfair, London, England
Died 26 March 1903(1903-03-26) (aged 52)
Lenham, Kent, England
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Underarm slow
Role Wicket-keeper
Relations A. A. Nepean (brother),
E. A. Nepean (nephew)
Domestic team information
Years Team
1870–1873 Oxford University
1873–1874 Middlesex
1873 Gentlemen
First-class debut 26 May 1870 Oxford University v M.C.C.
Last First-class 18 June 1874 Middlesex v Oxford University
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 10
Runs scored 290
Batting average 18.12
100s/50s 0/1
Top score 50
Balls bowled
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 6/7
Source: cricketarchive, 19 February 2011

The Rev. Charles Edward Burroughs Nepean (5 February 1851 – 26 March 1903) was an English amateur cricketer and footballer who later became a vicar in the Church of England. As a cricketer he played ten first class matches for Oxford University and Middlesex between 1870 and 1874, whilst in football he was in goal for Oxford University, the winning side in the 1874 FA Cup Final.

Early life and education[edit]

Nepean was born in Mayfair, London, the youngest of 13 children[1] of Rev. Canon Evan Nepean (1800–1873) and Anne Fust. His father was the son of Sir Evan Nepean, 1st Baronet and was the Canon of Westminster and a Chaplain in Ordinary to Queen Victoria.[2] His mother was the daughter of Sir Herbert Jenner-Fust, the eminent judge.[3]

In the 1851 census, the family were living at 21 Bolton Street, St George Hanover Square, Westminster; Charles was listed as "Charles Son 2 mth., born St Georges Hanover".[1] At the time of the 1861 census, he was listed as a pupil at Charterhouse, London, although the family were still living at Bolton Street.[4] Ten years later, he was at home (now in the cloisters of St. Peter, Westminster) at the time of the census, where he is listed as "Charley B Son 20".[5]

Nepean was educated at Charterhouse School between 1861 and 1869[6] before going up to University College, Oxford. At Charterhouse, he was a regular member of the school cricket XI.[7]


Nepean was one of thirteen children (six girls, seven boys).[1] His elder brother, Augustus Adolphus Nepean (1849–1933) (known as "Dolly") was also a cricketer with Middlesex[8] as was his nephew, Evan Alcock Nepean (1865–1906).[9]

Nepean's brother, Evan Colville Nepean (1836–1908) (father of Evan Alcock Nepean) had several children,[10] including a daughter, Emily Margaret (1867–1950). She married Felton George Randolph;[11] their daughter, Margaret Isabel (1901–2001) married James Cassilis MacLean[12] and in turn had a daughter, Fynvola Susan (1933–2001). Fynvola married James Murray Grant in 1957; their children included Hugh Grant (b. 1960), the actor.[13]

Charles Nepean never married.[5]

Sporting career[edit]


On his arrival at Oxford, Nepean had a good reputation as a batsman.[7] He made his debut for the University against M.C.C. on 26 May 1870, scoring 11 and 8 in a match won by the M.C.C. by 6 wickets.[14] His next first class match came at the end of June against Surrey, when he played as the wicket-keeper, claiming three wickets, including those of Surrey's top-scorers, Leonard Howell and Richard Humphrey; the University won the match by 3 wickets.[15]

According to his obituary in Wisden, "his future at Oxford seemed assured, but from some cause he did not get a place in the eleven till his last year"; he was described as "an admirable batsman, with a very neat and business-like style".[7] His next first-class appearance came in May 1873[16] against M.C.C. In the summer of 1873, he played regularly including the two wicket victory over Middlesex in June[17] and the match against Cambridge University at Lords, scoring 22 and 50 (his top first-class score), helping Cuthbert Ottaway to gain a victory by three wickets[18] and for Nepean to obtain his blue.

On the strength of his performances for Oxford he was selected for the Gentlemen in the first Gentlemen v Players match to be played at the Prince's Cricket Ground, in Chelsea.[7] The Gentleman won the match by an innings and 54 runs, with A. N. Hornby and W.G. Grace scoring 104 and 70 respectively, and Grace and his brother Fred claiming 11 wickets between them.[19]

This match came between Nepean's two appearances for Middlesex against M.C.C. in June 1873 (when Nepean was again wicket-keeper)[20] and against his former university in June 1874.[21] Both matches ended in defeats for the county side.

Following his ordination, he no longer played first-class cricket, although he was a member of the Kent committee, thus keeping him in touch with the game.[7]


Personal information
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1870–1874 Oxford University

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

At Oxford, Nepean also played football, winning a blue.[5] In November 1870, he was selected by Arthur Kinnaird to represent "Scotland" in the second pseudo-international match against the English side, organised by Charles Alcock.[22] The Scottish XI was made up from players from London and the Home Counties with "Scottish connections". (In his biography of Arthur Kinnaird, Andy Mitchell says that Nepean's "closest link to Scotland was a cousin who married a Scot."[23])

According to the report on the match played at the Kennington Oval on 19 November 1870, "proceedings were commenced with a kick-off by C.E.B. Nepean on behalf of the Scottish team".[24] The English won the match with a single goal from R.S.F. Walker; for the "Scotch", "C.E.B. Nepean . . . was a perfect rock in the way of defence".[25]

Oxford University's F.A. Cup winning side of 1874 (Nepean standing at back, first on the right).

Nepean retained his place in the Scottish team for the next three games, playing in various positions. In the match on 25 February 1871, Nepean scored the Scottish goal in a 1–1 draw;[26] the match report says "about a quarter of an hour after the kick-off a loud shout proclaimed the fall of the English goal – an achievement entirely due to the play of C.E. Nepean". With England equalising through R.S.F. Walker, the match ended "leaving the question of supremacy undecided". The report comments: "to C. E. Nepean, Q. Hogg and W. H. Gladstone was mainly due the successful defence of [the Scottish] lines against a series of well-organised attacks".[27]

In the last of the pseudo-internationals, played on 24 February 1872, Nepean played in goal for part of the game, alternating with M. J. Muir Mackenzie;[28] this match ended in a 1–0 victory for the English, with a goal from J.C. Clegg.[29]

In 1872, Oxford University entered a team in the FA Cup for the first time,[30] reaching the final against the Wanderers. Nepean had become the university's first-choice goal-keeper but was unavailable for the final,[31] which was won 2–0 by the Wanderers.

The university reached the final again in 1874; this time Nepean was available to play in goal.[32] In the match against the Royal Engineers, Nepean repeatedly thwarted the Engineers' attempts on goal. Oxford won the match 2–0 and secured the cup.[33][34]

He was also a member of the Wanderers club.[35]

Later career[edit]

On leaving Oxford in 1874, Nepean entered the Church of England[36] and in 1876 he was appointed as vicar of Lenham in Kent.[7]

In 1894, he was appointed as vice-chairman at the inaugural meeting of Lenham Parish Council.[37]

He died on 26 March 1903 at Lenham, aged 52 years and 49 days.[36]

Sporting honours[edit]

Oxford University


  1. ^ a b c "1851 census". Anne Camilla Catherine Nepean. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Lundy, Darryl (15 July 2007). "Rev. Canon Evan Nepean". The Retrieved 19 February 2011. [unreliable source]
  3. ^ Lundy, Darryl (13 January 2009). "Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Jenner Fust". The Retrieved 19 February 2011. [unreliable source]
  4. ^ "1861 census". Anne Camilla Catherine Nepean. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "1871 census". Anne Camilla Catherine Nepean. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "List of Carthusians 1800–1879". Wikisource. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "The Rev. C. E. B. Nepean". Obituaries in 1903. Wisden. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Augustus Nepean". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Evan Nepean". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Lundy, Darryl (15 July 2007). "Sir Evan Colville Nepean". The Retrieved 19 February 2011. [unreliable source]
  11. ^ Lundy, Darryl (15 July 2007). "Emily Margaret Nepean". The Retrieved 19 February 2011. [unreliable source]
  12. ^ Lundy, Darryl (12 October 2009). "Margaret Isabel Randolph". The Retrieved 19 February 2011. [unreliable source]
  13. ^ Lundy, Darryl (26 January 2006). "Fyvola Susan MacLean (stet)". The Retrieved 19 February 2011. [unreliable source]
  14. ^ "Oxford University v Marylebone Cricket Club". Cricket Archive. 26–28 May 1870. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "Surrey v Oxford University". Cricket Archive. 30 June – 2 July 1870. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "First Class Matches played by Charles Nepean". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "Middlesex v Oxford University". Cricket Archive. 16–17 June 1873. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  18. ^ "Oxford University v Cambridge University". University Match: 1873. Cricket-Online. 23–24 June 1873. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  19. ^ "Gentlemen v Players". Cricket Archive. 17–18 July 1873. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  20. ^ "Marylebone Cricket Club v Middlesex". Cricket Archive. 7–8 July 1873. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Middlesex v Oxford University". Cricket Archive. 18 June 1874. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "England 1 Scotland 0". England Unofficial Match No.2. englandfootballonline. 19 November 1870. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  23. ^ Mitchell, Andy (2011). Arthur Kinnaird: First Lord of Football. Andy Mitchell. p. 49. ISBN 1-4636-2111-6. 
  24. ^ "England v. Scotland match reports". 19 November 1870. p. 2. 
  25. ^ "England v. Scotland match reports". 19 November 1870. p. 6. 
  26. ^ "England 1 Scotland 1". England Unofficial Match No.3. englandfootballonline. 25 February 1871. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "England v. Scotland match reports". 25 February 1871. p. 2. 
  28. ^ "England v. Scotland match reports". 24 February 1872. p. 3. 
  29. ^ "England 1 Scotland 0". England Unofficial Match No.5. englandfootballonline. 24 February 1872. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  30. ^ Collett, Mike (2003). The Complete Record of the FA Cup. Sports Books. p. 479. ISBN 1-899807-19-5. 
  31. ^ Warsop, Keith (2004). The Early FA Cup Finals and the Southern Amateurs. SoccerData. p. 41. ISBN 1-899468-78-1. 
  32. ^ Warsop, Keith (2004). The Early FA Cup Finals and the Southern Amateurs. SoccerData. pp. 41–42. ISBN 1-899468-78-1. 
  33. ^ Gibbons, Philip (2001). Association Football in Victorian England – A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900. Upfront Publishing. pp. 41–42. ISBN 1-84426-035-6. 
  34. ^ "The Association Challenge Cup". The Times (27951). London. 16 March 1874. col E, p. 5. 
  35. ^ Cavallini, Rob (2005). The Wanderers F.C. –"Five times F.A. Cup winners". Dog N Duck Publications. p. 110. ISBN 0-9550496-0-1. 
  36. ^ a b Williamson, Martin. "Charles Nepean: profile". England / Players. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  37. ^ "Brief history of Lenham Parish Council". Parish Council Minutes. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 

External links[edit]