George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley

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George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley (29 January 1870 – 14 November 1955) was an Anglo-Irish soldier, public servant, cricketer, and author.

Personal life[edit]

George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley was born in 1870, the only child of George Sackville Berkeley, a major in the Royal Engineers.[1] He was educated at Wellington College and Keble College, Oxford.[1] He later practised at the Irish bar.[2] In 1899 he married Caroline Isabel Mason. He moved to Italy in 1920 for the good of his wife's health; she died in 1933. The following year he married Janet Margaret Mary Weld,[3] with whom he co-wrote a history of Italian unification.[1] He was a member of two gentlemen's clubs: Vincent's in Oxford and the Kildare Street Club in Dublin.[1] He died at his home, Hanwell Castle, near Banbury, Oxfordshire.[4]

Public life[edit]

Berkeley served in the Worcestershire Regiment from 1898 to 1901.[4] He supported Irish Home Rule and the Irish Volunteers, and at a 1914 meeting in Alice Stopford Green's London home he subscribed the largest amount to the arms purchase fund which resulted in the Howth gun-running.[5][1][6] In the First World War he was a brigade musketry officer with the 3rd Cavalry reserve.[4] After the war he was a member of the Claims Commission in France and Italy.[4] In 1920 he was active in the Irish Dominion League, which proposed Dominion status for Ireland,[1] and with the Peace with Ireland Council, of British public figures opposed to the government's waging of the Anglo-Irish War.[7][8] In 1954 he submitted two papers to the Irish Bureau of Military History relating to his 1914 and 1920 activities.[7][9] He was a magistrate in Oxfordshire from 1906 to 1937.[1]

Cricket career[edit]

George Berkeley
Personal information
Full nameGeorge Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley
Born(1870-01-29)29 January 1870
Dublin, Ireland
Died14 November 1955(1955-11-14) (aged 85)
Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
BowlingLeft-arm medium
Domestic team information
1890–1893Oxford University
First-class debut19 May 1890 Oxford University v Australians
Last First-class14 May 1906 H. D. G. Leveson Gower's XI v Oxford University
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 32
Runs scored 324
Batting average 10.12
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 38
Balls bowled 6,288
Wickets 131
Bowling average 20.75
5 wickets in innings 9
10 wickets in match 1
Best bowling 8/70
Catches/stumpings 17/–
Source: CricketArchive, 21 November 2012

Berkeley played for Oxford University Cricket Club in the 1890s. A left-arm medium pace bowler, he took 131 wickets in 32 first-class appearances at an average of 20.75.[10] He best bowling performance occurred on his debut, when he took eight wickets for Oxford University in the first innings against the touring Australians.[11] Berkeley was awarded his blue, appearing against Cambridge in the University match, in each of his four years at Oxford. He was Oxford's leading wicket-taker during his first three years at the university, but in the third, he was unable to play in all the matches, but maintained a strong bowling average.[12] He played twice for Ireland, taking 11 for 75 against I Zingari in Phoenix Park in 1890.[2] He later played minor counties cricket for Oxfordshire between 1904 and 1906.


  • Williams, Basil, ed. (1911). "The Present System of Government in Ireland". Home rule problems. London: P.S. King & Son. pp. 35–48. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  • The Irish Battalion in the papal army of 1860. Dublin: Talbot Press. 1929. OCLC 891427156.
  • The Campaign of Adowa and the Rise of Menelik (New ed.). London: Constable. 1902. OCLC 817172475.
  • Italy in the Making. Cambridge University Press. 1932–1940. OCLC 875306146. (with Joan Berkeley; 3 volumes)
  • Wellington College: the founders of the tradition. Newport: R.H. Johns. 1948. OCLC 2570688.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Captain George Berkeley Papers" (PDF). Cork City and County Archives.
  2. ^ a b Herringshaw, Liam (2 September 2013). "The bat that died for Ireland". ESPN. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. ^ Marriage Indexes 4th Quarter 1934, Southam, Warwickshire district
  4. ^ a b c d "Obituaries: Mr G. Fitz-H. Berkeley". The Times (53383). London. 21 November 1955. p. 12.
  5. ^ Connell Jr, Joseph E. (May–June 2014). "Howth/ Kilcoole gunrunning". History Ireland. 22 (3).
  6. ^ Docherty, Gerry; MacGregor, James (2013). Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War. Mainstream Publishing. pp. 391–392. ISBN 9781780577494.
  7. ^ a b Berkeley, George F.H. "Witness statement 994: "Peace with Ireland Council" 1920–1921" (PDF). Dublin: Bureau of Military History. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  8. ^ Moulton, Mo (2014). Ireland and the Irish in Interwar England. Cambridge University Press. p. 53. ISBN 9781107052680.
  9. ^ Berkeley, George F.H. "Witness statement 971: The Irish political situation, 1914" (PDF). Dublin: Bureau of Military History. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Player Profile: George Berkeley". CricketArchive. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Oxford University v Australians: Australia in England 1890". CricketArchive. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  12. ^ Bolton, Geoffrey (1962). History of the O.U.C.C. (1st ed.). Oxford: Holywell Press. pp. 133–147.