John Tudor Gwynn

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John Tudor ("Jack") Gwynn (13 November 1881 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland – 17 May 1956 in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland[1]) was the seventh son of the Very Rev John Gwynn D.D. and Lucy Josephine O’Brien.[2] He was born at Ramelton, County Donegal, while his father was Dean of Raphoe. Following in the footsteps of his elder brothers he was educated at St Columba's College, Rathfarnham and Trinity College, Dublin. Like the three brothers immediately preceding him, Lucius, Arthur and Robin, he was an outstanding cricketer,[1] and like them he in his turn captained first the St Columba’s XI and then the Dublin University XI. He did not however go on to represent the Ireland cricket team internationally.

After graduating Jack Gwynn joined the Indian Civil Service. He started his first tour of duty in India in 1905. During a period of home leave Jack became engaged to Joan Sedding, a relative through marriage of his elder brother Lucius. Joan’s father was the ecclesiastical architect John Sedding. Both of Joan’s parents had died while Joan was in her infancy and she had been brought up by a maternal aunt and uncle, the Rawlinsons; her cousin Katharine, the one who had married Lucius Gwynn, was like an elder sister to her and probably had a hand in arranging the match. Jack and Joan’s wedding took place in Colombo in 1912.[3]

While working in the Indian Civil Service Jack Gwynn represented the "Europeans" in two first-class matches against the "Indians" in 1919 and 1920.[4]

At the outbreak of the first World War Jack and Joan Gwynn were on home leave. Jack was retained in London and placed on special duty at the Admiralty. It was during this period in England that the couple’s three children were born: Peter (1916), Rose (1918) and Katharine (1920).

Jack Gwynn had to retire from the ICS in 1921 because of deafness. However he had no sooner retired than the Manchester Guardian newspaper head-hunted him and sent him back to India as their correspondent. He wrote a series of articles for the paper which, in 1924, were published in book form under the title Indian Politics.[5]

Gwynn was still working for the Guardian when he and his family moved to Dublin in 1926. Apart from a break when he covered the Round Table Conference in 1934 - he already knew Mahatma Gandhi and had a great admiration for him - he served as the Irish correspondent of the Guardian until 1936. He continued to review occasional books for the paper until a year or two before his death.

In 1936 Jack Gwynn became the Headmaster of a boys’ preparatory school on the north side of Dublin, Baymount School, which he had bought from its founder William Scott. He and his wife ran the school successfully for a decade in spite of financial difficulties.[2]

Baymount School was closed down in 1948. A couple of years later Gwynn put the house and grounds up for sale. They were purchased by the Society of Jesus and subsequently converted into a Jesuit retreat named Manresa House. Jack and Joan Gwynn stayed for a while in Clontarf, near Baymount, before moving to live with their daughter and son-in-law, Katharine and Laurence Liddle, in Bangor, County Down in 1953.[3]

John Tudor Gwynn died in 1956 and Joan Gwynn in 1965.[2]


  1. ^ a b Cricket Archive profile
  2. ^ a b c Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976
  3. ^ a b Oral testimony, Edward Liddle, grandson of John Tudor Gwynn
  4. ^ First-class matches played by John Gwynn at Cricket Archive
  5. ^ The Spectator, 5th September 1924