William Kenyon-Slaney

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William Kenyon-Slaney circa 1906

William Slaney Kenyon-Slaney PC (24 August 1847 – 24 April 1908), sportsman, soldier and politician.

Kenyon-Slaney was born in Rajkot in Gujarat in India, the son of Captain William Kenyon of the 2nd Bombay Cavalry and Frances Catherine Slaney, daughter of Robert A. Slaney of Shropshire. Upon the death of Robert Slaney in 1862 the Kenyon family inherited the Slaney family estate of Hatton Grange near Shifnal in Shropshire and the Kenyon family name was changed to Kenyon-Slaney.

Kenyon-Slaney was educated at Eton and briefly at Christ Church, Oxford. In November 1867, he left Oxford and received a commission into the 3rd battalion of the Grenadier Guards.

Kenyon-Slaney was a noted sportsman and played first-class cricket for the MCC. He was also a keen association football player playing for Wanderers and was selected to play for England against Scotland in the second ever football international on 8 March 1873, where he scored two goals. Kenyon-Slaney became the first player to score in an international football match as the first international between the two nations in November the previous year had been a goalless draw.

He also took part for the Wanderers on the winning side in the 1873 FA Cup Final and on the losing side for the Old Etonians in the drawn first match of the 1875 Final and both matches of the 1876 Final.

In 1882 under the command of Sir Garnet Wolseley he took part in the Battle of Tel el-Kebir during the Urabi Revolt and was decorated for his efforts. In 1887 he was promoted to Colonel and placed on half pay. He fully retired from the military in 1892.

On 22 February 1887, he married Lady Mabel Selina Bridgeman, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bradford; they had two children; a daughter Sybil Agnes Kenyon-Slaney (b. 1888) and a son Robert Orlando Rodolph Kenyon-Slaney (b. 1892) who was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1935.

In 1886 Kenyon-Slaney was elected to Parliament to represent the Newport division of Shropshire for the Conservative Party which he represented until his death (after an attack of gout) in 1908. He was buried at St Andrew's Parish Churchyard, Ryton, Shropshire.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Bickersteth
Member of Parliament for Newport
Succeeded by
Beville Stanier