St Helen’s ArchivePreserving the past for the future



Object ID




Rights Holder

Swansea RFC Memorabilia Community Interest Company


Mr Jonty Oxley Tasmania)




Athletics cup, Swansea Cricket Annual Athletics 1879. Made of brass or bonze, silver plated and engraved: "Swansea C Club Sports. 2nd June 1879. 2nd in 150 Club Hand Flat. 5 Yds. R. H. Brown." Dimensions: h4 1/2" (11.5cm) x w2 1/4" (5.8cm).


This cup was presented to Swansea Rugby forward Robert Hamilton Brown for coming second in the Swansea Cricket Club Annual Athletics 150 yard Club Handicap race at St Helen's on The Whit-Monday Holiday of 2nd June 1879. Robert's brother George won the first heat. The newspaper reports confirm Robert was second in the final heat, the cup itself informing that he lost by 5 yards. The cup is interesting for several reasons. It illustrates the Swansea Cricket Club still holding its own Annual Athletics at this time - the cricket and rugby sections were not united until 1882. As rugby's popularity increased and consequently, their gate receipts, athletic meeting like these were an important source of income for the cricket club. The rugby club normally held their own meet in May. R H (Robert Hamilton) Brown was a Swansea (rugby) Football Club forward from 1876 to1881 and was in the Swansea side that won the South Wales Challenge Cup - their first piece of silverware, in 1880. Another interesting feature of the cup is that it was bought at a market near Launceston, Northern Tasmania by a gentleman who has a passion for returning items to their place of origin. There is in fact a Swansea in Tasmania, though whether this has anything to do with the cup's eventually ending up there is unknown at this time. The gentleman who found it, Mr Jonty Oxley contacted Swansea RFC to arrange for its safe return here, a kind gesture that will allow many more people to enjoy seeing and reading about the item now it is safely returned to its "home".


r h brown, robert brown, swansea cricket club, annual athletics, cup, trophy, 1879,


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