was born on the 28th July 1850 in Cawnpore (now
), Uttar Pradesh,
. His father was a Major in the British Army.
The family returned to
and James attended
from 1863 to 1868. He excelled at Cricket and Rugby and from June 2nd
to 4th 1870 he appeared for Gloucestershire CCC in their first match
v Surrey on Durdham Down in
. He went on to be Gloucestershire Wicket Keeper until the 30th July
played rugby for Blackheath who he was forced to join because at the time to be
selected to play for
you had to belong to a club that was affiliated to the RFU. As the RFU had only
been in existence for 1 year, and very few clubs were affiliated, this proved a
problem for many players. It was the RFU’s way of forcing the clubs to become
affiliated and standardise the rules. This meant that all the players selected
were affiliated to
clubs. Bush played 5 times for Blackheath and he joined Clifton Rugby Club when
it was founded, 7 months later. He went on to gain 4 further caps for
. His last cap for
was on the 6th May 1876. This was the last 20-a-side rugby
James Bush played rugby for
until 1877. He then played
association football as a goalkeeper for Clifton Association Football Club.
He became the best friend of W.G.Grace and his
bestman at his wedding on 9th
October 1873 at
in West Brompton,
. He went on the 1873 MCC tour of
which also acted as W.G’s honeymoon.
James Bush took
over the family business in 1905 with his brother George de Lisle Bush. The
family had run a warehousing company since 1700. The warehouse itself was known
as Bush Warehouse. The company passed on to his son, Reginald Arthur Bush in
1926 and was known as J&R Bush until it ceased trading in the 1960s. The
building is now more famous for being the home of The Arnolfini, a leading
centre for contemporary Arts.
He died on 21st
September 1924 in Clevedon, nr.
and is buried at
"For College, Club & Country - A History of Clifton Rugby Football
Club" will be published in November 2009 by MX Publishing.