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Victor Charles Le Fanu


 

He was born on 14th October 1865 in Dublin the fifth son of William Richard Le Fanu, a Commissioner of the Irish Board of Works whose brother was the famous horror novelist Sheridan Le Fanu.

 

Above his father William Richard Le Fanu

 

His mother was Henrietta Victorine (nee Barrington ) was the daughter of the 2nd Baronet of the City of Limerick .

His brother was The Most Rev Henry Frewen Le Fanu (1st April 1870 – 9th September 1946) was an eminent Australian Bishop. Born in Dublin , educated at Haileybury and Keble College , Oxford and ordained in 1894, he began his ecclesiastical career as a curate in Poplar. From 1899 to 1901 he was Chaplain to the Bishop of Rochester after which he held a similar post at Guy's Hospital. Emigrating to Australia he was successively Canon Residentiary then Archdeacon of St John's Cathedral, Brisbane , Coadjutor Bishop of Brisbane, Archbishop of Perth and Primate of Australia. He was appointed a Sub-Prelate of the Order of St John of Jerusalem .

The aristocratic Le Fanu family had migrated from Normandy , France , as Huguenot refugees in the late seventeenth century to Ireland .

Victor was educated at for Haileybury, ISC and Trinity College , Cambridge University where he won three rugby blues from 1884 to 1886. He became the first Irish International to play in a varsity match.

 

Above his uncle Sheridan Le Fanu

 

Above his brother The Most Rev Henry Frewen Le Fanu

 

He played for Lansdowne, was captain in 1890-92 and President in 1932-33.

 

Above the 1884 Cambridge University XV. Back Row (L-R): H.F.S.Adams, E.P.Alexander, H.Neilson, C.E.Chapman, H.W.Sample, F.G.Swayne, W.J.Plews, V.C.Le Fanu. Middle Row: L.E.Stevenson, H.F.Ransome. Front Row: G.L.Jeffery, E.A.Douglas, C.J.B.Milne, C.H.Sample, J.Le Fleming.

 

Above the 1885 Cambridge University XV. Standing (L-R): F.W.J.Goodhue, J.A.Shirer, M.M.Duncan, J.H.Dewhurst, H.F.S.Adams, E.P.Alexander, W.R.M.Leake, W.P.Carpmael. Seated: V.C.Le Fanu, L.E.Stevenson, E.B.Brutton, G.L.Jeffrey, F.G.Swayne. On Ground: M.T.Scott.

 

Above the 1886 Cambridge University XV. Standing (L-R): W.T.Thomas, J.H.Dewhurst, W.R.M.Leake, A.Robinson, J. Le Fleming, F.W.J.Goodhue, M.T.Scott. Seated: F.G.Swayne, M.M.Duncan, E.B.Brutton, E.P.Alexander, V.C.Le Fanu. On Ground: A.Methuen, W.G.Mitchell, A.A.Surtees.

  Le Fanu was first capped for Ireland on 6 February 1886 in a home game against England . Le Fanu, still at Cambridge , had a difficult start which saw England win comfortably, in front of a then record crowd of 7,000. Le Fanu would represent Ireland on 11 occasions, and in 1892 he captained the team on all three home nation matches, his last three games.

 

Matches played for Ireland were

Date

Opposition

Venue

Result

Score (HT)

6th Feb 1886

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

Lost

0-1Tr

20th Feb 1886

Scotland

Raeburn Place , Edinburgh

Lost

0-3G,1DG,2Tr

5th Feb 1887

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

Won

2G-0

12th Mar 1887

Wales

Birkenhead

Lost

3Tr-1DG,1Tr

10th Mar 1888

Scotland

Edinburgh

Lost

0-1G

2nd Mar 1889

Wales

St. Helens, Swansea

Won

2Tr-0

15th Mar 1890

England

Blackheath

Lost

0-3 (3Tr)

7th Feb 1891

England

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

Lost

0-9 (2G,3Tr)

6th Feb 1892

England

Manchester

Lost

0-7(1G,1Tr)

20th Feb 1892

Scotland

Raeburn Place , Edinburgh

Lost

0-2(1Tr)

5th Mar 1892

Wales

Lansdowne Road , Dublin

Won

9(1G,2Tr)-0

 

Victor played for the first Irish side to beat England on 5th February 1887. Thirteenth time lucky.  It was the only game they won this season.

The Dublin newspaper Freeman’s Journal reported on the match on 7th February 1887 and said

 

Above the Ireland side that played and beat England on 5th February 1887. Standing (L-R): W.L.Stokes (President), J.S.Dick, C.B.Tillie, T.R.Lyle, H.J.Neill, V.C.Le Fanu, R.Stevenson. Seated: D.F.Rambaut, D.B.Walkington, J.Chambers, R.G.Warren (Captain), E.J.Walsh, J.H.McLaughlin, J.Johnston. On Ground: John Macaolay, R.S.Montgomery.

 

 

Above Victor Le Fanu

 

Victor was Assistant Master at Sutton Valence School , Maidstone , Kent from 1887-90.

In 1893 his father published his memoirs Seventy Years of Irish Life. He died the following year at Summerhill, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow on September 8th, 1894.


Victor became agent to Earl of Meath and J.P.  for Co. Wicklow.

 

He died on 9th August 1939 at his home in at Ballymorris, Bray, Co. Wicklow, unmarried.

 

Patrick Casey

http://sites.google.com/site/caseybooks

http://www.cliftonrfchistory.co.uk

email: patrick.casey@cliftonrfchistory.co.uk

 

© Patrick Casey, 2010
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