The history of the Rugby Queens House 1871 Black T-Shirt
T-Shirt Rugby Queens House story. There were a number of different ‘rugby’ type games played during the 1800s – Eton Rules, Cambridge Rules, The Winchester Game were all popular at the time. The formation of Club Rugby had evolved from ‘Old Boys’ of the Schools, however it was difficult when the teams organised fixtures as they would be used to playing their brand of football.
On 4 December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that “those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play.”
So on 26 January 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall restaurant.
Founder Club Queens House team and players
Queen’s House was established in 1867 through the co-operation of the brothers Rowland and Edward Hill and the families of Hewitt and Fry, who all lived in Greenwich. The club was named after the famous Queen’s House in Greenwich where Rowland Hill was born.
The team shirt featured a blue crown. On 26 January 1871, they sent representation to a meeting of twenty-one London and suburban football clubs that followed Rugby School rules assembled at the Pall Mall Restaurant in Regent Street. Although Queen’s House was considered prominent enough to have been invited, they did not gain any of the thirteen places on the original committee.
The club was regarded at one time as one of the most formidable clubs in London, and perhaps the most difficult to beat. The London Scottish, a team with great success against all teams in the London area, in the five matches played against Queen’s House were never able to snatch a victory and in fact Sidney Ellis of Queen’s House was the first player to ever cross the London Scottish try-line.
At its height the team comprised Cameron Hewitt playing back, Tom and Fred Fry as three-quarters, and Sidney Fry as a half-back. In the physically powerful forwards were Walter Hewitt, the international oarsman and his brother Malcolm, as well as the England international Sidney Ellis. Contemporary accounts describe the team as having “probably as strong a set of scrummagers as were ever got together. They did not go in for a fast or showy game, and were never great scorers, but their defence was wonderfully strong, and it is doubtful whether any team ever had a finer lot of tacklers.”
In the short time the team was together, their greatest rivals were their neighbours, Blackheath FC, with whom they played the closest and most exciting matches.
With the emigration of Cameron Hewitt and Fred and Sidney Fry to Canada in the early 1880s and the retirement of Tom Fry, the team lost its nucleus. Rather than risk the probability of a decadence it was decided to disband the club in the height of its prosperity.
A number of Queen’s House players represented England, T. Fry (first capped 1880), Sidney Ellis (first capped 1880) and W. Hewitt (first capped 1881).
Manufactured from 100% cotton, the Ellis Rugby, T-Shirt Rugby Queens House Black features a stylish Queens House logo print celebrating the history of the formation of Rugby Football. Also, this garment includes the Ellis Rugby applique shield on the arm and herringbone side vents. It also has a velvet tape trim on the neck, plus a decorative 21 Club woven label.
This T-Shirt is available in sizes M – 2XL.