July through December
Venue: Wimbledon, London (Worple Road)
Dates: July 5-July 19 (The women's event commenced on July 16)
Maud Watson d. Mrs. A Tyritt Drake 6-0 6-2
Blanche Williams d. Mrs C Wallis 6-2 6-1
Blanche Bingley d. Edith Cole 6-3 6-3
FM Winckworth d. E Bushnell 6-0 6-1
Mrs. GJ Cooper d. C Bushnell default
M Leslie d. B Wallis 6-2 6-1
Watson d. Williams 7-5 6-0
Bingley d. Winckworth 6-0 6-8 6-3
L Watson d. Cooper default
M Watson d. Bingley 3-6 6-4 6-2
L Watson d. Leslie 6-4 6-1
Maud Watson d. Lilian Watson 6-8 6-3 6-3
Draw Notes and Summary
Recognized as the first ever grand slam for women today. At this time the Irish ladies championship(started in 1879), as the older event, held more prestiege.
A curious note: Leslie won a first round match , then got a quarterfinal bye, a curiosity never repeated.
Bingley became more famous as Blanche Hillyard.
This was only time two sisters contested a slam final until the Williams did so at the 2001 Us Open
First prize was a sliver flower basket Because of heavy starched long sleeves shirts, the ladies served underhanded. The lone exception was Maud Watson, the winner. All the ladies also wore hats.
The Times noted that both finalists represented the Berkeswell Club, yet neglected to mention they were sisters.
[From Alan Little's booklet on Maud Watson]
Although The Championships at Wimbledon started in 1877, it was not until seven years later that the Ladies’ Championship was inaugurated. The recognition of the fair sex was far from the first but followed the lead given by the Irish Championships in 1879 and other tournaments such as Bath, Edgbaston and Exmouth in 1881.
When in March 1884, the All England Lawn Tennis Club Committee announced that the forthcoming meeting would be enlarged by the introduction of a gentlemen’s doubles event, no mention was made of staging a ladies’ singles. This decision came as late as 21 June and was undoubtedly influenced by the knowledge that the neighbouring London Club at Stamford Bridge planned to institute a Ladies’ Championship. Rather than create a difficult situation the L.A.C. graciously withdrew in favour of the premier body, which they felt had a priority to hold the Championship.
An entrance fee of 10 shillings and sixpence was charged for The Championship, the draw for which took place in the Pavilion on 10 July and included the names of 13 competitors. The first prize was a silver flower-basket, value 20 guineas, and the second, a silver and glass hand mirror and silver-backed brush, value 10 guineas.
The event, run concurrently with the gentlemen’s doubles, commenced on Wednesday, 16 July, the day after the conclusion of the gentlemen’s singles. Play occupied the courts for four days and was reasonably attended in view of the poor weather on the first three days, when strong south-west winds blew and showers were frequent. However, the Saturday was fine and between four and five hundred spectators assembled at Worple Road to witness the final.
Maud Watson, at the age of 19, became the first champion. In the opening round she easily defeated Mrs A. Tyrwhitt-Drake, whose style entailed in holding her racket more than half-way up the handle, 6-0, 6-2. In her next match, Maud was given a testing time in the first set by Miss Blanche Williams, who led 4-2, but she recovered to 5-all and then took the next eight games. A mild sensation occurred in the following round when Maud lost the opening set 6-3 to a very determined Miss Blanche Bingley, before raising her game to take the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2.
In the other half of the draw, Maud’s sister, Lilian, won her through to the final. Maud’s superiority was so well known that the result was regarded as a foregone conclusion, but on this occasion, however, Lilian exhibited greater accuracy and severity in her strokes than normal and was able to capture the first set, 8-6. Maud, undeterred, fought back to win the next two by 6-3, 6-3. Victory confirmed Maud’s standing as the leading player of that time and ensured that her name would appear in the record book for posterity.
By all accounts, The Championship was a great success, a sentiment echoed by at least one competitor who wrote to a journal of the day: “We ladies would like to thank Mr Julian Marshall (Secretary) for our pretty dressing room and his selection of an attendant. Nothing was forgotten, from the beautiful flowers on the table to the smallest toilet luxuries.”
July 16-18, Hull
, Yorkshire, England (Grass)
FI: Mabel Boulton d. E.D. Ramsey 6-0 7-5
This was the second edition of the Hull tournament where, in the early years, the women's singles event was handicap only.
July 22-25, Edgbaston Tournament
, Birmingham, West Midlands, England (Grass)
1R: Miss Noon d. A. Smith 6-0 6-2
1R: Effie Noon d. G. Green 6-1 0-6 6-3
1R: Ethel Walker d. W. Balden 6-4 6-3
1R: A. Heaton d. L. Chamberlain default (yet note she is in draw elsewhere!Was she rentered?)
1R: Florence Mardall-bye
1R: L Chamberlain-bye
1R: E Richardson-bye
1R: Miss Hutton-bye
QF: Miss Noon d. Effie Noon 2-6 6-1 6-4
QF: A. Heaton d. Ethel Walker 6-5 6-2
QF: Florence Mardall d. Miss Chamberlain 6-2 6-2
QF: E. Richardson d. Miss Hutton 6-1 6-2
SF: Noon d. Heaton 6-4 6-4
SF: Richardson d. Mardall 3-6 6-0 6-4
FI: Miss Noon d. E Richardson 3-6 8-6 6-3
DF: Lilian Watson/Maud Watson d. Edith Davies/Florence Mardall 5-7 6-2 6-0 7-5
MX: Florence Mardall/John Deykin d. Effie Noon/Frank Noon 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2
The women’s singles event in this tournament was very modest for many years. After her Wimbledon triumph, Maud played two other tournaments that year. She returned to Edgbaston after an absence of three years to win the doubles with her sister.
The Miss Chamberlian in the QF was presumably a younger sister of "L. Chamberlain".
August 4-7, Darlington
, Durham, England (Grass)
SF: Miss Bradshaw/Connie Butler d. Miss Turner/A. Turner 6-3 6-2
SF: Winifred Fenwick/Ethel Surtees d. Alice Cheese/E. Cheese 6-3 2-6 6-5
FI: Miss Bradshaw/Connie Butler d. Winifred Fenwick/Ethel Surtees 6-2 7-5
SF: Marian Bradshaw/Herbert Wilberforce d. Alice Cheese/Percival C. Fenwick 6-4 6-2
SF: Ethel Surtees/John Galbraith Horn d. Miss Turner/ E.A. Turner 6-1 6-2
FI: Marian Bradshaw/Herbert Wilberforce d. Ethel Surtees/John Galbraith Horn 6-5 6-4
In 1884, there was no women's singles event at this, the fourth edition of the Darlington tournament.
August 4-9, Exmouth Tournament
, Exmouth, Devon, England (Grass)
1R: Maud Watson d. Alice Bagnall-Wild 6-4 6-0
1R: Florence Mardall d. Blanche Bingley default
1R: Lilian Cole d. N. Pope 6-3 6-3
1R: Miss Noon d. Georgina Kindersley 6-1 6-3
1R: Grace Gibbs-bye
1R: Lilian Watson-bye
1R: Miss Pollock-bye
1R: Agnes Watts-bye
QF: M Watson d. Mardall 6-1 6-4
QF: Cole d. Noon 2-6 6-2 6-4
QF: Gibbs d. L Watson 7-9 6-4 6-2
QF: Watts d. Pollock 6-0 6-0
SF: Watson d. Cole 6-4 2-6 6-3
SF: Watts d. Gibbs 6-0 6-3
FI: Maud Watson d. Agnes Watts 6-1 7-5 6-3
1R: Miss Noon/Agnes Watts d. Miss Chapman/Grace Gibbs 6-1 6-0
1R: Miss Cole/Florence Mardall d. Lilian Watson/Maud Watson 7-5 6-4
1R: Georgina Kindersley/Katherine Kindersley-bye
1R: Alice Bagnall-Wild/N. Pope-bye
SF: Noon/Watts d. Cole/Mardall 3-6 6-2 7-5
SF: Kindersley/Kindersley d. Bagnall-Wild/Pope 7-5 4-6 6-4
FI: Miss Noon/Agnes Watts d. Georgina Kindersley/Katherine Kindersley 6-1 6-3
MX: Maud Watson/John Deykin d. Alice Bagnall-Wild/Harry Grove 6-2 6-0
At Exmouth, Maud won through four matches to retain her singles title, although she dropped a set to Miss Cole before overcoming Mrs F. (agnes) Watts in the final, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3. Maud won the mixed doubles with left-handed John Deykin but with Lilian suffered a rare first round defeat in the doubles.
July 28-August 2, Chiswick Park
, London, England (Grass)
FI: Blanche Bingley d. Miss Wing 6-3 6-3
This event is not yet the Middlesex Championships.
August 11-16, Scarborough Tournament,
Scarborough, England (Grass)
Venue: an unnamed cricket ground
1R: Constance Hodgson d. F. Marriott 6-2 6-2
1R: C. Chapman d. Edith Hodgson 5-6 6-0 6-2
1R: Miss Crossley d. K. Coleman 6-5 6-0
1E: Beatrice Wood d. A. Turner 6-0 6-4
SF: C Hodgson d. Chapman 6-2 6-5
SF: Wood d. Crossley 6-5 6-3
FI: Constance Hodgson d. Beatrice Wood 7-5 6-3
1R: A. Turner/Miss Turner d. Miss Peach/R. Peach 6-3 6-3
1R: Miss Cook/Miss Harrison d. Constance Hodgson/Edith Hodgson 4-6 10-8 6-4
FI: A. Turner/Miss Turner d. Miss Cook/Miss Harrison 6-3 4-6 retired
SF: Ellen Ramsay/Ernest Browne d. Miss Gilliat/J.J. Harrison 5-6 6-5 6-3
SF: May Moore/E Fletcher d. Edith Hodgson/William C. Taylor 6-4 6-5
FI: Ellen Ramsay/Ernest Browne d. May Moore/E. Fletcher 6-3 retired
Draw note: In the women's doubles event both players in a team had to be members of the same lawn tennis club.
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar" (1885): "That Yorkshire is a sporting county in every sense of the word is well known to everyone, and games and pastimes of all sorts always meet with great support in this what may be called 'home' of sport. Within our own knowledge there are over thirty lawn tennis clubs in the county, and the game
seems to be taken up in every town and village with great enthusiasm.
"A short time ago a meeting was arranged of secretaries from as many clubs as could be drawn together, and these soon decided to hold a tournament open to the county. Officers were soon elected to carry out the opening fixture, and as these received a really large amount of support, three open events were also arranged to take place. Scarborough was the place fixed upon, and a better town it would hardly be able to select, as 'Yorkshire' appears to always congregate in and around that far-famed watering place; and in addition to this, entries for the open events would be sure to visit this 'Queen of the North'. [...]
"The cricket ground had been obtained for the tournament and, of course, with its large amount of space, any number of courts could be provided. Our contemporary 'The Yorkshire Post' had provided the £20.00 badge for the ladies' singles championship..."
August 11-16, East Grinstead Tournament,
East Grinstead, Sussex, England (Grass)
FI: Miss Cobbold d. Ada Strapp 6-1 6-4
DF: Miss Cobbold/Miss Richardson d. Miss Arbuthnot/Miss Taylor 6-5 6-1
MX: Miss Taylor/William Renshaw d. Miss Cobbold/William N Cobbold 6-4 6-4
William Nevill Cobbold (4 February 1862 – 8 April 1922), familiarly known as Nevill or "Nuts" Cobbold, was one of the leading footballers of the Victorian era and on several occasions a member of the England national football team. As late as 1922, at the time of his death, he could be described as "the most famous association football forward of all time", and certainly – in the words of his Times obituary – "the most individually brilliant dribbler, the player who could most often put in those thrusts that no skill could parry".
Cobbold wed a Hester Marion Arbuthnot in West Hoathly, Sussex in 1890. It is very tempting to think she might be the same as the Miss Arbuthnot in question here. Hester Marion Cobbold (nee Arbuthnot) lived from 1865 – 1957.
The winning Miss Cobbold is most likely to be "Nuts" sister. There were 3.  Matilda Grace Cobbold (1852-1946).  Emily Mary Cobbold (1856-1930) later married Reverend Matyn Ragland Allnutt.
 Georgiana Augusta Cobbold (Born 1860) md Edward Arthur Sylvester in 1891-date of death unknown.
As the youngest and closest to her brother in age Georgiana is the most likely candidate; but we cannot be certain.
August 11-16, Teignmouth
, Devon, England (Grass)
QF: Lilian Cole/Charles E. Pine-Coffin d. Miss Lane/William Wethered 6-2 5-6 6-2
QF: Alice Tickell/Frank Noon d. B. Hayward/ Erskine Watson 6-0 6-5
QF: Lilian Watson/Captain Wood d. Miss Hibbard/Richard B. Limbery default
QF: Miss Noon/John Deykin d. Agnes Watts/Frederick Watts 6-2 6-3
SF: Cole/Pine-Coffin d. Tickell/Noon 6-2 6-1
SF: Noon/Deykin d. Watson/Wood 3-6 6-4 6-4
FI: Lilian Cole/Charles E. Pine-Coffin d. Miss Noon/John Deykin 6-4 6-4
August 18-23, Buxton Tournament
, Derbyshire, England (Grass)
1R: Agnes Watts d. Florence Mardall 6-1 6-4
1R: Miss Noon d. Miss Butler default
1R: Connie Butler d. C. White 6-0 6-1
1R: Margaret Bracewell d. Mrs Hill 4-6 6-2 6-0
1R: J. Wray d. Miss Chamberlain* 6-5 6-2
1R: C. Fullerton-Smith d. Miss Halpin 6-5 6-1
1R: Edith Gurney d. B. Irwin 6-1 6-0
1R: Ethel Surtees d. B. Noon 6-3 6-1
1R: Miss Walker d. M. Irwin 6-0 6-3
1R: Miss Bowyer d. C. Marriot 6-5 5-6 6 -3
1R: Miss Fullerton-Smith d. Miss Coddington 6-2 6-2
1R: L. Fenton d. Miss Clark 6-1 6-1
1R: May Marriott d. A. Simpson 6-3 6-3
1R: A. Coddington d. Miss Greaves 6-2 6-2
1R: Miss Richardson d. Miss Metcalf 6-2 6-3
1R: Florence Stanuell d. A. Sharp 6-0 6-0
2R: Watts d. Noon 6-2 6-3
2R: Bracewell d. Butler 2-6 6-4 6-4
2R: Wray d. Fullerton-Smith 6-4 6-3
2R: Surtees d. Gurney 6-3 6-3
2R: Walker d. Bowyer 6-2 1-6 6-2
2R: Fenton d. Fullerton-Smith 6-1 6-5
2R: Marriott d. Coddington 6-0 6-1
2R: Stanuell d. Richardson 6-1 5-6 6-2
QF: Watts d. Bracewell 6-3 6-2
QF: Surtees d. Wray 6-3 6-3
QF: Walker d. Fenton 3-6 6-1 6-3
QF: Stanuell d. Marriott 6-2 6-3
SF: Watts d. Surtees 6-5 6-4
SF: Stanuell d. Walker 6-0 6-0
FI: Agnes Watts d. Florence Stanuell 6-1 6-2
DF: Miss Noon/Agnes Watts d. Connie Butler/Mrs Surtees 6-3 5-7 8-6
Draw note: Miss Chamberlain probably= L Chamberlain in other events from 1884.
The was the inaugural Buxton tournament (later the Derbyshire Championships). Florence Stanuell and Connie Butler were Irish players.
Up to now this is the largest draw ever in a ladies singles.
Note the 6-5 scores. The requirement of winning a set by two games was not yet standard.
From "The Field Lawn Tennis Calendar"(1885): "Although Buxton has held a number of small meetings during the last two or three years, these have always been confined to residents in this popular inland watering-place but so successful have these miniature tournaments proved, that 'ambitious ideas' gained the upper hand, and a fixture on a large scale was resolved upon. A capital committee was got together, comprising representatives from many of the leading clubs in the country, and these worked their hardest to obtain entries for the tournament under notice.
"Mr A.J. Harrison, of the Portland Park Lawn Tennis Club, Newcastle, was asked to fulfil the duties of honorary secretary, and the Buxton authorities were decidedly fortunate in obtaining him. A fairly large number of competitors had always been forthcoming for the meetings here, but such an enormous entry as came to hand was not in the least expected. [...]
"That the promoters of the Buxton meeting were right in attempting a tournament on a large scale is certainly proved by the wonderful success with which the fixture has met. Of course this success is greatly due to the admirable committee that had been induced to take the matter in hand. [...] Charles Grinstead was the largest prize take during the meeting, gaining three first prizes and one third prize. Ernest Browne and John Deykin each secured one first prize and two second prizes. Amongst the ladies Mrs Agnes Watts was the most successful, winning two first prizes while Ethel Surtees gained one first, one second and one third prize, and Connie Butler two seconds.
"We understand that next year two more grass courts will be added to the ground where the tournament was played, and the lake side will also be squared off so as to give greater space than at present. These improvement will, of course, add greatly to the facilities of working the meeting, and more especially so if it assumes anything like the proportions of the present one. The four courts used this season had not been previously played upon since they were most carefully levelled and prepared under the superintendence of Mr Hogg, the head garden, who had got the grass in really capital condition. Mr Ayres supplied the nets posts and balls, and Messrs Brookes the stop nets."
August 19-23, Moffat
, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland (Grass)
FI: Jane Meikle d. Lottie Paterson 6-3 6-4
August 18-23, Whitby
, Yorkshire, England (Grass)
FI: L. Cheetham d. A.J. Osmond 6-3 6-4
MX: D. Radcliffe/John Charles Kay d. L. Cheetham/C. Richardson 6-0 6-3
August 19-21, Saxmundham Tournament,
Saxmundham, Suffolk, England (Grass)
FI: M. Marriott d. G. Rant 6-1 6-1
DF: A. Foster/G. Rant d. M. Field/Miss Rant 6-4 4-6 6-4
MX: Miss Burnand/EM Hansell d. M. Field/EB Upcher 6-3 6-2
September 1-6, Devonshire Park Tournament
, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England (Grass)
Venue: Devonshire Park
FI: Frances Burton d. Nellie Burton 6-2 6-4
The women's singles event was a "handicap" event; the two finalists were sisters.
September 3-5, Bournemouth
, Dorset, England, GB (Grass)
1R: F. Davies d. M. Robinson 6-4 6-3
1R: Miss Mockler d. N. de Boulay 6-0 6-0
1R: Miss Everett d. Miss Stirke 6-0 6-0
1R: Mrs Hornby-bye.
SF: Davies d. Mockler 6-2 6-5
SF: Hornby d. Everett 6-4 6-4
FI: F. Davies d. Mrs Hornby 3-6 6-2 6-5
DF: Miss Mockler/Miss Skirrow d. Miss Everett/E. Bressy 6-4 6-1
September 22-27, Sussex County Championships
, Brighton, Sussex, England (Grass)
Venue: Hove Rink
1R: M Leslie d. Mrs Taylor ????
1R: Blanche Bingley d. Mrs White
1R: E Munt d. Miss Sangster default
1R: C Bryan d. Miss White ????
1R: E Adshead d. E Richardson default
1R: Miss Bridger-bye
QF: Leslie d. Bingley ????
QF: Munt d. Bryan ????
QF: Adshead d. Bridger ????
SF: Leslie d. Munt
FI: M. Leslie (scratch) d. E. Adshead (receives half 15) ????
DF: Blanche Bingley/M. Leslie d. Miss Bryan/Miss Dransfield ????
MX: Blanche Bingley/E. Barratt-Smith d. M. Leslie/William C. Taylor ????
The women's singles event was "handicap" only. It has not been possible to find any of the scores. Byes were distributed in more than one round. What became known as the "Bagnall-Wild" system, with all byes in the first round, does not yet exist.
???? NSW CHAMPIONSHIPS
MX: Annie Lamb/Mr Cropper
circa December 8-20, Victorian Championships
, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Grass)
FI: E. MacKenzie d. A. Bayles 10-4*
DF: Annie Riddell/M. Rose d. Annie Chenery/Nellie Chenery 15-14
MX: Annie Riddel/Walter J. Riddell d.E. MacKenzie/ L.A. Whyte 15-11**
* The first player to take ten games was the winner.
**The mixed doubles event was played in early October as part of what were known as the "Intercolonial Championship Matches" (men's singles and men's doubles events were also played in early October). The winners of both doubles event were the first pair to take fifteen games.
Annie Carre Riddell (1862-1934) married Baron Charles Strachan DE FEGELY on 24 October 1888. Her brother's full name was Walter John Carre Riddell. Sometimes the family name was referred to as 'Carre Riddell' instead of just 'Riddell'.
Results for other years are in the Women's Database at:
Women's Tennis Results by Year