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 Athletic
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 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 4-9, Exmouth Tournament
, Exmouth, Devon, England (Grass)
August 4-9, Exmouth, Devon, England (Grass)
Draw of 12
1R = First round
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
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
, North Yorkshire, England (Grass)
FI: C. Hodgson d. Beatrice Wood 7-5 6-3
MX: Miss Ramsay/Ernest Browne d. May Moore/E Fletcher default
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 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: Miss 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: M. 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.
August 19-23, Moffat
, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland (Grass)
FI: Jane Meikle d. Lottie Paterson 6-3 6-4
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 22-27, Sussex County Championships
, Hove Rink, Brighton, Sussex, England (Grass)
FI: M. Leslie (scratch) d. E. Adshead (receives half 15) [score?]*
The women's singles event was "handicap" only. It has not been possible to find any of the scores.
DF: Blanche Bingley/M. Leslie d. Miss Bryan/Miss Dransfield [score?]
MX: Blanche Bingley/E. Barratt-Smith d. M. Leslie/William C. Taylor [score]
???? 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: