John Loraine Baldwin

BaldwinOur picture is a caricature of John Loraine Baldwin by Leslie Ward, also known as Spy and Drawl which was published in Vanity Fair, 5th September 1895 with the caption I Zingari.  At this time Baldwin would have been 86.

John Loraine Baldwin was born in 1809 and died in 1896.  He went to Oxford University where he became involved in cricket and dramatics.   In 1865 he was living in St. James Street, London, the heart of London club-land,  It is recorder that he became a friend of the Prince of Wales, (later Edward VII) and other titled persons in the social whirl of Victorian England.  He was a prominent English cricket enthusiast who was a co-founder of the I Zingari nomadic cricket club on 4th July 1845.

He was a sports and games rules enthusiast, and in later life he lived near Tintern Abbey ruins, some 20 miles from Badminton and is recorded as having been a great friend of the Duke of Beaufort, and a regular visitor to Badminton House.  It is claimed that he was the writer of the first standardised rules for badminton in 1868 while on a visit to Badminton House and that this is when the name badminton was adopted for the game that was rapidly developing.

There is no doubt that the game of badminton takes its name from Badminton House in South Gloucestershire, and that the Duke’s children, the Somerset family had previously played battledore and shuttlecock in the Great Hall, as battledores still stored in Badminton House record the number of hits achieved between those playing.

It is also recorded that army officers on leave and staying at Badminton House had on a rainy day put up a form of net and played an early form of badminton with the childrens’ battledores and shuttlecocks. 

References - World Badminton December 1972, p 7, World Badminton Oct/Nov 1976, p 8