Richard Henry Abbatt

Abbatt, R.H.Richard Henry Abbatt was born in 1843 and was involved with badminton in its very early days. He first became involved while in India, first playing at Allahabad in 1872 where badminton had just been introduced as an outdoor game. Bats were imported and covered with parchment, but shuttlecocks were made in India. The parchment bats made a great noise and gut strung bats were later introduced.

Mr Abbatt records that he won his first prize in Allahahabad in 1872 in a tournament with some interesting rules – three players aside, two men and a lady (number usual at that time), with partners being changed after each match (the lady who played with Mr Abbatt in the semi finals was his opponent in the final).

With the introduction of lawn tennis into India, badminton lost its popularity, but Mr Abbatt continued to play from time to time while in India. On his return to England he lived in Ealing and became a very keen and useful member of that club. He was a very successful player in Veterans’ events, and won the Middlesex Doubles in 1905, 1906, 1908 and 1911. Playing with his son, F.W. Abbatt he achieved excellent results in handicap events. It is believed that he did not miss being present at the Middlesex Championships from its inauguration until 1920.
He was also a well known lawn tennis player.
He died on August 17th, 1921 aged 79.