History – The “Thornton” Era

Charles Inglis Thornton was born in March 1850 at Llanwarne in Herefordshire and died in December 1929 in Marylebone.

He was a right hand bat and right arm fast underarm bowler. He played for Cambridge( captain 1872), Kent, Middlesex and MCC from 1869 until 1895.

His reputation was that of a big hitter having been recorded as hitting the ball 168 yards in practice at Brighton.

As a guest of Lord Londesborough he was a frequent visitor to Scarborough which was a very fashionable Spa town and holiday resort.

In 1871 Thornton was asked by Lord Londesborough to raise a side to play against Lord Londesboroughs XI (effectively the Yorkshire first XI)which he did so from mainly MCC players and it was known as The Scarborough Visitors XI.

The game was played at Castle Hill and was a great success.

Following the levelling and improvement of North Marine Road Thornton was again asked to put together a side, this time a formal MCC XI to play against Yorkshire in 1875. Rain spoiled the day but the match was repeated the following year 1876, again with Thornton organising, and was the first Scarborough Festival as other matches had also been arranged around it.

From then on until his death in 1929 he continued to organise The Scarborough Festival.

Along the way he personally scored 107 in 29 hits for The Gentlemen of England v I Zingari in 1886 (including his big hit) and managed the C.I.Thorntons XI which beat the full Australian side of 1921.

He was awarded the freedom of the Borough of Scarborough in 1921.