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CLR James Cricket Research Centre


Sir Pelham Warner's Papers

REPOSITORY: CLR James Cricket Research Centre
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus
Cave Hill, St. Michael


Phone: (246) 417 4162

CREATOR:     Sir Pelham Francis Warner
TITLE: Pelham Warner’s Papers
DATE:  1897-1957
1 Box


GV915.A1 W37 2010

CLR James Cricket Research Centre. Special Collections.    
The University of the West Indies
Cave Hill Campus
Cave Hill, St. Michael

STORAGE NOTE: This collection is stored on site at the CLR James Cricket Research Centre.
LANGUAGE: The letters are in English

Pelham Francis Warner was born on 2 October, 1873 at The Hall, Trinidad and Tobago, in the West Indies.  His parents were Charles William Warner and Ellen Warner, nee Cadiz, who was of Irish and Spanish stock. His father was the Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago for many years.  Pelham Warner was the youngest of Charles Warner’s eighteen children.  He married Agnes Blythe in 1904 and had three children, Elizabeth (Betty), Esmond and John.

Pelham Warner’s early education began at Queen’s Royal College in Trinidad, and in 1883, at the age of ten he was sent to Harrison College in Barbados.  It was at Harrison College that the foundation at any skill acquired in cricket was built.  In 1887, at the age of thirteen, his father died and the family left Trinidad for England where they spent the remainder of their lives. He attended Rugby, Oriel College and Oxford.   

Pelham “Plum” Warner as he was affectionately called, was a right-hand batsman, and played first class cricket for Oxford University, Middlesex and Test cricket for England.  In 1904 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.  Pelham Warner served the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in various capacities for almost sixty years.  He was captain of the first MCC tour to Australia; a member of the Committee; deputy secretary during the Second World War, president and first life Vice President of the MCC.  Pelham Warner captained Middlesex, leading them to a famous victory and to the championship in the last match of 1920.  This was a fitting end to a first class career which had begun in 1894 and in which he made nearly 30,000 runs and scored sixty centuries. He played in many parts of the world, including Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies, America and Canada.      

Pelham Warner retired as a player in 1929 and founded The Cricketer, combining his editorship with writing for the Morning Post. He became chairman of England Test selectors for most of the inter-war years, managed the MCC side to Australia in 1932-33 and later became President of the Marylebone Cricket Club.  Warner wrote well into his old age, nearly twenty books on the game.  Pelham Warner was knighted for his services in 1937.

 Pelham Francis “Plum” Warner died on January 30, 1963 at West Lavington, Sussex at age 89.  



The papers consist of letters, legal papers, and cablegram.  Several family members are represented in the papers including his wife, sons, daughter, daughters- in- law, grandchildren and friends.  

CATALOGUE RECORD: A record of this collection may be available in ALEPH, the University of the West Indies Library catalogue.

Collection purchased from J.W. McKenzie Booksellers, Surrey, England.   


Ownership and Copyright
Copyright transferred to the University of the West Indies.


Cite As

Pelham Warner’s Papers.  CLR James Cricket Research Centre, the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, 2014.


The collection consists of over 200 letters written by Pelham Warner to his son Esmond throughout the war from 1939-1945 when he served in the Middle East, North Africa and in the closing stages, in South East Asia.  He continued his correspondence to Esmond once a week until 1958. This collection of some two hundred letters gives a vivid picture of the life of the Warner family during the wartime and in old age.  The letters give some insight about the state of the war, family affairs, Warner’s activities, including his love affair with “Miss E.H.”and events at Lords.  Included in the collection is a set of rules produced by Pelham Warner to ensure good behaviour by his grand children whom he fondly referred to as “young rats”.  This family tradition went as far back to the marriage of Pelham and Agnes in … and the “creation” of Agnes as “Mother Rat.”  Hence, “The Rules of the Rat Hole Club.”       


To cite or bookmark this finding aid, use the following address:



The papers are arranged in 1 series:

Series 1: Pelham Warner’s Papers


Box    Folder  
1 1

Love letter to Agnes Blythe 1903

“The Rat Hole Club: Objects, Rules & Regulations”

Ode to a Ram Goat by Pelham Warner 1897

Newspaper clipping: Peter Deeley on an Intriguing New Biography of a Cricketing Giant, “The Rich Innings of Plum Warner” [Pelham Warner] (n.d.)

Cablegram to Pelham Warner regarding the death of Agnes Warner

Letter from Lloyd’s Bank Limited to Esmond Warner 1978

1 2 Letters from Pelham Warner to Esmond Warner 1941-1958
1 3 Letters from Pelham Warner to friends and acquaintances 1923-1957
1 4 Letters to Pelham Warner from friends and acquaintances 1903-1962      
1 5

Deeds, letters to publishers and contracts from 1920-1955 pertaining to books
authored by Pelham Warner

1 6

Proceedings at the Centenary Dinner of the Middlesex County Cricket Club,
held at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, on Monday, 20th day of July, 1964



The collection is open for research

Howat, Gerald. Plum Warner. London: Unwin Hyman, 1987.
Warner, Pelham.  Long Innings: The Autobiography of Sir Pelham Warner.  London: George G. Harrap, 1951.
Warner, Pelham.  My Cricketing Life.   London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1921.

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