Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Two Spencer Gores
This year's Wimbledon championship will be the 125th - a fact that will no doubt excite much brouhaha. It was back in 1877 that a fine all-round sportsman called Spencer Gore won the first All England Lawn Tennis Championship (lawn tennis, I should explain, is the new-fangled term for Sphairistike). This was a Gentlemen's Singles competition, and it was a leisurely affair, suspended at the weekend for the Eton-Harrow cricket match at Lord's (Gore was a Harrow boy), and the final was delayed for four days by inclement weather. In the end, Gore walked off with the 12 guinea prize money and a silver cup - a quite sufficient emolument, I'd say (even minus the guinea entry fee). Spencer Gore's other great achievement in life was to father the painter of the same name, a friend of Sickert's and founder member of the Camden Town Group. Sadly, this Spencer Gore died at the age of 35, of pneumonia, after being caught in a storm while out painting. The picture above is one of his.