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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Henry (Harry) Donnan (member of the 1896 Australian Cricket Team)

H Parker Rolfe

albumen photograph on cabinet card (sheet: 16.5 cm x 10.7 cm, image: 14.2 cm x 9.9 cm)

Henry (Harry) Donnan (1864–1956) notched up a total of 94 first class cricket matches between 1887 and 1901. Born in Liverpool, New South Wales, he started his cricket career as a bowler, but established himself as a run-getter with his batting performances at state level in the early 1890s. He fared poorly (scoring a total of 29 runs) in his first two Test outings against England, in Melbourne and Adelaide, in January and March 1892, but, following another impressive season with the bat for New South Wales, was selected nevertheless for the Australian side that toured England from June to August 1896. Though again disappointing in the Test matches, Donnan scored 167 in a game against Derbyshire. He concluded his first class career in 1901 with a total of 4 262 runs and a best bowling figure of three for fourteen, having played for New South Wales for 13 consecutive seasons. When not playing cricket, he worked for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, putting in more than 40 years of service. In an interview in 1954, Donnan related that his employers, in the midst of the 1896 tour, had threatened him with dismissal if he failed to return to work by a certain date.

H Parker Rolfe, an American, took a series of photographs of Australian cricketers in Philadelphia, where they played in 1896. Fixtures in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and New Zealand followed before the team returned to Australia late in the year.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2014

Accession number: 2014.26

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

H Parker Rolfe (age 40 in 1896)

Henry Donnan (age 32 in 1896)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.