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Robert Lionel "Bob" Seddon (birth registered October→December 1860 in
Salford Salford () is the second-largest city in Greater Manchester, England. It is the principal settlement of the City of Salford. In 2011, Salford had a population of 103,886, Salford is located in a meander of the River Irwell which forms part of ...
district – 15 August 1888) was an
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
international
rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, two codes of rugby f ...
forward who played club rugby for
Broughton Rangers Broughton Rangers were founded in 1877. They were one of the twenty-one clubs to meet at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 to form the Northern Rugby Football Union. They were originally based in Broughton, Salford, Broughton, Cou ...
and Swinton and county rugby for
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs.) is a non-metropolitan and ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial co ...
. Seddon was capped at international level for both
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
and the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
. Seddon played three matches for England in 1887, and in 1888 was one of only four capped players to represent Britain in the 1888 tour of New Zealand and Australia. Seddon was given the captaincy of the British team, but died in a boating accident halfway through the tour. Seddon and the British team were honoured in 2013 with induction into the
IRB Hall of Fame The World Rugby Hall of Fame (formerly the IRB Hall of Fame) recognises special achievement and contribution to the sport of rugby union. The World Rugby Hall of Fame covers players, coaches, administrators, match officials, institutions and other ...
.


Rugby career

Seddon started his career at
Broughton Rangers Broughton Rangers were founded in 1877. They were one of the twenty-one clubs to meet at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 to form the Northern Rugby Football Union. They were originally based in Broughton, Salford, Broughton, Cou ...
, and was one original members of the club when it was founded in 1877. He left the club in October 1887 and joined Swinton. Seddon first came to note as a rugby player when he was chosen to represent England during the
1887 Home Nations Championship The 1887 Home Nations Championship was the fifth series of the rugby union Six Nations Championship, Home Nations Championship. Six matches were played between 8 January and 12 March. It was contested by England national rugby union team, England, ...
. Seddon was representing Broughton at the time of his first international,Godwin (1984), p. 15. and was one of five new caps brought into the pack for the opening game of the Championship, played away against
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...
. The game ended in a 0–0 draw, but despite this being the worst result against the Welsh to date, the selectors kept faith in Seddon who was chosen for the next game against
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
. Another poor game for England saw Ireland beat the English team for the first time in their history. Seddon played one final international game for England, a draw against
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
, which capped off England's worst ever season in the Home Nations Championship, ending bottom of the table. Seddon may have gained reselection in the next season, but after the Rugby Football Union refused to join the International Rugby Board, the other Home Nations refused to play England. In 1888, a private venture by cricketers
Alfred Shaw Alfred Shaw (29 August 1842 – 16 January 1907) was an eminent Victorian cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two oppo ...
and
Arthur Shrewsbury Arthur Shrewsbury (11 April 1856 – 19 May 1903) was an English cricketer and rugby football administrator. He was widely rated as competing with W. G. Grace for the accolade of best batsman of the 1880s; Grace himself, when asked whom he wou ...

Arthur Shrewsbury
, saw a group of rugby players chosen to tour Australia and New Zealand. The tour was not sanctioned by any of the Home Nations, and no test games were played, but it was the first rugby tour from Britain, and is retrospectively classed as the first British Lions tour. Seddon was given the captaincy of the team, but after 20 games of a 35 match series, Seddon drowned in an accident while
sculling Sculling is the use of oar An oar is an implement used for water-borne propulsion. Oars have a flat blade at one end. Rowers grasp the oar at the other end. The difference between oars and paddles is that oars are used exclusively for rowin ...

sculling
on the Hunter RiverSeddon's last hurrah
Lionsrugby.com in
West Maitland Maitland () is a city in the Hunter Region, Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia and the seat of Maitland City Council, situated on the Hunter River (New South Wales), Hunter River approximately by road north of Sydney and north-w ...
,
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
. He had ventured up river alone, and his teammates
Jack Anderton Jack Anderton was an English rugby union and rugby league footballer who played from the 1880s to 1900s. He played at representative level for British and Irish Lions, British Isles, and at club level for Wigan Warriors, Wigan (two spells); the ...
and Andrew Stoddart found him dead some time later. He was buried in Church of England cemetery in West Maitland. A movement to raise funds for a monument to honour him was initiated by the Newcastle and Sydney Rugby Unions. The memorial plaque was unveiled in 1889. It reads:
THIS TABLET is erected by sympathising friends and comrades in memory of ROBERT L. SEDDON, (Captain of the English Footballers), drowned in the River Hunter at West Maitland 15 August 1888, AGED 28 YEARS.
The captaincy of the team, following Seddon's death, passed onto Andrew Stoddart.


Bibliography

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References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Seddon, Robert 1860 births 1888 deaths Accidental deaths in New South Wales Boating accident deaths British & Irish Lions rugby union players from England Broughton Rangers players England international rugby union players English rugby union players Lancashire County RFU players Rugby union forwards Rugby union players from Salford Swinton Lions captains Swinton Lions players World Rugby Hall of Fame inductees