I'ANSON international

Wm I'Anson Sr and the Grand Match at Linlithgow, 1848

The Grand Match at Linlithgow 1848 by Charles Lees (detail)
(A composite portrait of all the curling notables of Scotland )

This oil painting of the second Grand Match, that took place 25 January 1848 on Queen Mary's Loch, Linlithgow, was for the purpose of showing "faithful portraits" of forty-seven notable Scottish curlers of the day. One of these, in the back row, is William I'Anson Sr.

The painting was purchased by Mr Piper, one of those portrayed, but it now belongs to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. Artist's proofs, published at ten guineas, are scarce, but engraved prints are "plentiful and cheap" according to a footnote in Modern Curling Ch.II, p.271 (author and date not given in our source). The book also lists all the people portrayed in the painting with a key diagram (p.270).

The painting was used as an illustration on Scottish Air Mail Letter Cards in 1993 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria's granting the title 'Royal' to the Caledonian Curling Club, the mother club of curling throughout the world.

An article in The Scottish Curler (September 1992, p.11) cites the classic book the History of Curling by Rev.John Kerr (1890) which mentions William I'Anson: 
When he settled in Malton he took a few pairs of stones with him and had a game now and then with his stud-grooms who had seen curling in Scotland.
He had had a curling pond made at Muirfield, Gullane, probably in the 1830s, in the days when it was a great racehorse training ground, and long before 1891 when the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers came to Muirfield and made it the famous golf course it is today. The curling pond lay just below what is now the 14th hole (from Fairfax-Blakeborough, Northern Turf History (1973), vol.IV, p.181).

Wm.I'Anson Jr and the International Match
William I'Anson Jr inherited had his father's love of curling as well as horses. His father had introduced the sport to Malton when he moved there from Scotland, and the younger William "made the Malton Curling Club into a team known the world over. They reached the zenith of their success when, in 1907, Wm. I'Anson took his team to Switzerland and there beat all comers, winning the gold medals offered for the championship of the world." (Fairfax-Blakeborough, "Malton Memories" p.271.)  This was the Bonspiel Trophy in St Moritz.   It was this same William I'Anson who donated the I'Anson Curling Trophy
Among the memorabilia in the possession of Mr Tatton I'Anson, a grandson of William Jr, is this RCCC District Curling Medal. It is not clear if this originally belonged to William Sr or William Jr, but most probably the latter. 
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