Bransby Cooper's medallion: A gentleman player
Bransby Beauchamp Cooper was born in 1844 in Dacca, then in India, now in Bangladesh. He was educated in England and became a prominent first-class cricketer, playing for Rugby School, Kent and Middlesex. In 1865, Cooper was selected for the gentlemen in a Gentlemen vs Players game at Lord's, making his national representative debut alongside WG Grace.
Four years later, Cooper partnered Grace in making 283 runs for the first wicket a record that stood for 23 years.
Cooper left England in 1869 and, after a brief stay in the United States, moved to Australia. He represented Victoria in 11 intercolonial matches against New South Wales and was selected for the inaugural Test match between Australia and England in 1877. Cooper was a hard-hitting right-handed batsman and a useful wicketkeeper.
Right: This wood engraving of the Victorian cricket team was made in 1874. Bransby Cooper's portrait is in the top left-hand corner. Courtesy: La Trobe Picture Collection.