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Monty's cricket belt

Monty Faithfull's cricketing belt, 1860s–1870s

Man posing for photograph in academic gown leaning with right arm resting on a cabinet, with right leg crossed in front of leg and right shoe tip touching the ground and with left hand on waist
Henry Montague Faithfull in academic gown, 1860s to 1870s. Springfield-Faithfull family collection, National Museum of Australia.

Born in 1848, Henry Montague Faithfull was the third son of William Pitt and Mary Faithfull. Known as Monty, he was a relatively well-known Sydney citizen who worked as a solicitor and captained the Sydney University cricket team.

Along with three of his brothers, Monty had achieved minor celebrity status in 1868 after fighting back against bushranger Ben Hall and his gang during an ambush.

Monty was educated at The King's School in Sydney and then Sydney University.

He was a prominent cricket player during the 1860s and 1870s and captained the Sydney University cricket team – a team which also included Australia's first Prime Minister Edmund Barton.

Monty represented New South Wales in interstate and international matches and was part of the New South Wales team that defeated WG Grace's touring English team in January 1874.

Monty was a partner in the soliciting firm Iceton & Maddock. He married Emily Rose Buckland, daughter of Thomas Buckland, President of the Bank of New South Wales.

When Monty died in 1908 at the age of 61, he was best remembered for his sporting prowess. He was talented at cricket, rugby, rowing and rifle shooting, often representing New South Wales.

Belt made of salmon pink material with gold clasps on both end and with the length of the belt stitched and embellished with beads in a floral pattern
Beaded cricket belt worn by Monty Faithfull, who represented New South Wales and captained the Sydney University cricket team. Springfield-Faithfull family collection, National Museum of Australia. Photo: Dragi Markovic.
Detail photo showing an ornate metal belt buckle with a central cricket ball in relief, topped by a crown and crossed cricket bats
The buckle on Monty Faithfull's belt features an embossed crown, crossed cricket bats, stumps and ball. Springfield-Faithfull family collection, National Museum of Australia. Dragi Markovic.

Cricket belt buckles

Cricket belts with ornate buckles were popular during the middle of the 19th century.

Self-supporting trousers had not yet been invented and belts were an essential part of a man's wardrobe.

Nineteenth century cricket uniforms were not particularly standardised and belt buckle designs usually reflected the player's personal taste, although some were a form of team branding.

Typically, they comprised a brass buckle and often a colourfully decorated length of material made from cotton canvas that could feature Berlin woolwork, such as that on Monty's belt, or other embroidery.

1871 Sydney University cricket team

Standing at over six feet in height, Monty Faithfull was a formidable bowler, whose fast and high deliveries were said to be troublesome to even the best batsmen. This photograph shows the 1871 Sydney University cricket team, which included Monty as captain and Australia's first Prime Minister Edmund Barton.

Thumbnail photographs of each member of the Sydney University Cricket Team 1871 with a number written in beneath each portrait and a legend of who's who written on the bottom
Sydney University cricket team, 1871, featuring individual photographs of: 1. T.P. Miller, umpire; 2. T.J. Plomley, scorer; 3. H.M. Faithfull, captain; 4. J. Coates; 5. G.E. Long; 6. J. Thompson; 7. E.A. Iceton; 8. M.R. Sly; 9. J.J. Teece; 10. T. Iceton; 11. E. Barton; 12. R. Teece; 13. A. Yeomans. Edmund Barton photograph collection, National Library of Australia.
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