Hugh Ingledew was another prominent member of the legal community in South Wales who played sport to a high level during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Cardiff-born solicitor played rugby for Wales and cricket for Glamorgan, besides being a founder member of the Barbarians rugby club, serving on the committee of Glamorgan CCC, acting as Honorary Treasurer of the Welsh county between 1904 and 1912, and then in the early 1920s, playing a leading role in the acquisition of the Arms Park by Cardiff Athletic Cub.
Hugh was born in Charles Street, part of the well-to-do inner suburb of mid-Victorian Cardiff, before growing up in Windsor Place, attending Monkhouse House School and playing his early sport on the Sophia Gardens Recreation Field, often with his solicitor father John Pybus Ingledew gleefully rolling up his sleeves to help the teaching staff with coaching rugby and cricket.
He subsequently went to Oxford, initially to attend St. Edward’s School, Oxford and then Merton College, where Hugh read Law and whilst in residence he had his first taste of county cricket as he guested for Breconshire in their two-day game against Monmouthshire at Rodney Parade, Newport in 1884.
After coming down, he moved back to Cardiff to continue his training as a solicitor at his father’s practice based in the heart of the docklands at Mount Stuart Square, and adjacent to the Coal Exchange. Hugh continued his sporting activities by playing both rugby and cricket for Cardiff, making his debut at fly-half for the Cardiff 1st XV in 1887/88. Two seasons later he was chosen in the Welsh side with the young solicitor making his debut in the infamous match in 1890 away to Ireland – a game noted for the brawl between the two teams at the post-match dinner which saw nine players in court in Dublin the following morning.
Hugh also won caps in the 1891 Home Nations Championship against England and Scotland before later that summer making his debut in county cricket for Glamorgan. The all-rounder’s first appearance came against the MCC at Swansea, and his capable batting, accurate spin bowling and agile fielding saw the young solicitor feature in four further games that summer.
1891 proved to be his only summer in Glamorgan’s ranks but Hugh remained closely linked with the club, joining the committee in 1892, before taking over as Honorary Treasurer in 1904. He succeeded his father in the family’s practice and with a specialism in railway law, Hugh became the solicitor for the Taff Vale Railway Company and was closely involved in many schemes as the company expanded their operations in South Wales.
In 1913 he oversaw the creation of the South Wales and Monmouthshire School of Mines at Treforest – later the Polytechnic of Wales and now the University of South Wales – with Hugh skillfully overseeing the negotiations with the major Welsh coal owners, especially the funding through a levy of one tenth of a penny on each ton of coal which the companies produced.
Together with his wife and children, he lived at Penhill House in Llandaff, overlooking the playing fields at the northern end of Cathedral Road, where the next generation of rugby players and cricketers honed their skills. They were indebted to Hugh for his tireless and diplomatic efforts during 1921 and 1922 in negotiating the acquisition from the Bute Estate of Cardiff Arms Park by Cardiff Athletic Club. His actions helped ensure the playing of county cricket and international rugby in the heart of the Welsh capital city – a fitting tribute for a man who epitomized the Corinthian values of healthy recreation.
INGLEDEW, Hugh Murray.
Born – Cardiff, 26 October 1865.
Died – Cardiff, 1 February 1937.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Friendlies – 20 v Monmouthshire at Rodney Parade, Newport, 1891 and 2/37 v Devon at Exeter, 1891.