John Cadogan, a leading figure in the coal and shipping trades at Cardiff Docks, played four times for Glamorgan over the period of ten years.
The eldest of seven children, his father had initially worked in the coal and ironworks in the Llynfi Valley before moving to work in the USA. John spent his childhood in the States before returning to work initially in Maesteg. He soon showed rich promise for the town’s cricket club and was coached by Joseph Lovering, the well-known professional with the South Wales CC and early Glamorganshire club. John then entered the coal importing trade in Merthyr after securing an appointment with Crawshay Brothers of Cyfarthfa.
John was on the move again in 1890 as he became a coal and pitwood merchant for the French-based company of A. Capelle and Sons, with John managing the operations of their branch at Cardiff Docks. Together with Job Morgan, his father-in-law, John subsequently became a partner in a shipping company called Morgan and Cadogan, based in Mount Stuart Square, where, literally in the shadow of the Cardiff Coal Exchange, the company built up excellent trading links with Spain and France.
His cricketing career also went from strength to strength following his move to Cardiff. After some decent batting performances for St. John’s and Cathays Wesleyans – two of the leading junior sides in the area – he joined the town club and with further impressive innings under his belt, the Glamorgan selectors called him up during August 1897 for the away game with Wiltshire at Swindon. John marked his debut with a composed innings of 21, but it was not until August 1900 that he was available again, this time for the home match at the Arms Park against Monmouthshire, where he again made decent scores of 39 and 18*, leaving the county’s hierarchy wishing that John’s business commitments at Cardiff Docks would allow him to play on a more regular basis.
However, John joined the Glamorgan committee in 1901 and served until it was disbanded at the outbreak of the Great War during August 1914. During this time, John helped the Club plan their fund-raising campaign for higher honours, besides featuring in the trial match at the Arms Park in August 1906 against a Colts XVIII as, after an unbeaten innings of 17, he helped to run his eye over the young emerging talent.
By this time, John was also involved with many good causes in Cardiff, acting as vice-chairman and honorary treasurer of the Prince of Wales Hospital and other good causes designed to improve the life of seamen in the docks area. Like so many other shipowners at Cardiff Dock, John lost several vessels during the war with Nailsea Court and Boynton each being torpedoed and sunk by German U-boats.
Their loss and the potential impact on the business, weighed heavy on his mind. Soon after, his health had deteriorated and John suffered a heart attack. He recovered but suffered a second, and fatal, attack during the summer of 1918 and never saw Glamorgan scale the heights of first-class status.
CADOGAN, John Philip.
Born – Neath, March 1866.
Died – Cardiff, 29 June 1918.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 30 v Surrey 2nd XI at The Oval, 1900.
Minor County Friendlies – 39 v Monmouthshire at Cardiff Arms Park, 1900.