From The Bath Weekly Chronicle and Herald, 21 July 1934:
Death of Mr James Baldwin of Green Park – Famous Bath Sportsman – Tennis Champion
General regret is felt in Bath sporting circles, more particularly among sportsmen and sportswomen of the last generation, at the death of Mr James Baldwin, of 21 Green Park, which occurred on Tuesday in a Bath nursing home. Mr Baldwin, who was 78, was probably the best all-round sportsman known in Bath for a great many years. He was the son of Mr James Baldwin, of Mount Pleasant, Bandon, County Cork, Ireland.
Mr Baldwin belonged to a very sporting and well-known Irish family. His father kept and hunted harriers for many years, and his uncle, Captain Rye, of Rye Court, County Cork, hunted the Muskerry Foxhounds for 25 years. Still earlier in the family’s sporting history, Godfrey Baldwin kept a pack of hounds in County Cork. This was probably one of the first packs of foxhounds ever hunted in Ireland.
To complete this interesting family sporting record, it is only necessary to mention that Mr Baldwin’s uncle, Chambre Baldwin, and his great-uncle Captain Chambre Corker, of Cor Castle, Innishannon, were also Masters of Foxhounds.
Mr James Baldwin, with so noteworthy an ancestral record in the world of sport, was, naturally, at home in the hunting field. He early earned the reputation of a keen straight rider, and when he accepted the Mastership of the Bath and County Harriers in 1895, the expectations which the members had formed of his capabilities proved to be well founded. The game little pack of stud-book harriers showed some good sport under his Mastership. The field, generally, numbered from 60 to 70, of whom many were ladies. Mr Baldwin hunted the Bath and County Harriers for about five years.
Mr Baldwin was educated in England; and, when at school, was stroke of his boat. At the early age of 16, the spirit of adventure being strong within him, he abandoned the idea of entering the army, which was his relations’ wish, and went to New Zealand and Australia, returning three years later. For two seasons Mr Baldwin captained the Bath football team.
He afterwards took up lawn tennis, and at this game was most successful for many years, having held nearly all the championship cups in England. His successes in this sport were, indeed, exceptional. For something like 28 years in succession he won the West of England Championships; and for a quarter of a century was captain of the Bath Lawn Tennis Club. Mr Baldwin also won the All England Championship Mixed Doubles, at Wimbledon, and practically all the other territorial championships.
In addition to the sporting activities already enumerated, boxing claimed a considerable share of Mr Baldwin’s attentions. In this sport, he had won heavy- and lightweight cups competed for by amateurs in Bath and the County. He had been the hero of several truly Homeric combats, in one of which he was the victor after 23 rounds. Further, he was a remarkably good shot and a keen fisherman. At one time he was vice-president of the Bath Anglers’ Association.
Mr Baldwin had represented Somerset at lawn tennis in the County Championship, and was honoured by being placed on the Committee of the Somerset Lawn Tennis Association, when that body was formed in 1907. He was twice Master of the Bath Harriers, originally succeeding Colonel Hugh F. Clutterbuck. In November 1905, he accepted the Mastership for a second time, succeeding Mr H. Hunter.
Mr Baldwin’s first period as Master ended after the 1898-9 season, when he resigned, and Captain Delaval Astley accepted the Mastership. A presentation of a handsome silver salver was made to Mr Baldwin at a complimentary banquet at the Assembly Rooms in April 1899. In his riding days, Mr Baldwin had raced at all the Hunt meetings every year.
Enlisted at 60
During the Great War, when in his 60th year, Mr Baldwin enlisted as a private. He was afterwards given a commission. His exceptional knowledge of horses and horsemanship was recognised by his being given an appointment in the Army Service Corps.
For a time Mr Baldwin was a member of the Bath Art Gallery Committee. He was elected to that body after it was taken over by the Corporation in 1908. Mr Baldwin married [in 1880] Adelaide Dunbar Yescombe, the daughter of the late Reverend Morris Yescombe and Mrs Yescombe [née Mary Jane Crosbie], and there is a family of three – two sons and one surviving daughter. Mr and Mrs Baldwin had spent all their married life at 21 Green Park. They celebrate their golden wedding anniversary about four years ago.
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