John Creswell (sportsman)
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John Creswell Sportsman

John Creswell (8 December 1858 - 24 March 1909), often known as "Jack", was a South Australian businessman chiefly remembered for his contribution to the sports of cricket and Australian rules football, but who made his mark in various other fields in a short but vigorous life.


John was born in Woodville, South Australia, the son of John Thomas Creswell (ca.1815 - 24 August 1874) and Mary Ann (née Smith),[1] a pioneer of Port Adelaide, and was educated at St. Peter's College, Adelaide. He joined the accounting firm of F. S. C. Driffield, which he took over on the death of Driffield. He was an enthusiastic and competent cricketer, exponent of lawn bowls and one of the founders of the South Australian Football Association in 1876 and represented South Australia in inter-colonial matches.[2] In 1893 he stood for the Southern District seat in the Legislative Council of South Australia but was decisively beaten by the incumbent J. H. Gordon.[3]

He was Adelaide manager for the National Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand, which frequently took him to that country.[1]

He was also:

Of these, the Agricultural Society position at least was salaried; amounting to £400 per annum in 1902, with £165 as a commission, though he had to pay for clerical assistance from this amount. He was also supplied with an office which he was free to use for other business.[7]

He was succeeded in several of his secretarial positions by his business associate J. A. Riley.


He was a man of cheerful disposition who despite his many interests, was able to fill each reliably and more than competently, and was capable of infecting others with a similar enthusiasm and confidence in a successful outcome. He was a man of exceptional probity.[8] His organising ability and good luck were legendary; the fact of "Jack" Creswell being on a committee was practically a guarantee of success.[9] Above all, he was courteous, unselfish and considerate.[10]


John's eldest sister Mary Ann Sarah Creswell married William Francis Everard, son of Charles John Everard (1821-1892) and grandson of Charles George Everard of Ashford, on 29 December 1881.

John married Elizabeth Maria "Lillie" Kingsborough (ca.1860 - 26 September 1927) on 4 June 1884. They had a son and four daughters:

  • eldest daughter (7 May 1885 - )
  • Hazel (21 December 1886 - ) married Ralph Newland, son of Simpson Newland on 7 June 1909
  • John (28 May 1891 - ) married ? Moorhouse on 10 February 1926
  • Katrine Thornton (16 April 1895 - ) married Geoffrey Hardman Howard on 30 April 1925
  • Jean Thornton (29 July 1897 - ) engaged to Owen Kyffin Thomas, son of Sir Robert Kyffin Thomas

Death and recognition

Creswell suffered an apoplectic stroke following a brain haemhorrhage, and died the same day at his home in High Street, Unley Park.[2]

  • The John Creswell Stand at Adelaide Oval was named in his honour. That stand was replaced with the Sir Donald Bradman stand in 1990. This was in turn demolished in April 2012.
  • Creswell Gardens, originally named Creswell Park, on King William Road adjacent to the Adelaide Oval, was named for him.[11] (Creswell Park, on Stephen Terrace, Gilberton, was named in honour of his son, John Creswell jun., who was a chairman of the Walkerville District Council from 1938 to 1943, and a councillor for 17 years.)[12]
  • The Creswell Cup, for presentation at Shows, was named in his memory by the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society.[13]
  • The Creswell Trophy for wheat was also awarded at Adelaide Shows
  • The Creswell Cup for plumpton coursing at Plympton was inaugurated in 1910[14] and continued until at least 1925.[15]
  • A scholarship in commerce was founded in his name at the University of Adelaide.
  • Prince Alfred College awards a Creswell memorial scholarship in his memory.[1]
  • A portrait, by George Alfred John Webb, was hung in the Members' Room at Adelaide Oval.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f John A. Daly, 'Creswell, John (1858-1909)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed 24 November 2012
  2. ^ a b "Death of Mr.John Creswell". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 25 March 1909. p. 7. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ "Southern District". South Australian Chronicle. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 22 April 1893. p. 7. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "Coursing". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 24 November 1908. p. 9. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "The Waterloo Cup". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 13 August 1901. p. 7. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "The Spring Show". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 6 September 1904. p. 5. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Royal Agricultural Society". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 27 February 1908. p. 7. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "The Late Mr. Creswell". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 1 April 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "News of the Day". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 13 September 1905. p. 8. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Cricketers' Tribute". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 8 November 1911. p. 13. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "The Public Parks". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 23 November 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ "Walkerville Area To Be Creswell Park". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 6 September 1949. p. 3. Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ "The Royal A.& H. Society". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 19 June 1915. p. 17. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ "Coursing". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 27 June 1910. p. 4. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ "Good Sport at Plympton". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 11 September 1925. p. 7. Retrieved 2012.

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