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William C. Fawcus (1850 - ????)


  • (10/10/1850) Born in Dockwray Square, North Shields, son of John and Wilhelmina Fawcus. John worked in the family firm of Pow & Fawcus, Chain and Anchor Manufacturers.
  • 1868
  • (07/07/1868) Wear Boat Club Regatta "Four Oared Outriggers, 1 1/4 mile, open to Gentleman Amateurs, Prize - Gold Medals" This race was between the Tynemouth R.C. 2nd crew and the Wear Boat Club 2nd crew who won the race by 3 lengths. The Tynemouth crew, in pink, were W. Fawcus, R. Park, S. Morrison, T. Pickering, (stroke) J. Gallon (cox). This is the earliest mention we have found of Fawcus as an oarsman, then aged 17
  • (01/08/1868) On Saturday August 1st 1868 at Tynemouth, Fawcus and G A Dodds won the 1st heat of the coxed junior pairs but lost the final to Eltringham and Bushell.
  • 1870
  • William Fawcus became Champion of the Wear, winning the Oswald Plate.
  • 1871
  • (During the summer of 1871, when he was just 20, William Fawcus won the three most important races for amateur single scullers in Britain, within the space of 4 weeks. These races have a long (and continuing) history but only a handful of scullers have done the treble. He was a member of Tynemouth Rowing Club.
  • It is possible he was coached by James Renforth, who was engaged by TRC at 30 shillings a week in May 1869. It is certain that he was coached by James Taylor who coached Tynemouth RC later in the summer of 1869 but also prepared members for the racing season of 1871.
  • As well as being an outstanding sculler, Fawcus also stroked a successful Tynemouth Four. His younger brother R. F. Fawcus was a good oarsman too.
  • Quoted from the Newcastle Daily Chronicle of 1st July 1871 Page 4: "HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA - The concluding day's boat racing came off yesterday, in lovely weather and in the presence of a great number of spectators.
    For the Diamond Challenge Sculls, the result of the final heat was:- W.C. Fawcus, Tynemouth, 1; J.H.D. Goldie, Cambridge, 2; F. T. Ashby, Staines, 3. Considerable interest was felt in this race from the meeting of Mr. Goldie with an amateur sculler from the Tyne, this year being the first appearance of a representative of the northern men at Henley. Mr.Fawcus had the best station (on the Bucks side), Ashley was in the centre and Goldie on the Berks side. A beautifully level start was made, and for a few strokes the men were equal. Goldie and Fawcus then drew away from Ashley and took the race into their own hands. As soon as they had got fairly settled into their stroke Fawcus began to creep ahead inch-by-inch, every stroke telling, until at the end of the half mile he had placed fully a length to his credit. This lead was perceptibly and favourably increased on the voyage down to the finish, where Fawcus arrived a good three lengths before Goldie. Ashley caught his right hand scull in the reeds at Poplar Point and ceased sculling. Fawcus sculled in splendid style and won easily."

  • (30th June 1871) Winner of the Diamond Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta beating Goldie of Lady Margaret BC and Ashby of Staines. Goldie failed to 'come to the post' for his second heat because of a mix-up in the programme (this is in very small print in the HRR record!) but was allowed into the final.
  • (June 1871) Fawcus was in the Tynemouth RC crew that lost to London RC in a heat of the Stewards.(W Fawcus, G R Ramsay, J Morrison, J L Browne, cox J Greensit)
  • (20th July 1871) Winner of the single sculls race from Putney to Hammersmith at the Metropolitan Amateur Regatta.
  • (22nd July 1871) Winner of the Wingfield Sculls (the amateur championship of the Thames)from Putney to Mortlake. Fawcus beat A. de L.Long (a London RC stalwart and captain at one time), by 1 and 1/2 lengths in 26.13 on 22nd July 1871, Long won the Stewards and Goblets (and also in 1872, 74) that year at Henley Royal Regatta.
  • At Durham regatta, William Fawcus ended up in the reeds in the sculls. ""Hardly had the pair gone fifty yards when Mr. Sinclair (of Tyne) commenced to row over towards Mr. Fawcus, and the latter attempting to keep out of his way struck the river bank with his right hand scull, and smashed the blade clean off. Of course, Mr. Sinclair then went in alone. There was some talk of an objection to the winner for boring on to Mr. Fawcus, but no formal protest was entered."
  • Tynemouth RC (including Fawcus) won the Grand Challenge Cup at Durham Regatta.
  • 1872
  • (12th July 1872) William Fawcus defeated in the Wingfield Sculls by C.C. Knollys who the Diamonds and OUBC sculls.
  • Durham Regatta - Tynemouth RC won the Grand Challenge Cup once again.
  • 1873
  • William Fawcus challenged for the Wingfield Sculls in 1873 but was defeated in the challengers' heat by WH 'Piggy' Eyre of Thames).
  • 1874
  • William Fawcus was defeated in the Diamond Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta by Dicker of Lady Margaret BC (who also won the Wingfields that year).
  • 1926 - 1931
  • A W. Fawcus was listed as a Life Member of Tyne ARC.
  • 1931
  • On the basis that a W. Fawcus was listed as a Life Member of Tyne ARC 1926 to 1931, it is assumed that he died in 1931.
  • 1976
  • The only known painting of William Fawcus had been hanging in the Gibraltar Rock public house in Tynemouth before being relocated to the clubhouse at Priors Haven, Tynemouth. Unfortunately it was removed by a Rowing Master of the 6th Form College for restoration and despite efforts to relocate it, was last heard of in Scarborough. It was reported that the damage was so great that the painting disintegrated.
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