William H Tuckett
Banks Rowing Club (VIC) and then from 1878 Melbourne Rowing Club (VIC)
William Henry Tuckett 1853 Melbourne - 22 July 1885 Melbourne, the second son of William Henry Tuckett sen. (1818-1904).
[Note to readers: William Tuckett is the same person as the prominent rower W H Tuckett who rowed for Melbourne Rowing Club at much the same time as the Banks sculler. The author is certain that the sculler and the rower are the same person despite sculling for Banks at much the same time as rowing for Melbourne. This is primarily because following the death of William, the Melbourne Rowing Club at its next annual meeting acknowledged the death of William Tuckett and invited William Tuckett senior to attend and receive a gift of condolence from the Club. At that meeting, his sculling and rowing record were acknowledged and William Tuckett senior confirmed that he would donate the Will's Trophy to acknowledge his son's sculling prowess. In 1914 his family also donated his son's sculling trophy to Australian Henley as a perpetual trophy. It is abundantly clear that we are talking about the same athlete. Also the club placed an advertisement in The Argus on 23 July 1885 asking members to attend the funeral, and of course it is unlikely that there was another person of the same name and interests at the same time. The author's conviction is such that only one profile is provided.]
William died young at the age of 31 with The Argus reporting on 23 July 18852 that William died of paralysis of the heart (heart attack). Given the out pouring of grief expressed by the members of the Melbourne Rowing Club, one can assume that the death was sudden and unexpected.
The Melbourne Rowing Club advertised in The Argus2 for members to attend the funeral.
Rowing Notes in The Australasian3 recorded the depth of sadness of the members of the Melbourne Rowing Club on the passing of William at their next annual general meeting. Extracts follow:
The members of the Melbourne Roving Club mustered in large numbers at the annual general meeting on Monday last, the business being somewhat out of the ordinary character. The room was draped in black, and the proceedings were conducted in a very quiet manner, out of respect to the late W. H. Tuckett, who was a member of the club since 1878. .....
... Mr. C. E. Umphelby rose and proposed the following resolution: " That the members of the Melbourne Rowing Club are desirous of expressing their heartfelt sympathy with Mr. and Mrs. Tuckett in the loss of their son William Henry, and of re cording their deep and grateful sense of the many obligations they were under to him, and further request the committee to take steps to present to them a letter of condolence, signed by the president and office-bearers, on behalf of the members of the club." This resolution was seconded by Mr. Arthur Nichols, and carried unanimously. In anticipation of this the committee had had the resolution and a brief and graceful letter of condolence neatly printed and handsomely bound in black morocco leather, the club flag embellishing the upper corner, and a list of Mr. Tuckett's principal performances appearing at the foot. The meeting then passed a resolution that the name of their old comrade should be retained on the club roll in perpetuity, and that an enlarged photograph should be hung in the club-room.
Mr. W. H. Tuckett, sen., has expressed his desire to present the Victorian Rowing Association with a set of silver sculls, to be called the Will's Sculls, to be competed for under the same conditions as those for the Amateur Championship won by his son in 1878-79-80.
As an aside, Tuckett senior was a prominent Melbourne business man who death in 1904 drew great publicity being one of the last links to Early Melbourne and his business of W H Tuckett & Sons, accountants and auditors, being so well known. (As was his earlier auctioneering business Gemmell & Tuckett.) His pall bearers included the Premier and knights of the realm.
Known sculling record
1876 - Melbourne Regatta, Maiden Scull - First
1877 - Melbourne Regatta, Junior Scull - First
1878 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Scull for the Challenge Scull and Australasian Cup - First
1879 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Scull for the Challenge Scull and Australasian Cup - First
1880 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Scull for the Challenge Scull and Australasian Cup - First
Having won the sculls three times, Tuckett won the trophy outright. These silver sculls were presented to Melbourne Amateur Regatta Association in 1904, and are now part of the trophy in the Yarra Challenge Cup.
In his memory of his son's early death, his father donated the Wills Challenge Cup for senior sculls at the Melbourne Regatta in 1886, to be won three times in succession before becoming the winner’s property. Presumably, his son was known as "Wills" to distinguish him from William the father.
The Silver Sculls Trophy presented annually at Australian Henley for the Men's Scull
John Lang in his 1919 book The Victorian Oarsman1 describes the use to which the original trophy won by William Tuckett was put:
In 1914 a pair of silver oars, the original Challenge Oars trophy for scullers at the Melbourne Regatta (founded 1860), were presented by Mr. [Charles] Tuckett. These sculls were the trophy won outright by Mr. W. H. Tuckett (Banks R.C.) in 1880 after a competition among scullers extending over twenty years. The sculls go with the Yarra Challenge Cup event, under the name Yarra Challenge Cup and Silver Oars. [Charles Tuckett was the older brother of William junior.]
2023 winner of the Silver Sculls Dominic Frederico
Known rowing record
1876 - Melbourne Regatta, Junior Eight, four seat - First
1877 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Eight, five seat - First
1878 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Eight, seven seat - First
1878 - Intercolonial Champion Men's Eight, five seat - First
1879 - Intercolonial Champion Men's Eight, five seat - Second
1880 - Intercolonial Champion Men's Eight, five seat - First
1881 - Intercolonial Champion Men's Eight, six seat - First
1882 - Melbourne Regatta, Non-manual labourer Senior Eight, six seat - First
1882 - Intercolonial Champion Men's Eight, six seat - Second
1883 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Eight, seven seat - First
1883 - Melbourne Regatta, Non-manual labourer Senior Eight, seven seat - First
1883 - Melbourne Regatta, Senior Four, three seat - First (row over)
Medal commemorating the win in the 1878 Intercolonial Eights race - Tuckett rowing in five seat
- The Victorian Oarsman by John Lang published by Messina and Co 1919 - mainly for results
- Family Notices (1885, July 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 1. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6087769
- ROWING NOTES. (1885, August 1). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 21. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138101015
January 2023 (updated June 2023)