No fixtures have been found in the Argus in 1891. Will check the Age but don't hold much hope. However, the year was not without incident and excitement on the Melbourne soccer front. One-time capatin of Carlton, Robert Amson was charged with the theft of the George and George Cup and the Beaney Cup.
The Argus reported:
ALLEGED LARCENY AS A BAILEE.At the City Court yesterday, Robert Amson, formerly a member of the Carlton Football Club playing the British Association game of football was charged with the larceny as a bailee of two silver cups, valued at £65, the property of Mr W. K. Spence and other members of the British Football Association of Victoria. Mr Panton P. M., presided and Mr Gillott appeared to defend the accused. The offence alleged against Amson was that as captain of the Carlton Club which won the cups in competitions during 1888 and the two following years he took charge of them, and on the 1st of April, 1890, pawned them at Magner's pawnshop in King street, for £7 10s. The cups which were presented to the association by Messrs George and George and Dr Beaney were not released by Amson, but were subsequently sold at auction and bought for £10 by a Mr Lewis of Broken Hill. The Bench, having heard the evidence committed the accused to stand his trial at the Central Criminal Court on the 10th inst Bail was allowed in one surety of £100. Argus 12 June 1891
The report fills in one blank for me in that it indicates Carlton won the Beaney Cup in 1889. It also suggests that no competitive play was held for the Cups in 1890 given that the trophies were pawned on April Fool's Day, early in the football season.
The sums of money involved in the case seem to my mind substantial. The Historical Inflation calculator I accessed suggested that £100 in 1891 translates to $5,000 today. In the end Amson got off and the cups were last identified as being in Broken Hill. Amson's stated reason for pawning the trophies seem legitimate and suggest an association in a state of demise. The Argus revisted the case after the trial.
Robert Amson was charged with the larceny of two trophy cups, the property ot the British Football Association, and was defended by Mr Pennefather. The prisoner was a member of that association mentioned, and pawned the cups when he had temporary charge of them. The defence was that the association owed the prisoner money, and that he pawned the cups when he was in difficulty intending to redeem them. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged. Argus 26 June 1891The case attracted a bit of interest around Australia and was reported in Launceston, Broken Hill and Adelaide newspapers. The Wagga Wagga Advertiser gave more detaiils about what happened than most. The following piece suggests that the trophies were returned to the police.
Curious Charge of Larceny.A.SINGULAR case of alleged larceny as a bailee came under the notice of the Melhourne bench on Saturday. In the morning Detectives Levie, D. G. O'Donnell and Johnston arrested a respectably dressed man named Robert Amson, on warrant charging him with the larceny as a bailee of two silver trophy caps, valued about £55, the property of Robert Spence and Robert Lewis. The nominal owners only hold an interest in the trophies, which are known as the "Beaney Cup," and tbe "George and George Cup." The cups are football trophies, offered by the British Australian Football Association nearly two years ago. Amson was then partner in a firm trading as bay and corn merchants, but since insolvent. He was custodian of the cups, and it is alleged he pawned them for £7 10s, with Joseph Magner, pawnbroker, of King-street, in April, 1890. Magner sold the cups with other unredeemed pledges at Lyons and Co.'s auction rooms in March last, when Mr. George Lewis, of Broken Hill, became the purchaser at £10 Mr. Lewis had the inscriptions removed, but upon ascertaining the cups bad been wrongfully disposed of, he undertook to hand them over to the police. The circumstances having been detailed, the Bench remanded the accused until Friday next. He was subsequently admitted to bail in £100. Wagga Wagga Advertiser 4 June 1891
I wonder if the trophies still exist.
Oh. And in August, the BFA people challenged the Government Printers to a game of Australian rules. I'll try to dig up more.