Herbert Wilberforce

Sir Herbert William Wrangham Wilberforce (8 February 1864 in Munich, Germany – 28 March 1941 in Kensington, London) was a British male tennis player. He was vice-president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club from 1911 to 1921 and served as its president from 1921 to 1936.[3] In 1887 he and Patrick Bowes-Lyon won the doubles in Wimbledon. In 1888 they were unable to defend their title when they were beaten in the Challenge Round by Ernest and William Renshaw.[4] His best singles performance at Wimbledon came in 1886 when he reached the semifinal of the All Comers tournament in which he lost in five sets to compatriot Ernest Lewis.[5] He also reached the quarter-finals of the singles in 1882, 1883 and 1888.

Herbert Wilberforce
Full nameHerbert William Wrangham Wilberforce
Country (sports)United Kingdom Great Britain
Born(1864-02-08)8 February 1864
Munich, Germany
Died28 March 1941(1941-03-28) (aged 77)[1]
Kensington, London, England
Career titles14 [2]
Grand Slam Singles results
WimbledonSF (1886)
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonW (1887)

Herbert was a brother of physicist Lionel, son of judge Edward, grandson of archdeacon Robert and great-grandson of abolitionist William Wilberforce.

He later served as president and chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 1931 New Year Honours.[6]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Doubles (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Win 1887 Wimbledon   Patrick Bowes-Lyon   H.J. Crispe
  E. Barratt-Smith
7–5, 6–3, 6–2
Loss 1888 Wimbledon   Patrick Bowes-Lyon   Ernest Renshaw
  William Renshaw
6–2, 6–1, 3–6, 4–6, 3–6

Barrister and magistrateEdit

Having studied law at the University of London, he was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1888, and practised on the North Eastern Circuit. He was appointed a stipendiary magistrate in Bradford, Yorkshire. In 1914 he was appointed to the Metropolitan Bench of Magistrates and in 1926 became Deputy Chairman of the County of London Quarter Sessions. He retired in 1938.[7]


A member of the Liberal Party, Wilberforce unsuccessfully contested Hackney North at the 1900 General Election. In 1901 he was elected to the London County Council as a Progressive Party councillor representing St Pancras North. He served a single three-year term on the county council.[7]


  1. ^ "H. W. Wilberforce, Wimbledon Figure". The New York Times. March 29, 1941.
  2. ^ "Herbert William Wrangham Wilberforce:Stats". tennisarchives.com. Tennis Archives. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  3. ^ Little, Alan (2011). Wimbledon Compendium 2011. London: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. p. 529. ISBN 9781899039364.
  4. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis : An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book (2nd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. p. 435. ISBN 9780942257700.
  5. ^ Barrett, John (2001). Wimbledon : The Official History of the Championships. London: CollinsWillow. p. 246. ISBN 0007117078.
  6. ^ "No. 33675". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1930. p. 2.
  7. ^ a b "Obituary. Sir H. Wilberforce. London Sessions and Lawn Tennis". The Times. 29 March 1941. p. 7.