Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Edward James Barff


He was born on the 13th June 1864 in Hawkley, Hampshire. The son of Henry Tootal Barff, a curate of Hythe who went on to become a Chaplin in Nice, Canon in Naples and then Canon of Gibraltar, and Mary Caroline Barff (nee Matthews). He was educated at Clifton College from 1878-82 and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was a Master at Clifton College from 1887-1927. His brother was the Rev. Herbert Henry Barff who between 1890 and 1902 was a curate at Newcastle Cathedral. He married (Jane Waite Robinson or Annie Isobel Sowler) and had 3 children Muriel, Neville and Dennis. His sister was Mabel Barff who married Herbert Neville Rolfe and had 3 children, Guy, Jane and Dorothy.

Above Edward James Barff. He joined Clifton RFC in 1891-92. He was a member of the Clifton College Council from 1929-36. He played v Taunton in 1892 in the first match at Fishponds and v Bath at Horfield in 1893, the second match ever played at Buffalo Bill's Field.

Above Edward Barff at Clifton College in 1887

Standing (L-R): ?, Frederick Charles Belson, ? (possibly Claude Wreford-Brown), W.P.Gwynne, ?, T.Jones, B.H.Belson. Sitting: Frank Borwick, Edward Panter-Downes, Henry Lawrence Weekes Norrington, Edward Payne Press, William Wyamar Vaughan, Edward James Barff, C.Parkes-Smith. On Ground: Albert Stewart Hume

The original of the above photo (titled Clifton Rugby Football Club with A.S.H 1893) is part of the Hume Collection (UQFL10) and is reproduced courtesy of the Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. It includes Frederick Belson (standing second left) who in 1899 went on to become one of the first British Lions. Frank Borwick in the above picture became a Master of Clifton College and was also played County rugby for Middlesex. This photograph would have been taken towards the end of the 1892/93 season. The Clifton captain Edward Payne Press played in the first three Clifton v Bristol matches.

His father died on the 4th April 1917 in Nailsea House, Somerset.

He died on the 15th August 1936 and was buried at Canford Cemetery, Bristol. His obituary in The Times on the 18th August 1936 said

BARFF.- On Aug. 15, 1936. EDWARD JAMES BARFF, of 3, Hurle Crescent, Clifton, Bristol, sole surviving son of the late Canon H. T. Barff, of Naples, aged 72. Funeral service, Clifton College Chapel, at 10.30 a.m., to-morrow (Wednesday). Internment, Canford Cemetery. No flowers.

His grave at Canford Cemetery.

In his will he left a gross estate of £26,460, £25,750 net with £800 to Clifton College for two new fives courts, £100 to the Bristol General Hospital, £100 to the Bristol Royal Infirmary and £50 to the Bristol Benevolent Society.