Jones, Henry (1831-1899) (DNB01)
JONES, HENRY (1831–1899), known as 'Cavendish,' writer on whist, the eldest son of Henry Derviche Jones of 12 Norfolk Crescent, was born in London on 2 Nov. 1831. His father was an ardent devotee of whist, and was in 1863 chosen to be chairman of the Portland Club whist committee, which, in connection with James Clay [q.v.] and the Arlington Club committee, framed the 'Laws of Short Whist,' edited by John Loraine Baldwin in May 1864. Henry was educated at King's College school (1842-8), and proceeded as a student to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he was a pupil of Sir William Lawrence. After qualifying in 1852 as M.R.C.S. and L.S.A., he practised for some sixteen years in the neighbourhood of Soho Square. In 1869 he retired from practice, but retained a connection with his old profession as a member of the court of the Apothecaries' Company.
In 1854, at Cambridge, Henry's younger brother, Daniel Jones, joined a knot of young men of considerable ability, who had at first 'taken up whist for amusement, but who found it offer such a field for intellectual study that they continued its practice more systematically with a view to its more complete investigation, and to the solution of difficult problems connected with it.' In London, a few years later, Henry was introduced to his brother's set, of which he soon became the most advanced member. He began to make notes upon difficult points and to record interesting hands, and he joined the club known as the 'Cavendish,' situated at the back of the Polytechnic, in Cavendish Square. He subsequently became a member of the Portland Club, where he met James Clay. His first written contribution on the subject of whist appeared in 'Bell's Life' for March 1857. In January 1862, in an article in 'Macmillan's Magazine,' William Pole [q.v. Suppl.] suggested the utility of a handbook embodying a series of model games at whist. After correspondence with, and encouragement received from, Pole, Jones brought out in 1862 a small edition of such a manual entitled 'Principles of Whist stated and explained by Cavendish.' A fifth edition was called for in 1863, when the title was altered to 'The Laws and Principles of Whist.' The eighth edition of 1868 was recast, a ninth edition was dedicated to James Clay, the tenth contains new matter, while the eleventh, of 1886, introduces the subject of American leads, as promulgated by Nicholas Trist of New Orleans. 'Cavendish' very soon came to be regarded as the standard authority upon whist, and was (so the story runs) appealed to as such by, among other prominent players, Jones's own father, though the latter had no idea that the writer was his son Henry, of whose powers as a whist player he had formed a far from commensurate opinion. Its distinctive merit as a manual was not novelty of doctrine, but lucidity, literary skill, and above all theoretical coherence. He was, however, the first to lay down clearly the true principles of the discard, and of the call for trumps.
Two years after 'Cavendish' came the slender and less exhaustive 'Treatise on Short Whist,' of J[ames] C[lay]. 'Cavendish' was certainly a great advance upon anything that had gone before, on the book of 'Major A,' published in 1835, and on the book from which the latter was plagiarised, Matthews's 'Advice to the Young Whist Player' of 1804. Before this came Payne's 'Maxims,' 1770, which for the first time laid down the principle of leading from five trumps; and before him was the 'immortal' Edmund Hoyle, who published his famous 'Short Treatise' in 1742.
Immediately upon the appearance of his 'classic' in 1862 'Cavendish' became whist editor of the 'Field,' and he soon afterwards became 'Pastime' editor of 'The Queen,' producing at the same time numerous manuals on games. Upon the subject of which he was an undoubted master he produced 'Card Essays,' 1879 (with a dedication to Edward Tavener Foster and a supplement of 'Card Table Talk '), and 'Whist Developments,' 1885. He assisted Pole in his article on 'Modern Whist' for the 'Quarterly Review,' January 1871, and he also contributed to 'The Whist Table,' edited by 'Portland.' He naturally was a member of the leading whist clubs such as the Westminster, the Portland, the Arlington, and the Baldwin. At one time he played a great deal at the Union Club, Brighton. He visited America (May to October 1893), and a banquet was given to him by the whist players of Philadelphia at the Union League Club in June 1893. He played in several matches of the Chicago Whist Club. As a player he was surpassed by his father, and still more by Clay, whose occasional criticisms upon his own performances he records with candour. Jones's personality is described as decided, not without brusqueness. He died at 22 Albion Street, Hyde Park, on 10 Feb. 1899, and was buried at Kensal Green. His will was proved on 7 April 1899 by Harriet Louisa Jones, his widow, and Daniel Jones, his brother, the value of the estate being 11,916l. The testator gave his Indian whist-markers to his sister, Fanny Hale Jones, his books, writings, and manuscripts to his brother Daniel. His whist library was sold by Sotheby on 22 May 1900.
'Cavendish,' said the 'Times' in a leading article upon his death, 'was not a law-maker, but he codified and commented on the laws which had been made, no one knows by whom, during many generations of card-playing. He was thus the humble brother of Justinian and Blackstone, taking for his material, not the vast material interests of mankind, but one of their most cherished amusements.' In addition to his works on 'Whist' Cavendish issued guides to croquet (1869), bezique (1870), écarté (1870), euchre (1870), calabrasella (1870), cribbage (1873), picquet (1873; 9th edit. 1896), vingt-et-un (1874), go-bang (1876), lawn-tennis and badminton (1876), chess (1878), backgammon (1878), and patience games (1890). He was much interested in croquet, and helped to found the All England Croquet Club. He edited Joseph Bennett's 'Billiards' in 1873, issued a limited edition of ' Second Sight for Amateurs,' a very scarce volume, in 1888, wrote articles upon whist and other games for the ninth edition of the 'Encyclopædia Britannica,' and collaborated with 'B. W. D.' in 'Whist, with and without Perception' in 1889.
[Times, 13, 16, and 17 Feb. 1899; Field, 18 and 25 Feb. 1899; Illustrated London News, 22 April 1899; Daily Telegraph, 21 Feb. 1899; Harper's Monthly, March 1891; Quarterly Review, January 1871; Macmillan's Mag. January 1863; The Whist Table, pp. 350 sqq. (with an admirable portrait of 'Cavendish' as frontispiece); Baldwin and Clay's Short Whist, 1870; Courtney's English Whist and Whist Players, 1894, passim; Hamilton's Modern Scientific Whist, New York, 1894; Pole's Philosophy of Whist, 1892, and Evolution of Whist, 1895; Horr's Bibliography of Card Games, Cleveland, 1892; notes kindly supplied by W. P. Courtney, esq., and J. W. Allen, esq. The Milwaukee serial, 'Whist,' contains numerousof 'Cavendish,' and as many as seven portraits of him at various ages (see especially vols. ii. iii. vi. and xiii.)]