After months of painstaking research, Nelsons has successfully traced the surviving relative of a 19th century Nottingham and England footballer, Tinsley Lindley, to return items of memorabilia from the local sporting hero’s past after they were found in a strongbox in the firm’s vault.
The memorabilia, which includes a cricket ball inscribed with ‘T Lindley average 9.7 1884 – LSCC Average Ball’ together with four England and other football caps, was discovered amongst the Deeds and Documents of a former legal practice of the late Nelsons’ consultant, Dick Moffatt.
Commenting on the find, head of private client services at Nelsons, Richard Grosberg says: “On making further investigations, it transpired the ball and caps belonged to an Old Nottinghamian, Dr Lindley OBE, who was not only considered one of the 19th century’s great centre forwards having played for Nottingham Forest and England, he was also a well known Nottingham legal figure and County Court Judge.
“We believe the strongbox and its contents were left for safekeeping at a firm which Dick worked at during the late 50s and 60s. The firm, Palmer & Paling, dealt with Lindley’s estate following his death in 1940, aged 74.”
Following the discovery, Nelsons set about researching Lindley’s life in order to trace any surviving family members who would inherit the valuable and historic sporting memorabilia. Mr Grosberg continues: “We found that Tinsley was survived by his wife Constance and daughter Mrs Victoria Enwright. Constance was now deceased. Victoria had lived with her husband Edward, a Royal Naval Captain. We also knew that Victoria and Edward had a son, Michael, but that’s where things got difficult.
“Michael couldn’t be found until we looked for him under a different spelling of Enwright. Our research showed that Michael Enright had died in 1982, leaving a widow, Lynne Enright. Through the solicitors that dealt with Michael Enright’s estate, we were able to confirm Lynne’s entitlement to inherit the Lindley treasure trove. We were then able, at long last, to return the strongbox and its contents to their rightful owner.”
Commenting on her inheritance, Lynne Enright of Oswestry says: “I knew nothing about the strongbox and was delighted to hear I would inherit Tinsley’s caps and ball. The whole experience has been truly enthralling. I’ve learnt an amazing amount about Tinsley’s spectacular past and I am truly grateful to Nelsons for their clever detective work and for bringing some of my late husband’s family history to life.”
Born on 27th October 1865, Tinsley Lindley was the son of Leonard Lindley, who was a lace dresser and latterly an Alderman of Nottingham and Mayor of the City.
While still at High School, Lindley made his debut for the NottinghamForest first team, scoring four goals in a 6-1 home victory over Wolverhampton. He later attended The Leys School in Cambridge, where he played rugby. From 1885 to 1888, he studied at CaiusCollege, Cambridge and played football for CambridgeUniversity, as well as Corinthians and Casuals. In 1888, he returned to Nottingham to join NottinghamForest. During the 1889-90 season, he also played for NottsCounty.
Lindley first appeared for England in 1886, scoring in the 6-1 defeat of Ireland. He also scored in each of his next eight International appearances, a record that appears to stand to this day. Records show he gained 13 full caps for England.
A tremendous all-round athlete, Lindley also played first-class cricket for Nottinghamshire and for CambridgeUniversity, as well as rugby for Notts RFC.
On retirement from football, Lindley turned his full attention to his law practice, having been called to the Bar in 1899 while still playing. He also lectured in law at University of Nottingham and served as a County Court Judge. Lindley stayed loyal to NottinghamForest, serving on the committee for several years. He was awarded the OBE in 1918.