James Andrews

James Andrews was born in 1877 and after attending “Inst” he was accepted at Trinity College Dublin in 1896 to study law. He was an outstanding legal student who rose to the lofty status of Lord Chief Justice in 1937 and was awarded a Baronet in 1942. Born and reared at Ardara, James Andrews was indoctrinated into North Down Cricket Club from an early age and shared his brothers’ passion for sport, especially cricket. He was an enthusiastic member of the Andrews XI that annually played against the club and throughout his life was particularly close to his brother John Miller, later to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. In addition to cricket he was a keen rugby player, hockey player, golfer and sailor. He loved sport and law and excelled at both. He played regularly in the North Down teams of the 1890s and emerged as a senior cricketer in the 1897 Senior Cup final victory over North of Ireland. In total he played in ten senior cup finals for the club, winning on four occasions and captaining the side several times. He was a modest performer with the bat but scored a brilliant 97 against Ulster in the 1909 final, a match North Down lost by the massive margin of an innings and 89 runs. As an administrator he took an active part in the administration of the unions, firstly while serving on the NCU junior committee, then as NCU president in 1927/8, and then as Irish Cricket Union president in 1929. With his brother Willie, he is credited with having re-written the constitution of the NCU in the mid-twenties. For many years he mixed business and pleasure between Dublin and Belfast. He was in Dublin at the time of the Easter Rising in 1916 when his uncle Willie (Judge William Drennan Andrews) was lucky to escape with his life after the rebels forcibly took over his house. James Andrews became one of the original members of the Supreme Court when the state of Northern Ireland was established in 1921 and he was made Lord Justice in the Court of Appeal. He was regarded as an excellent judge and in 1937 the ailing Prime Minister, Viscount Craigavon, appointed him Lord Chief Justice in succession to Sir William Moore. For most of his adult life he lived at Eusemere on the Killinchy Road where, in 1941, two escaped German prisoners-of-war were discovered taking refuge in the garage and were returned to their camp by the B Specials who guarded the house. His long-term faithful driver and close friend was Jack McGreeghan who for many years lived in Castle Lane and regularly attended North Down home games. James Andrews never forgot his cricket roots despite the demands of his prominent position and his brother Willie kept him abreast of everything that was happening at both the club and the union. After his playing days were over he made occasional visits to The Green to watch games but that became increasingly more difficult when war broke out.

He was a popular Comber citizen and his death in 1951, at the age of 73, was met with great sorrow in the local community and none more so than amongst the members of North Down Cricket Club.

Chairman of North Down from 1910 until 1920 and Captain of the club from 1902 -1907 and in 1909, James won two cup final badges in 1908, scoring 36 in the final and 1913 again contributing a fine 41 when batting at number 8. He was the top run maker on the 1st XI in 1904 and 1906 and a Junior Cup Winner with the 2nd XI.