By Mark Ryan Part I Joshua Pim was born on 20 May 1869 at Millward Terrace, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. His parents were Joshua Pim Sr., a medical doctor, and Susan Maria (née Middleton). Joshua Pim Jr. had three older siblings – Susannah (born 1864), Georgina (born 1866) and William (born 1867). Joshua Pim Sr. died in 1871; shortly afterwards the family moved to Crosthwaite Park, Kingstown, County Dublin, just up the coast from Bray. Kingstown was developing fast when Joshua Pim was growing up there. By 1874, when Joshua Pim was five years old, Kingstown had been transformed from a fishing village into the main port in Ireland for passenger service. The first railway line in Ireland, laid in the 1830s, linked Kingstown with Westland Row near the centre of Dublin. (Prior to 1821 Kingstown was known as Dunleary. The name was changed to Kingstown in honour of King George IV’s visit that year. After the founding of the Irish Free State in 1921, Kingstown was once again named Dún Laoghaire, or Dun Leary.) Joshua Pim was educated at Kingstown School, Dublin, and later went on to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons, now the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI), located, then as now, on Saint Stephen’s Green near the centre of Dublin. He also studied at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Joshua Pim became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in 1896. As a youth, Pim joined the Lansdowne Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin. He was coached there by the great professional, Thomas Burke. Pim first came to notice in 1888 when, at the age of nineteen, he took the Wimbledon champion of the previous year, the Englishman Herbert Lawford, to five sets in the Irish Championships, played in those days in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, close to the city centre. This was the first time Pim had participated in his native championships. The following year, 1889, Pim lost in the first round of the Irish Championships to William Renshaw, already six times singles champion at Wimbledon and three times a winner in Dublin. In 1890, Pim reached the All-Comers’ Final in Dublin for the first time before losing in five sets to Ernest Lewis of England. Pim had better success in the doubles event, winning the title with Dubliner Frank Stoker. In the final they beat Ernest Lewis and George Hillyard, also of England, 8-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Pim was to enjoy a great deal of doubles success with Frank Stoker. The latter was noted more for his doubles than for his singles play. He was born in Dublin in May 1867 and, like Pim, was a member of Lansdowne Lawn Tennis Club. Frank Stoker was also a cousin of the writer Bram Stoker, best known for his 1897 novel “Dracula”. In the run-up to Wimbledon in 1890, Pim won his first important singles title at the prestigious Northern England Championships, held in Liverpool that year. At Wimbledon itself, Pim reached the semi-finals of the singles event for the first time before falling to fellow Irishman Willoughby Hamilton, from County Kildare, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Hamilton beat the great William Renshaw in that year’s Challenge Round match to become Ireland’s first Wimbledon singles champion. In the doubles event at Wimbledon that year Pim and Stoker repeated their success of a few weeks earlier in Dublin against Ernest Lewis and George Hillyard, beating the English pair handily in the All-Comers’ Final, 6-0, 7-5, 6-4. (William Renshaw and his twin brother, Ernest, did not defend their doubles title at Wimbledon in 1890). In 1891, Pim was playing so well that many observers expected him to win the Irish Championships. However, after beating his doubles partner, Frank Stoker, in the All-Comers’ Final on the Saturday, he badly injured his right hand later that evening in a motor car accident. The following Monday, against advice, he took to the court in Fitzwilliam Square for the Challenge Round match against Ernest Lewis and lost in three sets, 6-2, 6-2, 8-6. In the doubles event at the 1891 Irish Championships Pim and Stoker retained their title by beating Ernest Lewis and Grainger Chaytor, the latter from Dublin, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Challenge Round match. (In those days a Challenge Round was in force in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles events at the Irish Championships and Wimbledon. It also applied to the ladies’ singles event at both tournaments. This meant that the champions did not have to “play through”, but “sat out” to see who their opponents would be after the All-Comers’ events had taken place.) At the Northern England Championships, held in Manchester in 1891, Pim retained his title by beating Wilfred Baddeley of England in the final. At Wimbledon a few weeks later Pim reached his first All-Comers’ singles final, but went down to Wilfred Baddeley, then aged just nineteen, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, 6-0. In the doubles event he and Frank Stoker lost their title to Wilfred Baddeley and his twin brother, Herbert, in a four-set match, 6-1, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. Pim continued to progress in 1892. At the Irish Championships he was recovering from a bout of typhoid and did not perform well in the singles event. He and Frank Stoker lost their doubles title to the English pair of Ernest Lewis and Ernest Meers in a one-sided final, by a score of 6-1, 8-6, 6-4. At the Northern Championships, held in Liverpool in 1892, Pim, well recovered, beat Harry Barlow in four sets. This was the third consecutive year that Pim won this tournament. At Wimbledon in 1892, Pim went all the way to the Challenge Round of the singles event for the first time. In the All-Comers’ Final, Pim had saved two match points to beat Ernest Lewis 2-6, 5-7, 9-7, 6-3, 6-2, but in the Challenge Round Wilfred Baddeley was too good for the Irishman and won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. In the doubles final, Pim and countryman Harold Mahony lost a 66-game match in the All-Comers’ Final to the English pairing of Harry Barlow and Ernest Lewis. At the 1892 London Championships, played just after Wimbledon, Pim lost a five-set final to Harry Barlow. Starting in 1893, Joshua Pim was to prove that he was the best player not only in Ireland and the British Isles, but arguably in the whole world. At the Irish Championships in Dublin, Pim took the singles title for the first time, beating Ernest Renshaw in the title match, 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. In the doubles event, Pim and Frank Stoker won their third title in four years by defeating Grainger Chaytor and Ernest Browne, also of Ireland, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. At the Northern England Championships, held in Manchester in 1893, Pim won the singles title for the fourth consecutive year. He then went on to the London Championships where he beat Harold Mahony in an all-Irish final, 9-7, 1-6, 6-1, 6-8, 6-3. At Wimbledon a few weeks later, Pim took his first singles title in impressive fashion. In the semi-final he beat England’s Harry Barlow 9-7, 6-2, 6-2 and in the All-Comers’ Final he easily defeated his compatriot Harold Mahony, 9-7, 6-3, 6-0. In the Challenge Round Pim beat Wilfred Baddeley 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. The scores indicate just how well Pim was playing at this point. For good measure, Pim and Frank Stoker took their second Wimbledon doubles title, beating Barlow and Ernest Lewis 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 in the Challenge Round. Joshua Pim thus finished the year of 1893 as singles and, with Frank Stoker, doubles champion at the two most prestigious events in the world. No one had achieved this feat before, although William Renshaw had won both singles titles and the doubles at the Irish Championships with his brother, Ernest, in 1881, when they also won the doubles event at Oxford, the precursor to the men’s doubles at Wimbledon (the first men’s doubles event was held at Wimbledon in 1884).