Lord Londesborough was the first President of the Beverley Golf Club, and according to the anniversary book he held that office from 1889 to 1911. However, this gives us a problem as there were actually two Lords Londesborough over that period.
William Henry Forester Denison, 1st Earl of Londesborough (19 June 1834 – 19 April 1900), known as The Lord Londesborough from 1860 to 1887, was a British peer and Liberal politician. He was also one of the main founders of Scarborough FC.
Londesborough was the eldest son of Albert Denison, 1st Baron Londesborough, and Henrietta Mary Weld-Forester. Henry Conyngham, 1st Marquess Conyngham, was his paternal grandfather. He was elected to the House of Commons for Beverley in 1857, a seat he held until 1859, and then represented Scarborough from 1859 to 1860, when he succeeded his father in the barony and entered the House of Lords. In 1887 he was created Viscount Raincliffe, of Raincliffe in the North Riding of the County of York, and Earl of Londesborough, in the County of York.
Lord Londesborough married Lady Edith Frances Wilhelmina Somerset, daughter of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort, in 1863. He died in April 1900, aged 65, and was succeeded in his titles by his son William. It is probably this William Denison who was the President. The 2nd earl was born in 1864 and died in Bournemouth in 1917. The earldom of Londesborough expired on the death in 1937 of the 4th Earl, William’s second son and brother of the 3rd earl.
The second Lord Londesborough was the second largest landowner in the East Riding after Sir Tatton Sykes and was a close friend of the Prince of Wales. He was a patron of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, sponsoring a couple of matches against Middlesex in 1874 and was one of the prime movers behind the Scarborough Cricket Festival. He went on to become President of the MCC, but he did not forget his roots and tried to keep in touch with matters at the Londesborough Park Cricket Club.
Matches were held regularly on the estate at the Park Farm ground, where the current club still plays. It is thought to have the longest history of continuous use of a cricket ground in East Yorkshire.
In 1905 further sporting developments took place in the Park with the creation of the testing nine-hole golf course. Laid out by the famous Harry Vardon in the magical setting of the rolling parklands, the only remaining evidence until 2003 was the decaying clubhouse now demolished.
The golf club struggled to maintain its membership after the war years due mainly to financial and transport problems which sadly contributed to its closure in 1947.
The 2nd Earl of Londesborough was also involved in the development of Blankney Golf club which was started at his estate to the south of Lincoln in 1902 and still thrives today.