Henry Thomas Clasper

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Henry Thomas Clasper was born in July 1858, son of the famous Harry Clasper and brother of John Hawks Clasper. He was short at 5 foot 5 inches and weighed 8 st 10 lb. and lived in Oxford, apprenticed to his brother at their boatbuilding works in the city.

He commenced his aquatic career aged 7 at Durham when he first 'took the lines' of Chambers crew. He also steered Harry Clasper's crew at the Paris Regatta in 1867 and five years later in August 1872, aged 14, he rowed his first race, winning the junior under 16 pair oared race at Oxford with T. Rough.

In March 1877, aged 18, he raced W. Spencer of Chelsea but lost after a claim for a foul was rejected.