1891 marked Essendon's first-ever premiership, and its first of four consecutive VFA premierships.

Prior to the formation of the VFL (now AFL), premierships were won by the team that finished on top of the ladder at the end of the normal season, and there were no finals.

Essendon lost only once in 20 games and had two draws.

The team was captained by Bill Fleming, who stood down mid-season through ill health and was replaced by Alick Dick, who captained the club to the following three premierships as well.