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father of a large family. Nay, we might is quite in the classical vein of the even hint, his celestial opponent was him. Complete Angler. self no stranger to that athletic amusement. If it then had its origin, no ad- “ Having proved the existence of this mirer of this athletic science can wish for amusement at so remote an era, it would one more ancient, or more honourable. be neither necessary nor important to trace That the Patriarch's antagonist was a be- the practise of this art through that period ing of a superior order, and sent by Divine of time which intervenes from the time of authority, no Christian has ever yet dis- Jacob, to the formation of the Grecian puted. That it was a corporeal struggle, republics. The blindness and wilful transor, bona fide, a wrestling match, between gressions of the Jews, and the barbarous them, is universally admitted. It cannot ignorance of those nations whom God per. therefore be denied, that it is either of die mitted to chastise them, render their exer. vine origin, or that a Being more than cises a matter of neither curiosity nor utility. mortal has participated in it. It is true, But when Greece, emerging from obscurity many of the commentators dwell upon it and ignorance, began to take the lead in as a spiritual, as well as a corporeal civilization, in military knowledge, and in struggle. This we are very ready to ad- the cultivation of learning and sciences, mit; but we will at the same time con- the utility of Public Games, not only to tend, that instead of diminishing, it adds infuse a generous and martial spirit into considerably to its splendour. An amuse- the minds of the young men, but to im. ment from which so many inferences and prove their bodily strength, was too appaconclusions have been drawn to promote rent to be neglected. Accordingly, we find the welfare of Christianity, cannot be either these athletic exercises not only practised degrading or confined in its nature; but, and encouraged in each particular state, on the contrary, noble and scientific. but the highest honours and rewards be:“ It is a common and received proverb, stowed on the victors at the Olympic, that. A man is known by his works, and Nemean, and other games, where prizes a tree by its fruits.' Here then is an were awarded, and contended for before amusement peculiarly chosen, not only by the whole nation. It would be foreign to one of the best of men, but by one better our purpose to quote the wrestling match and greater than any man : -and if to of Hercules and Anteus, or anything borgive strength and firmness, combined with dering either on the fabulous or miraculous quickness and elasticity, to the limbs ; stories incidental to the times in which it discrimination and vigour to the body; is placed ; but we may be allowed to obcoolness to the head, and perception to the serve, that these prizes were contended for, mind- the whole forming an energetic and often won, by men distinguished as combination of the whole power given to much by their birth, patriotism, and valour, man ! no exercise could have been selected as by their skill in those exercises in which tending more to exalt his character, and it was their pride to excel. from which such typical illustrations could
“ The influence of these sports ad. have been deduced for his spiritual advan- vancing Greece, from a few petty states not tage.--Here then we take our stand.-Ad. equal in extent of territory to one half of vocates for any other diversion, be it what England alone, into the most powerful ever it may ! can you produce an origin kingdom at that time in the world, is uni. either so ancient or so honourable ? Men versally acknowledged by all historians and of common sense, what can you object to commentators who have ever treated of the it ? Poets and lovers, ye who deal in subject. And it is singular to remark, that heroics, and invoke ideal heathen divini, while the fact is admitted by all modern ties! or ascribe to a mere mortal, like legislators, few or none have recommended yourselves, the epithet angelic ! or even an imitation of them." angel itself ! while any proof you could Leaving the Hebrews and the Greeks bring forward in support of your imagi. without reluctance, we take a leap with nary divinities (or even the propriety of Mr Litt of a few thousand years into using such expressions) would be disputed the ring
of Longwathby Mill, A. D. -nay, condemned ! by thousands of well. disposed Christians :—in all that we have New Year's Day, and Melmerby on
1778. That village, on Christmas or advanced respecting Wrestling, none but heathens or atheists will attempt to con
Midsummer's Day, (both, we believe, fute."
in Cumberland,) were the scenes of
two distinguished annual contests. Mr Litt, we before observed, makes Mr Litt, with that strange and undeno great show of erudition ; but there fined desire to extol past times at the are good schools in the north : and our expense of the present, which seems a author seems to know the history of principle in human nature, and makes the ancient world just as intimately as every man “ laudator temporis acti," Izaak Walton. The following passage observes-VOL. XIV.
“ About forty-five years ago, or about dom desisted from the attack till the fall the year 1778, back-hold Wrestling was was over. Ho seldom had, recourse to the more practised, and in higher estimation buttock ; striking was his forte; and his in that extent of country which comprises dexterity and method of parting, or what the borders of Cumberland, Westmore- is often provincially called livering, (a conland, Yorkshire, and Northumberland, traction of delivering,) his man, was such, than in any other place in England or that he seldom either missed his object, or Scotland. Since those days of our fathers, went to the ground. His favourite method great indeed is the change effected in the was the outside, and he was partial to habits, customs, and manners of all classes feinting with one foot, and striking with of people throughout England ; and in no the other; however, on striking out, he part of it more than in the north. The often seconded the attack with the foot he festivities of Christmas, the hilarities of feinted with ; and we have heard it assertsheep-shearing, and other seasons of mirth ed he struck uncommonly high. In this and jollity, are now but the mere shadow his trade as a miller might be advantageof what they were, even at the short dis- ous to him. From frequent practice in tance of time we treat of. Though some lifting and removing loads with his arms, dainties, neither much known nor wanted in which the knee and foot are sometimes in those days, are now in common use, yet used as auxiliaries, he might have acquired home.brewed, that soul and cementer of more strength in the leg when striking out, good fellowship, so often spoken of in and felt less incommoded when balancing raptures by the aged, has nearly disap- and turning his man, than if he had been peared. At that time, if money was more brought up to almost any other trade. It scarce, ale was better and cheaper ; and would be impossible for us, or any other pastimes were not only more frequent, but person at this period, to enumerate the enjoyed with much less care for to-morrow. tithe of his victories. Suffice it to obserye, Accordingly, on the borders of these coun- he was the hero of his day; and at the ties, prizes of different descriptions were great annual meetings at Longwathby and frequently given to wrestle for. Although Melmerby, as well as at Alston, often a belt was the most usual prize, yet silver threw, not only the most noted wrestlers cups, leather breeches, and other things of of the neighbourhood, and the borders of considerable value, accompanied by a belt, Cumberland and Westinoreland, but all were by no means uncommon.”
the dons from Yorkshire and NorthumberThe cock of the north at this era land who came to try their prowess with was Adam Dodd, who, in the opinion him. It would be foolish to assert, or lead of many who were acquainted with any person to suppose, he was not occahim, had won more prizes than any sionally thrown; for that is a thing which, other man, either remembered at this
like " time and tide, happeneth to all
• men ;'-but we believe we shall not be period, or who has since appeared in
contradicted, when we say he ranked the the ring. But Mr Litt, from the most
very first on the list. He was a remarkauthentic accounts he has been able to
ably civil and peaceable man; and his collect, thinks he yielded in that re- conduct and character through life accord. spect to WilliAM RICHARDSON ofed with these two essential recommendaCaldbeck, (now alive and hearty,) who tions to respect and esteem—having nefer has gained, it is said, 240 belts, and been called in question on any occasion. is, we think, better entitled than old His death was occasioned by incautiously Howard of Castle-Dacre himself, to the lying down to sleep upon the kiln when cognomen“ Belted Will.” Mr Litt's drying some oats, which brought on an portrait of Adam
illness that proved fatal a short time after. as good as Milton's, of his great ancestor and namesake.
died about the year 1782, leaving a widow
then with child-having entered into the “ Adam, though not termed a big one, connubial state not long before his dewas yet far above the middle-size of wrestlers. He was between five feet ten and five
Then, too, flourished Tom Johnfeet eleven inches high, and weighed near fourteen stones— belonging to that class in employ of J.C. Curwen, Esq. of Work
ston, now a powerful old man, in the which we have elsewhere stated the most distinguished wrestlers and pugilists were
ington-Hall. Tom, “like a true sportsto be found. He has been described to us
man, still relishes the crack of the as a clean and well-built man, but withal whip, and actually carried off the belt rather flattish bodied, and slender backed,
from the Cloffick at Workington, at for such a distinguished wrestler ; this is one of the great meetings on Easter said by some to have been the only thing Tuesday, when nearly sixty years of that prevented him from being invincible. age." He was a straight stander, and easy to " Another celebrated hero, at the same satisfy with a hold; but the moment it period, was Thomas Lee, who, we are in. was taken, eager to be at work, and selformed, is at this present time a publican
. in Alston. Lee, we have been told, was a young man was known to be a Bampton from the borders of Northumberland, and scholar, it was considered conclusive of his was the unrivalled cock of the walk for being a good wrestler. Among those edu. many miles round him, both as a wrestler cated at this instructive seminary, whose and pugilist. The fame of Adam Dodd genius led them to acquire a competent continually ringing in his ears, inflamed knowledge of the bodily powers of man, him with an ardent desire to try conclu. before they were honoured with the charge sions with him. Accordingly, regarding of his more important requisites, was the minor conquests as beneath him, and be reverend and celebrated Abraham Brown, lieving himself nearly invincible, he set off whom we have before alluded to. This in quest of Adam to a meeting of such ce- gentleman was the first of whom we have lebrity as to insure the attendance of that any authentic records of excelling as a hero. We have heard some assert, that it buttocker. Having lost no time in perwas at Longwathby, but we have undoubt- fecting himself in this manly exercise when ed authority for saying that it was at Great a scholar, he fully maintained the characSalkeld that these heroes first met. How. ter of a very first rate when acting in the ever this may be, it is certain that they more exalted situations of usher and school. both fought and wrestled. The issue of the master in different places, and occasionally former contest was not unfavourable to after he became a curate.
When a very Adam, although there are many who main- young man he acquired great renown in tain that it was the only pugilistic contest carrying away a silver cup of considerable in which he was ever engaged, and that it value from Eamont Bridge, which divides was only to prevent the imputation of be. the counties of Cumberland and Westing a coward that induced him to fight.- moreland, and which was consequently in In wrestling, Adam proved the master ; the yery centre of the most noted wrestling and this, we are told, Lee is still willing to country in England. After his establish acknowledge, but entertains an opinion ment at Egremont, Mr Brown had no ob. that he was the better man in the other jection, in the spirit of good fellowship, to respect. Be that as it may, there is no oblige any man who felt extremely anxious doubt that Lee was a very noted man, and for a trial of skill with him, and in these superior to his opponeni in strength and casual turn-ups it is said he was never weight."
vanquished. Abraham being a man of conBut the most celebrated wrestler, himself more than once as a friend of Par
siderable humour and good nature, palmed that the north, perhaps, ever produced,
son Brown's, on men who, hearing of his also flourished during this epoch-The celebrity, expressed a strong desire to try REVEREND ABRAHAM Brown. Letno a fall with him. On such occasions he prim-mouthed puritan purfle up his pretended to be well acquainted with the potatoe-trap at this announcement- Parson, and assured them, that if they Cumberland curate is not a bishop. That could throw him easily, they would prove granted, every objection to his trying a match for Brown when they met with him. a fall is at once removed. No doubt,
This of course caused a contest; and Maswhen elevated to the bench, his own
ter Abraham, after giving them full satisgood sense will point out to him the
faction, would advise them to go home, as
he could assure them they were not able propriety of quitting the ring, and even of circumscribing his private prac
to vanquish the Parson. We have heard him
assert, that when nineteen years of age, he tice. Someofourown Scottish ministers
did not weigh more than twelve stones, are strong-built pillars, and not easy but a stranger to him in his younger days to be pulled down; and we could men- would have judged of him very differently. tion several, by name, thirteen, four- He could not be less than six feet high, teen, and fifteen stoners, whom we and when at a proper age for entering the would back for a trifle against either church, must have weighed fifteen stones the medical or legal profession. In
at least. This well-known character died deed, the greatest number of powerful within the last twelve months ; and it is men we ever saw enter a ring together, but justice to his memory to observe, that was at the Carlisle race-ground, and though occasionally addicted to the bottle, in the General Assembly of the Church public and private character, the regard
he preserved through life, both in his of Scotland, Anno Domini 1823.
and esteem, not only of his parishioners in “ Bampton school, on the borders of general, but of nearly all who were acWestmoreland, was perhaps the most cele: quainted with him.” brated seminary in England for turning out good wrestlers. It was usual at that
Next to the above unconquered period for those designed for the church, clergyman at this era, was supposed or any learned profession, to frequent to stand John Tinian-he and his school when grown up to manhood ; and if sons, and brother, make up family
quite to the taste of our great Roman- him by his breeches waistband upon one
of the hooks in the ceiling !" “ As a wrestler, boxer, runner, leaper,
These, and other mighty ones of the cudgel, and football player, he never met earth, having either resigned the reins, with an equal. It was no uncommon cir
or loosened the loins of their empiry, cumstance for Tinian to bear away all the or been grasped by “ THE WRESTthree prizes,--viz. belt, hat, and gloves, LER," rerum nova nascitur ordo, about from the neighbouring races ; which feat the year 1800. he once performed at Penrith, where he was totally unknown, defeating in these
“ Advancing forward to a more modern different exercises the very best of the
date, we will proceed to notice some of the border heroes. He was about six feet high, seventeenth century, or preceding the year
most celebrated heroes at the close of the and fourteen stone weight-an uncommon
1800. In doing so, we must travel back ly powerful and muscular man, regarded
to Alston and its vicinity, and introduce to as a desperado, and looked upon as the
the notice of our readers the very best cock of the walk wherever he went. John Tinian is yet living, and some of his sons
Wrestler of his weight Cumberland, or turned out promising chicks, though by no
even the United Kingdom, ever produced, means equal to the old cock. His brother
in the person of James, alias JEMMY
FAWCETT. Anxious to do ample justice Job was equally well known. Job was no
to the professional character of every apology for a man-standing about six feet six inches high, and weighing accordingly! Wrestler whose name is to be found in our was remarkably in-knee'd, and had little of pages, without detracting from the merited an Adonis about him at any time, but
renown of others, we are compelled to ac. more especially when, as was frequently knowledge Jemmy must have been the the case, he stripped off all his clothes, and
most wonderful Wrestler, either of his own,
or any other time of which we have any exposed himself to his opponent in a state of nudity."
succinct, or authentic account. Jemmy,
though yet living, is perfectly unknown to These heroes flourished “ on the us,--therefore we cannot speak positively eastern side of Derwent," and “wemust as to his weight, which we have heard some go westward as far as Gosforth, before call ten, and others ten stone seven pounds; we find another wrestler of such celem but admitting he weighed eleven stones, the brity, as to entitle him to notice in eleven-stone man who could bear away the these memoirs.”
prize for seven successive years from the
most noted place of meeting, and from the “ In that place, we find one of the most acknowledged best Wrestlers in Cumberdistinguished characters at that period be- land and Westmoreland, must have been a tween Derwent and Duddon, in the person Nonpareil indeed ! Yet that Jemmy Faw. of John Woodall, who was brought up as cett was the victor at Longwathby, the a husbandman, and succeeded his father most noted annual resort, not only for the as proprietor of a small estate in Gosforth. most celebrated border Wrestlers, but from Woodall, though not the tallest, was, we Alston and twenty miles round, on every believe, the strongest man we have yet Midsummer-day, does not admit of the noticed. His person was symmetry itself, least dispute. if Jack Randall, the pugihe stood about five feet eleven inches high, list, is entitled to the appellation of Nonweighed upwards of sixteen stones, and all pareil, by beating men of his own weight, who knew him agree in considering that and one or two a single stone heavier ; what he was the strongest man in the west of would he have been called if he could have Cumberland. As a wrestler, Woodall was added to the list of heroes he has vanquishmore indebted to strength than science; ed the names of Cribb, Neate, and Spring ? but he possessed the former requisite to Yet, granting he had done so, he would such an uncommon degree, that he was then scarcely have had as well-merited a considered no unequal
opponent for the claim to the appellation as Fawcett, who powerful and scientific curate of Egre. has thrown scores of heavier men than any mont. At the King's Arms, in that place, of the three!! This single fact more estaWoodall exhibited a remarkable, and ra. blishes the superiority, as a science, of ther extraordinary specimen of his prodi. Wrestling, over Pugilism, than volumes gious strength. Having been thrown for a filled with arguments on the subject could prize by a shoemaker of the name of Carr, possibly do. It likewise equally exposes a well-known wrestler, the latter, flushed the folly of those who call back-holds a with his victory, began to ridicule Woodall mere trial of strength. Fawcett, as we have on the circumstance. Woodall, though a before said, weighed under, or about elevery peaceable man, yet willing to turn the ven stones, and was about five feet seven laugh against Carr, caught him up in his inches high, and continued wrestling occaarms as if he had been an infant, and hung sionally till he was nearly fifty years of age ;-a sufficient proof that he, though a that he stood upwards of six feet-was, slender man, and open to all comers, did we should think, fourteen stone good, pot consider Wrestling as a dangerous of prodigious strength, not wanting in amusement. Among the list of the many activity, good-tempered and brave. powerful men he threw, several entitled to be classed as first-raters might be produced.
“ This champion, at a considerably subNor was his superiority over such men, to sequent period to his celebrity as a Wrest. be attributed either to accident, or confined ler, was unfortunately drowned by the upto the circumstance of one trial only. We setting of a boat on Windermere Lake. It contend that Fawcett must have been, and
was rather remarkable that Barrow, the zoas, able to throw many fourteen-stone men only person lost by the accident, was an entitled to rank as first-raters; or to come
excellent swimmer, and the only person in to the mark at once,-men ranking as high, the boat who could swim. The accident professionally, as any of the three Pugis happening at a place of no considerable lists alluded' to :-yet could Randall, al. depth, his foot either stuck fast in the mud, though supposed to be the very best Pugi.
or getting entangled in some excrescence list ever remembered, beat any of them ? attached to the bottom, he never rose to The circumstance of Fawcett being able to the surface of the water, and consequently throw fourteen-stone men, may be said to perished before he could be relieved.” form one exception to our remark, that the This account is inaccurate. John most superior Wrestlers and Pugilists will Barrow could not swim, and the accibe found between thirteen and fourteen dent happened in deep water. He and stone weight; we answer, not exactly so. some others were trying a new boat, We do not think Fawcett could have thrown which he had built, the sheet of the Adam Dodd, Thomas Nicholson, William main-sail was belayed, and the party Richardson, or some others we could se.
were both rowing and sailing. A flaw lect, in a number of trials ; on the contra
of wind struck her, and the oars to leery, we are sure the odds would have been
ward being in the water, the boat upset, against him for a single fall ;—but we contend these selected Wrestlers ranked higher
and poor John disappeared. The boat in that exercise, than Cribb, Neate, or
did not sink ; and two servant-girls, Spring ever did as Pugilists; we would who had seen the accident, rowed from compare them to James Belcher, or the Bell-grange, and saved the lives of the Game Chicken, when in their prime ; and other men. This we ourselves saw. we presume no pugilistic amateur will say The body was not found for some days. the latter Pugilists were not considered su. So much about the untimely fate of a perior to any of the present time, though great wrestler, and a good man! some of them undoubtedly rank as first.
Passing over John and Joseph Tinraters. We must therefore conclude, that there is either more science in back-hold ian, in the vicinity of Holm Cultram, Wrestling, than in Pugilism, or that Faw. the Halls of Alston, who were long cett is much more entitled to the appella
the Dons of Ellenborough, Gilcrux, tion of Nonpareil than Randall. Jemmy and the adjacent country; the brothers was partial to getting his left side into ac
Allison of Cockermouth, and the Retion and striking from that position. It verend Osborne Littleton of Butteris not consistent with the limited nature mere, who, previous to his entry ina of this work to dwell longer on the merits to orders, was the best Wrestler withof this truly celebrated Wrestler, any fur. in many iniles of Whitehaven;" we ther than to remark, that Swaledale, in shall, with Mr Litt, attend to the arYorkshire, was the scene of his latest ex
rival of the Westmoreland militia, in ploits, and in which place we believe he is that town, towards the close of the still living.”
seventeenth century. And here Mr Litt pronounces a “ In this regiment were several celebrawell-deserved eulogy on our poor friend ted Wrestlers, among whom we will partiJohn BARROW, whom he justly calls, cularize the two whose names became most “the most renowned wrestler in West- familiar in men's mouths' during the time moreland at this period.” He was not the regiment remained at Whitehaven. a Cumberland man, as Mr Litt has These were PHILIF STEPHENSON and heard—and he lived at Bowness, Win
Thomas MadGE. Philip was a strongdermere. “He was," says Mr Litt,
built muscular man, about five feet nine o considered by many a match for any wards of fourteen stones.
inches high, and must have weighed up
His fame as a man in the kingdom; and to him it is said Richardson of Caldbeck, (whom, ready to back him to any amount against
Wrestler ran before him,—his officers were henceforth, let the nations call Belted any man in the kingdom,--and in fact, Will,') was indebted for his favourite during his residence here as a soldier, he method of striking inside.” We add, certainly was the most prominent hero on