PUGILIST KILLED BY ROUGHS – A fatal encounter at the Brockley Jack for The Greenwich Bruiser

By day, the young man who had been attacked at the Brockley Jack was a 28-year-old brass-moulder called John Smith. By night, he was a prize-fighter known as The Greenwich Bruiser.  Smith lived on 13 Torr’s Lane, Deptford, at the time of his death in 1886, which might have been a different address to that… Read More PUGILIST KILLED BY ROUGHS – A fatal encounter at the Brockley Jack for The Greenwich Bruiser

The Short Life and Long Death of Jem Haines (Part I)

From Tuesday 30th July to Thursday 1st August 1889 a Grand Assault-at-Arms was held at the Corn Exchange in Chichester, with boxing, wrestling, Indian clubs and fencing on the bill. An advert in the Chichester Observer encouraged ladies to show up, and admission was charged at between two and 10 shillings depending on your spot.… Read More The Short Life and Long Death of Jem Haines (Part I)

“Six Foot Thriller is Coming from London!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part II)

<< READ PART I HERE >> By January 1907, Apollo Magazine (“the most practical Physical Culture Guide in existence”) considered Juno well known and admired enough to include her illustration among the great and good of British bodies, and promoted her inclusion in the magazine’s advertising on the front page of the Sporting Life. The… Read More “Six Foot Thriller is Coming from London!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part II)

“252 Pound English Girl Seeks Fame on the Mat!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part I)

The whole point of my research project is to focus on wrestling in the 1880s and early 1890s. 1902-ish onward has been ‘done’, hasn’t it? Early Edwardian performers (Hackenschmidt, Gotch et al), born quarter of a century after Jack Wannop, were well photographed, documented, and if a written wrestling history exists without them it’s a… Read More “252 Pound English Girl Seeks Fame on the Mat!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part I)

“Murdered in a thieves’ kitchen” – Finding Alexander Hayes Munroe

In my first article on Ching Hook I wrote briefly on the murder of Hook’s close friend and trainer Alexander Hayes Munroe, known as Alec or Aleck Munroe, Munro or Monroe. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1850 or ’51, he first appeared in east London boxing news in the late 1870s. He is listed on… Read More “Murdered in a thieves’ kitchen” – Finding Alexander Hayes Munroe

Lads on tour! Introducing Jack Wannop’s New Cross High Hat Brigade

Sitting here almost a year into the pandemic, on a freezing, grey, miserable evening, months since I saw a friend, it seemed fitting to bring you a little story about happier, sunnier, more sociable times.  I cannot find out much about why Jack Wannop started the New Cross High Hat Brigade but can deduce from… Read More Lads on tour! Introducing Jack Wannop’s New Cross High Hat Brigade