Searching for Clever Dick Leary and George Brown, the New Cross Hercules

It has all gone a little quiet here on the Grappling with History blog, my apologies. I’m currently working on my MA dissertation about Jack Wannop and his New Cross gymnasiums; researching and writing a lengthy blog post on Burnley wrestler J. W. Price (1870 – 1957); and still hoping to put together an article… Read More Searching for Clever Dick Leary and George Brown, the New Cross Hercules

“I’m Not So Black As I Am Painted” – The Violent Life of Jack Davenport (Part I)

Jack Davenport was angry. The young American, fortified with drink and brooding over his wrongs – real or imaginary – threw punches indiscriminately as more than a dozen policemen rained down blows with fists and truncheons. Finally, subdued, he was dragged once again to a holding cell. Did the police have it in for him… Read More “I’m Not So Black As I Am Painted” – The Violent Life of Jack Davenport (Part I)

WANNOP IS A WHIRLWIND: A drunk boxing ring fire and a mid-match escape

Following his defeat at the hands and shoulders of Evan Lewis and Duncan McMillan, Wannop caught a break of a sort in July 1888. With his reputation as a wrestler severely dented, Wannop gloved up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His opponent was Jim Fell, a fellow Englishman. Born just a few months after Wannop in… Read More WANNOP IS A WHIRLWIND: A drunk boxing ring fire and a mid-match escape

For Blood and Money: Jack Wannop V Evan ‘The Strangler’ Lewis

“Wannop was nearly killed.” So concluded a cablegram from The Sporting Life’s New York special correspondent, published on 10 May 1888 to update British readers on Jack Wannop V Evan Lewis three days prior. The wrestling match at Chicago’s Battery D Armoury for the first wrestling ‘Championship of the World’ had been hotly anticipated. A… Read More For Blood and Money: Jack Wannop V Evan ‘The Strangler’ Lewis

Where Did You Go, Hezekiah Moscow? (Part III: Some Final Thoughts)

This is the third and final chapter of Ching Hook / Ching Ghook / Hezekiah Moscow’s story. You can read the first part (which includes information about why I’m researching him and what on earth all the name variations are about) here and the second part here. There has been a relatively huge amount of interest… Read More Where Did You Go, Hezekiah Moscow? (Part III: Some Final Thoughts)

WANNOP: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! A guest post by Walter ‘The Cross-Buttocker’ Armstrong

Good afternoon. The Cross-Buttocker here. Your usual Grappling With History blogger, Sarah, will be fully occupied over the next few weeks with her day job and a lengthy Masters Degree assignment on the Bosnian War, which of course I know little about, having died as I did in 1917 etc. while another large international skirmish… Read More WANNOP: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! A guest post by Walter ‘The Cross-Buttocker’ Armstrong

Resolute as a lion, cool as the regulation cucumber, Jack Wannop bids farewell to New Cross and hello to the Chicago Strangler

On Wednesday 15 February 1888 Jack Wannop said goodbye to Miriam and their clutch of small children and left his home at 105 Woodpecker Road, New Cross, London, for Euston and the midday train to Liverpool. Met with a cordial reception at Lime Street station by a Mr Snell, The Sporting Life reported that Jack… Read More Resolute as a lion, cool as the regulation cucumber, Jack Wannop bids farewell to New Cross and hello to the Chicago Strangler