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Showing posts from July, 2015

Cribb's Parlour: Tom Cribb

I’m an inveterate English Heritage blue-plaque spotter – and if I’d missed this one in Panton Street, Haymarket, London, the pub sign would have been enough to tell me that I was standing outside the home of Bristol pugilistic champion Tom Cribb (1781-1848).  Cribb was born in Hanham but moved to London when he was a boy. He went on to work as a bellhanger, then a coal porter – which job earned him the nickname The Black Diamond. He later joined the Navy. His first fight was a seventy-six round bout against George Maddox in 1805. His only defeat was against George Nicholls in the same year. Cribb then trained under the famous sportsman and pedestrianist Captain Barclay, who prepared him for his 1807 fight against the reigning champion of England, Bristolian Jem Belcher. After his defeat, Belcher demanded a rematch, which took place in 1809 with the same result. (You can read more about Jem Belcher and other pugilists who are mentioned in Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mys