This sports round-up begins: 'A Full, True and Particular Account of the GREAT BATTLE fought by ROBINSON and CROSBIE, in a field near West Craigs, on Saturday last, the 11th day of June 1825, for 200 Sovereigns'. This sheet was published by Alexander Turnbull and would have sold for a penny.
There are many broadsides held in the National Library of Scotland's collection which detail boxing matches held up and down the country. This sheet is a fascinating blow-by-blow account of each round, which would no doubt have made for interesting reading for those who missed the fight. The language used in these reports, euphemistic and slang, seems to have been a feature common to most of them. John Crosbie was a Scottish pugilist about whom little is known. He was probably the Crosbie who fought a Londoner called Birrell in 1814 and almost certainly the one who beat a fellow Glaswegian called Carrick in 1818. Matt Robinson, from Yorkshire, was successful in two fights in Scotland (he also defeated Tom 'Scotch' Robertson). The Crosbie fight was reputedly his prize-ring debut. He died in Manchester in 1861.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
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Probable date published:
1825 shelfmark: L.C.1268
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