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Broadside entitled 'Dreadful and Fatal Pitched Battle'


This broadside begins: 'An account of a most dreadful and fatal Pitched Battle which was fought on Monday last, at Childshill, near London, between Davis and Winkworth, when Winkworth was killed, and warrants were issued against a number of pugilists, among whom were Byrne, Reynolds, and Spring.' The sheet was published by John Muir of Glasgow and is dated 14th August 1829.

In the early nineteenth century bareknuckle prizefighting was a popular spectator sport, particularly among gamblers. It may be considered the ancestor of the modern sport of boxing, although prizefighting was far less controlled by tactical restrictions or by limits of time. The Queensberry Rules, which constitute the foundation of modern boxing, were introduced in 1857 partly to reduce the often terrible violence of the fights. This violence is evident in this broadside report, where a prizefighter dies from head injuries after a fifty-eight round fight.

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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Date of publication: 1829   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(108b)
Broadside entitled 'Dreadful and Fatal Pitched Battle'
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