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James Polkinghorne, the Cornish Wrestler, Artist Unknown

James Polkinghorne, the Cornish Wrestler, Artist Unknown


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Royal Cornwall Museum Photo Prints and Wall Art

James Polkinghorne, the Cornish Wrestler, Artist Unknown

Oil on canvas, English School, 19th century. In the 15th century, wrestling was the national sport of Cornwall and historical sources have written that, at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, Cornish men fought under a banner depicting two wrestlers in a lock. James Polkinghorne (1788-1854) was one of Cornwalls greatest wrestlers and his best known match, against Abraham Cann of Colebrooke in Devon, happened on 23rd October 1826 and attracted over 10, 000 spectators. Though the fight finished a draw, it was not without drama and Canns biographer relates the match in detail, noting the different Cornish and Devon styles of wrestling. The fight became so famous that a folk song was written about the event. As a Cornish wrestler, Polkinghorne was known as a hugger who fought barefoot, whereas his adversary dressed in the traditional Devon style, with heavy boots soaked in bullocks blood

TRURI : 1935.12

Media ID 19649910

© RIC

Artist Artwork Black Blue Brown Chair Cornwall English Gentleman Painting Sport Waistcoat White Wrestle


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