All posts by Ash

Methodist’s Intervention

A case of direct intervention was recorded by the west-Briton in 1844 at St Just in Penwith, where wrestling and hurling were popular. For two or three weeks in May a Tournament had been in progress to decide who among the standards should contest the finals. On the day when these were to be held for the customary prize of a gold laced hat, which gave certain protection from unwelcome attentions in these days of the press gangs, the wrestler’s had no sooner gathered then two wesleyan ministers, with several of their friends came on the scene.

The ministers immediately addressed the ring-leaders of the games, kindly offering to pay them the value of the prize to be divided among the standards, and so to stop the practice of wrestling in future. But their proposal being declined they commenced singing and prayer and were soon left by the wrestlers in possession in the ring. A Clear victory for the Methodists or so it appears but it is highly likely that the wrestlers just went to any nearby level field or meadow and continued the hitches.

The crowd at this Tournament was reputed to be nearly as large as that of that at Penzance a dozen or so years before when the sport was at it’s zenith.

On the first day at Penzance wrestling there were five thousand spectators on the second day, twice that number.

Portrait of Cornwall – Wrestlers Riot

The attraction of the wrestling brought out a number of young persons from Bodmin, one of whom entered the ring and threw two Roach men. This success was immediately followed by an attack on the Bodmin man, and a general riot commenced. After having, for some time, contended in the pugilistic style, the combatants armed themselves with bludgeons from a large wooden rick in the church-town. Thus equipped, the fight was renewed with furry, heads were laid open, teeth knocked out, and the field of battle was quickly strewn with the maimed.

After the contest had continued for about two hours and when twilight had commenced, victory still hung doubtful but about this time the Roach and Luxillian men were reinforced by a considerable detachment from neighbouring mines.

The fresh body of forces soon decided the fate of the day. The Bodmin men were forced to fly in disorder, perused by the shouting victors, being unable to cover the retreat of their wounded, who were forced to limp off as well as they could!

Source: To be confirmed.

Date: To be confirmed.

Wrestler Resisting Arrest – 6th February 1846

On Tuesday George Oliver alias ‘The Little Roper’, was brought up on a charge of drunkenness (at Truro). Policeman Fitzsimmons was called upon to expel the defendant from at home, where he was making a disturbance. When the ropemaker, although a little man is a practiced wrestler, resisted the law and threw the policeman several good “turns” without difficulty.

He was fined 20s and costs.

Source: To be confirmed.

Gundry The Champion Wrestler – 11th August 1843

Redruth annual wrestling at South turnpike, on Tuesday and Wednesday 22nd and 23rd of August.

The following prizes will be awarded, first price a silver goblet value £7, second ditto, a silver cup value £4, third ditto a silver cup value £2.10, forth ditto a gold laced hat, fith ditto a silver laced hat.

Parties who have taken the directions of this wrestling in hand wish it to be known that T.Gundry of Sithiney will be accepted from contending for any of the above prizes, as he (Gundry) has not for a succession of years met with anything like an equal match, at any of the wrestlings he has attended, from which circumstance, his presence as a player has had a disparaging effect on the generality of wrestlers, therefore justice demands for him the well earned title of “Champion of all the English Wrestlers”

Source: To be confirmed.

A Wrestling Challenge – 3rd August 1838

Hodge, of Tywardreath challenges Richard Davey of Egloshaye to wrestle the first two back falls out of three for any sum from £1 to £5. And if Davey should think proper to bring a second man from his neighbourhood, Hodge is prepared for a man to meet him for similar stakes.

The Match to come off at either St Austell or Bodmin as may be decided upon. Hodge only waits Davey’s answer to have a meeting to settle preliminaries.

Source: to be confirmed.

The Wrestlers Oath

To be sworn by all Wrestlers prior to any wrestling taking place.


war ow enor ha war enor ow bro, my a de omewlel hep traytury na garowder, hag avel ol ow lelder my a ystyn ow luf dhe’m contrary. gans geryow ow hendasow. “gwary whek yu gwary tek”.

English Translation

on my honour and the honour of my country, I swear to wrestle without treachery or brutality and in token of my sincerity I offer my hand to my opponent. In the words of my forefathers “gwary whek yu gwary tek”.

(Which translated from the cornish means: “good play is fair play”.)