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  • 1400–1774: The Age of Exploration and the Colonial Era x
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Dennis Brailsford

pugilist, first appeared on the London boxing scene in 1809. All that is known of his earlier life is that he was a freed slave, probably from Baltimore. He had come to Great Britain by way of working on the New York docks. No evidence supports the fanciful claims of the journalist Pierce Egan that he was descended from a warlike hero who had been the all-conquering pugilist of America.

Molyneaux appeared at Bill Richmond s Horse and Dolphin tavern in St Martin s Lane The tavern next door to the Fives Court where sparring exhibitions took place was a natural magnet for a big tough aspiring fighter Richmond himself an African American was well established in the ring and had a high reputation among wealthy backers He was so impressed by the newcomer that he set about promoting him with such success that after only two ...


Michael L. Krenn

bare-knuckle boxer, was born William Richmond in Staten Island, New York. Both Richmond's mother and his father were Georgia-born slaves whose master eventually took them north to live near New York City.

In 1777 during the early stages of the American Revolution, New York City was occupied by British forces. In a manner not entirely clear from the historical record, Richmond, then only fourteen years old, attracted the attention of Major General Earl Percy, who later became the duke of Northumberland. Legend has it that Richmond impressed Percy by taking on and soundly beating several British soldiers in a fight at a New York tavern. After witnessing Richmond's prowess with his fists, Percy began to arrange other fights against British soldiers to entertain his fellow officers.

Percy sent his young protégé back to England where he was apprenticed as a carpenter After a few years of school and learning ...