John Howard
The Antique English Pottery Specialist
Heritage, 6 Market Place, Woodstock, OX20 1TA | +44 (0)1993 812580 | +44 (0)7831 850544
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Spring and Langan pugilist commemorative pottery plaque early 19th century

Reference: 5226

Dated: 1825 England

A rare large sized pottery plaque with integral black glazed frame depicting the historic boxing match between Spring and Langan which was held in Worcester in 1824..Spring emerged the winner.
A similar example is located in the Royal Pavilion Museum in Brighton part of the Willett Collection.

Dimensions: 16.00 inch wide 13.00 inch high 1.25 inch deep

Medium: pottery earthenware ceramic

Current Condition Three hairlines professionally restored.

Literature: " A contemporary newspaper report of the fight is transcribed below".

The great fight between Spring and Langan for the championship, which is to be found commemorated by a print hanging up in almost every inn and public-building in England, took place in Pitchcroft, the ring being formed just opposite to the Grand Stand.

Considerably more than 150 guineas were paid to the managers of the fight to ensure its taking place at Worcester. The stakes were 300 guineas a side; and the betting two to one on Spring, who was a native of Warwickshire; while Langan was an Irishman.

Not less than 40,000 people thronged Pitchcroft as spectators, many being perched upon sheds and booths, erected temporarily, and let out as standing places at considerable prices. During the second round one of these erections gave way, and a number of persons were precipitated to the ground, a distance of twenty feet, amidst the broken timber, and trampling upon each other.

At least thirty people were carried to the Infirmary with serious fractures of the limbs or ribs, and one unfortunate fellow died of an unfortunate fracture of the leg.

Spring came on the ground at half-past twelve, but Langan could not be found for some time. He was, in fact, making off, and his backers brought him back with some difficulty.

Lord Deerhurst and Sir James Musgrave kept time; and Colonel Berkeley acted as umpire. Spring was exceedingly cautious, and Langan impetuous, and the greater part of the rounds ended in wrestling, in which Langan often succeeded in throwing his antagonist.

By the eighteenth round the ring was broken in by the crushing of the mob, and not ten feet of space was left for the men to fight in.

After an hour and a half’s fighting the affair seemed as little near conclusion as at its commencement.

At the eightieth round, Langan planted a tremendous blow on Spring’s head; but at the eighty fourth, Spring knocked Langan down with such terrific hits, that he fell as weak as a child.

The cry then became general to take him away, but although covered in his gore, he refused to give in, and was at last only removed by force.

The battle lasted two hours and thirty-two minutes – a most unheard of length of time.

At the next assizes, Mr. Justice Park, in his charge to the grand jury, administered a severe rebuke to the county and city magistracy for winking at, and permitting this affair.


© 2018 Antique Pottery of John Howard @ Heritage, Woodstock, UK