Please cite this article as:

Oldfield, S. J. The Manchester Milers 1850-1870, In Day, D. (ed), Pedestrianism (Manchester: MMU Sport and Leisure History, 2014), 78-110.



The Manchester Milers 1850-1870

Samantha-Jayne Oldfield




As the industrial revolution transformed Britain in the eighteenth century, the development of the urban city presented a new location for the expanding workforce.[1] Movement away from the rural landscape had occurred by 1851 when approximately ten million inhabitants lived in major conurbations, which continued to increase at pace, and by 1901 nearly three-quarters of the forty million residents, having left the countryside to seek work in urban centres, resided in towns and cities.[2] Manchester, credited as the first city of the industrial revolution,[3] continued to expand, though more rapidly in the 1820s due to the cotton industry,[4] and the once rural landscape became unrecognizable with factories built above the skyline and the city hidden amid a cloud of smog.[5] According to Briggs, by 1840, ‘all roads led to Manchester’ and at the peak of industrialization in 1851 the city had over 300,000 inhabitants from a variety of backgrounds.[6] The structure of the city reinforced class boundaries, with the working population housed in the centre and the upper and middle classes residing in villages and towns on the outskirts in areas such as Pendleton and Ardwick.[7] Although spatially close, class social interaction was minimal and the strained relationship between the classes contributed to deep social divisions that saw the working classes uphold their traditional pastimes;[8] in Oldham, hard-drinking, cock-fighting and overly masculine traditions survived and although these were effectively marginalised by the middle classes in mid-nineteenth century Britain, the working classes continued these practices in private.[9] A shortage of alternatives ‘forced working people into drinking places for their recreations’ and the public house maintained its popularity due to the recreational and social nature of drinking.[10] When Victorian society tried to renounce consumption by promoting art, theatre, music, sport and outdoor pursuits, the pubs, undeterred by such attempts, were quick to recognise the potential of such endeavours and through entrepreneurial vision transformed into hubs for entertainment, thus cementing their place as integral to British leisure practices.[11]

Recreation, sport and the public house

Early nineteenth century culture was embedded in the close-knit rural communities of agricultural Britain,[12] and the substantial calendar of religious and traditional holidays that formed the Gregorian year provided working communities with time and freedom to pursue leisure opportunities, encouraging a social but functional workforce who not only worked hard but also played hard.[13] Popular activities included field sports, such as mob-football and steeple chasing, traditional festival games such as sack races, archery and running contests, and violent spectator sports like cockfighting and pugilism.[14] Community was at the heart of the agricultural village, but, as the cities started to expand, the ethos changed; evangelicalism and discipline became determining features of the industrial workforce, transforming the village into an urban metropolis.[15] New traditions and pastimes were formed which saw a decline in previous leisure patterns, but from 1830 a focus on rationalized recreation encouraged an increasingly compartmentalized society to regain some of its prior sense of community,[16] introducing the Victorian population to constructive and educational amusements, ‘one of the major frontiers of social change in the nineteenth century’.[17]

As wages increased and standards of living improved, ‘proper’ Victorians would follow the middle class example, and leisure became a time for family; ‘family meals, the ritual of tea, family strolls in the park, visiting relatives on family holidays – all reinforced the significance of this core of Victorian life’.[18] Even so, a large proportion of the working classes continued to find pleasure in the public house which not only provided alcohol, but entertainment in the form of music, theatre, art and sport; well-respected endeavours except when paired with drink.[19] As Lawson noted,

There were only two places to go in spending spare time away from one’s own house – church, chapel or alehouse; the former were seldom open, while the latter was seldom closed. The first was not attractive, the second was made attractive.[20]

Reformists believed that public holidays, including Saturday half-day, granted to improve conditions for the working masses,[21] ‘ought to be spent in the open air, in the country, or at the sea-side…the bracing air to be the only smoke that comes near your lips, and the public-house…to be as sacredly abjured’, with educational recreations enjoyed.[22] Nevertheless, the public house continued to rise in popularity, offering a variety of activities to attract custom, such as flower, fruit and vegetable shows, glee clubs, dramatics, sporting endeavours, and society meetings.[23] Although appearing to help rationalize recreation time, the innkeepers were ‘fully aware of the profit-making potential of such an enterprise’.[24] Some establishments formed allegiances with specific ventures in order to increase proceeds;[25] signs and banners such as ‘Poets Corner’, ‘Theatre and Concert Tavern’, and ‘The Cricketers Arms’ appeared above mid-nineteenth century Manchester drinking establishments which enabled their clientele to know what was on offer before entering the premises.[26] By 1850, the drinks trade endorsed many sporting activities with the entrepreneurial proprietors being fundamental to the survival of sport, especially within the industrial cities.[27]

Although the beerhouses caused concern within the city centre, the development of transport links surrounding Manchester also enabled rural taverns and pubs to expand their clientele.[28] Entrepreneurial publicans used entertainments to attract bigger audiences; establishments incorporated concert rooms, singing saloons and variety acts, and inns surrounding parks such as Belle Vue and Pomona Gardens offered live sport and further novelties.[29] Proprietor William Sharples regularly attracted large audiences to The Star Inn, Bolton, where he provided entertainments such as dancing, acrobats, clowns, waxworks, live exhibits and ornamental gardens.[30] Sports involving human activity were often promoted with gambling interest in mind,[31] with railways, newsagents, tobacconists, printers and publicans all benefiting from these activities,[32] even though a proportion of the population remained unhappy with the associations between sport, a ‘healthy’ endeavour, and alcohol, and tried to provide alternatives.[33] These activities moved to the rural outskirts and in areas such as Newton Heath popular Victorian gardens with attached public houses produced competitive sporting events.

Pedestrianism in the city

Foot-racing, or pedestrianism as is was more favourably known, became a highly successful commercial venture during the nineteenth century, developed from a fete and wake side-show activity to a highly organized and complex programme of athletic entertainment, which included running, walking, jumping, throwing and hurdling events.[34] Reports of foot-races have dated back to the late seventeenth century when the footmen of wealthy Earls and Lords competed for monies over set distances.[35] However, the sport really expanded from 1765 when events were performed on a much larger scale and ‘the names of Steward, Foster Powell, the legendary Captain Barclay, Abraham Wood, and Daniel Crisp were widely known to the sporting public of Great Britain’.[36] With pedestrian events regularly attracting large crowds, entrepreneurial publicans promoted and provided land for competitive races, relocating the sport from the turnpike roads and racecourses of Britain to the purpose built stadia attached to rural public houses, whose owners now had control over the sport.[37] Arenas were built next to, and within, the grounds of the local rural public houses and hotels, and some entrepreneurial publicans enclosed their grounds in order to reap the rewards through entrance fees, drink and food proceeds, and betting commissions.[38] These arenas not only satisfied their pedestrian clientele but they offered further working class sporting entertainments, such as wrestling, rabbit coursing, pigeon shooting, quoits and pony trotting, to guaranteed patronage from the local community.[39] In the absence of a national athletic organization,[40] sporting publicans were pivotal in the regulation of pedestrian events, constructing and holding ‘articles of agreement’ within their establishments, which would state the rules, conditions and payments for each athlete, and were signed by all parties involved before an event could be promoted.[41] Innkeepers not only organized these activities but also took bets, refereed, time-kept and provide prizes, and many entered into the training and preparing of athletes, extending their role from a simple publican to that of a sporting proprietor, official and coach.[42]

In London, successful running grounds established next to public houses, pleasure gardens and cricket grounds in the late 1840s and early 1850s; Beehive Ground, Walworth, and Rosemary Branch Ground, Peckham, both closed their running tracks in the late 1840s before a new wave of running enclosures emerged. John Garrett’s Copenhagen Grounds, Islington, and the Flora Tea Gardens, Bayswater, both opened in 1853, followed by the Royal Oak, Barking Road in 1855, all of which had been destroyed by 1860.[43] The establishment of Hackney Wick changed the fortunes of pedestrianism within the metropolis, with proprietor James Baum enclosing one acre of land attached to the family-ran White Lion in 1857.[44] The pear-shaped gravel running path of 260-yards, later extended to 320-yards, presented an ideal base where activities including foot racing, wrestling and boxing could be enjoyed on the railway embankment for six-pence, or, for an additional cost, within the small pavilion at the top of the slightly uphill finishing straight.[45] Originally a low-key venue, the ‘Wick’ quickly gained in popularity when Baum and running grounds manager, sprinter Frank Diamond, recruited some of the most famed athletes of the period, including Bill Price, Charles Westhall, William Jackson and James Pudney, and spectators flocked to the grounds on the North London Railway, which stopped directly outside the arena.[46] According to Roe, the early years at Hackney Wick were ‘instrumental in reviving pedestrianism within London’ and the proprietor’s enthusiasm in promoting the events was vital to its success.[47] The restoration of the sport within the metropolis saw an explosion in the construction of running grounds, with other cities developing their own hubs for sporting entertainment and all competing for the patronage of the pedestrian spectators.

Within Manchester, the pedestrian ventures seen in London were replicated amid the semi-rural suburbs of Salford, Bradford, Pendleton, Hulme, and more notably Newton Heath,[48] although the metropolis’ long-distance events did not attract the attention of their Northern counterparts and a new programme of popular activities developed. Sprinting (from 110 to 880 yards) and the ‘miler’ were the events of choice for most athletes and spectators alike, due to their fast paced nature, although, by the 1840s, hurdling and jumping events also became as popular, and athletes started to develop their own style for jumping over obstacles of all shapes and sizes.[49] Some men, not content with human competition, tested their talents against horse and time.[50] Whereas London continued to attract competitors in three-miles events upwards, with records for many of these distances set in the capital’s grounds,[51] Manchester was home to the mile race and the top ‘spinners’ of the period ventured to the city to perform.[52] The mile championship was held in Manchester annually,[53] and the fastest mile was recorded between two Manchester publicans, attracting further competition and support.[54] Manchester’s running tracks were designed to accommodate the large crowds that followed the sport, with grandstands built guaranteeing clear views of the events, and space for upwards of 10,000 spectators,[55] and two in particular became favoured by the Manchester public – Royal Oak Park and the Copenhagen Grounds, both on Oldham Road, Newton Heath. During the period 1857-1868, all records for the mile were set in Manchester at either the Royal Oak or Copenhagen Grounds respectively and many more sub-four minute 30 second miles were run in the city.[56] Further mile races were promoted by Lancashire proprietors,[57] but the question posed is why did Manchester become the hub for such an event? This paper will examine the Manchester pedestrian circuit 1850-1870, considering the individuals who contributed to the vibrant ‘miler’ scene that transformed Manchester into a well-respected hotspot for athletic entertainment.

Table 1: Progressive Mile Record 1857-1865[58]

Oldham Road venues

Established is 1857, the Copenhagen Grounds became one of leading sporting venues in Manchester during the mid-nineteenth century, hosting pedestrian, wrestling, rabbit coursing and pigeon shooting events, all under the watchful eye of ex-professional runner Thomas Hayes.[59] Attached to the Shear’s Inn, Newton Heath, in an eighteen-acre plot to the rear of the establishment, the newly designed course was completed within five months and cost approximately £600 to construct. The straight and well-drained 750-yard circular cinder track, with 235-yard straight 6-yards wide, was fully enclosed by wooden barriers and a grandstand provided exceptions views for upwards of 1,000 spectators.[60] Through substantial promotion and marketing, the Copenhagen Grounds became a favoured venue of Manchester’s many athletes and supporters, with some of Lancashire’s leading stakeholders, officials and trainers regularly in attendance on match day.[61] Hayes’ promotion of the mile race was noted when in 1858 he acquired the services of Thomas Horspool, a renowned champion runner, and the first of many mile records were set at the arena.[62] On August 11, 1860, Hayes’ Championship Belt, a ‘beautiful specimen of workmanship’ and valued at 60 guineas,[63] was competed for by five formidable milers including William ‘Crowcatcher’ Lang of Middlesbrough, Jack ‘The Gateshead Clipper’ White, Charles Mower of Dereham, Norfolk, Siah Albison of Bowlee, Middleton and Job Smith (later a renowned Manchester trainer).[64] The race was the talk of the city and the sporting press, with Albison defeating in-form Lang and White to win the coveted prize.[65] Lang immediately challenged Albison to a title race, scheduled for October 27, 1860 where Albison ran a British record of 4:22¼.[66] Further competition ensued but Albison beat off all opponents to become to outright holder of the belt in 1862.[67] Further head-to-head mile matches were promoted within the city but it was not until the development of the Royal Oak that the competition entered a new era.

In November 1863, the once disgraced ex-professional hurdler, sprinter, famed trainer and promoter of the ‘Deerfoot Circus’, George Martin, announced his intention of developing the grounds attached to the Royal Oak Hotel, his new establishment on Oldham Road-Fletcher Street, Newton Heath.[68] Close to Miles Platting railway station, with omnibuses and trams stopping within 200 yards of the ground, and less than half a mile from Hayes’ renowned Copenhagen Running Grounds, sixteen-acres of land were enclosed directly behind the establishment.[69] The ‘first class’ arena boasted a 651 yard circular pedestrian track with an additional 440 yard straight, a circular 750 yard rabbit course, a wrestling arena, bowling green, quoits ground, trotting course and grandstand all within the fenced enclosure, capable of holding 20,000 people with ease.[70] Both musical and sporting entertainments were well received on opening day, with Martin’s first event of a ‘great mile race’ between two local ‘spinners’, Siah Albison and James ‘Treacle’ Sanderson, comprehensively promoted in the sporting press.[71] By May 1864, Martin announced his intention of holding a ‘Great One Mile Sweepstakes’ with competitors racing for the right to own a silver cup (weighing 76oz) and £110 cash. Six men put themselves forward, paying £20 entrance fee, namely Albison, Sanderson of Rochdale, Lang (now a resident of Manchester), Edward ‘Young England’ Mills of London, Patrick Stapleton of Mossley, near Staleybridge, and Stockport native James Nuttall. In the months prior to the race, many of the men competed against each other, performing one-mile head-to-head wagers in the locale with public interest high.[72]

On July 2, 1864, over 30,000 spectators flocked to the ground to witness the ‘group of foremost runners’ compete, crowding the public houses, rooftops and spaces surrounding the grounds, in order to gain suitable viewing.[73] Large amounts of betting had occurred, with Lang being the bookkeeper’s favourite, and at 5:30pm the race commenced under the hoisted union jack flag to Martin’s pistol start.[74] With spectators rushing the course to carry their victors from the arena, Martin announced Mills as winner, with Lang a very close second and Stapleton third.[75] The popularity of the event encouraged Martin to broadcast yet another great mile footrace, arranged for 19 August, 1865 and designed to attract a similar audience.[76] The event was open to all competitors who paid the £5 entrance fee with ten of the best milers confirmed; the six who previously entered were joined by Scottish champion Robert McKinstray, William ‘Welshman’ Richards, who was training in London before settling in Manchester, George Martin’s protégé Charles Mower and John Neary of Hulme.[77] All competed for the Royal Oak Cup, ‘an elegant vase about fifteen inches in height, beautifully chased, bearing a shield on each size, and (emblematic of the grounds) the top of the lid was formed of acorns’, £30 plus half of the gate money being divided between first, second, third and fourth place.[78] The favourite, Teddy Mills, exited due to injury putting betting odds in favour of Lang, and at 5:22pm the race came off with a record time of 4:17¼ chronicled to the delight of the 20,000 spectators.[79] Known as the dead heat mile, both William ‘Crowcatcher’ Lang (prepared by Hardy of Derbyshire) and William ‘Welshman’ Richards (prepared by George Martin at the Royal Oak) could not be separated by the referee, declaring the event tied, and a new date was set to resolve the outcome.[80] Eventually Lang took the title when on August 26, 1865 a deciding heat was scheduled.[81]

Martin’s death in October 1865 and the subsequent closure of the Copenhagen Grounds in 1869 contributed to a decline in pedestrian patronage, although John Cooper tried to renew attendance through promotion of the mile event in 1867.[82] By forging ties with local promoters and arenas, including Peter Waddacor’s City Grounds in rural Bradford and amateur venue Moston Park, Hayes continued to support the city’s miler community through the endorsement of the ‘Great One Mile Sweepstakes’ on 9 April, 1870.[83] Nonetheless, this revival was short lived as public attention diminished and the mile seemed to go out of favour with professionals as the Sheffield handicaps and shorter distances became more fashionable.[84] By considering not only the individuals who promoted such event but also those who competed, further analysis can identify the key characteristics of the Manchester pedestrians, illuminating their contribution to highly successful and well-respected mile circuit during this period.

The Manchester milers: A prosopography

Narrative, according to Roberts, is ‘the central defining practice of History as a discipline’, linking historians and their perspectives together through the construction of story.[85] Working within the empirical-postmodern framework, historians present narratives to further knowledge and understanding of specific topics, validating their methods not only in the confines of their sub-groups but also within the humanities space.[86] From documenting the origins of modern sport to developing intricate case studies of cities, towns, groups and people, sport history has used archives, interviews and oral testimonies as a means of reconstructing the past, with an increased number of biographical text being produced.[87]

Biography is a collection of life documents describing ‘turning-point moments in individuals’ lives’, and has long been valued in sports history,[88] however further exploratory methods, such as collective biography and prosopography, have had limited usage, although sport historians have recently started to interrogate the discipline through such techniques.[89] The combination of case studies and biographical narratives in a collective form cements their use as a methodological tool in historical research, helping to build knowledge of society within a real-life context and identifying innovative topics for examination.[90] Berridge notes, ‘there are problems with history – there are a multitude of opinions…however, two legal opinions are better than one’,[91] and through detailed individual studies, these opinions can be validated and triangulated, developing historical understanding of social phenomena.[92] Biographical narrative can be used to gain legitimate knowledge of society, moving away from simply reporting observations to applying them to broader social and cultural theories,[93] a method called prosopography. Prosopography describes ‘external features of a population group that the researcher has determined has something in common’,[94] following the creation of, and/or interrogation of, individual biographies through archival research and the analysis of that data to contextualise historical processes in a specific situ.[95] The terms prosopography and collective biography have been used interchangeably, with modern historians preferring the latter, although both have different meanings; collective, or group biography, studies the life stories of a selection of characters whereas prosopography explores ‘biographical details about individuals in aggregate’, analysing the connections between individuals, not the specifics that make their lives unique,[96] a significant difference between the methods that has previously overlooked.[97] Both are related, but as Magdalino notes, ‘the primary concern of one [is] the secondary concern of the other’.[98] Individuals selected should be common to the populace, enabling common characteristics and distinctive traits of the group to be established in relation to the historical situ. This type of prosopography, which examines social ties and connections between people, helps to explain ideological or cultural change by examining surviving evidence and documentation relating to persons of lower social status who are common to all historical period.[99] Biography has long been a respected source for historical research but group biography has been judged as a lesser instrument due to its ambiguous nature and lack of socio-historic use, causing those who use it to have to justify its power as an analytical tool.[100] Tilly suggests that collective biography is open to various interpretations and, as a methodology, it exposes connections that lead to false correlations, although Kantor insists that biography is also open to falsification, and that by cross-correlating data a historical truth can be found through prosopographical analysis.[101]

Considering the individuals who completed in both the 1864 and 1865 Royal Oak Mile, it is clear to see several reoccurring similarities and anomalies in their histories. Details surrounding this group have been collected through both primary and secondary readings, with newspaper, monograph, magazine, photograph and genealogy archives accessed.[102] Consulting additional sources increases the validity and reinforces the narrative interpretation, and by combining a multitude of these biographies, surviving sources can be shared and interrogated collectively to further understand the impact of society in differing communities.[103]

By exploring these individuals not only on a micro-social level through the construction of biographical dossiers, but analysing them as a collective group through standardised questioning using a prosopographical approach, these commonalities and differences can be utilized to produce an overall impression of the Manchester pedestrian during this period.

Location of birth does not seem to influence decisions to partake in professional activities, with athletes from Great Britain and Ireland competing in the miler events, highlighting the wide spread nature of pedestrianism during this period.

Table 2: Manchester Milers 1864-1865 – Personal Information

Pedestrianism (and athletics) penetrated both the major cities and towns of the United Kingdom as well as being one of the major sports exported throughout the Empire and America during the Victorian era.[114] Park notes a resurgence in male pedestrianism during the 1840s and 50s that coincides with the movement of American professionals into England, such as George ‘Little Wonder’ Seward, Louis ‘Deerfoot’ Bennett and Edward Payson Weston, contributing to the development of transatlantic competition;[115] both Lang and Mower made the journey to America in search for new competition with varied success, and Neary ventured further afield to Australia.[116] Although several pedestrians were born in Lancashire, the professional athlete of the period travelled to compete in events throughout England, clearly benefitting from the development of transport links during the long nineteenth-century.[117] In 1842, five railway lines entered the four Manchester stations with little thought to their connectedness, however ‘by 1850 the railway network had grown considerably’ with links between Yorkshire, North West, Midlands and Southern regions well established for passenger commute.[118] Although sophisticated and reliable travel had developed, many athletes relocated to the city for competition, taking either permanent or temporary residence near Manchester’s sporting establishments. Lang, Richards and Albison took licence at famed Manchester sporting inns, whereas Mower lodged with Martin at his Salford-based beer house, and Stapleton and Sanderson resided in nearby Lancashire towns and districts with easy commutes to both Manchester and Sheffield for competition.[119] According to Busteed and Hodgson, peak population numbers occurred during the late 1850s, although the cotton famine (1861-65) contributed to a decline in conditions surrounding Lancashire’s working classes.[120] Movement into the city was highly important and popular during Manchester’s second boom as the city recovered, seasonal migration occurred, and the entrepreneurial classes flourished.[121] Professional sport struggled to gain acceptance as a legitimate profession,[122] which supports the findings of this paper as no individual chose to classify themselves as an athlete according to census returns, preferring to identify their skilled craft, trade or entrepreneurial position to that of professional pedestrian. Clearly, a craft/trade occupation had higher social status and prestige, with the educated artisan being categorised as part of the skilled working class.[123] All but one ‘miler’ undertook a traditional skilled craft or trade apprenticeship, with many having family connections within the business.[124] The practice of passing on knowledge and skills from father to son was strongly adhered to in the Victorian period as a means of ensuring children were assets rather than liabilities, with subsequent movement into the city providing opportunities for work and an increased family income.[125] According to Hobsbawn, trades such as Smiths, Mechanics and Clothdrawers were likely to gain an individual a secure yearly employment, with average weekly wages between nineteen and twenty-six shillings in 1838. Conversely, craft workers including Dyers, Bricklayers and Shoemakers would only work for approximately nine months but would expect higher weekly wages,[126] with some subscribing to local ‘houses of call’ to find further employment. Apprenticeship started at a young age with either fathers, close male family members, such as grandfathers and uncles, or family friends taking children into their home for technical education,[127] although changing practices during the industrial revolution rendered some artisan crafts obsolete with the factory becoming a competing space for instruction.[128] Within Manchester, kinship ties enabled many to enter lucrative and well-established businesses with some trades stipulating absolute preference to sons or brothers of already trained men.[129] General education included Masters modelling their techniques whilst the apprentice observed, absorbing knowledge and essentially ‘stealing’ the craft ‘with the eyes’.[130] Generally, the artisan worker received relatively good wages compared to the national average,[131] and the free time associated with these professions may help explain why many athletes had time to compete; reports state Lang, a Blacksmith by trade, had the full backing of his employer to train and travel to competitions.[132]


Table 3: Manchester Milers 1864-1865 – Career Information


No conclusive judgements can be made regarding death and location due to a lack of available sources but there seems to be a pattern of movement back to hometowns after careers dissipate – further research is required to interrogate this finding.

The professional pedestrian body of this period requires some further consideration. Although there are some variations relating to height and weight,[146] generally the professional ped was within proportion to the average working class male, 5ft 6 and 10st 3lb, and being significantly leaner than the professional middle-classes (average weight of 12st 5lb).[147] With respect to weight it should be noted that these include ‘out of training’ physiques and competition as veterans, perhaps showing the effects of over-indulgence and consumption on the frame.[148] Many had an optimum weight and followed and intense training regime in the lead up to competition, similar to boxing practices today[149] – with close ties between pugilism and pedestrianism during the nineteenth-century it should be expected that knowledge spill-over should occur.[150] Egan wrote in 1820 about the training practices of pedestrians, suggesting ‘training for pugilism is nearly the same…the object in both being principally to obtain additional wind and strength’, wind referring to athletic endurance.[151] The specifics of pedestrian training included a course of physic (detox) followed by regular exercise up to twenty-four miles a day, a diet of red meat, bread and beer, before ‘sweating’ out the impurities to ensure a ‘smooth, elastic, and well-coloured, or transparent’ skin, the process taking between two and three months to gain optimal condition.[152] Walsh expresses as similar opinion, taking into consideration exercise, diet and artificial sweating, however he subscribes to the belief that the type of activity requires a different approach. For sprinting, only two-three hours a day is required in order to maintain speed, whereas distance events requires further preparation but at a reduced pace, demonstrating knowledge on the varying principles of aerobic and anaerobic training.[153] Shearman later discusses the process of ‘going into training’ suggesting that the pugilistic influence in reducing weight was not needed for athletic performance, calling these previous methods ‘old’ and ‘obsolete’, promoting individualised training regimes rather than the one-size-fits-all approach.[154] Nonetheless, all three authors promoted the power of training and suggested that employing a trainer to ensure preparation was strictly adhered, was imperative. Images of the nineteenth century athlete show the benefits of such regimes, depicting slender but muscular frames in keeping with the build of a physical manual labourer that was associated with artisan occupations,[155] and suited to the all-round distance runner of the Victorian period. As identified in the above table, many of the ‘milers’ competed in a multitude of distance events, ranging from Nuttall and Neary’s 330yd sprints to the ten-mile competitions of Mills, Richards and Lang. Although a specialist distance was identified for some, this did not limit athletic performance as Roe notes that all ten men competed and set times that were deemed ‘exceptional’ in most distances, with a sub four-minute thirty-second mile achieved by only a handful of foremost runners.[156] Peak performance was reached during their mid-twenties and the professional sporting career spanned approximately fifteen years, with individuals starting in their late-teens and ending during their thirties, another similarity to the modern professional sportsperson. Articles relating to the sport during the 1860s discuss extremes in spectator attendance, with weekly events suffering from generally poor support and only well-promoted activities gaining patronage, however the sporting press still widely reported on these activities, with the pedestrian pages in sporting periodicals discussing event calendars and describing competitions from around Britain and beyond.[157] Research suggests that pedestrianism was in decline from 1850 onwards,[158] however each miler had a relatively long and successful career, which would suggest that the sport was still well received until the 1870s. As indicated in table 3, only a few men were granted retirement announcements with others fading into obscurity, making the mapping of each athlete’s career difficult to assess. The author identifies last known reports of competition to surmise a year of retirement but this is not definitive.

Successful careers ended whilst athletes were relatively young so the next step was to move into the sporting business by acquiring a pub, promoting pedestrianism and other sports through their hostelries.[159] Many men continued to be actively involved in local pedestrianism both pre and post retirement, taking on the role of stakeholder, backer, referee and timekeeper, leading some to suggest the ‘publican’s life in Cottonopolis is not the best for a runner’s existence’.[160] The transition from athlete to publican was one that occurred in many sports,[161] and the movement into professional training provided another avenue for success.[162] Many athletes actively engaged in training young contemporaries, taking care of these ‘assets’ individually or under the guidance of their peers, as well as providing further support to competitors. Lang, Richards and Mills all had spells as trainer to each other even though they were major rivals, and Albison helped to develop Nuttall during the late-1860s, contributing to his success in the Sheffield sprinting circuit.[163] As training becomes more specialized, many athletes utilize their newfound techniques in developing their own ‘community of practice’, sharing these principles amongst an already knowledgeable group in order to improve performances and gain full exposure in the sporting press. Essentially the milers formed their own ‘athletic clubs’, with two very clear circles emerging through the data; Lang, Mills, Richards, Mower, Neary and Sanderson form part of a much wider camp associated with noted trainer and backer, Billy Fish and Bill Price, whereas Albison, Nuttall and McKinstray form a Northern clique linked to trainer John Booth of Newton Heath.[164] Based in Royton, Oldham, Fish resided at the Hare and Hounds public house whereas Price lived close to the Hackney Wick Grounds, London, but both housed athletes whilst they were ‘in training’ at their ‘stables’.[165] Fish trained many athletes during his career, including John ‘Regent Street Pet’ Smith and his brother Ned Smith, who then subsequently trained George Martin during the 1840s through the endorsement of Price.[166] Martin later trained several of the milers and promoted them to full effect, utilizing the practices associated with both Fish and Price, and developing a much larger network of athletes as a result. Similarly, Booth’s reach was as widespread, with his ‘trade’ studied whilst a performer under the care of Failsworth trainer Joseph Etchells.[167] Both Manchester natives, Booth and Etchells resided within the city centre, promoting races, officiating and developing the pedestrian scene outside of the metropolis.[168]

Importantly, all trainers tended to be ex-professionals, prescribing to the written training practices of the period; Walsh observes that ‘the trainer should be a good walker himself, and should draw out the powers of his pupil by walking against him, taking care not to dishearten him, even if he has the power’, expressing a preference for those who could, and had, competed at professional standard.[169] By transitioning from athlete to trainer, individuals had an opportunity to pass on knowledge, similar to the artisan worker’s master and apprentice style education, and strengthen their position within the sporting landscape. Although spatially close, many of the Manchester trainers adhered to their own training principles with no cross over identified between the two communities as of yet; although Booth was a lodger at Fish’s establishment in 1861 there does not seem to be any transfer occurring between the trainers or their athletes during this period.[170] The practices of each of these, and subsequent, trainers could be regionalised, although additional research is needed to explore this interpretation further.

Several conclusions can be drawn from this information, most importantly some interpretations as to why Manchester became a sporting capital in its own right. Many public houses were under the management of successful athletes, and this presented a base for which the performer could agree matches, promote their races, and display colours and trophies.[171] Sporting publicans then became coaches and trainers of their own athletes who were usually housed within the hostelry, reinforcing the relationship between sport and the public house.[172] Manchester was home to the mile race and the top mile ‘spinners’ of the period ventured to the city to perform,[173] many of whom then settled in and around Lancashire and proceeded to enter the publican trade.[174] The mile championship was held in Manchester,[175] and the record for the fastest mile set here, which then attracted further athletes and supporters.[176] The traditional route for the licensed victualler emphasises the transition from athlete to publican,[177] many of which then obtained running grounds or aligned with neighbouring venues,[178] relying on kinship ties, knowledge, prestige and a sense of community, as well as extensive programmes of entertainment, in order to survive.[179] Continuous reports of matches for the mile between different combinations of the competitors highlighted and their involvement with each other as backers, trainers and promoters, further reinforcing knowledge transfer between ‘expert’ professionals and their use of the Manchester milers as a means of exploring that progression. Along Oldham Road, between Manchester’s city centre and Newton Heath, a community for pedestrianism formed with over forty sporting inns emerging between 1850 and 1870, during the peak of professional activities within the city.[180] The Royal Oak and Copenhagen Grounds, both established by their respective licensed victuallers and attached to suburban Manchester pubs located on the Oldham Road, hosted the majority of sporting events in the city until the early 1870s when the organization of amateur sport by the professional middle class led to a decline in professional activities and the movement towards respectable athletics.[181]

The type of competition presented during these events shows a clear connection between pedestrianism and athletics. As pedestrianism started to suffer from a decline in attendance and concerns over the publican’s role in the authenticity of the events ignited discussions on match fixing, the legitimacy of head-to-head and matches against time became questionable.[182] The movement towards group challenges, with prizes rather than wagers being the main reward, mirrors that of middle-class amateur athletics competitions that gained popularity during the late nineteenth century,[183] attempting to reorganize sport in order to abolish gambling, a major problem during this period. Perhaps pedestrianism continued to acquire a following due to the strategic organization of such events as the Royal Oak Mile, which meant match fixing became more difficult to arrange, false starts were less likely to occur and articles of agreement were no longer needed for competitions to transpire. From 1870 onwards, there was a noticeable decline in distance events in favour of much shorter sprinting competitions where, again, the outcomes were more genuine and less affected by promoters.[184] This all signifies a change in previous practices, addressing the public’s concerns and encouraging a new wave of pedestrianism to flourish.

The use of prosopography as a tool for analysing sporting communities is one that has is relatively undiscovered and according to Oldfield and Day, as sport historians look toward the future, the prosopographical method should be more readily employed, theorising the discipline and furthering the development of the constructionist approach within sport.[185] Future research could further explore the Manchester milers, considering additional criteria such as families, the types of activities in which these individuals (and their family) are engaged, training practices, legacy etc. in order to provide the reader with deeper insight into the role of the professional athlete during this period. Exploration of some key characters through individual and collective biography would present additional details that could be drawn upon to interrogate the role of the pedestrian in the Victorian city, highlighting comparisons and differences, and drawing conclusions relating to commonalities; the author’s previous research has uncovered additional details which both support and enhance this template.[186] Meaning has to be given to Manchester’s sporting establishments, and their clientele, by way of their narrative existence; these people came from somewhere and made up the demographics of the mid-century population that is in need of further investigation.[187]



[1] Eugene C. Black, Victorian Culture and Society (London: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1973), xii-xiii; Moshe Justman and Mark Gradstein, ‘The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19-Century Britain’, Explorations in Economic History 36, no. 2 (1999): 109-110; Simon Szreter, ‘Rapid Economic Growth and ‘the Four Ds’ of Disruption, Deprivation, Disease and Death: Public Health Lessons From Nineteenth-Century Britain for Twenty-First-Century China?’, Tropic Medicine and International Health 4, no. 2 (1999): 147.

[2] Adna F. Weber, The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century: A Study in Statistics (New York: Macmillan Press, 1899), 48, 60; Census Office, Census of Great Britain 1851: Tables of the Population and Houses in the Divisions, Registration Counties, and Districts of England and Wales; in the Counties, Cities, and Burghs of Scotland; and in the Islands in the British Seas (London: W. Clowes and Sons, 1851); Census Office, Census of England and Wales 1901: General Report with Appendices (London: Darling and Son, 1904); Dov Friedlander, ‘Demographic Responses and Population Change’, Demography 6, no. 4 (1969): 365; Phillip J. Waller, Town, City, and Nation: England, 1850-1914 (London: Puffin, 1984), 303.

[3] Peter G. Hall, Cities in Civilisation (New York: Pantheon Books, 1998), 303; Jamie Peck and Kevin Ward, City of Revolution: Restructuring Manchester (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 18; Janet Wolff, ‘Manchester, Capital of the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of Classic Sociology 13, no. 1 (2013): 69-70.

[4] Weber, The Growth of Cities, 53; Neil J. Smelser, Social Change in the Industrial Revolution: An Application of Theory to the British Cotton Industry (London: Routledge, 2006).

[5] Alexis de Tocqueville, Journeys to England and Ireland (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2003), 106.

[6] Asa Briggs, Victorian Cities (London: Penguin Books, 1963), 96; John K. Walton, Lancashire: A Social History 1558-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987).

[7] H. B. Rodgers, ‘The Suburban Growth of Victorian Manchester’, Journal of Manchester Geographical Society 58 (1962): 4-5.

[8] George M. Young, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (London: Oxford University Press, 1936); Edward Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Pantheon Books, 1968); John Seed and Janet Wolff, ‘Class and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Manchester’, Theory, Culture and Society 2, no. 2 (1984): 48-49.

[9] John K. Walton and Robert Poole, ‘The Lancashire Wakes in the 19 Century’, in Popular Culture and Custom in Nineteenth Century England, ed. Robert D. Storch (London: Croom Helm, 1982), 100-124.

[10] Lillian L. Shiman, Crusade Against Drink in Victorian England (London: Macmillan Press, 1988), 48; Simon Fowler, ‘History of Pubs’ (presentation, Family and Community History Research Society, South-East Branch, July 2000).

[11] Peter Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England: Rational Recreation and the Contest for Control 1830-1885 (London: Redwood Burn, 1978).

[12] Paul Mantoux, The Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century: An Outline of the Beginnings of the Modern Factory System in England (London: Routledge, 2006); Wray Vamplew, Pay Up and Play the Game: Professional Sport in Britain, 1875-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

[13] Dennis Brailsford, ‘Religion and Sport in Eighteenth Century England: ‘For the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue, and for the Preventing or Punishing of Vice, Profaneness and Immorality’’, British Journal of Sports History 1, no. 2 (1984): 166-183.

[14] Mike Huggins, The Victorians and Sport (London: Hambledon and London, 2004); Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England, 3.

[15] Eugene C. Black, Victorian Culture and Society (London: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1973), 253; Peter Mandler, ‘Against ‘Englishness’: English Culture and the Limits to Rural Nostalgia, 1850-1940’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6, no. 7 (1997): 155-156; Jason Long, ‘Rural-Urban Migration and Socioeconomic Mobility in Victorian Britain’, The Journal of Economic History 65, no. 1 (2005): 2-4.

[16] Huggins, The Victorians and Sport.

[17] Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England, 5.

[18] Anthony E. Dingle, ‘Drink and Working-Class Living Standards in Britain, 1870-1914’, Economic History Review 25, no. 4 (1972): 608; Eugene C. Black, Victorian Culture and Society (London: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1973), 252.

[19] Brian Harrison, Drink and the Victorians: The Temperance Question in England 1815-1872 (London: Faber and Faber, 1971).

[20] Joseph Lawson, Letters to the Young on Progress in Pudsey (Yorkshire: Stanninglen, 1887), 58.

[21] Wilfred B. Whitaker, Victorian and Edwardian Shopworkers: The Struggle to Obtain Better Conditions and a Half-Holiday (London: David and Charles Publishers, 1973); Jeremy Boulton, ‘Economy of Time? Wedding Days and the Working Week in the Past’, Local Population Studies 43 (1989): 29; Douglas A. Reid, ‘Weddings, Weekdays, Work and Leisure in Urban England 1791-1911: The Decline of Saint Monday Revisited’, Past and Present 153 (1996): 136; Dominic Lo, ‘Football, the World’s Game: A Study on Football’s Relationship with Society’ (PhD diss., Claremont McKenna College, 2011), 13.

[22] John Lilwall, The Half-Holiday Question Considered, With Some Thoughts on the Instructive and Healthful Recreations of the Industrial Classes (London: Kent and Co, 1856), 17.

[23] Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England.

[24]Emma Lile, ‘Professional Pedestrianism in South Wales during the Nineteenth Century’, The Sports Historian 20, no. 2 (2000): 95.

[25] Dennis Brailsford, British Sport: a Social History (Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 1997); Huggins, The Victorians and Sport.

[26] Manchester Guardian, October 11, 1845, 12.

[27] Geoffrey T. Vincent, ‘‘Stupid, Uninteresting and Inhuman’ Pedestrianism in Canterbury 1860-1885’, Sporting Traditions 18, no. 1 (2001): 47.

[28]Dave Russell, ‘Sporting Manchester, from c1800 to the Present: An Introduction’, Manchester Regional History Review 20 (2009): 1.

[29]John K. Walton, Lancashire: A Social History 1558-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987), 189-190.

[30] Robert Poole, Popular Leisure and the Music-Hall in Nineteenth-Century Bolton (Lancaster: University of Lancaster Press, 1982), 51-55.

[31] Brailsford, British Sport; Tony Collins and Wray Vamplew, ‘The Pub, The Drinks Trade and the Early Years of Modern Football’, The Sports Historian 20, no. 1 (2000): 2-3; Warren Roe, ‘The Athletic Capital of England: The White Lion Hackney Wick 1857-1875’, BSSH Bulletin 17 (2003): 39-40.

[32] William J. Baker, ‘The State of British Sport History’, Journal of Sport History 10, no. 1 (1983): 59.

[33] Black, Victorian Culture and Society.

[34] Samantha-Jayne Oldfield, ‘Running Pedestrianism in Victorian Manchester’ (working paper, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2013).

[35] London Gazette, January 31-February 3, 1676, 1; July 9-12, 1688, 2; Flying Post or the Post Master, December 14-17, 1700, 2.

[36] Joseph Strutt, Glig-Gamena Angel-Deod, or, the Sports and Pastimes of the People of England (London: J White, 1801), 60-61; John A. Lucas, ed., ‘Pedestrianism and the Struggle for the Sir John Astley Belt, 1878-1879’, in John Apostal Lucas: Teacher, Sport Historian, and One who Lived his Life Earnestly. A Collection of Articles and Essays with an Autobiographical Sketch (Lemont, PA: Efrig Publishing, 2009), 9; Robert O. Ruhling and John A. Hopkins, ‘Race Walking’, in Physiology of Sports, ed. Thomas Reilly, Niels Secher, Peter Snell and Clyde Williams (London: E and F.N. Spon, 1990), 136.

[37] Baker, ‘The State of British Sport History’: 59; Vincent, ‘Stupid, Uninteresting and Inhuman’: 47.

[38] John Lowerson, Sport and the English Middle Classes (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995); Tony Collins and Wray Vamplew, Mud, Sweat and Beers: A Cultural History of Sport and Alcohol (Oxford: Berg Publishing, 2002).

[39]    Illustrated Sporting News and Theatrical and Musical Review, April 9, 1864, 54; April 23, 1864, 77; Peter G. Mewett, ‘History in the Making and the Making of History: Stories and the Social Construction of Sport’, Sporting Traditions 17, no. 1 (2000): 2; Brad Beaven, Leisure, Citizenship and Working-Class Men in Britain, 1850-1945 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005); Martin Johnes, ‘Pigeon Racing and Working-Class Culture in Britain, c. 1870-1950’, Cultural and Social History 4, no. 3 (2007): 362-367.

[40] Peter Lovesey, The Official Centenary History of the Amateur Athletic Association (Enfield: Guinness, 1979), 8, 13, 29-33.

[41] Ibid, 15; Peter F. Radford and John Ward-Smith, ‘British Running Performances in the Eighteenth Century’, Journal of Sports Sciences 21, no. 5 (2003): 429-430; Wray Vamplew, ‘Playing with the Rules: Influences on the Development of Regulation in Sport’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 24, no. 7 (2007): 845; Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, January 28, 1844, 7; October 24, 1847, 7; February 1, 1852, 7; January 18, 1857, 6.

[42] Vincent, ‘Stupid, Uninteresting and Inhuman’: 47; Baker, ‘The State of British Sport History’, 59.

[43] Warren Roe, Front Runners: The First Athletic Track Champions (Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd, 2002).

[44] Ibid.

[45] Era, October 19, 1856, 5; March 28, 1858, 14; Bell’s Life, December 21, 1856, 7.

[46] Bell’s Life, February 8, 1857, 7; March 29, 1857, 7.

[47] Roe, Front Runners, 22.

[48] The Salford Borough Gardens were under the management of the Attenbury family from 1851 (Manchester Guardian, September 16, 1846, 4; Bell’s Life, March 23, 1851, 6; Era, November 26, 1854, 4). Peter Waddacor’s City Grounds were attached to the Farmhouse Hotel, Quarry Gap, Bradford (Bell’s Life, July 2, 1864, 7; November 26, 1864, 3; February 3, 1866; 10), and James Turner’s Ash Inn Grounds, Stockport (Bell’s Life, October 15, 1854, 7; November 28, 1858, 7).

[49]    Sportsman, The Training Instructor (London: Sportsman Offices, 1885), 75; Lovesey, The Official Centenary of the AAA, 15.

[50]    George Seward regularly competed against, and beat, ‘Black Bess’, Mr Harwood’s mare, in a 100 yard event (Bell’s Life, October 7, 1849, 7), and George Martin’s jumping and sprinting events against horses became the main attraction at Sunderland’s running grounds, luring spectators in their thousands (Era, January 2, 1848, 5; Bell’s Life, January 2, 1848, 7). Many reports discussed athlete’s achievements against time, providing an account of the challenge and the outcome. For example, John Rhode’s ‘nine miles race under the hour, over a quarter of a mile ground…ultimately the whole distance [completed] in 5 minutes under the hour’ (Bell’s Life, October 16, 1842), and ‘a match against time, in which a novice was backed to walk a mile in eight minutes, which, after being closely contested, was won by time by only two seconds’ (Bell’s Life, June 3, 1860, 6).

[51]    Roe, Front Runners, 186-188.

[52]    Siah Albison of Bowlee held the record for the mile in 1856, completing the distance in 4 minutes and 22½ seconds, whilst John White from Gateshead was a regular competitor for the mile championship belt, regularly participating in the city (Manchester Guardian, November 16, 1861, 5). William Lang of Middlesbrough, Samuel Brighton of Norwich, Job Smith of Hulme, and William ‘The American Deer’ Jackson competed in mile events within Manchester in front of large crowds (Bell’s Life, October 2, 1859, 7; August 26, 1865, 9; Colonist, June 17, 1862, 4); Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 7; John Henry Walsh, British Rural Sports; Comprising Shooting, Hunting, Coursing, Fishing, Hawking, Racing, Boating, and Pedestrianism, With All Rural Games and Amusements (London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1886), 631-633.

[53]    Manchester Guardian, April 3, 1865, 4; July 14, 1865, 4; September 4, 1865, 4; February 19, 1866, 4; Penny Illustrated Paper, August 26, 1865, 206.

[54]    Bell’s Life, August 19, 1865, 8; August 26, 1865, 2; August 26, 1865, 8; August 26, 1865, 9.

[55]    Bell’s Life, September 27, 1857, 6; March 29, 1857, 7; April 16, 1864, 7; April 23, 1864, 2; August 23, 1865, 9; August 26, 1865, 8.

[56]    Roe, Front Runners, 185-186; Andreas Janssen, ‘Progressive 1-Mile All Time List’, (accessed September 1, 2013).

[57]    Thomas Warren at the Snipe Inn Grounds, Audenshaw and Mr Boothroyd at the Ash Inn Grounds, Stockport, both promoted mile events during the 1860s (Bell’s Life, March 2, 1862, 6; December 6, 1862, 7).

[58]    Bell’s Life, July 2, 1864, 4; Roe, Front Runners, 185-186; Janssen, ‘Progressive 1-Mile All Time List’.

[59]    Manchester Guardian, October 22, 1856, 1; October 25, 1856, 8; Manchester Times, January 17, 1857, 4; Bell’s Life, February 22, 1857, 7; Era, February 22, 1857, 4.

[60]    Era, March 29, 1857, 13; Bell’s Life, March 29, 1857, 7.

[61]    Bell’s Life, February 22, 1857, 7; March 22, 1857, 7; March 29, 1857, 7; May 3, 1857, 7; January 10, 1858, 7; January 17, 1858, 6; February 7, 1858, 7; September 26, 1858, 6; December 18, 1859, 7; Era, January 2, 1859, 4.

[62]    See Table 1: Progressive Mile Records 1857-1865; Bell’s Life, February 4, 1865, 7; Bob Phillips, ‘The Ancient Art of Mile Pacemaking’, Official Journal of the British Milers’ Club, 3, no. 16 (2004): 29.

[63]    Bell’s Life, August 5, 1860, 7.

[64]    Bell’s Life, July 15, 1860, 6; July 26, 1860, 7; August 11, 1860, 7; August 12, 1860, 7; August 19, 1860, 7.

[65]    Bell’s Life, August 12, 1860, 7; August 19, 1860, 7.

[66]    Manchester Guardian, November 16, 1861, 5.

[67]    Roe, Front Runners, 180-181.

[68]    Bell’s Life, September 21, 1845, 6; January 4, 1846, 7; January 25, 1846, 6; February 22, 1846, 7; March 15, 1846, 7; April 12, 1846, 7; June 21, 1846, 7; July 5, 1846, 7; February 11, 1849, 6; April 1, 1849, 6; June 8, 1851, 7; August 22, 1851, 7; January 8, 1854, 6; August 20, 1854, 6; February 17, 1856, 6; October 26, 1856, 7; November 30, 1856, 7; December 14, 1856, 7; December 21, 1856, 7; June 17, 1860, 7; March 3, 1861, 6; November 28, 1863, 7; The Times, October 10, 1861, 12; Illustrated Sporting News, March 29, 1862, 17; Rob Hadgraft, Deerfoot: Athletics’ Noble Savage: from Indian Reservation to Champion of the World (London: Desert Island Books, 2007), 127.

[69]    Illustrated Sporting News, April 9, 1864, 54; April 23, 1864, 77.

[70]    Bell’s Life, February 22, 1857, 7; Era, February 22, 1857, 9; November 28, 1863, 7; April 24, 1864, 14; Illustrated Sporting News, April 9, 1864, 54; April 23, 1864, 77.

[71]    Era, April 17, 1864, 14.

[72]    Bell’s Life, May 7, 1864, 7; May 14, 1864, 7; May 21, 1864, 7; May 28, 1864, 5; Liverpool Mercury, May 31, 1864, n.

[73]    Era, July 3, 1864, 14; Bell’s Life, July 2, 1864, 4; Otago Witness, December 7, 1904, 58.

[74]    Era, July 3, 1864, 14; Bell’s Life, July 2, 1864, 4.

[75]    Bell’s Life, July 2, 1864, 4.

[76]    Bell’s Life, June 17, 1865, 7.

[77]    Penny Illustrated, August 26, 1865, 206; Era, August 27, 1865, 6.

[78]    Bell’s Life, August 29, 1865, 9.

[79]    Bell’s Life, August 29, 1865, 9; This record stood for nearly sixteen years until 1881 when William J. Cummings became the ‘Champion Miler of England’ with a time of 4:16.

[80]    Era, August 27, 1865, 6; Bell’s Life, August 19, 1865, 8; Preston Guardian, August 26, 1865, 2; Edward Seldon Sears, Running Through the Ages (North Carolina: McFarland and Co. Publishers, 2001), 113.

[81]    Belfast News-Letter, August 31, 1865, n.; Sporting Gazette, September 2, 1865, 675; Era, September 3, 1865, 6.

[82]    Bell’s Life, June 1, 1867, 7; June 8, 1867, 6.

[83]    Bell’s Life, February 26, 1870, 3; March 19, 1870, 3; April 2, 1870, 7; April 9, 1870, 7; April 13, 1870, 4.

[84]    Otago Witness, November 14, 1885, 22.

[85]    Geoffrey Roberts, ‘History, Theory and Narrative Turn in IR’, Review of International Studies 32 (2006): 704; Wendy M. Duff and Catherine A. Johnson, ‘Accidentally Found on Purpose: Information-Seeking Behaviour of Historians in Archives’, The Library Quarterly 72, no. 4 (2002): 472-496.

[86]    Samantha-Jayne Oldfield, ‘Narrative, Biography, Prosopography and the Sport Historian: Historical Method and its Implications’, Sporting Lives, ed. Dave Day (Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University Institute for Performance Research, 2012), 36-37.

[87]    John Bale, Mette Christensen and Gertrud Pfister, Writing Lives in Sport: Biographies, Life-Histories and Methods (Oxford: Aarhus University Press, 2004); Dave Day, Sporting Lives (Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University, 2011).

[88] Norman K. Denzin, Interpretive Biography (London: Sage Publications, 1989); Michael Erben, Biography and Education: A Reader (London: Falmer Press, 1998).

[89]    Michael Erben, ‘A Preliminary Prosopography of the Victorian Street’, Auto/Biography 4, no. 2/3 (1996), 53-68; John Gleaves and Mark Dyreson, ‘The ‘Black Auxiliaries’ in American Memories: Sport, Race and Politics in the Construction of Modern Legacies’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 27 (2010): 2893-2924; Joyce Kay, ‘ Grass Roots: the Development of Tennis in Britain, 1918-1978’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 28, no. 18 (2012): 2532-2550; Mark W. Pennings and Robert Pascoe, ‘The Corio Oval Tribe: A Prosopographical Perspective of the Geelong Football Club in the Nineteenth Century’, Sporting Traditions 29, no. 1 (2012): 77-94.

[90]    Robert K. Yin, ‘The Case Study Crisis: Some Answers’, Administrative Science Quarterly 26, no. 1 (1981): 58-65; ‘Life Histories of Innovations: How New Practices Become Routinized’, Public Administration Review 41, no. 1 (1981): 21-28; ‘Case Study Methods’, Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research, eds. Judith L. Green, Gregory Camilli and Patricia B. Elmore (New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 2006), 111-122.

[91]    Virginia Berridge, ‘History Matters? History’s Role in Health Policy Making’, Medical History 52, no. 3 (2008): 318.

[92]    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, ‘Building Theories from Case Study Research’, The Academy of Management Review 14, no. 4 (1989): 532-550; Michael Gilbert and Winfried Ruigrok, ‘The ‘What’ and ‘How’ of Case Study Rigor: Three Strategies Based on Published Work’, Organizational Research Methods 13, no. 4 (2010): 710-737.

[93]    Michael Erben, Biography and Education: A Reader (London: Falmer Press, 1998); John H. Goldthorpe, On Sociology: Numbers, Narratives, and the Integration of Research and Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000): 59-60.

[94]    Koenraad Verboven, Myriam Carlier and Jan Dumolyn, ‘A Short Manual to the Art of Prosopography’, Prosopography Approaches and Applications: A Handbook, ed. Katharine S.B. Keats-Rohan (Linacre College, Oxford: Unit for Propsopographical Research, 2007): 39.

[95]    Katharine Keats-Rohan, Progress or Perversion? Current Issues in Prosopography: an Introduction (Linacre College, Oxford: Unit for Prosopographical Research, 2003).

[96] Dion C. Smythe, ‘Putting Technology to Work: The CD ROM Version of Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire I (641-867), History and Computing 12 (2000): 85; Lawrence Stone, ‘Prosopography’, The Past and the Present Revisited (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987), 46-46; Krista Cowman, ‘Collective Biography’, Research Methods for History, eds. Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (2012), 83-84.

[97]    Cowman, ‘Collective Biography’, 83-84; Steven Shapin and Arnold Thackray, ‘Prosopography as a Research Tool in History of Science: The British Scientific Community, 1700-1900’, History of Science 12 (1974): 3.

[98]    Paul Magdalino, ‘The Contribution of Prosopography: The Byzantine Empire or Why Prosopography? A Question of Identity’, Fifty Years of Prosopography: The Later Roman Empire, Byzantium and Beyond, ed. Averil Cameron (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 42.

[99]    Francesca Tinti, ‘The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England: Facts and Factoids’, Prosopography Approaches and Applications: A Handbook, ed. Katharine S.B. Keats-Rohan (Linacre College, Oxford: Unit for Propsopographical Research, 2007): 197-209.

[100] Michael Erben, Biography and Education, 120; Steven Shapin and Arnold Thackray, ‘Prosopography as a Research Tool in History of Science: The British Scientific Community, 1700-1900’, History of Science 12 (1974): 7; Diana K. Jones, ‘Researching Groups of Lives: A Collective Biographical Perspective on the Protestant Ethic Debate’, Qualitative Research 1, no. 3 (2001): 325.

[101] Charles Tilly, ‘Family History, Social History, and Social Change’ Journal of Family History 12 (1987): 323-324; Jonathan Kantor, ‘A Psycho-Historical Source: The Memoirs of Abbot Guibert of Nogent’, Journal of Medieval History 2, no. 4 (1976): 281-303.

[102] The archive, by definition, is simply ‘a place in which public records are kept’ (Irving Velody, ‘The Archive and the Human Sciences: Notes Towards a Theory of the Archive’, History and Philosophy of Science 11, no. 4 (1998): 1), and the numbers of primary materials available online is astounding. Newspapers are highly regarded within sports history, alongside other written text such as minutes, monographs, manuals, magazines and sporting programmes, with narratives often academically judged based on the number of primary sources located (Martin Johnes, ‘Researching the Game’s Past: An Introduction to Using Local Newspapers to Research the History of Football, Soccer History 9 (2004): 44-47). Sources affiliated to family historians are now penetrating the sports domain, with BMD, census and other personal information of both elite and average individuals being uncovered (Samantha-Jayne Oldfield, ‘George Martin, ‘Wizard of Pedestrianism’ and Manchester’s Sporting Entrepreneur’, Sporting Lives, ed. David Day (Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University Press, 2011), 142-166), and photographs and drawings are supplementary sources used in sport, confronting the viewer with history itself, though interpreted differently to biographical text. Showing competitors, stadiums, equipment, etc., the photograph is a muted source that creates an immediate impression of society without descriptive characters (Gary Osmond, ‘Photographs, Materiality and Sport History: Peter Norman and the 1968 Mexico City Black Power Salute’, Journal of Sport History 37, no. 1 (2011): 119-137).

[103] Jeffrey Hill and Jean William, ‘Introduction’, Sport in History 29, no. 2 (2009): 127-131.

[104] Bell’s Life, July 7, 1865, 9; August 26, 1865, 9; July 7, 1866, 7; Census Returns, Siah Albison 1841 (HO 107/545/10); 1861 (RG 9/2973); 1871 (RG 10/4057); 1881 (RG 11/4012); 1891 (RG 12-3239); Death Index, Siah Albison, Oct-Dec, 1891, 8.

[105] Bell’s Life, August 14, 1859, 3; January 6, 1861, 6; October 31, 1863, 3; July 7, 1865, 9; August 26, 1865, 9; York Herald, January 20, 1866, 12; Census Returns, William Lang 1841 (HO 107/317/23); 1851 (HO 107/2400); 1861 (RG 9/3029); 1871 (RG 10/3983); 1881 (RG 11/3901); 1891 (RG 12/3062); 1901 (RG 13/3738); Death Index, William Lang, Jul-Sep 1905, 171; Otago Witness, September 20, 1905, 58.

[106] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; July 7, 1866, 7; Scotland Census Returns, Robert McKinstray 1861 (6/30/9/ CSSCT1861_88); 1871 (6/21/8/CSSCT1871_113); 1881 (6/14/15/CSSCT1881_193); James T. Gray, Maybole, Carrick’s Capital (Ayr: Alloway Publishing, 1972), 176-192.

[107] Bell’s Life, October 29, 1870, 3; Census Returns, Edward Mills 1861 (RG 9/164); 1871 (RG 10/285); 1881 (RG 11/415); Will and Probate, Edward Mills, September 20, 1894 (1894/KK/257).

[108] New York Tribune, June 26, 1861, 12; Era, February 22, 1863, 4; Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; Census Returns, Charles Mower 1851 (HO 107/1825); 1861 (RG 9/2923).

[109] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; July 7, 1866, 7; November 18, 1871, 7; Census Returns, James Nuttall 1861 (RG 9/2947); 1871 (RG 10/4057); 1881 (RG 11/3972); 1891 (RG 12/3168); Death Index, James Nuttall, Jan-Mar 1907, 8c, 477.

[110] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; August 11, 1866, 7; Census Returns, John Neary 1861 (RG 9/2886); 1871 (RG 10/3997).

[111] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; July 7, 1866, 7; August 11, 1866, 7; Census Returns, William Richards 1861 (RG 9/164).

[112] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; Census Returns, James Sanderson 1881 (RG 11/4124); 1891 (RG 12/3344); 1901 (RG 13/3843); Will and Probate, James Sanderson, March 5, 1906 (1906/B2/11); Roe, Front Runners, 119; Kathryn B, ‘Whitworth to Recognise Champion Victorian Runner’, The Best of Rossendale, (accessed September 3, 2013).

[113] Southland Times, July 26, 1894, 3; Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; Census Returns, Patrick Stapleton 1881 (RG 11/3864); 1891 (RG 12/3124); Roe, Front Runners, 98.

[114] Harold Perkin, ‘Teaching the Nations how to Play: Sport and the British Empire and Commonwealth’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 6, no. 2 (1989): 145-146; Steven A. Riess, Sport in Industrial America 1850-1920 (West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.), 231-232.

[115] Roberta J. Park, ‘Sport, Gender and Society in a Transatlantic Victorian Perspective’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 2, no. 1 (1985): 5-28; ‘Contesting the Norm: Women and Professional Sports in Late Nineteenth-Century America’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 29, no. 5 (2012): 375.

[116] Era, August 11, 1861, 7; Bell’s Life, January 6, 1869, 7; January 13, 1869, 7; Argus, September 27, 1871, 8; February 10, 1872, 8; Australian Town and Country Journal, March 29, 1873, 27.

[117] Roberta J. Park, ‘Biological Thought, Athletics and the Formation of a ‘Man of Character’’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 24 (2007): 1546.

[118] John A. Patmore, ‘The Railway Network of the Manchester Conurbation’, Transactions and Papers (Institute of British Geographers) 34 (1964): 162-166; Robert Schwartz, Ian Gregory and Thomas Thevenin, ‘Spatial History: Railways, Uneven Development, and Population Change in France and Great Britain, 1850-1914’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 42, no. 1 (2011): 53-88.

[119] Census Returns, Charles Mower 1861 (RG 9/2923); Bell’s Life, December 12, 1863, 7; August 26, 1865, 9; July 21, 1869, 4; April 22, 1871, 5.

[120] Mervyn Busteed and Roy Hodgson, ‘Irish Migration and Settlement in Early Nineteenth Century Manchester, with Special Reference to the Angel Meadow District in 1851’, Irish Geography 27, no. 1 (1994): 1-2; Stephen Mosley, The Chimney of the World: A History of Smoke Pollution in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester (London: Routledge, 2008), 72; Michael Nevell, ‘Living in the Industrial City: Housing Quality, Land Ownership and the Archaeological Evidence from Industrial Manchester, 1740-1850’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 15, no. 4 (2011): 594-606.

[121] Gerard Moran, ‘‘A Passage to Britain’: Seasonal Migration and Social Change on the West of Ireland, 1870-1890’, Saothar 13 (1988): 22-31; Hartmut Berghoff, ‘Regional Variations in Provincial Business Biography: The Case of Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester, 1870-1914’, Business History 37, no. 1 (1995): 64; Szreter, ‘Rapid Economic Growth and ‘the Four Ds’’: 147-148.

[122] Richard Holt, Sport and the British: A Modern History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 107.

[123] David Lockwood, ‘The ‘New Working Class’’, European Journal of Sociology 1, no. 2 (1960): 248; Andrew Miles and Mike Savage, The Remaking of the British Working Class, 1840-1940 (London, Routledge, 2013), 34.

[124] Census Returns, Neary Family 1841 (HO 107/583/13), brother’s John ‘grinder of cotton’ and Martin ‘piece cutter’ respectably.

[125] Claudia Nelson, Family Ties in Victorian Britain (Westport,CT: Praeger Publishers, 2007), 91; Andrew Miles and Mike Savage, The Remaking of the British Working Class, 1840-1940 (London, Routledge, 2013), 34.

[126] Eric J. Hobsbawn, ‘The British Standard of Living 1790-1850’, The Economic History Review 10, no. 1 (1957): 56-57.

[127] Michael Anderson, Family Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 54; Wally Seccombe, ‘Patriarchy Stabilized: The Construction of the Male Breadwinner Wage Norm in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, Social History 11, no. 1 (1986): 54-56.

[128] Frank Musgrove, The Family, Education and Society (London: Routledge, 2012), 22.

[129] Anderson, Family Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire, 119.

[130] Dave Day, ‘Victorian Coaching Communities: Exemplars of Traditional Practice’ (paper presented at the Manchester Metropolitan University Institute for Performance Research, in Conjunction with Sports Coaching Review, Conference on Sporting Cultures, Crewe, Cheshire, June 22-23, 2013).

[131] Hobsbawn, ‘The British Standard of Living 1790-1850’: 55.

[132] Roe, Front Runners.

[133] Data collected from Roe, Front Runners, 185-186 and Janssen, ‘Progressive 1-Mile All Time List’, (accessed September 1, 2013).

[134] Bell’s Life, August 10, 1856, 6; November 14, 1863, 7; November 21, 1863, 7; August 26, 1865, 9; July 21, 1869, 4; January 7, 1871, 4; April 22, 1871, 5; December 14, 1872, 8; Census Returns, Siah Albison 1871 (RG 10/4057); Era, October 14, 1866, 4; Isle of Man Times and General Advertiser, March 30, 1872, 4; Sporting Gazette, October 3, 1874, 925; Manchester Guardian, November 16, 1861, 5.

[135] Bell’s Life, October 17, 1858, 7; June 26, 1859, 7; June 24, 1865, 6; March 5, 1870, 3; December 31, 1870, 4; February 14, 1874, 9; February 21, 1874, 9; April 24, 1875, 9; May 29, 1875, 9; February 9, 1878, 9; Census Returns, William Lung (sic.) 1861 (RG 9/3029).

[136] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; James T. Gray, Maybole, Carrick’s Capital (Ayr: Alloway Publishing, 1972), 176-192; Roe, Front Runners, 124.

[137] Data collected from Roe, Front Runners, 185-186 and Janssen, ‘Progressive 1-Mile All Time List’, (accessed September 1, 2013).

[138] Era, February 22, 1863, 14; Manchester Guardian, August 25, 1866, 8; Bell’s Life, June 17, 1865, 7; December 8, 1866, 7; January 27, 1869, 7; Licensed Victuallers’ Mirror, December 8, 1891, 581; Roe, Front Runners, 105.

[139] Bell’s Life, December 5, 1858, 7; December 30, 1860, 7; July 23, 1870, 7; Census Returns, Charles Mower 1861 (RG 9/2923).

[140] Bell’s Life, April 22, 1871, 5; November 24, 1883 2; August 26, 1865, 9; Census Returns, Siah Albison and James Nuttall 1871 (RG 10/4057).

[141] Era, December 6, 1863, 4; Argus, September 27, 1871, 8; February 10, 1872, 8; Australian Town and Country Journal, March 29, 1873, 27; Bell’s Life, August 8, 1852, 7; December 3, 1864, 7; August 11, 1866, 7; January 6, 1872, 7.

[142] Data collected from Roe, Front Runners, 185-186 and Janssen, ‘Progressive 1-Mile All Time List’, (accessed September 1, 2013).

[143] Bell’s Life, March 29, 1859, 7; May 1, 1859, 7; December 3, 1864, 7; March 18, 1865, 7; January 20, 1866, 7; August 11, 1866, 7; October 20, 1866, 7; April 20, 1867, 7; December 14, 1867, 8; February 22, 1868, 7.

[144] Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 9; Roe, Front Runners, 119.

[145] Bell’s Life, May 2, 1858, 7; July 29, 1865, 7; August 26, 1865, 9; August 17, 1872, 8.

[146] Height range 5ft 3-5ft 11, with the extremes classified as ‘abnormal’ (Gary E. Pittman, ‘Who is Sir Francis Galton?’, The Galton Institute Newsletter 35 (1999)); Weight range of 7st 5lb-11st 7lb but within proportion.

[147] Gaskell, The Manufacturing Population of England: Its Moral, Social and physical Conditions, and the Changes which have Arisen from the use of Steam Machinery (London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1833), 161-162; Stephen Nicholas and Richard H. Steckel, ‘Heights and Living Standards of the English Workers During the Early Years of Industrialisation, 1770-1815’, The Journal of Economic History 51, no. 4 (1991); Pittman, ‘Who is Sir Francis Galton?’; Peter Razzell and Christine Spence, ‘The Hazards of Wealth: Adult Mortality in Pre-Twentieth-Century England’, Social History of Medicine 19, no. 3 (2006): 393.

[148] Bell’s Life, May 5, 1866, 6; May 11, 1867, 6; Sporting Gazette, January 18, 1868, 49.

[149] Ricky Hatton, The Hitman: My Story (London: Ebury Press, 2008), 54; Duncan Simpson and Craig Wrisberg, ‘Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail: Professional Boxers’ Experiences of Training’, The Sport Psychologist 27 (2013): 110.

[150] Pierce Egan, Sporting Anecdotes (London: Sherwood, Neely and Jones, 1820), 86; Montague Shearman, Athletics and Football (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1887), 34, 69-70; Dave Day, ‘‘Science’, ‘Wind’ and ‘Bottom’: Eighteenth-Century Boxing Manuals’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 29, no. 10 (2012): 1460.

[151] Egan, Sporting Anecdotes, 86; Day, ‘‘Science’, ‘Wind’ and ‘Bottom’’, 1446.

[152] Egan, Sporting Anecdotes, 73-85.

[153] John H. Walsh, Manual of British Rural Sports: Comprising Shooting, Hunting, Coursing, Fishing, Hawking, Racing, Boating, Pedestrianism, and the Various Rural Games and Amusements of Great Britain (London: Routledge, Warne and Routledge, 1861), 449-453.

[154] Shearman, Athletics and Football, 166-168.

[155] The Amateur Athletic Club prevented mechanics, labourers and artisans from competing as amateurs (Sears, Running Through the Ages, 81), and when the Amateur Athletic Association formed in 1880 they quickly banned competitors who maintained a traditional craft or trade occupation, suggesting their work would help create a body more predisposed to the sport (Jackson’s Oxford Journal, May 1, 1880, 8; County Gentleman: Sporting Gazette, Agricultural Journal, and ‘the Man About Town’, December 27, 1890, 1813; Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, November 23, 1895, 3).

[156] Roe, Front Runners, 185.

[157] Bell’s Life, May 28, 1864, 5; Liverpool Mercury, May 31, 1864, n.; Roberta J. Park, ‘Contesting the Norm: Women and Professional Sports in Late Nineteenth-Century America’, The International Journal of the History of Sport 29, no. 5 (2012): 735; Bell’s Life had dedicated pedestrianism pages which looked at both domestic and International athletics from 1822-1886.

[158] John A. Lucas, ‘Pedestrianism and the Struggle for the Sir John Astley Belt, 1878-1879’, Research Quarterly, 39, no. 3 (1968): 588; Thomas J. Osler and Edward L. Dodd, ‘Six-Day Pedestrian Races’, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 301 (1977): 856; Park, ‘Contesting the Norm’: 735.

[159] Bell’s Life, January 6, 1861, 6; March 5, 1864, 2; February 22, 1868, 7; June 12, 1869, 7; July 22, 1882, 7; April 28, 1883, 7.

[160] Sporting Gazette, January 18, 1868, 49.

[161] Collins and Vamplew, Mud, Sweat and Beers, 14; Samantha-Jayne Oldfield, ‘Serving the Masses: Sporting Entrepreneurs in Nineteenth Century Manchester’ (paper presented at Manchester Metropolitan University Research Institute for Health and Social Change Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, July 1, 2010); Paul S. Marshall, King of the Peds (Milton Keynes: AuthorHouse, 2008), 236.

[162] Dave Day, ‘Kinship and Community in Victorian London: the ‘Beckwith Frogs’’, History Workshop Journal 71 (2011): 195, 214.

[163] Bell’s Life, June 8, 1867, 7; July 21, 1869, 4.

[164] See Table 3.

[165] Census Returns, William Fish 1861 (RG 9/3029); William Price 1861 (RG 9/164).

[166] Oldfield, ‘George Martin’, 142-166.

[167] Bell’s Life, September 4, 1859, 7.

[168] Bell’s Life, March 22, 1857, 7; June 18, 1864, 7; October 26, 1867, 7.

[169] Walsh, Manual of British Rural Sports, 450.

[170] Census Returns, Sandy Lane ‘Hare and Hounds’, Royton, Oldham 1861 (RG 9/3029/107); William Fish, 52, ‘Inn Keeper’; Charles Howith, 22, ‘Cotton Weaver’; John Booth, 25, ‘Publican’; John White, 22, ‘Iron Fitter’; William Lung (Lang), 22, ‘Blacksmith’s Labourer’.

[171] In London in the 1840s, prize-fighter Young Dutch Sam gave lessons at The Black Lion, which was ‘pa­tronized by the friends of boxing and athletic sports in ge­neral’ while Frank Redmond, at The Swiss Cottage, entertained all the ‘celebrated pedestrians’ (Frank L. Dowling, Fistiana or, the Oracle of the Ring (London: Bell’s Life in London, 1841), 271-272). The Feathers in Wandsworth, run by rower J.H. Clasper, was popular with both scullers and swimmers and featured on the pages of Bell’s Life, May 11, 1878, 8; June 1, 1878, 8; August 17, 1878, 8; November 9, 1878, 8. According to David Day, ‘From Barclay to Brickett: Coaching Practices and Coaching Lives in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century England’ (PhD diss., De Montfort University, 2008), 192, professional swimmer Frederick Beckwith was, variously, landlord of The Leander, The Good Intent and The Kings Head, all in Lambeth, between 1850 and 1877, where his colours were permanently displayed behind the bar.

[172] In 1855, pedestrian trainer James Greaves took over the Ring of Bells where anyone attending foot races in Sheffield area would ‘meet with every accommodation’ according to Bell’s Life, March 18, 1855, 6, and trainer ‘Choppy’ Warburton, born James Edward, became landlord of The Fisher’s Arms in Blackburn in 1877 (Richard O. Watson, ‘Choppy’ Warburton: Long Distance Runner and Trainer of Cycling Champions. Hero or Villain? (London: E Wiley Books, 2006).

[173] Siah Albison of Bowlee held the record for the mile in 1856, completing the distance in 4 minutes and 22 ½ seconds, whilst John White from Gateshead was a regular competitor for the mile championship belt, regularly participating in the city (Manchester Guardian, November 16, 1861, 5), and William Lang of Middlesbrough, Samuel Brighton of Norwich, Job Smith of Hulme, and William ‘The American Deer’ Jackson competed in mile events within Manchester in front of large crowds (Bell’s Life, October 2, 1859, 7; August 26, 1865, 9; Colonist, June 17, 1862, 4); Bell’s Life, August 26, 1865, 7; John Henry Walsh, British Rural Sports: Comprising Shooting, Hunting, Coursing, Fishing, Hawking, Racing, Boating, and Pedestrianism, With All Rural Games and Amusements (London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1886), 631-633.

[174] William Lang took licence at the Navigation Inn, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, from 1863 (Bell’s Life, December 12, 1863, 7; September 2, 1865, 7), and Edwin Mills and John Nevin took licence at the Royal Oak after the untimely death of their good friend George Martin (Manchester Guardian, August 25, 1866, 8; Bell’s Life, December 8, 1866, 7).

[175] Manchester Guardian, April 3, 1865, 4; July 14, 1865, 4; September 4, 1865, 4; February 19, 1866, 4; Penny Illustrated Paper, August 26, 1865, 206.

[176] Bell’s Life, August 19, 1865, 8; August 26, 1865, 2; August 26, 1865, 8; August 26, 1865, 9.

[177] Examples of which are detailed in Egan, Boxiana, 66, 121, 151, 270, 422-423, 476.

[178] Lang regularly held stakes for event at the City Grounds, even promoting his own series of races (Bell’s Life, March 5, 1864, 2) and Albison promoted his 440yd handicap at Moston Park, trying to revive pedestrianism within the city (Bell’s Life, April 28, 1883, 7; July 22, 1883, 7). Additionally, the Sporting Gazette, January 18, 1868, 49, states that the pedestrian grounds in London were extremely poor, with Manchester’s arenas reigning supreme.

[179] Lillian L. Shiman, Crusade against Drink in Victorian England (London: Macmillan Press, 1988); Oldfield, ‘George Martin’, 142-166.

[180] Samantha-Jayne Oldfield, ‘Manchester Pedestrianism: A Prosopography’ (working paper, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2013).

[181] Peter G. Mewett, ‘History in the Making and the Making of History: Stories and the Social Construction of a Sport’, Sporting Traditions 17, no. 1 (2000): 2-3; Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England.

[182] Bell’s Life, May 7, 1864, 7; Otago Witness, December 7, 1904, 58.

[183] Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, November 23, 1895, 3; Neil L. Tranter, ‘The Patronage of Organised Sport in Central Scotland, 1820-1900’, Journal of Sport History 16, no. 3 (1989): 229-230.

[184] Otago Witness, November 14, 1885, 22; Sears, Running Through the Ages, 55, 81.

[185] Oldfield, ‘Narrative, Biography, Prosopography and the Sport Historian’, 35-60; Dave Day, ‘Historical Perspectives on Coaching’, Handbook of Sports Coaching, ed. Paul Potrac, Wade Gilbert and Jim Denison (London: Routledge, 2013), 11-12.

[186] Oldfield, ‘George Martin’, 142-166; ‘Manchester’s Sporting Past’ (paper presented at the Manchester Histories Festival, Manchester, March 3, 2012); ‘James Robinson, Manchester ‘Ped’ to Princeton Athletic trainer’ (paper presented at the British Society of Sports Historians Annual Conference, University of Glasgow, September 7-8, 2012).

[187] Stephen Hardy, ‘Entrepreneurs, Organizations, and the Sport Marketplace: Subjects in Search of Historians’, Journal of Sport History 13, no. 1 (1986): 23; Michael Anderson, Family Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 178.