Please cite this article as:

Martin, D. Pedestrian Six-day Races in Scotland 1878-1888, In Day, D. (ed), Playing Pasts (Manchester: MMU Sport and Leisure History, 2020), 137-150.

ISBN paperback 978-1-910029-56-5


Chapter 9



Pedestrian Six-day Races in Scotland 1878-1888

Derek Martin




In the last quarter of the nineteenth century amateur athletics eclipsed professional athletics (‘pedestrianism’). Whilst the amateur game absorbed short- and middle-distance events from pedestrianism it had no place for the multi-day, ultradistance events which had been a persistent presence in the professional sport since the eighteenth century. The 1870s and 1880s saw a short but intense blossoming of this old tradition in the shape of six-day races. Big races in Britain and America are referred to in the historiography of the sport but this paper looks at the so far unexamined smaller events in one region, Scotland, and notes particularly the part played by female pedestrians.

Keywords: Sport; Pedestrianism; Nineteenth century; Scotland; Women.


Pedestrianism (competitive walking or running) was a major sport from the eighteenth century onward. In the typical pedestrian match each party wagered and it was of little interest whether he was a professional dependant on winnings for an income, or a ‘gentleman amateur’ merely betting to add excitement to the contest. Spectators were a welcome but not a necessary element – enclosed grounds were rare and therefore gate money was not an element in financing the contest. By the second quarter of the nineteenth century professional runners (gentleman amateurs had largely disappeared) were raising finance for their events through the mediation of a sophisticated network of pubs and hotels, where potential backers could meet pedestrians and which by the middle of the century were often provided the enclosed grounds where the contests were held. A vigorous sporting press provided the means of exchanging information amongst the pedestrians and their backers nationally and provided a public with the facts, stories and statistics that by the middle of the century had created a wide fan base.

The majority of events were sprints or middle-distance races but from the earliest days of the sport there had been also specialist long-distance pedestrians. The greatest of the gentleman amateurs, Captain Barclay (1799-1854), walked 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours in 1809 and had popularized the idea of race walkers covering unfeasibly long distances against the clock for a wager. Professional pedestrians adopted the idea and there were periodically bouts of public enthusiasm for this branch of the sport. By the last quarter of the nineteenth century the spectacle of a single pedestrian walking for days on end against a time limit was rarely to be seen but, against all expectation, the 1870s and 1880s saw the phenomenal rise and fall of the six-day race.

Unusually, two specific individuals can plausibly be credited with the creation of this event. The first was an American, Edward Payson Weston (1839-1929). He came to public notice by walking the 478 miles from Boston to Washington in ten days in 1861 to attend Lincoln’s first inauguration. By increasingly arduous walks over the next fifteen years, and assiduous self-publicity, he made ultradistance walking a financially viable enterprise. After his landmark achievement of walking 500 miles in six days at Newark, New Jersey he arrived in Britain in 1876, looking for new worlds to conquer. The British and Irish long-established culture of race walking was in the doldrums. Weston brought with him important ideas – that people could again be persuaded to watch very long races, that they could be held indoors and that money could be made from them.

In 1876, Weston toured the country giving exhibition walks of fifty to four hundred miles, to great enthusiasm. He attracted the notice of Sir John Astley (1828-1894), perhaps the last sporting baronet in the Regency mould, who took Weston as his protégé and put up his own money to promote big races in indoor venues for substantial money prizes. The first ‘classic’ six-day races (day and night from midnight Sunday to the following Saturday night) were promoted by Astley from 1877 at the Agricultural Hall in Islington, London, a large exhibition space which became the premier English venue for these races. The prospect of big rewards led to the development of a cohort of accomplished endurance athletes and unofficial world championships took place in London and New York.[1] Other big races were held in England in provincial towns and cities, notably at Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol and Lincoln. The six-day boom continued for almost a decade, but rapidly declined and petered out by the end of the 1880s and these races were largely forgotten until rediscovered in the 1960s and have begun to attract some attention in the literature.[2] But so far there has been no recognition of the nature, and indeed the existence of, smaller scale events away from the metropolitan areas. This paper attempts an assessment of how they operated in one such area, Scotland.

The Scottish events

The sporting press and the Scottish press were searched to identify multi-day races. Fifty-nine were identified between 1878 and 1888: one in 1878, thirteen in 1879, twenty-one in 1880, four in 1881, three in 1882, then no more contests until seventeen in the three years 1886 to 1888 (see Tables). Fifteen different towns and cities held races and there were over five hundred starters in all races combined.

The first six-day events were solo affairs. Weston walked four times in Scotland in the old pedestrian format of a set distance in a given time. He first attempted 500 miles in six days at the Royal Gymnasium, Edinburgh in June 1876, and twice more in 1877, and in February 1878 he walked for three weeks at Glasgow, covering 1,064 miles.[3] The first multi-day race in Scotland was in August 1878 at Edinburgh, a one-to-one challenge, between the Scot Peter M’Kellan and an experienced English pedestrian, William Howes. They walked fourteen hours a day for six days and attracted a crowd of three thousand by the last day.[4] There were another forty races over the next two and a half years (see Table 1). In early 1879 there were four events in Glasgow, organized by the pedestrians themselves, attempting to cash in on the publicity that was being generated by the London and New York events. The Glasgow events were also held indoors and were continuous for the whole six days. They were not a success, they were poorly organized, only two of them went the full length, the other two finishing prematurely in disputes over gate money.

Table 2. Multi-day pedestrian events in Scotland 1878-88.[5]

The Glasgow events had displayed one of the sins of pedestrianism, the ever-present possibility of corruption. The big national and international events were ‘clean’, if only because they were professionally organized, and profits were dependant on attracting a mixed audience with a good proportion of newcomers to the sport who might be tempted in by the publicity and the novelty of indoor racing.

On 2 January 1879 a 48-hour event was held in Aberdeen that showed how the new event could be re-engineered to be more attractive to those audiences. It was promoted by the Bon-Accord Gymnastic Club, who had hired the city’s concert hall (known as the Music Hall) on Union Street to give Aberdeen a taste of the ‘tournaments which have of late attracted so much attention in the south’.[6] Starting at nine o’clock on Thursday evening and continuing until Saturday evening. The members of the Club diverted the audience with ‘feats on the trapeze and horizontal bar’ and attracted upwards of 4,000 spectators, including ‘many well-known business and professional men and a considerable number of ladies’. There were 15 starters, all Scots, and the winner of £10 (say £1,000 today) was Willie Smith of Paisley with a total of 158 miles.

After this race promoters experimented constantly with the format – fourteen hours a day or twelve, or six or four, and anything from two to eight days. Aberdeen’s next race, in July 1879 was six days, but four hours each evening Monday to Friday and six hours on Saturday (total 26 hours). The tactic of having racing only in the evenings paid off – on the second night there were 1,000 spectators and by Friday 2,000. The winner was George Noremac (né Cameron) of Edinburgh, who was to become one of the great six-day walkers and second was a local runner, Joe Leith, who had also come second in the New Year race.[7] A week later Elgin, sixty miles north of Aberdeen, a town with an annual Highland games put on an open-air three-night, 12 hour race that attracted few spectators.[8] Three weeks later Aberdeen’s great rival, Dundee put on a six-day, 14 hours a day. The Dundee Sporting Club’s entrepreneurial secretary, John Hagan, enlisted the Sporting Life to provide the referee, timekeeper and chief scorer and select the entrants. First prize was £50 and second £20.  The venue was a circus building, Newsome’s Circus by the docks, which meant a lap of only 48 yards and a dizzying 36 laps to the mile. The ten starters included eight southerners, all experienced long-distance men. The two Scots were Pat M’Kellan of Edinburgh and yet again Joe Leith the Aberdeen drover. At the finish on Saturday night a packed house saw southerner Sam Day win with 402 miles (14,447 circuits of the circus ring).[9]

In November in Perth, another of the East Coast towns, there was a three-day, 50-hour, tournament, in a drill hall, thirty laps to the mile. The first prize of £10 went to Joe Leith and second place (£2 only) to Peter M’Kellan.[10] Over New Year Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth put on well-supported races. Bell’s Life treated the news with metropolitan condescension, ‘these exhibitions are’, they commented, ‘happily, for all concerned save the promoters, gradually losing their hold on the metropolitan public, [but] they still find favour in the eyes of provincials … this time luckily in far distant Dundee’.[11] But Bell’s Life were perhaps influenced by the fact that their rival The Sporting Life was providing the officials . Dundee gave a £50 first prize and attracted eighteen starters, making a seriously crowded fifty-yard lap at Cooke’s Circus. The event started with an impressive 70 miles by Willie Smith of Paisley on the first day (twelve hours), and an appreciative audience packed the house every night of the week, with perhaps 2,000 present at the finish.[12] Hagan of the Dundee Sporting Club extended his operations to Aberdeen and only eight days later held another six-day, 12 hours a day event there, also with a top prize of £50, this time entry restricted to Scots.[13] A New Year holiday crowd was attracted, audiences were large and ‘enthusiastic’, Smith finishing the winner on 347 miles.[14]

The following year, 1880, was the peak year for six-day races throughout Great Britain, around forty altogether, with twenty-one of them in Scotland (see Table 1). In 1881 and 1882 the big money races were in America, in England there were only a few big races, in Sheffield and Birmingham. In Scotland the smaller venues and shorter races dropped out and only the bigger races remained – three in Dundee, one in Arbroath (near Dundee), two in Aberdeen and one in Glasgow. After a seven day, 26-hour in Aberdeen in May 1882, tournaments in Scotland stopped until 1886. When tournaments did revive in Scotland it was female pedestrians that the spectators came to see.

Female pedestrians

In March 1882 in Dundee, after a successful seven day, 65-hour race that had attracted 18 starters, the Sporting Club advertised another six-day contest at Cooke’s Circus – ‘Great Male and Female Pedestrian Tournament’.  When the Circus realised that a women’s race to be included, they applied to the Sheriff Court to have it stopped. They had never imagined, they said, that such a thing was contemplated; it was contrary to good morals, injurious to their reputation and would attract spectators ‘of an objectionable kind’.[15] The claim was apparently dropped, and the race went ahead.

Table 1. Multi-day pedestrian events in Scotland 1878-82.[16]

The Circus should not have been shocked by the idea of female pedestrians. In fact, this was not a unique event. It would not be the first women-only race, or indeed even the first in Scotland. Back in 1879 at a hall on Sauciehall Street in Glasgow Kate Brown and Janet Day had contested a six-day, 72-hour race.[17] Women had a history of walking solo ultradistance matches going back almost to the days of Barclay.[18] There had been a resurgence in the 1870s and by the time of the Dundee race in 1882 female pedestrianism was an accepted part of the sporting scene and there were several well-established practitioners. Two of them had entered the Dundee race, ‘Madame Englo’, arguably the best of the English pedestriennes, and Kate Brown, who had won the match at Glasgow in October 1879. They walked for an hour and a half each evening, the men having already occupied the track for ten hours. The fears of ‘objectionable’ spectators were not fulfilled and the organizers’ tactics were vindicated. They drew ‘a large audience [and] greatest enthusiasm prevailed, [with] perfect order and decorum’.[19]

Nevertheless, it was almost four years until the six-day races reappeared in Scotland. The men had largely abandoned the event by now, and when there was a revival in 1886 it was almost entirely driven by the women. There were seven women-only tournaments, four at Aberdeen, two at Dundee and one in Glasgow (see Table 2). There were 60 starters in all. Female pedestrians had busied themselves in England (nearly all of whom were by now based in London) and seven leading professionals pedestrians from England made up the majority of the competitors in the first four Scottish competitions of 1886. In February 1886 Aberdeen offered £60 in prize money, £25 for first, second £15 and third £10 for a seven day, 16-hour walking contest, just two or three hours per night.[20] The organizers had imported five ‘London ladies’, who arrived on Friday, having suffered sea sickness on the thirty-six hour steamer voyage to Aberdeen. The recreation hall (which had a generous 195-yard wooden track) was crowded on Saturday evening: there were said to be 5,000 spectators when the first three-hour session began. Predictions that such a spectacle would ‘shock the propriety of an Aberdeen audience’ could be disregarded by now and ‘even the ladies of Aberdeen [had] turned out’.[21] Two unknown local women, Lizzie Reith and ‘Miss Lorimer’, shared the lead, made sixteen miles in the three hours, kept the southerners at bay for the remaining six sessions and came home in an exciting finish neck and neck, Reith winning by half a yard and so scooped between them £40 of the prize money. The novelty of the event, the ‘home and away’ rivalry and the (perhaps planned) closeness of the contest produced another capacity crowd..[22]

Predictably, the Aberdeen race was followed three weeks later (20 March) by a very similar event in Dundee (same total prize money, same duration) on the 42-yard lap Newsomes’s Circus track. Miss Lorimer, who had been second in Aberdeen, this time picked up the £20 prize ahead of Madame Lucelle of Dudley, who had come fourth at Aberdeen; the Misses Randall, Letitia Brown and Leslie, all of London, picked up minor prizes.[23] Another five women’s races followed in quick succession. A week after Dundee the four southerners moved to Glasgow for a six day, 16-hour event, where they shared £50 in prizes.[24] But at Glasgow there was no local opposition. When they moved back to Aberdeen for a 14-hour event starting 1 May they were again up against Miss Lorimer and Miss Reith, who had beaten them there in February. The southern contingent was now strengthened by Kate Brown and probably the best ultradistance walker at the time, Madame Englo from Brighton, but they were completely overwhelmed by local walkers. Miss Jeffrey of Aberdeen took the £20 first prize (for eighty-three miles) and the rest of the £60 prize money also went to Aberdonians; the best that the visiting pedestrians could manage was eighth (Miss Leslie with 71 miles).[25] The pattern was the same in June at Dundee: Miss Jeffrey won again (76 miles), with Englo second and Lorimer third.[26] In July at Aberdeen in a outdoor 14-hour race Miss Jeffrey again won the first prize (£15) and the best southern walker was Englo, sixth (£3) with 69 miles.[27] In the last race of the year, at Aberdeen in December, three southerners, Englo, Lucelle and Leslie, made a last attempt at the £15 first prize but it again went to Jeffrey (100 miles in an eight-day, 16 hour match).[28]

Scotland’s last week-long, indoor race for male professional pedestrians was the seven day, 21-hour, contest in Aberdeen in April 1886 with a field of twenty-six, won by Cartwright of Walsall (£20) with a good total of 176 miles from local man Willie Corbett’s 174 miles.[29] The women’s races were still attracting decent fields of mainly local pedestriennes, but the Aberdeen race at New Year 1887 was the last to offer worthwhile prize money. The long-distance professionals put on a few challenge matches, but public interest was not enough to sustain another bout of professional pedestrianism.[30]

By the end of the 1880s the six-day era in Britain and America was played out. After a dozen years when it had been a popular and lucrative sport it had reached the end of the track. The top-class runners had achieved what was thought to be the limit of the sport – in 1888 at Madison Square Garden George Littlewood of Sheffield covered 630 miles in six days of almost continuous movement. The non-specialist audience were thought to be losing interest in the gigantism of these events. Other sports had experimented with the six-day format, swimming, cycling and even roller-skating, but could not stand against the Saturday afternoon sports of football and rugby. For the competitors, amateur athletics was still available as a sport and in Scotland in particular professional pedestrianism lived on for the sprinters, but this was not an option for the women.[31]

The last competitions at which a ghost of the great distance events was to be seen in Scotland were in the far North-East at the fishing port of Peterhead where in 1888 amateurs put on a series of ‘go-as-you-please’ races. Enthusiastic amateurs circled a fish-curing yard for two hours a night for three nights in pursuit of prizes such as a marble clock or a silver watch.[32] This shadow of the events of the past in its turn faded away; but the fascination with great distance recurs throughout history and can be seen perhaps resurrected in the people’s marathons of the modern era.

Conclusion: Being a pedestrian

The first competitors in the six-day races had been experienced athletes. Pedestrianism in the 1870s and 1880s could still provide a precarious living. The pedestrians were not the high-minded Corinthians of late Victorian dogma; they had come up in a hard trade. The new six-day races were to them another way to exploit their abilities in the pursuit of a living wage. Tom Brown, for example, who walked 384 miles in the Glasgow match of June 1879, was not only a top class runner, but had ‘considerable notoriety’ as a ‘circle walker’ which meant that he gave exhibitions of race walking on the stage in music halls.[33] William Clarkson, a hardened Yorkshire pedestrian who competed in seven Scottish races and at least twenty down South was also a circle walker when the opportunity arose: after he had run 151 miles in the two-day, 24 hours tournament at Perth in January 1880 he appeared every night the following week at a music hall in Dundee, walking a mile around the stage (probably about a hundred circuits) in less than eight minutes.[34] Several had done solo walks of days or weeks. Pat M’Carty of Leeds, who appeared in four contests in Scotland in 1879-80, had done solo walks such as the 400 miles in five days at the York Skating Rink in 1877.[35] David Ferguson of Pollokshaws competed in eleven races in Scotland, a gruelling six of them in 1880 alone, culminating in an impressive 403 miles in sixty-five hours on a circus ring at Dundee in December.[36] George Noremac was even more prolific: he did thirteen races in 1880, ten of them in Scotland and was so successful that he went to America, had some big victories in 148-hour races and remained to die there in Philadelphia in 1922.[37] At the lower end of the scale, it was just possible to survive on sporadic small prizes. J.S. Robson from Liverpool had a career total of at least twenty-four six-day races. He had been a seaman, he was in his fifties and lived the life of a peripatetic pedestrian, often walking between races. In February 1880 he walked the 140 miles from Aberdeen to Glasgow and then walked in a six-day, twelve hours a day race.[38] He rarely won a big prize but was a crowd favourite known for his cheerful demeanour and occasionally playing popular airs on the harmonica as he walked.[39]

By their very nature, six-day races demanded full-time commitment, at least for a period. But most pedestrians had to have a job to fall back on. William Corbett, who managed to compete in at least fourteen Scottish races, was a coal heaver from Aberdeen, Joe Leith, also of Aberdeen, was a drover, Pat M’Carty was a clogger.[40] Most seemed to barely scrape a living, and a few had brushes with the law. Alexander Clark was arrested for debt on the track in the middle of a six-day match in Glasgow, bringing it to an abrupt termination[41] (it seems to have been an occupational hazard, Cartwright from Birmingham was arrested on the track in a 36-hour event at Sheffield for deserting his wife and children – he had been in the 26-hour race at Aberdeen two weeks earlier, the newspaper reports had been his downfall.[42] Joe Leith ran in the 21-hour contest at Aberdeen in April 1886 and was stabbed to death in a drunken argument at an abattoir in the same town a couple of weeks later.[43]

As with the men, many of the women who raced in Scotland were professional pedestrians and, in some cases, it is possible to follow their careers of several years in the ‘walking trade’, though only fragments of personal information can be recovered, not least because many of them worked under stage names. Madame Englo was a dressmaker.[44] She appeared in the first British female-only race, in Plymouth in 1879,[45] and went on to become one of the most successful female pedestrians. She walked in Scotland in the one-to-one contest with Kate Brown at Dundee in 1882, for which she earned £10 and a gold medal, and returned four times to Scotland during the 1886 revival. By then she was thirty-eight or thirty-nine years old, had been a full time professional for at least seven years (twelve by her own account) and had appeared in at least twenty-five pedestrian matches.[46] Her greatest rival, Kate Brown, was probably already a professional when she appeared in the first multi-day female event in Scotland (the six-day walk against Janet Day at Glasgow in 1879). She appeared another five times in six-day races in Scotland in a career of at least a dozen such races over seven years. The 1879 race was Janet Day’s first known race (she was probably from Glasgow herself). She went on to have career of five years in England, where she walked in at least half a dozen races and several solo walks including a 1,000-mile walk in 1881.[47]

When female six-day events flourished briefly in 1886-87 these professionals were, as already mentioned, outclassed by the cohort of novice walkers from the North-East. Few details of them have survived but the most successful of them achieved an unsought notoriety. ‘Miss Lorimer’ was Margaret McPhee, a thirty-three year old mother of five, an Aberdeen fishwife, married to William McPhee, a scavenger.[48] She seems to have taken up pedestrianism with the February 1886 Aberdeen six day race, came second in that, won at Dundee in March, and was placed at Glasgow in May and Dundee in June, winning over £50 altogether (say £5,000 today). Her anonymity was broken on her appearance as a witness in the Aberdeen Police Court. On her return from her win at Dundee she was assaulted by her husband, who complained that he had to look after the children while she was away and did not receive a fair share of the winnings. He was convicted of assault and the couple separated soon afterwards.[49]

Whether male or female pedestrian, the indoor arena was not for the squeamish. In the big venues, such as the Agricultural Hall in London or Madison Square Garden in New York there were laps of 250 to 290 yards (six or seven to the mile) and a bark or sawdust track. But at the provincial venues the best you could hope for was a reasonably spacious hall. Concert halls, recreation halls, meeting halls, drill halls or even town halls were used or maybe a gymnasium or a warehouse. You might have a wooden track and sharp corners. But a circus ring could be worse. Cooke’s and Newsome’s circuses in Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow were used for at least a dozen of the Scottish races (they were probably semi-permanent wooden structures). Their tracks were painfully short, thirty-five to forty-five yards (up to forty-seven laps to the mile). The pedestrians learnt to cope – there is a record of Willie Smith of Paisley doing a mile in six minutes and five seconds round a circus ring track at the six day contest at Dundee in 1879 (a dizzying thirty-five laps of fifty yards at ten seconds a lap).[50] Short tracks were also narrow – there were twelve starters on the track at Newsome’s Circus in Glasgow in 1880, which was six feet wide and raised four feet above floor level.[51] Even hall tracks could be very cramped and this sometimes led to friction between exhausted pedestrians. At the Drill Hall in Perth in a twelve hours a day race in December 1879 where there were nineteen starters on a 41 yard track Clarkson and Clark came to blows and Clarkson was disqualified (he was allowed back on and at the end got a subscription from the spectators for his ‘pluck’).[52] At the same venue in March 1880 M’Kellan and Hill were both disqualified for fighting.[53]




[1] The ‘Astley Belt’ contests as they were known were: March 1878 in London (O’Leary, 520 miles), The Sportsman, March 25, 1878, 3; October 1878 in New York (O’Leary, 408 miles), New York World, October 9, 1878, 3; March 1879 in New York (Rowell, 500 miles), Boston Post, March 17, 1878, 2; June 1879 in London (Weston, 550 miles), Reynold’s Newspaper, June 22, 1879, 8; September 1879 in New York (Rowell, 524 miles), Sporting Life, October 1, 1879, 3.

[2] See John A. Lucas, ‘Pedestrianism and the Struggle for the Sir John Astley Belt, 1878-1879’, Research Quarterly 39(3) (October 1968): 587; Thomas J. Osler and Edward L. Dodd, ‘Six-Day Pedestrian Races’, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 301(1) (1977): 853; Osler, Dodd, Ultra-Marathoning: The Next Challenge (Mountain View: World Publications, 1979); John Cumming, Runners and Walkers: A Nineteenth Century Sports Chronicle (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981); P. S. Marshall, King of the Peds (Milton Keynes: AuthorHouse, 2008); Matthew Algeo, Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk was America’s Favorite Sport (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2014).

[3] Edinburgh Evening News, June 26, 1876, 2 (450 miles); Glasgow Herald, February 19, 1877, 4 (330 miles); Falkirk Herald, March 17, 1877, 3 (422½ miles); Bradford Daily Telegraph, 25 February 1878, 3 (1,064 miles).

[4] The Referee, September 1878, 6.

[5] Sources: Aberdeen Journal 1878-88; Banffshire Journal 1879; Dundee Advertiser 1879-88; Dundee Courier 1879-87; Dundee Evening Telegraph 1879-82; Falkirk Herald 1880; Glasgow Evening Citizen, 1879; Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Review 1888; Peterhead Sentinel 1888; Sporting Life 1879-88.

[6]Aberdeen Journal, January 2, 1879, 2.

[7] Dundee Courier, July 15, 1879, 5.

[8] Banffshire Journal, July 29, 1879, 6; August 5, 1879, 6.

[9] Dundee Evening Telegraph, August 16, 1879, 4; Dundee People’s Journal, August 23, 1879, 6; Sporting Life, August 27, 1879, 4.

[10] Dundee Evening Telegraph, November 10, 1879, 4.

[11] Bell’s Life, December 20, 1879, 3.

[12] Bell’s Life, December 20, 1879, 3; Dundee Courier, December 16, 1879, 5; December 22, 1879, 2.

[13] Robson of Liverpool, despite declaring his allegiance to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the entry form, was disqualified from fourth place for not being Scottish, but the spectators raised a subscription for him (Bell’s Life, January 10, 1880, 9).

[14] Sporting Life, January 3, 1880, 3.

[15] Dundee Courier, April 8, 1882, 2.

[16] Sources: Aberdeen Journal 1878-88; Banffshire Journal 1879; Dundee Advertiser 1879-88; Dundee Courier 1879-87; Dundee Evening Telegraph 1879-82; Falkirk Herald 1880; Glasgow Evening Citizen, 1879; Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Review 1888; Peterhead Sentinel 1888; Sporting Life 1879-88.

[17] Glasgow Evening Citizen, October 11, 1879, 3.

[18] See generally on male and female Barclayists, Derek Martin, ‘A Short History of the Barclay Match: Long-Distance Pedestrianism in the Nineteenth Century’, in Sporting Cultures: Global Perspectives, ed. Piercy and Oldfield (Manchester: MMU Sport and Leisure History, 2019), 149; Dahn Shaulis, ‘Pedestriennes: Newsworthy but Controversial Women in Sporting Entertainment’, Journal of Sports History 26(1) (1999): 29; Roberta J. Park, ‘Contesting the Norm: Women and Professional Sports in Late Nineteenth-Century America’, International Journal of the History of Sport 29(5) (2012): 730; Harry Hall, The Pedestriennes: America’s Forgotten Superstars (Indianapolis, 2014).

[19] Dundee Courier April 10, 1882, 2.

[20] Aberdeen Journal, February 22, 1886, 3.

[21] Sporting Life, March 1, 1886, 4.

[22] Sporting Life, March 1, 1886, 4.

[23] Aberdeen Evening Express, March 29, 1886, 4.

[24] Aberdeen Journal, April 12, 1886, 5.

[25] Aberdeen Journal, May 10, 1886, 7.

[26] Dundee Courier, July 5, 1886, 2.

[27] Aberdeen Journal, July 19, 1886, 2.

[28] Aberdeen Journal, January 10, 1887, 7.

[29] Aberdeen Evening Express, March 29, 1886, 4; April 5, 1886, 4.

[30] In September 1888 in Aberdeen Miss Jeffrey and Miss Murray walked a match over two evenings; and the unofficial world champion Joe Scott (unsuccessfully) took on a relay team of three Scottish pedestrians over six days, thirty-six hours, losing by 209 miles to 214 (Aberdeen Evening Express, September 10, 1888, 3; Aberdeen Journal, September 15, 1888, 8).

[31] David A. Jamieson, Powderhall and Pedestrianism (Edinburgh: W. and A.K. Johnston, 1943), provides a detailed history of the famous Powderhall sprints in Edinburgh (still extant).

[32] Peterhead Sentinel, May 15, 1888, 7; May 22, 1888, 1; June 8, 1888, 2.

[33] As, for example, at Blaydon in 1872, he walked three miles in under 22 minutes (Era, December 22, 1872, 5); Glasgow Evening Telegraph, April 22, 1879, 6 (‘considerable notoriety’).

[34] Dundee Evening Telegraph, January 6, 1880, 2.

[35] York Herald, December 3, 1877, 1.

[36] Dundee Courier, December 13, 1880, 2. He won £45 in prize money.

[37] Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1922, 12.

[38] He arrived twenty minutes late for the start; in the race he made 309 miles for fourth place and a prize of £3 (Dundee Evening Telegraph, March 1, 1880, 2). His next (six-day) race started in Perth eight days later, and another two weeks after that in Leeds.

[39] The Referee, February 29, 1880, 5.

[40] Aberdeen Evening Express, March 12, 1887, 3.

[41] Edinburgh Evening News, July 4, 1879, 2.

[42] Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, April 28, 1882, 4.

[43] Aberdeen Journal, April 1, 1886, 4; April 24, 1886, 4.

[44] Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, August 17, 1884.

[45] Western Morning News, April 7, 1879, 1.

[46] Edinburgh Evening News, November 11, 1881, 4.

[47] She walked the thousand miles at two miles every consecutive hour for twenty-one days on the bowling ground of a pub near Preston (Preston Chronicle, January 15, 1881, 3).

[48] 1881 Scotland Census, Aberdeen St. Nicholas, ED 39, page 14 (‘Margaret McPhee’).

[49] Aberdeen Evening Express, March 31, 1886, 3; May 21, 1887, 2.

[50] Dundee Advertiser, December 22, 1879, 3.

[51] Glasgow Herald, February 24, 1880, 7.

[52] Dundee Courier, January 1, 1880, 3.

[53] Dundee Courier, March 15, 1880, 3.