Tom Cribb

From Academic Kids

Tom Cribb (1781-11 May 1848) was an English bare-knuckle boxer of the 19th century, so successful that he became world champion. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Born in the Hanham area of Bristol, Cribb moved to London at the age of 13 and after working as a bell-hanger got work as a coal porter in Wapping.

His first fight was on 7 January 1805 at Wood Green in north London. Victory here, followed by another a month later, persuaded him to become a professional pugilist, under the supervision of Captain Robert Barclay. In 1810, Cribb was awarded the British title. He then fought a black American, former slave Tom Molineaux, to become world champion a victory he repeated in 1811.

In 1812, aged 31, he retired to become a coal merchant (and part-time boxing trainer). Later he became a publican (running the Union Arms, Panton Street, close to Haymarket in central London).

In 1839 he retired to Woolwich in south-east London where he died in 1848, aged 67. He was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's and St Andrew's, Woolwich where a monument to his memory was erected.

There is a popular local legend in the Bristol area that Cribbs Causeway, a road not far from Hanham that has given its name to a major out-of-town shopping mall, retail park and entertainment complex, was named for Tom Cribb. Despite being proved to be false this has not stopped the legend from continuing. See the Cribbs Causeway article for more information.

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