Bill Richmond plaque and portrait unveiling ceremony – 26 August

Bill Richmond Book

Bill Richmond plaque and portrait unveiling ceremony

& ‘Richmond Unchained’ book launch – 26 August

Wednesday 26 August 2-3pm

Unveiling of memorial plaque and portrait of Bill Richmond (1763-1829) 

by Earl George Percy.

Tom Cribb Pub, 36 Panton St, London, SW1Y

Nearest tube stations: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Charing Cross

RSVP to lgw007@yahoo.com

A portrait of Richmond and a plaque summarising his amazing life and career will adorn the wall of the historic pub owned by Shepherd Neame brewery in recognition of Richmond’s position in history as the first black sportsman to achieve international fame and significance.

The unveiling will take place at a launch event for Luke G. Williams’ new book Richmond Unchained: The Biography of the World’s First Black Sporting Superstar, which was published on 15 August by Amberley Books.

Born into slavery in America, Richmond travelled to England in the 1770s thanks to the kindly intervention of Earl Hugh Percy, a British soldier renowned for his humanitarianism, who ensured that Richmond received an education and was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker. It is therefore fitting that Hugh Percy’s direct descendant, Earl George Percy, has agreed to unveil this memorial to one of sporting history’s leading pioneers.

Although he only became a professional boxer in his forties, Richmond assembled an impressive record of 17 wins from 19 contests, while he was also a highly sought after trainer and gymnastic instructor. Richmond was one of the most recognisable celebrities in Georgian Britain, mixing with the likes of William Hazlitt and Lord Byron. A measure of the high regard in which he was held was the fact that he was present at the coronation celebrations of King George IV in 1821.

Author Luke G. Williams says: “The Tom Cribb pub is a perfect location for a permanent memorial to Bill Richmond. Cribb was a champion boxer and contemporary of Richmond who was once landlord of these premises. The two men were initially rivals but eventually became firm friends and spent many evenings conversing and socialising at the pub. In fact, Richmond spent the last evening of his life with Cribb in the pub.

“I am delighted that Shepherd Neame brewery have agreed that Bill’s amazing journey from slavery to sporting superstardom should be recognised with a permanent memorial. For it to be officially unveiled by George Percy, a direct descendent of the man whose kindness transformed Bill’s life, is incredibly exciting.”

Further details about Richmond Unchained:

www.billrichmond.blogspot.co.uk

https://www.amberley-books.com/richmond-unchained.html

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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