Attorney-General Arranges Bare-Knuckle Boxing Bout, 1824

From the Evening Mail, 30 June 1824:

“The lovers of the Fancy were gratified on Monday last, with a display seldom witnessed in this uncivilised Country. Two matches had been made. The parties were – two draymen of Christies’ Bray Brewery, versus one Rev. Fellow of College, and a son of our clever Attorney-general. Loughlinstown was the ground named for the mill, and at an early hour all our various vehicles were in requisition. At a quarter past two, Mr P—-t entered the ring, accompanied by his father’s devil as second – the papa himself preferring holding the bottle on the occasion, which he did ex officio in a style peculiarly his own. Shortly after the draymen entered the ring, accompanied by Quin of Bray, as second, and his head waiter as bottle-holder.-

The fight was a bad one. The young Attorney had neither skill nor pluck, and was much punished – as his papa was before him. We seldom witnessed a finer set-to than between the pugilistic Fellow, and Swab, the drayman, which immediately followed. The parson had the best of it all through, and floored his man cleverly. There are some serious notions entertained of establishing in our university, a professor of the manly art of self-defence – are convinced his lectures would be well attended.

Both Gentlemen were put to bed on their arrival at Old Connaught, and were both bled profusely by Doctor Heffernan, of Bray. It is expected that they will be able to show their face this Friday – the one in the dining hall of the College, the other in the Four Courts. The skirts of the young Attorney’s coat were seriously damaged, and it is feared will not recover.

The Attorney-General was William Plunket, later Lord Chancellor of Ireland, whose country home was at Old Connaught, Rathmichael. The pugilistic son must have been David, John or Patrick, all of whom became barristers. Doubtless their skill with their fists came in handy!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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