Author Topic: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire  (Read 905 times)

Offline RuslanPashayev

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George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« on: Monday 23 October 17 03:20 BST (UK) »
My name is Ruslan, Delaware,Ohio(USA). My post is about - George Swithenbank (aka "Muck George") of the Junction, near Delph, Saddleworth who was born in 1825. In the mid and late 1840's he became the most prominent champion heavyweight wrestler of Yorkshire and South Lancashire. He practiced - Catch-as-catch-can, wrestling style which was popular in Lancashire,Yorkshire and Cheshire. He wins big heavyweight wrestling championship tourney in Bury, Lancashire in 1846. Then in 1849 he traveled to London to compete at Camden Town, at famous Cornish Style Championship. Swithenbank was associated with other best catch-as-catch-can wrestlers of the 40's - Adam Ridings (aka "Dockum") of Bury and William Buckley (aka "Trout") of Oldham. Swithenbank was the GREATEST wrestler of Yorkshire and South Lancashire in the 1850's and he was still wrestling in the early 1860's,his last competitive result in my collection is dated 1862. At his prime Swthenbank was 5ft 10 1/2 (180cm) tall and his weight was around 170lb (12st). George was a blacksmith, he lived his whole life in Junction, Saddleworth, and never got married. According to Ancestry he died at the age of 59 in 1884.I am trying to find his obituary in local Saddleworth newspapers, but I am not sure which papers might have covered that. Also trying to find any additional material on him. I would highly appreciate any info related to that subject.Thanks.Kind regards, Ruslan

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Offline PaulineJ

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #1 on: Monday 23 October 17 10:32 BST (UK) »
Confusingly, it's probably gong to be at Oldham.

https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200276/local_studies_and_archives

Wrestling was an integral part of rushbearings, and also the Whit Friday brass contests
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Offline RuslanPashayev

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #2 on: Monday 23 October 17 14:30 BST (UK) »
thanks so much for your reply, heres what I have...Saddleworth was in Yorkshire and it got split. Some of it was given to Ashton Under Lyne district in 1895.The rest was put in Oldham as late as 1974. Swithinbank is a 100% Yorkshire name and his dad was from Mirfield which is
Dewsbury. Father was Joseph or Josiah and mother Sarah from Saddleworth. Birth seems to be 1825 and his burial as 17th April 1884 at St Thomas Saddleworth. I am curios if there was any local newspaper which may have covered his death...I need his obituary. My hope is it may have more of his competitive results.

Offline RuslanPashayev

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #3 on: Monday 23 October 17 14:34 BST (UK) »
Heres info...

Offline PaulineJ

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #4 on: Monday 23 October 17 15:48 BST (UK) »
I can see the edge of Saddleworth Moor from the kitchen window (albeit in the distance) .

I'd try Oldham first of all.
https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200391/sources/659/newspapers_and_obituaries
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Offline RuslanPashayev

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #5 on: Monday 23 October 17 15:53 BST (UK) »
Pauline, you mentioned that wrestling was an integral part of rushbearings, and also the Whit Friday brass contests...Rushbearings are still present at Upper Mill as well as wrestling is...but what was that Whit Friday Brass Contest about and how it was related to wrestling?Do you know which style of wrestling was performed there? Never heard of it.
So you think his obituary will be in local Oldham papers for April 1884??


Offline PaulineJ

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #6 on: Monday 23 October 17 16:17 BST (UK) »
http://whitfriday.brassbands.saddleworth.org/intro.html
Quite a serious competition.  The local bands will practice several hours a week year round with extra practice before the event. Like all day Saturday and Sunday plus a 3 hour practice on a weekday evening.

Still an annual event, although it seems to be official  started after just after your chaps time.


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Offline RuslanPashayev

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #7 on: Monday 23 October 17 16:44 BST (UK) »
Pauline so they still have "wrestling" at that brass band event or they had it in the past ??? may be I should email them?

Offline PaulineJ

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Re: George Swithenbank of Saddleworth - Champion Wrestler of Yorkshire
« Reply #8 on: Monday 23 October 17 16:53 BST (UK) »
Ask the local studies centre which occasions in the past the year included wrestling.

I haven't heard of any wrestling at the modern brass competitions.
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