Readings — From the April 2014 issue

Road to Wigan Ear

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From a November 25, 1848, article published in the Norfolk News, Eastern Counties Journal and Norwich, Yarmouth, and Lynn Commercial Gazette and included in Purring: Sport of the People, an exhibition that opened in January at the Museum of Wigan Life, in Wigan, England. “Purring,” a Lancashire term for kicking, referred to various forms of competitive fighting in which opponents wearing wooden clogs would kick each other in the shins. An “up-and-down fight” also allowed punching or throttling. First outlawed as early as 1795, the sport is believed to have persisted into the twentieth century.

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