'The Cornish Hugg- Wrestler' - an original copy acquired by Kresen Kernow thanks to a Gorsedh donation
News from Kresen Kermow - the Archives and Cornish Studies Service:
"Thanks to a generous donation from Gorsedh Kernow, the Archives and Cornish Studies Service was recently able to acquire at auction a copy of the 1727 edition of Sir Thomas Parkyns’ (1663-1741) ‘The Inn-Play or Cornish Hugg wrestler’ which was about his passion: wrestling. The book ‘sought to restore the practice of old sports that had been so vital in fostering military strength against the French,’ thus making ‘all your subjects more useful to your army’. The book is one of the earliest practical manuals on fencing and wrestling, and came about due to Parkyns’ habit of noting down every lesson that his instructor, Mr Cornish of Greys Inn, had given him. Parkyns lived at Bunny Hall in Nottinghamshire, and was a veritable polymath: architect, mathematician, agriculturalist and grammarian. It was said that he could ‘throw a tenant, combat a paradox, quote martial, or sign a mittimus with any man of his own country’.
The manuscript is a valuable and early source of information on the art of Cornish Wrestling and can now be viewed at the Cornish Studies Library, Alma Place, Redruth.
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