the cobley family history
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Job Cobley, The Elastic Pot-Boy

Bare Knuckle Boxer
Image published January 31 1861 by George Newbold, London

Born May 1835 at Wolvey, Warwickshire.

Height, 5 feet 7 3/4 inches. Weight, 9 stone 7 lbs


Beat Brushy Brown, July 13 1853, 48 rounds, 2 hours 7 minutes. £5 a side
Beat Joe Townsend, February 28 1854, 84 rounds, 3 hours 30 minutes. £10 a side
Beat Bill Ratcliffe, December 26th 1854, 16 rounds, 28 minutes. £10 a side
Beat Groomy Howe, March 6 1855, 63 rounds, 2 hours 33 minutes. £15 a side
Beat Bob Webb, March 13 1856, 35 rounds, 50 minutes. £25 a side
Beat Bob Travers, August 19 1856, 110 rounds, 3 hours 57 minutes. £50 a side
Beat George Crockett, April 22 1857, 12 rounds, 52 minutes. £100 a side.
Beaten by Bob Brettle, August 4 1857, 47 rounds, 1 hour 37 minutes. £100 a side

Job was the son of a Leicestershire Blacksmith and became a well known bare knuckle boxer in his time. On August 19, 1856, aged 21, he fought with the black champion American boxer Bob Travers (The Black Wonder) for 3 hours and 27 minutes at Halfway House, England. I am pleased to say that Job won the fight after 110 rounds! Quite what took him so long remains a mystery!

Whilst the fight was obviously long and protracted it didn't stop the two from meeting and fighting again, although on the next occasion the bout was for charity.

Pugilistic Benefit for the Distressed Coventry Weavers.

The announced pugilistic demonstration in aid of the funds for this charitable purpose took place on Monday evening, January 28, 1861, at the National baths, Westminster Road. The benefit was to all intents and purposes `a bumper,' and this must be highly gratifying to those members of the P.R. who had taken so much interest in carrying out this charitable gathering. The spacious building was crowded in every part. Phil Benjamins was the M.C., and was assisted in the discharge of his duties by Jemmy Shaw, with the most praiseworthy zeal. The sports opened with the performance of Professor Thomas, and then came the sparring, the bouts, which followed in admirable time, being between the following men, viz:--Dillon and Plantagenet Green, George Crockett and Dan Collins, Job Cobley and Travers, Ben Caunt and Jem Ward, Bos Tyler and Harry Brunton, Bob Brettle (who came expressly from Birmingham, with his belt and cups,) and Mike Madden, Jerry Noon and Alec Keene, W. Shaw and Young Reed, Tom Paddock and Tom King. Sam Hurst, the champion, who, from lameness, was unable to spar, came on the stage and exhibited the belt for which he and Tom Paddock had contended. Then followed Harry Broome, the ex-champion of England, and Harry Orme; but, before the bout between these distinguished members of the ring took place, Broome, in a neat speech, returned thanks on behalf of the committee for the liberal manner in which they had been supported in their charitable undertaking. Then came a spar between George Brown and Jemmy Welsh, Harris and Hicks being the next exhibitors, and last, though not least, was the wind--up between Nat Langham and Jem Mace, the last-named man exhibiting his belt. In addition to these leading men there were many others present who were anxious to set-to, but had not the opportunity. Tom Sayers was unable to attend, nor did Lynch, the American, put in an appearance to spar with Harrington. Broome, in his speech, announced that 197l. had been taken in money at the doors, this being irrespective of money that will have to be accounted for by tickets sold, so that the whole affair, in a pecuniary view, was eminently successful...

A donation of 50l.-the result of a musical performance was presented to the Bow Street Police Court poor-box, on 31st January, 1861, by Mr. Weston, the proprietor, and Mr. Corri, the musical director, of Weston's music-hall, Holborn.

A donation of 10l. for the same poor-box was received by Mr. Corrie from the proprietor of the Argyll Rooms, a casino in Windmill Street, Haymarket.

from Ragged London in 1861, by John Hollingshead, 1861

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