An ex-Boxer in Finsbury Park knocks a policeman off his beat


Edwin ‘Nunc’ Wallace had been a prizefighter of some renown in the late 1800s. Born in Birmingham in 1867 he was a small man that ‘hit hard’. At least one member of the capital’s constabulary was able to testify to the power of his right hook. In August 1899 Wallace appeared at the Highgate Police Court charged with assaulting PC Kendall 635Y.

The boxer had retired two years earlier and had taken up the position of a bookmaker. His pal, Walter King, was also charged that afternoon, with obstructing Kendall is his attempt to arrest Wallace. The report tells us nothing of the circumstances of the fight; no reason his given, but King is described as the ‘punch of Holloway’ and said to be operating from a premises in Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park.

Wallace  surrendered himself to the police as soon as he was made aware that a warrant was issued for him. The ex-boxer had several previous similar convictions and so he was fined £5 plus cost by the magistrate (with the alternative of a month  in prison). King was fined 40s which he paid.

In April 2015 a 19th century boxing belt won by Wallace came up for sale with an estimate of £200-400. It was accompanied by the following information: Wallace ‘became one of the most successful boxers of the Victorian era, winning multiple National Championship titles and the 8 stone championship a number of times between 1887 and 1892. His most famous fight was against the American lightweight George Dixon in 1890 in the Featherweight Championships of the World. Although Wallace lost the fight, it took 18 rounds for him to finally surrender. Wallace continued to compete until 1897.’

He sounds a formidable character and so it not surprising that PC Kendall was off duty for over a month with the injuries he sustained.

[from The Illustrated Police News etc, Saturday, August 19, 1899]

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