Cornhill Magazine,  9 (1864), 627–40.

A Day's Pleasure with the Criminal Classes

[John Ormsby]




Nomenclature, Crime, Status

    Discusses how the paraphernalia of illegal East End boxing matches are couched euphemistically in scientific terms. Describes, for instance, 'a select party of [...] patrons whiling away the time [before a bout] with early beer and scientific conversation' (631). Notes that 'Mr. Adams, official inspector or superintendent of the ring-keepers' is 'in his private capacity styled "The Scientific Ned Adams", from the elegance of his performance in battle on the ribs and noses of some of England's proudest gladiators' (636). Also records of one pugilist: 'I have since seen [him] warmly mentioned in print, on the score of his scientific attainments. In the natural course of things, therefore, it may be assumed that he took a public-house; and, possibly, by this time has raised himself, by his merits, to such a social position, that it may be more becoming to observe a decent reticence with regard to his name. Let us call him Bill Blank' (628).


Ormsby 1876

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