An excerpt from William Litt's journal 'Wrestliana' published in 1823, in which he describes the different wrestling throws in Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestling,and the difficulties in establishing rules for 'taking hold' prior to commencement of a bout.

Page 7.

Finally, the circumstances of taking hold, while it is the most frequent cause of dissention among wrestlers, it is at the same time, the most difficult for an impartial spectator or umpire, to form a correct and decisive judgement upon. The biased and  interested spectator, and the well-wishers of either party, are often determined not to be convinced that the fault originates with their favourite. This being the case, those who give the prize, ought always promptly to enforce the judgement of the umpire whom they have chosen. The rule for deciding the hold, notwithstanding the difficulty of the subject, is we hope, sufficiently intelligible to any man who is competent to fulfil the arduous situation of acting as umpire. Being fully conscious, that as harmony and unanimity ought to be the distinguished characteristics of an amusement, we could not be too explicit, or minute, on the point which tends most to interrupt them; such a consideration could alone have induced us to treat everything relative to the subject of taking hold, in so lengthy a manner; but feeling as we do, that the frequency and splendour of the prizes given to wrestle for, will be considerably influenced by the cordiality displayed by the wrestlers towards each other, it appeared to us an indispensable duty to give this particular subject a full consideration; as shrinking from it would have implied an inability to treat of it -  a stigma we possess egotism enough, to believe we by no means merit.

Page1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7

Disclaimer ©2008 Webmaster