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Tom Molineaux (1784-1818), American boxer

Sitter in 2 portraits
Molineaux was born a slave in Georgetown, Virginia and began his career fighting other slaves in bouts organised by plantation owners. After a particularly brilliant victory, Molineaux was given his freedom and $500. He arrived in England in 1809 and began to box professionally, trained by Bill Richmond, another freed American slave and prizefighter. His most famous matches were against the British champion Tom Cribb in 1810 and 1811. He lost on both occasions but became a national celebrity. He died in Dublin in 1818.

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Tom Molineaux

by Unknown artist
Staffordshire portrait figure, circa 1810-1815
NPG 5813


Tom Molineaux ('Molineaux')

by and published by Robert Dighton
hand-coloured etching, published January 1812
NPG D13314