Bill Richmond ('A striking view of Richmond')

1 portrait

Bill Richmond ('A striking view of Richmond')

by and published by Robert Dighton
hand-coloured etching, published March 1810
12 in. x 10 1/4 in. (305 mm x 259 mm) paper size
acquired Unknown source, 1884
Reference Collection
NPG D10726

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  • Robert Dighton (1751-1814), Portrait painter, caricaturist and actor. Artist associated with 271 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

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Bill Richmond, whose skills in the boxing ring earned him the nickname the 'Black Terror', was born in Staten Island, New York. Lord Percy - the general who commanded the British Forces occupying the city during the American Revolution - witnessed Richmond's victory in a tavern brawl and took him in as a servant. In a number of matches against British soldiers, arranged by Percy for the entertainment of guests, Richmond was unbeaten. Percy brought him back to England in 1777 and Richmond began to fight on a regular basis. The most famous match of his career was against the British champion Tom Cribb in 1805 which he lost in the seventy-sixth round. Although he continued to fight intermittently, he became better known as the trainer of Tom Molyneaux, another black American fighter who eventually suffered the same fate at Cribb's hands.