Bill Richmond ('A striking view of Richmond')

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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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, 1884
Reference Collection
NPG D10726

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Robert Dighton (1751-1814), Portrait painter, caricaturist and actor. Artist or producer associated with 320 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

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.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 457

Placesback to top

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Events of 1810back to top

Current affairs

Serious 'Burdett and Liberty' riots break out in London in support of radical MP Sir Francis Burdett who had been arrested for denouncing the House of Common's decision to bar journalists from some debates.
Princess Amelia dies triggering renewed bout of illness in her father, George III.

Art and science

Sir Walter Scott publishes his chivalrous, medieval ballad, The Lady of the Lake, set on Loch Katrine in Perthshire.
Kennett and Avon Trunk Canal is completed.
First Savings Bank is set up by financier Henry Duncan.


Madame De Stael writes De l'Allemagne which portrays Germany as a model of Romantic nationalism for emerging revolutionary nations. It was banned by Napoleon but published in London to great acclaim.
Lisbon besieged. Wellington takes shelter behind the fortified lines of the Torres Vedras and the French army are forced to retreat.

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