The Cornish Hugg

The year is 1712 and you’re doing rather well at Gray’s Inn College studying something obscure, unaware you’re about to become part of sporting folklore.

To fill up your timetable, you opt for an exotic trio of vaulting, fencing and Cornish Wrestling.

It’s the wrestling ring where you first run into the knee of Sir Thomas Parkyns, although he is no more a sir than you at the time.

He has enjoyed a golden-fleece-of-an-education…Westminster School, Trinity Cambridge and now here, at Gray’s. 

But to your wrestling tutor, Mr Cornish (yes, really) he’s just another jack the lad with a posh voice who needs knocking down a peg or two.

Mr Cornish believes the way to learn is to wrestle and so he gets the hump about Parkyns’ insistence on talking notes. 

Over time, and late nights propped up in the bar with you, they see eye to eye. 

So much so, that in 1713, Parkyns publishes The Inn-Play, or Cornish-Hugg Wrestler, the first ever text book on how to wrestle, Cornish style.

Students are told to wear ‘a pair of linen drawers wide at the knees’ and taught how to execute all the throws, such as The Flying Horse, The Hanging Trippet, The In-Clamp and Back Clamp, The Pinnion, The Gripes, The Buttock and The In-Lock.

Although you favour the Out-Play or Loose Leg.  

You open a wrestling club for boys and girls in West Penwith, while Parkyns walks off with a knighthood.

But if push comes to shove, you still know you could take him out with your Flying Horse and Buttock combo.