Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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TURNER , EDWARD (‘ NED ’) ( 1792 - 1826 ), prize-fighter ;

b. 1792 ( 1791 according to Bohun Lynch , The Prize Ring ), in London , of Welsh parents who hailed from Newtown, Mont. , where later, as pugilist , he trained and was ‘lionised.’ Apprenticed as skin-dresser at a yard in Bermondsey , which had a sparring club , he became a proficient boxer . His foreman became jealous and abused him for being Welsh . The two fought and Turner won. After this and other battles, he was recognised as a first-rank pugilist . His first great fight was with Curtis . This was fairly fought, but Curtis was so battered that he died after it. Turner was tried for wilful murder. The judge summed up in his favour and a verdict of manslaughter was entered. Three months imprisonment followed. Later he fought Scroggins twice, winning both times, Randall (‘ The Nonpareil ’), narrowly losing, Davis and Martin (‘ Master of the Rolls ’) twice, winning the first time and losing the second, and Inglis twice, losing the first and winning the second time. His health failed and he d. April 1826 at the age of 34. He was modest, unassuming, and good-natured. As regards skill, endurance, and courage in the ring, he was never excelled. George Borrow praised him in his panegyric on the ‘ bruisers of England .’


  • H. D. Miles , Pugilistica being one hundred and forty-four years of the history of British Boxing … From … 1719 … to … 1863 (London, 1880-81) ;
  • Bohun Lynch , The Prize Ring … Illustrated by reproductions of old prints, several oil paintings, and of the famous Byron screen (London, 1925) , 1925 .


William Jenkyn Thomas, M.A., (1871-1959), London

Published date: 1959