History is important, and Wednesfield history is so darned interesting….
The Angel Inn in Wednesfield High Street has been rebuilt around 1932, it was rebuilt on the existing site of the old Angel PH. The Angel has long been a place where Wednesfield folk have congregated for a drink, a natter, and it looks like the odd wager and fight! It is a very important local Public House and has been at the centre of Wednesfield life for hundreds of years!
In 1866 The Angel Inn was where fighters wagered their fists against others!
In this snippet of Wednesfield History – A Mr J Done of Wednesfield (Could this be a member of the Wednesfield Bakery Family?) Announced he would fight J Clift of Lane End Willenhall at 9st .6lb.The wagers were touted and Mr J Done announced that he would be “at Mr Leedhams Angel Inn Wednesday, and any night next week to meet and make a match.
The news made it all the way to London and was reported in Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle 27 January 1866……
Nearly 30 years earlier The Angel Inn was very much the place for Cock Fighting some – the same publisher Bells Life in London & Sporting Chronicle in January 1837 reported. “James Hadley of Wednesfield will fight a main of Cocks against Whitehead of Gornal for £5 a battle, and £50 the main. “His needful is ready at the Angel Inn”.
Interestingly Cock Fighting had been made illegal two years earlier in the UK in 1835!
It had clearly not gone away in Wednesfield in 1837 where it was still being advertised in publications.
Cock Fighting is still taking place illegally and underground in the UK today. Its very much an underground cruel sport . But the RSPCA is still involved in the battle to stop this activity from taking place today in 2018.
My hope is that it isn’t happening in Wednesfield today, even an underground version…..!
Once again I owe much to Jackie Harrison of Wednesfield History Society who finds these useful snippets of history for me…