The Gripes, The Buttock, And The Loose Leg. Wrestling: Presentation Copy Signed By The Author.

The Gripes, The Buttock, And The Loose Leg. Wrestling: Presentation Copy Signed  By The Author.
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PARKYN, Sir Thomas.  ΠΡΟΓΥΜΝΆΣΜΑΤΑ [Progymnasmata] The Inn-Play: or Cornish-Hugg Wrestler. Digested In A Method which teacheth to break all Holds, and throw most Falls Mathematically. Easy to be understood by all Gentlemen, &c. and of great Use to such who understand the Small- Sword In Fencing. And, by all Tradesmen and Handicrafts, that have competent Knowledge of the Use Of the Stillards, Bar, Crove-Iron or Lever, with their Hypomochlions, Fulciments or Baits. Third edition Corrected with large Additions. London; Printed for Tho. Weekes, at the White-Hart in Westminster- Hall; and sold by Humph. Wainwright, at Bunny, in Nottinghamshire. 1727. 4to. [2] [xviii] 3-64, index ff4. Woodcut illustrations, head and tail pieces and initials. Bound in original calf, rebacked. Author’s presentation inscription “ Ex dono Author: Tho: Parkyn “. Toning and foxing, but a sound copy.This is the third edition, and the last in Parkyn’s lifetime. ESTC shows variant collations; this copy does not have the appendix or extra poem found in some copies, but does have some manuscript notes on swimming and on the life and burial monument of Parkyn. A printed Epitaph is also tipped to the rear endpaper, with a further manuscript inscription.
Parkyns, [1664-1741] of Bunny Park, Nottinghamshire England, seems to have been rather eccentric. His passion for wrestling is what he is remembered for today. He held annual wrestling tournaments at Bunny Park, and employed as servants those who had bested him. His annual competition continued after his death, until 1810, and had an influence on the practice and theory of the sport, described in this very curious work. Parkyns was influenced by his study of Mathematics at Trinity College Cambridge as a young man, and he acknowledges his obligations to Sir Isaac Newton in this work. Newton came to hear of Parkyns and invited him to attend his lectures at Trinity. Parkyn’s interest in impetus and the mechanics of levers and ‘Hydraulicks” were applied to his theories of wrestling. He suggested that would be wrestlers should be ‘middle sized athletick men, full hearted and broad shouldered; for wind and strength brawny leg'd and arm'd, yet clear limb'd … none but beefeaters will go down with me.’ ‘Whoever would be a compleat wrestler,’ he adds, ‘must avoid being overtaken by drink, which very much enervates, or being in a passion at the sight of his adversary.’
A further eccentricity of baronet Parkyn is known. He kept a collection of stone coffins in the churchyard at Bunny, choosing one for his future use and offering others to choose their own. He also studied physic, which he applied to his tenants, and enjoyed bell ringing and running. It was said of him that he ‘could throw a tenant, combat a paradox, quote Martial or sign a mittimus with any man of his own age or county.’[DNB]. The printed Epitaph pasted to the back endpaper reads;
Beneath this stone Old Perkin’s laid,
The first fair fall he ever had;
Nor Time without the aid of Death,
Could e-er have beat him out of Breath;
All else he threw, and will these twain;
As soon as he gets up again.

[The Parkyns Baronetcy, of Bunny Park in Nottinghamshire, is a title in the Baronetage of England. It was created on 18 May 1681 for Thomas Parkyns in acknowledgement of the royalist service of his father Colonel Isham Parkyns during the English Civil War. (Wiki.)] 

A very curious and entertaining work signed by a great English eccentric.

£1,750.00


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