Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/78
best traditions of the ring. King now married and announced his intention of leaving the ring, thus acquiescing in the resumption of the belt by Mace. But he was yet to champion England against America in the great fight with the 'Benicia Boy,' John Camel Heenan, the adversary of Sayers. The ring was pitched at Wadhurst, below Tunbridge Wells, at an early hour on 10 Dec. 1863. King weighed a little below thirteen, Heenan just over fourteen stone; both were over six feet in height. The former seemed mistrustful, Heenan full of confidence. Bets of 20 to 7 were freely offered on the American, but there were few takers. Heenan's game throughout the early rounds was to close in and 'put the hug on' so as to crush his antagonist by dashing him violently to the ground. King's consisted of dealing his adversary a series of sledge-hammer blows on his nose. Both were extremely successful in their respective tactics, and in the absence of the orthodox feinting, sparring, and 'science,' the result came to be mainly a question of sheer endurance. At the eighteenth round the tide of victory turned in King's favour. At the close of the twenty-fourth round, after nearly forty minutes' fighting, Heenan lay insensible, and his seconds threw up the sponge. Public anxiety as to his condition was allayed by a medical report in the 'Times' (12 Dec.) Both combatants appeared in person at Wadhurst, in answer to a summons, on 22 Dec., when they were bound over to keep the peace, both King and Heenan engaging to fight no more in this country. King, having won about 4,000l. in stakes and presents, fulfilled his promise to the letter. After starring the country at 100l. a week, he set up as a book-maker and realised a handsome competence. He also invested in barge property.
In 1867 he won a couple of sculling races on the Thames, but in later years was best known for his success in metropolitan flower shows. He died of bronchitis at Clarence House, Clarence Road, Clapham, on 4 Oct. 1888. After 1863 the vigilance of the police confined pugilism in England more and more to the disreputable and dangerous classes, and Tom King is thus not incorrectly termed by the historian of the English prize-ring as 'Ultimus Romanorum.'[Miles's Pugilistica, vol. iii. ad fin. (portrait) ; Pendragon's Modern Boxing, 1879, pp. 43-50, 57-78 : Bell's Life, October 1861 ; W. E. Harding's Champions of the American Prize Ring, 1888, pp. 54-9 (portrait); Times, 11-12 Dec. 1863 ; Bird of Freedom, 10 Oct. 1888 ; Sporting Times, 13 March 1875; Boase's Modern Biography, ii. 229.]
KING, THOMAS CHISWELL (1818-1893), actor, was born at Twyning, near Tewkesbury, on 24 April 1818. He adopted his wife's maiden name of Chiswell in addition to his own name of Thomas King on his marriage, which took place shortly after he joined the theatrical profession. Apprenticed in his youth to the painting and paper-hanging business at Cheltenham, he acquired a taste for the stage through acting with amateurs, and about 1840 joined the company of Alexander Lee, the ballad composer, to support Mrs. Harriett Waylett [q. v.] in one-act dramas and operettas in Cheltenham, Worcester, Warwick, and Leamington. In 1843 he became attached in a subordinate capacity to the Simpson-Munro company at Birmingham, playing on 24 Oct. Conrade in 'Much Ado about Nothing,' and Sir Thomas Fairfax in the 'Field of the Forty Footsteps.' On 16 May 1844 he was seen as Young Scrooge in the 'Christmas Carol' to the Fezziwig of his wife.King made rapid progress in his profession, and by August 1847 was playing leading business on the York circuit under J. L. Pritchard. Proceeding to Gourlay's Victoria Theatre, Edinburgh, in June 1848, he remained there four months, and in November joined W. H. Murray's company at the Theatre Royal in the same city as 'heavy man,' appearing on the 13th as Sir Richard Wroughton in the 'Jacobite.' In April 1850 he supported Charles Kean during his visit to Edinburgh, and was engaged by him to play secondary tragic parts during the opening season of his management in London. Making his début at the Princess's in October 1850 as Bassanio in the 'Merchant of Venice,' King subsequently played the king in 'Henry IV, Part I.,' and on 31 Jan. 1851 was seen as the exiled duke when 'As you like it' was performed before the queen at Windsor. Late in the year he was engaged by John Harris of Dublin as leading actor at the Theatre Royal there. He opened under the new management on 26 Dec. as Colonel Buckthorne in 'Love in a Maze,' and soon became an abiding favourite with Dublin playgoers. Remaining there five seasons, be appeared in no fewer than fifteen notable Shakespearean revivals, and as Macbeth, Master Ford, Hotspur, and Leontes, met with much approbation. During 1855 he was in leading support to Helen Faucit, Samuel Phelps, and Miss Glyn during their visits to Dublin. In March 1856 he seceded abruptly from the Theatre Royal, and on 14 April began a three weeks' engagement at the Queen's in the same city in 'Hamlet.' Opening at Birmingham on 20 Oct., in con-