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A fascinating document recording the rather neglected sport of nude racing in the later 18th and early 19th centuries. Although 'nude' or 'naked' is not evident in ink, the record for race number five indicates the bare nature of the racing. Held on December 24th (one may have presumed that this was a summer sport), and raced over 10 miles at Gisburn, Yorkshire, the entry notes that 'the Shephard did not accompany Stump above 3 miles before he gave up. When Stump put on his clothes and ran the remainder of the race at his own ease'. In Bill Smith's book Studmarks on the Summits, 1985, he quotes the following passage in Lancashire Legends, by J. Harland and T.T. Wilkinson, headed 'Foot Races by Nude Men': 'A correspondent in Notes and Queries says: "During the summer of 1824 I remember seeing at Whitworth in Lancashire two races, at different periods, of this description. On one occasion two men ran on Whitworth Moor, with only a small cloth or belt around the loins. On the other occasion the runners were six in number, stark naked, the distance being seven miles, or seven times round the moor. There were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of spectators, men and women, and it did not appear to shock them as being anything out of the ordinary course of things. It is with reference to this usage, no doubt, that the Lancashire riddle says - As I was going over Rooley Moor, Rooley Moor shaked, I saw four-and-twenty men running stark nak'd; The first was the last and the last was the first The answer is - The twenty four spokes of a wheel".' The races recorded here appear to have taken place throughout the year and across numerous locations largely in Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is well recorded that nude racing took place on Kersal Moor, Lancashire, where many of the races here took place. Other locations include the Knutsford and Doncaster courses, Toll Bar Road, Scarborough Sands, a common near Cardiff, Boston Moor, and others. The competitors are almost entirely listed under nicknames or just surnames. Stump, a great champion by all accounts, The Old Soul, Duck Taylor, The Pie Lad, Wood, Pollitt, Seddon and Beal, amongst others, are all recorded as competitors. One noticeable exception is number 28 which notes a race on October 12th, 1807, between the champion Wood and the celebrated pedestrian Captain Barclay. Sadly nothing of the race is recorded here but the American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine reported that 'they ran over New Market race course, for a large wager; Wood was to go fifty miles further than the Captain in twenty-four hours; Wood ran eight hours successively with a stop, a scheme then fell among the gamblers'. The manuscript entries themselves vary between four and 12 lines giving the date, location, course length, participants, and more often than not, the wager. On July 14th 1806, Wood and Pollitt ran five rounds over the Doncaster course for the enormous sum of 400 guineas: 'started at 1 O'Clock and won by Wood beating Pollitt a distance . Pollitt stated to his friends that he would run it 55 minutes which he did in 53 minutes [the winning time was 51.24 minutes], the distance they ran was 9 miles 1 quarter and 3 yards. We may say that no man in England can beat Pollitt & (?) Wood on their day'. The fact that so much money was at stake meant that disputes were inevitable. On November 22nd, 1788 the record for race six (Stump against time) shows that 'he undertook to run 4 miles over Knutsford course in 21 minutes for 100 a side. He performed this race in 20 minutes 13 seconds as was proved by several time pieces but Jon Jackson one of the umpires not starting his watch a dispute arose and the wager was disputed'.