James “Touch” Duckworth lived in Preston, but his name was known the length and breadth of Lancashire, an achievement that was difficult to accomplish in the first half of the 1800s. His ability with animals of all descriptions, and his love of horses and all aspects of their lives and work, including the breaking of horses for the local dignitaries and gentry earned him a surprising and unlikely place in their esteem.
On the other hand, James’ regular brushes with the law, made him a feared foe of the police, a dreaded adversary for the lawyer, and a regular attendee before the Magistrates. He regularly left those three interested parties in convulsions with his quick-witted repartee.
His self-estimated one-thousand bare-knuckle fights during the course of his life, all occurred before the 9th Marquess of Queensberry gave his name to the rules of that pugilistic endeavour, but many of them were held on the highways and byways of Preston when street-fights were an almost daily occurrence.
This complex, unpredictable, but in many ways talented and entertaining character will grow on you for certain.
Available from Halewood's, Friargate, Preston,
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or online at Waterstones (click here)
Alternatively: send a cheque for £15.49
(£12.99 plus £2.50 p&p) to
29 Minster Park, Cottam, Preston PR4 0BY
OR, if you're local:
Ring: 01772 768637 before calling for a copy
Reprint called for in January 2015
STILL £14.99, on Amazon.