The James Figg pub serves up top food and drink in South Oxfordshire in the market town of Thame. Deep in the heart of Midsomer territory, the pubs renowned for its knock-out range of well-kept ales and wholesome meals.
But why is it called The James Figg pub?
Well visitors who ask the landlord this question can now be directed to the Blue Plaque which has been erected outside the pub; a plaque which salutes the amazing achievements of James Figg.
One of seven children, Figg was born in Thame in 1695 and during his early career as a bare-knuckle boxer set up his training headquarters in the town’s Greyhound Inn (which was re-named The James Figg in 2009) – a venue which hosted his early prize fights.
Figg was not a modest fighter but he had little to be modest about. He would promote his fights by saying: “Here I am Jemmy Figg from Thame. I will fight any man in England.”
To keep good his promise he would have to leave Thame and fight in London – a move which brought spectacular success as he became England’s first bare-knuckle boxing champion in 1719.
Boxing historians believe that Figg fought over 270 fights, suffering his only defeat at the hands of a Mr Edward Sutton of Gravesend. This loss was swiftly avenged in a rematch and Figg resumed his reign as champion until (accounts vary 1730 or 1734).
Figg’s life would have been remarkable enough if he had just been a boxer. But he was also regarded as one of England’s first boxing coaches, managers and promoters; having set up a school of pugilism in London.
What did he look like? Why not find out by coming to see the portrait of him outside the lovely pub named in his memory? You’ll find his face just above the Blue Plaque…
Food and drink in South Oxfordshire is made from the finest local ingredients, take a weekend break near London and find out for yourselves.