Professor Hundreds

William Banner Pullum (1844 – 1889)

Most of the information I have about his career comes from an extract from “Sporting Life” 17th December 1889.

William Pullum Professor Hundreds


The article below was copied from a typed transcription of the original, given to me by my first cousin twice removed Maisie. I have only corrected obvious typos. Red numbers have been added and link to notes with the additional information.

The photo to the left, is reproduced with the kind permission of the family of Alan Pullum.

Professor Hundreds’ Funeral

Yesterday (Monday) the remains of another of the old time pugilists in the person of William Banner Pullum (better known as Professor Hundreds) were consigned to the grave at Manor Park cemetery(1). Born in East London on May 27, 1844(2), he was brought up as a butcher(3), but, having graduated in the best sparring academies, he developed a strong liking for the art of self-defence. He was matched against Billy Crane, who was considerably taller, for £10. The fight took place in the London district on November 8, 1865, and after 2 hours 55minutes’ hard slogging out hero was declared the winner. On June 8, 1864 Pullum defeated one Harry Mead in three rounds, occupying only nine minutes, and was matched to fight Peter Free, on the same day as George Iles and Joe Wormald fought, June 15, 1864, but the big ‘uns fought until dark, and each of the others received their stakes back. He was matched to fight both Bob and Bos Furze, but singular to relate, each forfeited a small sum. The battle which brought him into most prominence was against Alec Lawson, for £50 (4). They fought “down the river” and both proved themselves game to the backbone, as, after contending in two rings for 3 hours 54 mins. 45sec., October 23, 1867, darkness caused a cessation of hostilities, and each received his stake. As he could not find a customer with Nature’s weapon, he confined his attention to the mufflers(5) and defeated Tom Goller for a silver cup at 8st. 8lb., bent Jem Codey of Drury Lane, for a ‘light-weight’ belt; and also won a silver medal at the Cambridge Hall, Newman Street, Oxford Street. He became an instructor in the art of self-defence, and, amongst others, taught Mr J. H. Ellis, who became amateur feather-weight champion. Latterly he also was a successful manager of assaults at arms(6), especially at the Alexandra Palace(7). For years he has been a sufferer from a complication of ailments, and finally succumbed to acute phthisis(8) in the Hospital for Consumption, Victoria Park, on Saturday, December 7. The procession, consisting of a car, with glazed sides, and three mourning carriages, in which were seated deceased’s father(9), widow(10), and eight children, viz: Jane, William, Caroline, Amy, Frederick, Henry, Clara, and Alfred(11): his brothers Henry, Charles, Frederick and George, his sisters Jane, Ellen, Emily, Amy, Clara(12) and other relatives; left deceased’s late residence 16, Red Lion Street, Kingsland Road(13), shortly before Three o’clock, followed by several private and other vehicles, going by way of Pearson Street, Fellowes Street, Dunloe Street, Weymouth Street, Hackney Road, Bishops Road, Roman Road, though Bow, Stratford and Maryland Point, direct to the cemetery(14), where it was met by Rev. J. P. Grey, who read the service both in the chapel and at the graveside most impressively. The coffin, which was of polished elm, bore the inscription “William Banner Pullum. Died December 7, 1889, aged 45.” Wreaths were sent by his brother Henry, Mr Dicker, Mr & Mrs Glover, Mrs Heath, Mrs Waterman, Mr Lewis, Duke of Gloucester, St. Johns Road(15). The coffin was carried to and from the hearse by Pat Condon, W. Cliffton, Arthur Kidd and Jack Pass. Amongst those who also attended were Sergeant W. Green, Professor E. Kelly (of Glasgow), Ted Jones, W. Lincount (‘Nimbo’), Joe Good (metallician(16)) Jack Partridge, W. Hibber (boxer), J Hibberd (pedestrian (17)), Tom Hollis, Jack Boscombe (Cornwall and Devon wrestler), George Cox, Joe Evans, H.Walker. Alf. Roberts, Jack Berry, W Biggs, H Woodstock etc.

We shall gladly receive subscriptions for widow and family, who are totally unprovided for(18).

1.Manor Park Cemetery

Sebert Road, London N7 Park Cemetery
Monday 16th December 1889


2. Born in East London
on May 27, 1844

In 67 Bridport Place, Hoxton Old Town.
Eldest son of William Pullum and Jane Susannah Slatter.
He was baptised 11th August 1844 at St Mary’s, Islington, Upper Street, London N1 By D. Wilson St Marys Islington
His middle name Banner was his maternal grandmother’s maiden name.


3.Brought up as a butcher

Various occupations were recorded for him:
1861 Census:
1866 Marriage record:
Clothes dealer
1869 Daughter’s baptism record:
Artificial flower maker
(this was his father’s occupation but this record is for his daughter)
1871 Census: Clothes dealer
1874 Son & Daughter’s baptism record: Tailor
1877 Son’s baptism record: Tailor
1881 Census: Pugilist – boxer
1882 Daughter’s baptism record: General dealer
After his death, his occupation was recorded on the marriage certificates of his children as either Clothes dealer or Tailor.

4.The battle which brought him into most prominence was against Alec Lawson, for £50

“Famous Fights-Past and Present” was a weekly London newspaper, published from March 4, 1901 to 1904.
There were 156 issues of a “Police Budget” edition, with 16 pages and also the Shurey’s Edition with 24 pages. It covered the history of bare knuckle boxing, with rare inclusions of gloved fights. It also had a regular section on leading gloved boxers of early 20th century.
( VIII No. 098 contains an article “Magnificent Mill in the Ring between Alec Lawson and Young Hundreds.”William Banner Pullum was known as Professor Hundreds. This article is likely to have been about the most prominent of his fights.xxxxxx

5.Confined his attention to the mufflers

The modern boxing glove was invented in 1743, by Jack Broughton and were known as mufflers. At the time they were used for sparring only. Broughton used to instruct men in self-defence, at an arena in Tottenham Court Road, and he used his mufflers to ‘effectively secure pupils from the inconvenience of black eyes, broken noses and bloody jaws’.
(Oliver Irish Sunday. 6 October 2002. Observer Sport Monthly

66. Manager of assaults at arms
Assault–at–arms: a public team contest in which individual boxers, wrestlers, and fencers of various weights and classes are matched

8. Succumbed to acute phthisis

Phthisis:Pulmonary tuberculosis or similar progressive wasting disease

7z7. At the Alexandra Palace
This was reported in several newspapersnewspapers re AllyPally

9.Deceased’s fatherSt John the Baptist Hoxton

William Pullum (1924 – 1910) Master Artificial Florist.

His mother Jane Susannah Slatter had died in 1865 aged 42. 

10. Widow

Caroline Glover (1847 – 1925), daughter of James Glover and Elizabeth Goode.Married 23rd July at St. John the Baptist, Hoxton, Shoreditch, London.



11. Eight children, viz: Jane, William, Caroline, Amy, Frederick, Henry, Clara and Alfred.

William and Caroline had nine children ( the 1911 census that Caroline is on, has recorded that she had 9 children with 7 living).
However see below re: James.
For Amy, I have only found the birth. However there is a record of her death the same year (also she is not on any of the censuses).

The nine children were:

  • Caroline Susannah born 3rd March 1869 (buried 17th March 1970
  • Jane born 1870
  • William Banner born 1871
  • Amy born 1873 (died 1873)
  • Caroline born 1874
  • Frederick John born 1876
  • Henry born 1877
  • Clara born 1882
  • Alfred born 1884

Additionally I have found a James Pullum born 1879, whose mother’s maiden name was Glover, and only one Pullum / Glover marriage.


12. Brothers Henry, Charles, Frederick and George,
his sisters Jane, Ellen, Emily, Amy, Clara

William had five brothers. Those as reported and one, Thomas, who had predeceased him in 1875.
I have however, only evidence of three sisters, not five. The reporter seems to have added Amy and Clara. However these may be his sisters-in-law, as brother Charles married Amelia Maria Sherriff and another brother, Henry married Elizabeth Clara (who was known as Clara) but George and Frederick’s wives are not mentioned or perhaps were not present.
Williams siblings were:
Thomas Slatter Pullum born 1846 Jane Susannah born 1847
Henry Alfred (my great-great grandfather Harry) born 1849 Emily Charlotte (Minnie) born 1857
Charles Albert born 1851 Helen Elizabeth born 1860
George Joseph born 1854
Frederick James born 1862


13. Residence 16, Red Lion Street, Kingsland Road

His previous residences were:
16 Hyde Place, Shoreditch, London on the 1851 census
71 High Street, Hoxton, Shoreditch, London in 1856 ?evidence
10 Curate House, Cottage Place, Elder Walk, Islington on the 1861 census
17, Hoxton, High Street London in 1866 at the time of his marriage
22 Fellowes Street, Haggerston, London on the 1871 and 1881 census


14. Going by way of Pearson Street, Fellowes Street, Dunloe Street, Weymouth Street, Hackney Road, Bishops Road, Roman Road, though Bow, Stratford and Maryland Point, direct to the cemetery

A distance (from his home to the cemetery) of about 11 miles as the crow flies.

Professor hundreds funeral map



15. Wreaths were sent by his brother Henry, Mr Dicker, Mr & Mrs Glover, Mrs Heath, Mrs Waterman, Mr Lewis, Duke of Gloucester, St. Johns Road.

As Glover was his wife’s maiden name, then the wreath from My & Mrs Glover could be from her parents.

Mrs Heath, could be his sister Helen as she had married Henry James Heath in 1875.

The Duke of Gloucester was a pub situated at 40 St. John’s Road in Hoxton.
The landlord was probably Jacob Louis

 16. Joe Good (metallician)

Metallician (turf), a racing book- maker.
Bookmakers use metallic books and pencils (Hotten).

17. J Hibberd (pedestrian)

Pedestrian: a competitive walker. Pedestrianism was a spectator sport in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries.


18. Widow and family, who are totally unprovided for.

At the time of his death, his children:
Jane was 19 (and married a year later);
William was 18 (and married about 18 months later);
Caroline was 15, Frederick 13, Henry 12, Clara 7 and Alfred 5.

By 1901, Caroline was living at 41 Florida Street, Bethnal Green, London
with Clara (age given as 18, a linen collar hand) and Alfred (age given as 19, a boot ?? shopman). Caroline was working as a cardboard box maker.
Clara married three years later and in 1911, Caroline was still a cardboard box maker and living at 24 Holmes Street, Hackney Road, Haggerston N E, Shoreditch, London in one room with Alfred, then aged 27 and a fish porter.
However he had been in the workhouse in Bethnal Green in 1908 and readmitted the following year. He died in 1918 aged 34.
Caroline died in 1925 aged 78.


Related pages:

The Banner Pullums

Why the name Professor Hundreds?


 (Last updated 05.11.2016)


2 thoughts on “Professor Hundreds

    1. Kevin Trott

      just came across your website. Professor Hundreds was the brother of my 2x gt grandfather Henry Alfred Pullum. Fascinating information about the family I didn’t previously know.



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