Deaf History: James Burke

Sebastian Cunliffe presents the story of a prize fighter

Documentary as part of our Deaf History strand. Reporter Sebastian Cunliffe tells us about the most famous Deaf sportsman who has lived - boxer James Burke. Born in 1809 to a poor family, Burke's parents died when he was young and he was forced to roam for food, before a chance meeting with a pub landlord changed his life. By 1833 he was an acclaimed bare knuckle fighter, but a tragic fight against Simon Byrne led him to flee to America. Again falling on troubled times, he later returned to fight in England under new rules. But would he end his life a wealthy man, or as poor as he started?

Read more

Read less

- Name is required
- You must be over 16 to post a video comment
- Please tick here to say you will do this.

(Your name / email address will be private - We may use your email address to contact you about our programmes. For more information, please see our privacy policy.)

Thank you for your submission. Your comment will be moderated before being publicly visible.
  • very nice video! The story is correct, he died penniless.  Very sad.  Any more other interesting  stories? Looking forward for more 
     
    Posted on
    190401
  • I thought this was poignant short film and that it was very interesting. I was MOST impressed by the quality of the filmmaking, and the atmospheric scenes  and the details that were picked out by the camera  were very evocative. I suspect there is enough in this man's story for someone to make a longer feature film with funding coming from both YK and America.
    Posted on
    190401
  • Amazing! What an amazing man. I do not like boxing but I am very interested in the history.
    Posted on
    161031
  • Wow spooky real true happen a lot deaf people still train now hard work and no respect ooh .
    Posted on
    131114
  • James Burke died in 1845, aged 36.
    Posted on
    130717
  • James Burke died when??
    Posted on
    130717
  • Incredible video. Awesome...
    Posted on
    130717

Back to top