Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Joe Scott - world champion walker - 1859-9/2/1908.


TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRESS. Sir, — As I hear that Edwards, the pedestrian, has been circulating rumors injurious to my reputation, I hope you will insert these lines in my defence. I beat his time in July for 100 miles, in the Theatre here, and after I had done so he went round town running down my feat, although it was done beyond a doubt, and for a wager, and his was only for gate money, and according to his own timekeeper, he only walked eightysix miles. On the 7th September I beat him for seven miles on a seventy yard course. We walked in the drill-shed at his own request, as I could beat him just as well on the road. He put a challenge in the Times the night before he left here, and when my backers went to see him at 12 o'clock they found him gone. I hope, however, to meet him at the next sports here, where I may have to give him a start. I also notice that he lays claim to the title of Californian Champion, although he was never there, and I challenge him to produce the belt which he says he has won. Most of the other items on the list in the Lyttelton Times are of the same fabulous nature, I believe, and he certainly cannot be Champion of New Zealand, as he has only walked thrice in this country for money, and been beaten once by Spence in Auckland, the next being with McGregor here, and the last with me, when I beat him easily, and can do so again on any ground in Dunedin. Hoping that this will have the effect of confining him more closely to the truth.

Yours, &c., Joseph Scott,

Dunedin, September 22nd.  -Press, 25/9/1875.



Sir, — In reply to a letter, signed Joseph Scott, I wish to say a word or two. If Austin, young Scott's trainer, wants to write letters to the public papers, I wish he would sign his own name, and not get a boy of 13 years of age to do it. I wish the public to know that I had nothing to do with the measuring of Gleeson's ground. My business was only to train him and allow the public to measure his ground. And as for Gleeson's walking, it is fair heel and toe. He could walk in Australia where the boy Scott would be disqualified. As for Topley, he never was the champion of the world as stated in the letter. He walked 7 miles in the Sydney Albert Ground in 59 minutes. If you look at Bell's Life you will see when Mr Morgan, the amateur champion, walked 7 miles in a few seconds over 52 minutes, and also Davidson has walked 8 miles in 1 hour, 1 minute, and 48 seconds, and quite fair at that. It is quite evident that Austin is jealous of me, and trying to do me all the harm he can, because I have beaten all his performances in New Zealand. It is such men as Bird and he that have spoiled pedestrianism in New Zealand. It ia publicly known at Christchurch and Wellington and different parts of New Zealand that he has never performed his 10 miles feat, when he used to travel about styling himself the Sydney Champion. I would be obliged to Mr Austin to leave my name alone for the future in any of his public affairs, as I can refer to Christchurch and different other parts of New Zealand, where I have always been doing fair and legitimate performances, and I have black and white to show for it. I also wish the public to know that I will cover from 10 miles to 1000 against any man in New Zealand for large or small amount. — Yours, &c., William Delaney. Invercargill, October 16th.  -Southland Times, 25/10/1875.

A suggestion, says the Dunedin Herald, recently emanated from some of the more enthusiastic admirers of the youthful pedestrian, Joe Scott, that he should try conclusions with the champion of Australia, William Edwards, their faith in the Dunedin boy's power to bowl over so formidable (a) rival, being based on the facts that Edwards only covered 108 miles in 24 hours in his recent match with Woodhouse, and that Scott did 106 miles here under circumstances which indicated that he could considerably exceed that distance. Though the matter was only mooted a few days ago, a challenge has been forwarded to Edwards, the principal terms of which are — that the pair shall walk 24 hours for £200 a side, and the championship of Australia, which title Edwards has held for sometime past. The question of expenses has always been a bone of contention in Intercolonial matches, but the offer, made by the challengers in this instance is so fair that then should be no room for either a dispute or a refusal to accept. The suggestion is to either give or take £40 for this purpose, in consideration of the match being walked here or at Sydney as the may be. There is little doubt the challenge will be accepted, as Edwards will no doubt jump at the chance of retrieving his laurels against Scott, which he lost by that youth, when very tender in years, defeating him in a seven mile "spin" and bettering his fame in a hundred-mile journey. Should the match be fixed up, Scott has every chance of landing the stakes, for it must be remembered that here he completed 106 miles, notwithstanding that he walked 35 minutes short of the 24 hours, and rested two hours through indisposition, and half-an-hour on the completion of the 100 miles, while Mr Hayman was making his offer of a cup. Scott, under proper coaching, should have well nigh 116 miles in him, while Edwards' 108 would appear from the accounts published to be his best. During the course of his training Scott will give two of his trials in at Christchurch and the other at Dunedin. At the first-named place he will be set away to do 112, and at the latter 116 miles. He should easily accomplish the first, and come very near the second. His mentor in this preparation will be Mr A. Austin, who, as an old pedestrian, will be able to put him through properly. When Scott first came out, four years ago, and made his name, it was under the auspices of Mr Austin.  -Lyttelton Times, 31/12/1879.

On Friday last at the Arcade, Joe Scott made his second effort in Wellington to walk 112 miles in 24 hours. On the first occasion, as will be remembered, Scott succeeded in completing all but 4 miles within the specified time. This time it was confident expected that he would attain his object the weather being more in his favour than previously. He only managed, to supercede his first effort, by one mile, thus having walked 109 miles in the 24 hours. On each occasion his exhibition of pedestrianism attracted large crowds to the Arcade, and large sums of money were speculated on the result. "Young Scott," as he is called is quite a youth, and from a physical point of view unquestionably possesses great I powers of endurance than are to be generally met with among persons of his age. In fact he is quite a prodigy in this respect, and at the conclusion of his last task, I was astonished to see him leave the course and maintain a chat with some of his friends for a few minutes, apparently little the worse for his grand feat. In Mr. Austin he has a trainer jealous of his care, and no doubt that in less able hands Scott would not be anything like the wonder he is. But after all, cui bono? Is there anything clever in performing a feat of this description? Does it tend to improve one's health? - one's pocket it certainly does for a time - or benefit humanity! To my mind it would be far more interesting to see a man stand on his left leg for twelve hours with his right eye closed and a pipe in his mouth; or, if anything partaking of a wonderful character be required, then set a woman the task of "holding her quiet," as Old Pete in the "Octoroon" would say. Scott left Wellington for Whanganui on Tuesday last, where he is to give one of his exhibitions. He will afterwards complete a tour of the North Island, prior to proceeding to Australia, where he is backed to compete with Edwards, the champion pedestrian.   -Auckland Star, 22/3/1880.

Says the Wellington Chronicle: — Seriously speaking, is not the pedestrian mania at present a little overdone? The great topic of conversation just now is: "Joe Scott and his 112 miles," and the question of the day is "will he do it?" Even the West Coast Railway is forgotten for the moment, and comparisons between the Grey Government and the Ministry of "Tom, Dick, and Harry" fade before a discussion on the comparative merits of Scott and Edwards. And after all, what good to society is accomplished, or what improvement in the human race effected should a stripling succeed in getting over 112 miles in 24 hours? Beyond ruining the boy's constitution, we are at a loss to know in what respect his feat of "physical endurance" is more amusing or beneficial to the community than a person endeavoring to stand upon one leg for a fortnight without winking. And yet this pedestrian business is the mania of the hour, and one cannot go anywhere without being pestered with the jargon and slang of the walking quidnuncs, and the knowing ones of the fancy. With the departure of Scott for Australia let us hope the public taste will recover from their momentary fit of derangement.
We clip the following advertisement from the New Zealand Herald, as worthy of gratuitous publicity — the Herald having inspected the corresondence between the advertiser and the registry office keeper, vouches for the bona fides of the offer: — "Wanted, a wife, — A young gentleman, holding a lucrative position on one of the loveliest islands in the South Pacific, several hundreds of miles from Auckland, handsome, educated, of good family, well and favorably known to a leading Auckland firm, and a Protestant, is desirous of possessing himself of a wife, in the person of a young lady of from 18 to 26 years of age, with a fair share of good looks, tolerably educated, of spotless character, and the same religion as himself. Any young lady inclined to entertain this, by calling at or writing to Hannaford's Registry, Upper Queen street, will not only be furnished with any proof of the foregoing, but shown that, positioned as he is, it is absolutely impossible for him to obtain a wife save through the intervention of an agent. He requires no fortune with his wife, having enough and to spare for both."  -Westport Times, 26/3/1880.

Austin has accepted, on behalf of young Joe Scott, Dan O'Leary's challenge to walk anyone in Australia. Austin has offered to back Scott for a 24 hours' contest in Dunedin, for £100 or £200.  -Mt Ida Chronicle, 10/2/1883.


November 23 and 24, the Great 



For Mr White’s £100 Prize. 
PREVIOUS to the start of Edwards and Scott, there will be a One Hour Go-as-you-Please for local Pedestrians, First Prize, £2; Second, 10s. 
Entrance 2s 

C. T. WHITE. Promoter. 
J. C. SEYMOUR, Manager.   -NZ Times, 19/11/1883.


JOE SCOTT, Champion of the Australian Colonies, begs to inform Mr P. P. Sharpe that he is open to give any man that the National Society can produce five miles start in a 24 hours' walk, for any part of £500. All communications to be addressed to Alfred Austin. Esq., Dunedin, will receive immediate attention. JOE SCOTT. Dunedin, 28th December, 1883. 

N.B. — Any man taking part in the National Athletic Sports can have as far start as he likes to ask for in 24 hours for the same amount.  


Young Scott, the celebrated pedestrian the champion of the Australian and New Zealand Colonies, will give an exhibition of his walking powers on the Society's Grounds, at the Annual Gathering, on the 1st and 2nd days of next January. 
WM. BLACKLOCK, Secretary. 

Gentlemen in Highland Costume, members, pipers, and competitors, are invited to assemble in front of the Athenaeum at 10.30 a.m. on New Year's Day, and proceed thence to the Society's grounds.  W. BLACKLOCK, Sec. 

GREATER ATTRACTION. Old Edwards, the celebrated Pedestrian, the Champion of the World, will walk Young Scott or any other man for one hundred, on the Society's Grounds, the Park Reserve, at the Annual Gathering on the 1st day of January next. 
P. P. SHARPE, Sec. 

Gentlemen in English and Irish Costume, and Highlanders in their Native Costume, Members, Competitors, and Pipers, and the Public are respectfully requested to assemble in front of the Athenesum at 10 a.m., on New Year's Day, when the Invercargill Garrison Band will play some of their best pieces of music, and upon the arrival of the train will march en masse to the Society's Grounds. P. P. SHARPE, Sec.

GREGG AND CO.'S BLUE RIBBON BOOTH. Visitors to the above Games can be supplied at this Booth with all temperance refreshments, viz., Lemonade, Ginger Beer, Cordials, Tea and Coffee, Sandwiches, Pastry, and Confectionery of the best. 
Please observe the sign, blue ribbons on poles.  -Southland Times, 1/1/1884.


The 24 hours' walking contest between Arthur Hancook (the 50-mile champion of England) and Joe Scott, which was to have taken place at the Garrison Hall on Friday and Saturday, is likely to be postponed. Hancock has met with a slight accident, which has caused him to give up training, and he intends to apply to his opponent for a postponement.   -Otago Witness, 10/1/1885.

The 24 hours' walking match between Hancock, the English ped, and Joe Scott, Dunedin, resulted in an easy win for Scott, who did 115 miles comfortably. Hancock gave up at 100, when he was seven miles behind; he was not in good health, suffering from boils, and walking in evident distress all the afternoon. He went off with a lead of a few laps, but in six hours Scott passed him. Hancock kept up well for twelve hours, when they had done about 59 miles, with Hancock three-quarters of a mile behind, but he fell off afterwards. Scott excelled his best previous record, and was in no way pushed or distressed.  -Thames Advertiser, 26/1/1885.

A pedestrian exhibition, arranged as a benefit for Joe Scott, the 24-hours champion walker, was commenced in the Garrison Hall last evening. There was a fair attendance of the public. The first event was a one-hour's go-as-you-please, which was won by W. Burk, who, running in fine style, covered 9 miles 11 laps. Henderson was second, but did not run out time. Drummond also competed, but after some jostling with Henderson he left the track. A boy named J. Norman, who is a pupil of Scott's, gave an exhibition of walking, covering three miles in 27 min. 15 sec. Though quite a youngster, he has acquired a fine style of walking, and will no doubt be heard of as he gets older. 
At 10 o'clock a 24 hours' go-as-you-please was started. There started for this event Swan, Crofts, Brooks, and Johnston. The first three are well-known long distance men, but Johnston is an outsider, whose performances are not known. It is thought probable that there will be a good contest for first place between Swan and Crofts. Both men seemed to be in very good form, and they are known to have good staying powers. 
Brooks, after covering 11 miles, retired from the contest. At a little before 3 o'clock this morning the other competitors left the track for a short time. The scores then were Swan, 50 miles 5 laps; Crofts, 30 miles; Johnston, 16 miles. The latter is merely running for third prize. 
To-night, between 7 and 9, an exhibition walking match will take place between Raynor (the Australian champion long distance man) and Claxton (of Dunedin). Scott and his pupil will also give a two hours' exhibition.
For D. Livingstone's benefit to-night, in the Lyceum, the following is the number of entries received:—One-hour walking handicap, 5; one hour go-as-you-please, 9; sack race, 5; wrestling, 7; dancing, 7.  -Otago Daily Times, 31/1/1885.

DUNEDIN. Monday Evening. 
The Wesleyan Conference concluded its session on Saturday night, after sitting about a fortnight. The Rev. J. Berry, who has been stationed in Dunedin for several years past, gives place to the Rev. W. Morley. 
There were two opposition pedestrian benefits on Saturday night — one to Joe Scott in the Garrison Hall, the other to the ten-mile runner Livingston, in the Lyceum. Scott began on Friday night, the chief event being a 24 hours go-as-you-please. This was won by Swan, from Australia, who did 114 miles, Crofts, of Wellington, doing 110. The attendance at Scott's was very poor, and Austin, its promoter, will lose money on the affair. Livingstone's benefit, which was on Saturday night only, was crowded. There was a good deal of ill-feeling between the promoters of the two affairs.  -Cromwell Argus, 3/2/1885.

A twelve hours’ walking match, for L100 a-side, will take place between Joe Scott and Hancock, the English pedestrian, on the 21st instant.   -Ashburton Guardian, 4/2/1885.

The twelve hours' walking match between Hancock and Joe Scott, for £50 a-side, comes off to-morrow, and a great contest is expected. The forty-eight hours, go-as-you-please match, which was to have come off next week, has fallen through, the intending contestants having had a disagreement with the promoter. Feb. 21.   -Marlborough Express, 21/2/1885.

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, — At the request of several gentlemen who have interested themselves in the matter, I intend by next mail to send a challenge to the London ‘Sportsman' for Joe Scott to walk any man in the world twelve and twenty-four hours for L250 a-side each event; or a single match of twenty-four hours for L500 a-side. The challenge will be drawn out this evening, and a cheque for L100 will be placed in the hands of your sporting editor as proof of the genuineness of the affair. A copy of the challenge will also be sent to the leading sporting papers in America. — I am, etc., 
Alfred Austin. Dunedin, February 23.  -Evening Star, 23/2/1885.

Public Notices. 
I, JOHN RAYNER, do hereby Accept JOE SCOTT'S CHALLENGE, issued to me on February 14 at the Garrison Hall, to WALK 48 HOURS for £100 a side. Man and money at R. Allen's, Royal Albert Hotel.   -Otago Daily Times, 2/3/1885.

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, Having accepted the challenge issued in public by Joe Scott at the Garrison Hall, after the conclusion of the Scott v. Hancock 12-hours walk, to meet me 24 or 48 hours, and having met with no reply, my backer, Mr Harris, called on Mr Austin this morning in order to see if they were prepared to make a match for 24 hours for £100 a side, to which he received the following reply: That they would make the match, but would require three months from date of signing articles before the match would come off, and having been openly challenged last evening by one of Scott's backers, Mr McGrath, for 24 hours for £100 a side, winner to take all the gate-money and stakes, which terms I am willing to concede to, I fail to see why they should require such a long time, as both myself and Scott have been in active training for some time past, unless it may be for the following reasons — namely, that their intentions are to induce some more English pedestrians from the other side of the water to come here; thus they are afraid to match Scott against me, as, in the event of my beating him, it would probably upset their future plans, and as they will not meet me on any reasonable terms whatsoever, I cannot see how Scott any longer can claim the championship of New Zealand; and until he does meet me, and beats me, I will consider myself a superior man to him, and I am now perfectly satisfied that Austin does not require a bona fide match and they require to go no farther than Australia to get accommodated at any distance from 12 hours up to six days and nights by either myself or W. Harris, from £100 upwards. May I also take the liberty to express my thanks to those gentlemen who kindly promissed to support me had a match been made.
- I am, &c., J Rayner,
Champion Long-distance Walker of Australasia. March 8.  -Otago Daily Times, 4/3/1885.

Hancock, the winner of the recent 50-mile walking match, has issued a challenge to Joe Scott, or any other pedestrian in New Zealand, for either a 12 hours' walking match or for 50 miles, for the sum of either £100 or £200. There is no doubt but that Scott will accept.  -Observer, 30/5/1885.

The Island Bay Racing Company (Wellington) have decided to hold a race meeting about a week after the Racing Club's Steeplechase meeting at the Hutt. Articles have been signed for three walking matches between A. Hancock and Joe Scott. The first will come off on the 27th July, and the contest will be over a distance of 50 miles. The second is fixed for ths 10th August, and takes the form of a l2 hours' walk; while the third, a 24 hours' walk, comes off on the 28th and 29th August. The three contests will take place in the Garrison Hall, the stakes in each case being £50 a side.  -Otago Daily Times, 10/60/1885.

The Garrison Hall was fairly well patronised on Monday afternoon by the sporting fraternity and fathers to witness the commencement of the 50 mile walking match between Arthur Hancock, the English 50-mile champion, and Joe Scott, the New Zealand long distance champion, for a stake of £100, and what was stated to be the championship of the world. This match is the first of a series which has been arranged for the two pedestrians, and as both men were in the pink of condition, a great deal of interest was manifested in pedestrian circles in the result of the first contest.
Scott's previous performances are well known to all, and he has often proved himself to be a long-distance walker of more than average repute. Hancock, on the other hand, is known to be at his best at a 50-mile distance, and curiosity was fully aroused to see which of the two men would pull off the first event on the card.
Hancock has toned down since his last appearance in the walking arena in Dunedin some months back, when he was so badly beaten by our local man, and now weighs l0st 41b, while Scott scales 8st 51b.
All the arrangements in connection with the match were well carried out, and the objectionable habit of smoking in the hall was put a stop to, much to the comfort of the contestants. The judges, who occupied seats on the platform, were Messrs G. Dowse, T. Cornish, J. Vezey, H. Gourley, and J. McGregor. The hall, as laid out, gave 22 laps to the mile, and every care was taken to secure thorough ventilation.
Betting opened at 50 to 40 on Hancock, the Christchurch division offering those odds very freely without takers.
A few minutes before 3 o'clock, which was the hour for starting, the men appeared on the track, and were received with a good deal of applause. After the usual handshaking, the men started off punctually, Hancock darting off with the lead at a rattling pace, closely followed by Scott. Hancock's style of walking is slightly altered since his last appearance here, but he has not the steady swinging gait which is so much admired in Scott. Before two miles had been covered Hancock was a lap ahead of Scott, and he contented himself with this lead, as the result shows, right up to the last. This position was maintained lap after lap, and mile after mile, until just after 10 o'clock, when over 42 miles had been covered, when Scott put on a spurt and lessened the distance between them by nearly half a lap; but Hancock was not to be denied, and he soon followed style and regained his old position, and kept it doggedly till the distance was covered. The hall was densely packed towards the finish, and feeling in favour of the local man ran very high, so much so as to be partially unfair to Hancock, who walked gamely, if not so elegantly as Scott. The match all through was the closest that has ever taken place here between two pedestrians, and taking into account the size of the hall the time must be considered excellent. Neither men were very much overdone at the finish, but Hancock was undoubtedly the fresher of the two. On his essaying to speak to the audience from the platform at the close of the match he was met with a perfect howl of disapprobation, and a feeble attempt to raise a cheer in his favour was promptly quelled. On the other hand, Scott was received with vociferous and prolonged applause, to which he bowed his acknowledgments. Neither of the men left the track during the match. Up to the last the ventilation of the hall was good, despite the large number who were inside and in the galleries. The following are the records for the match, the official time for the 50 miles being 8 hours 8 minutes: In the first hour Hancock covered 6 miles 20 laps, and Scott one lap behind, which he kept right through the match. At 5 p.m. — two hours after starting — Hancock had 13 miles 8 laps to his credit; at 6 p.m. 19 miles 8 laps; 7 p.m., 25 miles 7 laps; 8 p.m., 31 miles 4 laps; 9 p.m., 36 miles 20 laps; 10 p.m., 42 miles 12 laps; 11 p.m., 43 miles 17 laps; 11.8 p.m., 50 miles.
The betting throughout the match was in favour of Hancock, but no heavy odds were laid.  -Otago Witness, 1/8/1885.

A 12-hours' walking match between Arthur Hancock and Joe Scott was commenced at the Garrison Hall yesterday morning, the stakes being £50 a side. This match was the second of three between the two abovenamed "peels," and the judges were the same as those who acted in that capacity at the previous match. There appeared to be very little betting before the race, but the Christchurch fraternity were offering odds on Hancock to the extent of 70 to 40; while some of Scott's backers were offering 50 to 40.
The men appeared on the track at a few minutes to 11 o'clock. There were then about 100 persons present: Mr Gourley, before starting the men, took occasion to refer to the shabby treatment that Hancock had received at the hands of the public on winning the last match and in doing so said he hoped that the winner of this match, would not be treated in like manner. He thought that the winner should receive the cheers of the audience, and he had no doubt but that the best man would win. He also gave the competitors distinctly to understand that whichever one ran would be disqualified by the judges, whose decision would be final. The two-men then toed the scratch, and were sent away at a good rattling pace, Hancock taking the lead. Scott was, however, only one pace in the rear; and the relative positions of the two men remained practically unaltered until about half-past 1. A little excitement was then caused by Scott putting on a spurt and overtaking his opponent, whom he left half-a-lap in the rear. The latter, however, soon responded by a nearly proportionate effort, and regained a position just one pace behind Scott. The public, however, did not appear to appreciate Hancock's method of lessening the distance between himself and his opponent, and gave very audible manifestations of disapproval. After Hancock had neared his opponent, the latter went at a slow pace to allow him to take the lead again. Hancock, however, contented himself with maintaining the position he then held; and Scott, after going a lap at an usually slow pace, once more pushed forward and made the pace pretty lively. Hancock also simultaneously exerted himself, but continued to remain about one pace in the rear of his opponent. At 2.50 p.m. the record stood at 25 miles. Odds were then offered by the Christchurch bookmakers against Hancock. Both men were walking very briskly at this time, and neither had yet begun to show signs of fatigue. The relative positions of the two still remained the same for some considerable time after, and at six minutes 45 seconds past 7 o'clock 50 miles had been covered. This record beats Hancock's performance at the last match by 1 min. 45 sec. Up to 4 o'clock an average of over six miles had been maintained by both men. For the next two hours the average time was rather under that, but again at 7 o'clock the pace became much warmer.
In the evening the hall was densely crowded, and great interest was manifested in the Match. There was, however, little change for the next few hours. Both men kept up a swinging pace, but no decided efforts were made by either to pass one another until about 22 minutes past 10. Scott then made a determined effort to increase the distance between himself and his opponent, whom he succeeded in leaving about a quarter of a lap in the rear, his efforts being acknowledged by the onlookers with enthusiastic cheering. Hancock a few minutes afterwards put forth his strength and regained his former position. The two men then kept together for the next 25 minutes, Hancock vainly endeavouring to pass Scott. The latter again, about five minutes to 11, put on another spurt, and again left his opponent behind him a few paces. The excitement at this time became intense, and for the second-time during the match the audience manifested its disapproval in a very pronounced manner, of Hancock's style of walking.
At 11 o'clock Mr Dowse came forward on the stage to give the signal for stopping; but the pistol with which he intended to signal the men missed fire, and the two pedestrians continued on the track. There were then cries of "Time," the track was rushed, and Hancock fell, or got knocked down. Scott again passed the judges on the platform before his opponent. A great deal of confusion prevailed at the termination of the race. Both the competitors mounted the platform with the evident intention of addressing the audience, but their attempts proved futile. There were signs too, of dissatisfaction amongst the audience with regard to the termination of the race, and some were evidently of opinion that Hancock had not had fair play. The judges retired to consider the matter, and declared Scott to be the winner. Neither Hancock nor Scott left the track during the contest, and although both were anything but fresh at the finish, neither of them exhibited signs of exhaustion to such an extent as might have been anticipated. The record for the 12 hours was 72 miles 8 laps, or 3 miles 10 laps more than Scott's performance on the occasion of his last 12 hours' walk with Hancock. The distance is also the greatest recorded for a 12-hours' walk.   -Otago Daily Times, 11/8/1885.

Joe Scott and his trainer, Austin, have arrived at Christchurch to complete preparations for a match between Scott and Hancock. £300 has already been deposited with Mr O. H. Williams, and the final deposit is to be made on Friday next. Owing the previous performances of the men in Dunedin the match is exciting considerable interest.  -South Canterbury Times, 7/10/1885.

Anglo-Colonial Summary


The pessimist croakings of the "knowalls" who prophesied that your New Zealand champion, Joe Scott, would stand no chance against first-class English pedestrians, have been completely and satisfactorily falsified. Since I last wrote Scott has won two important matches (a 12 and a 24 hours' walk) against Arthur Hancock and John Hibberd, both crack performers and admitted to be thoroughly "fit" and well. The first proved a hollow affair, for Scott merely waited on his opponent till he fairly broke him down at 43 1/2 miles. Hancock then retired and Scott going steadily along covered 63 miles in the given time. This little bout came off at the Aquarium on a boarded track, an innovation that did not seem to be viewed altogether favourably by Mr Sampson and others. Scott has made a most favourable impression both in sporting circles and in public. At the close of Saturday's walk he was loudly cheered, and if only he keeps a level head, a remunerative tour lies before him. There was but little betting, Hibberd's backers not liking the drubbing administered to Hancock. On Friday morning, 4 to 1 was freely offered on Hancock without attracting takers. Later 10 to 1 would have been laid.  -Auckland Star, 31/3/1888.



I went to the Aquarium on Saturday night to see your famous "ped," the redoubtable Joe Scott, finish up the third and longest of his triumphant matches. It was a six days' affair with the veteran Howes, and proved as hollow a business for the Antipodean champion as its predecessors. Very early in the week onlookers saw that, bar breakdown, Scott couldn't possibly lose. He gained steadily on Howes throughout, and eventually won by no less than fifty miles seven laps. Scott covered 307 miles five laps, and Howes 250 miles two laps during the match. After he had been declared the winner, amidst hearty cheers, Scott betook himself to the track again, and in order to show how little he had suffered by his exertions, walked a couple of laps at his best pace. This, of course, led to renewed demonstration. 

Although the record accomplished by Scott is not a first-class one, still, if required, there is no possible doubt (the 'Sporting Life' thinks) that he could have equalled anything yet set down in the annals of pedestrianism. Throughout he walked with marked ease — in fact, his journey gave him no anxiety whatever, as he took matters quite as liesurely as though engaged in an everyday tramp.

"Pendragon," who is, of course, the authority on pedestrianism, says: - Joe Scott, the New Zealand shoemaker, has so far triumphantly demonstrated that there is nothing like leather, except indiarubber which is better. Joe Scott and his excellent understandings, natural and handmade, have proved too good for a series of English opponents. Judging from what I saw myself, I guess that on boards the Australasian champion would beat any of the trio he has downed in melancholy succession. All the same, he has come out number one in his series of exhibitions, more by reason of his opponents' failure to make a good show than through doing anything startling himself. While he has not been called upon to exhibit any special agility, the visitor has convinced most good judges that he ought to be a warmish performer on a track worthy of the name, which the boarded merry-go-round at Westminster is not. Can he beat all our folk? Or let me put the question in another way: Can any of our men beat him in say a fifty-mile walk? I very much doubt it, though I should think he would be readily pegged back at shorter distances — those at which we see most of our matches decided. Even in regard to those, say two to twentytwo miles, Scott has us at a very poor time. Our aged proficients have not improved with additional years. Where are the younger celebrities, or budding celebrities? 

Since Saturday last Scott has been challenged by Hibberd (whom he defeated in a twenty-four hours' match) to a short burst of twenty-five miles; and Littlewood seems also to think he would like to tackle the New Zealand champion. Some of the "ped's" critics attribute his successes at the Aquarium to the fact that he was accustomed to a wooden track, whereas the Englishmen were not. Howes, it is alleged, had a gathered foot.   -Evening Star, 24/4/1888.

Anglo-Colonial Notes (via Brindisi)


If the popular craze for pedestrianism, which culminated with the Western v. O'Leary match were not as dead as Queen Anne, your Joe Scott would have a golden future before him, Unfortunately, no one now cares a dump for this form of sport. Even Jolly Sir John, who provided coin galore for walking matches in Weston's day and was so thunderstruck by the Yankee's performance that he took him home and made much of him as a phenomenon, scarcely noticed the New Zealander's far more wonderful feat last week. The Agricultural Hall affair, in fact, was a financial frost, notwithstanding Hibberd's recordbreaking in the early part and Scott's brilliant victory in the latter part of the contest. To those who remember the densely crowded hall with people fighting and tumbling over one another to get a sight of the pedestrians dining the latter part of the Weston O'Leary "boom" its dreary desolation whilst Scott's triumph was culminating, seemed cruel and "hard lines" on the Antipodean. Of course some folks were there, but a more sprinkling, not enough to fill the Aquarium even. Scott would now be wise to go to America, where walking contests seem from all accounts to be catching on again.  -Te Aroha News, 14/7/1888.

Our London Letter

Joe Scott will have to give up all notion of tackling the victorious Littlewood. The latter's toes are festered to the bone.   -Evening Star, 28/7/1888.

The Caledonian Sports

A gratifying portion of the day's proceedings was the hearty reception accorded to Joe Scott, our Dunedin-born champion walker of the world. Scott and his trainer, Alfred Austin, who returned here on Sunday last, after a triumphant tour of Great Britain, entered the ring daring the afternoon, and were there met by the leading office-bearers of the society. The president (Mr J. Barron) greeted Scott in a few appropriate words, congratulating him on his successes at Home, and adding that by his unparalleled deeds he had done honor not only to himself, but also to the colony at large. Scott, who was in pedestrian costume, and wore the silver champion belt won by him in England, having acknowledged the compliment paid to him, the band struck up "See, the conquering hero comes!" A procession was then formed, with Scott and Austin at its head, followed by a detachment of the band, and a circuit of the ring was made amidst a continual peal of applause from the spectators. The belt referred to is valued at L75, and is a very handsome piece of silversmith's work. It bears the following inscription: — "72-hours' Champion Belt of the World. This champion silver-mounted belt, with L200, was presented by Mr R. H. Lewis as a prize in a walking competition, commencing May 14 and finishing May 19, 1888. First prize won by Joe Scott, of Otago, N.Z., at the Royal Agricultural Hall, London, May 14 to 19, beating twenty-nine competitors and all previous records. Distance walked, 363 miles 1,510 yards; trained by Alfred Austin; backed, Walter Jarvis, Esq."   -Evening Star, 2/1/1889.

Joe Scott, the New Zealand walker, has been engaged by Mr Rich. K. Fox to tour the United States; but prior to his departure Scott will give farewell exhibitions in the principal New Zealand towns.  -Grey River Argus, 14/1/1889.



From 8 to 11 p.m. 



The Renowned Champion of the World, from the Royal Aquarium (the Palace, of 10,000 Lights). Crystal Palace, Royal Alhambra, London Pavilion, Alexandra Palace, Agricultural Hail, &c.

Patron ... H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. 

For full particulars and programmes see Monday's "Times" and "Press."  -Star, 19/1/1889.

Since Joe Scott, the New Zealand ped., has been in England, he has done pretty much as he liked with the best native talent that could be put in the field against him. Because hie initial victories were gained on a boarded track, the profession got it into its head that the cinderpath would prove fatal to his winning record The fallacy of this was proved in Mr Dick Lewis' six days' race at the Agricultural Hall, when Scott not only wiped out all who Btarted with him, but managed to establish a record for the distance. It being thus clearly demonstrated that no English pedestrian had any chance of extending the New Zealander on the tan, cinder, or board singlehanded) the management of the Bon Accord Hall, Aberdeen, determined to see what a combination of three could do. So at the place in question, a six days' race of rather a novel kind was started. The conditions were that Scott should walk for six hours every day, while three other peds. — W. Corbet (champion of Scotland), W. Franks, and A. Sinclair — should walk two hours each. The winner received £50. Scott was beaten by the combination.  -Tuapeka Times, 20/2/1889.

Joe Scott, the well-known walker, this week made an application to be adjudicated a bankrupt.   -Evening Star, 22/2/1889.


Pedestrianism as a profession would seem to be played out. Joe Scott, the cleverest heel-and-toeist afoot is going through the court at Dunedin, where he belongs, for a deficiency of £162 Most of his debts, he says, were contracted before he went to England. The terms on which he went to England were that Mr Austin and Mr Jarvis were to find the expenses, and he was to have a share in the profits. He got nothing, as nothing was made out of the venture. He was away 14 months. He sent his wife nothing during that time. He had nothing to send her. While he was away in England his wife sold five cups he had won some years ago, to his mother-in-law, to get food for the children. The cups would be worth about £5, and four medals worth about £5, were also sold by his wife to her mother. He had a wife and four children. He had pawned his champion belt with Mr Marks for £15 the Saturday before he filed. He gave Mr Macdonald (his solicitor) £8 out of the £15, and the rest went in living. Since his return he also sold for £10 a gold watch that was given to him. Since his return from England he had given a walking exhibition at Christchurch. Mr Jarvis found the money for his working, and Mr Austin was his trainer. Jarvis, lost £9, the bankrupt made nothing by the exhibition. The only money he had received since his return from England was £4 given him by Mr Jarvis to pay for board. The belt pawned for £15 was worth £75. It was not true that a purse of £200 was given with the belt. There were five creditors present at the meeting. A motion to recommend the bankrupt's discharge was lost. This financial result of success in pedestrianism ought to be a warning to others who may be ambitious to make their pile on the track. There was some talk about Scott deliberately seeking to "do" his creditors, but he warmly repudiated the suggestions.  -Timaru Herald, 27/2/1889.



Sir, — While looking over the Canterbury Times of April 11 I saw a letter signed "Colonial," who is anxious to assist our champion walker. Now, Sir, I do think it very strange that all the sporting fraternity and others who have been greatly interested in Mr Scott while walking, as I may say, in foreign lands, and who continually sought for papers to find out particulars with regard to Scott's matches, should see him now obliged to go to his trade as a journeyman. 

We all know that from the first of Scott's matches he walked to win, and that has been his motto throughout his career as a ped. Now though I am a poor man, yet I am willing to give my mite with the rest of you in assisting to put Mr Scott into a fair business. Here's a chance for some of our local talent to help a good cause. They assist champions who are deserving in other countries, and I think in this case we should do the same. And we, as Dunedin people, cannot hang back and allow Canterbury to take the lead, seeing that Scott is one of us. Trusting some abler pen will take this matter up, — I am, &c, May 29-

 Lover of Sports.  -Otago Daily Times, 1/6/1889.

Through the 1890s, Joes worked at bootmaking and also made appearances on the walking stage. Although not the invincible athlete he once was, he was still described as "world champion."

Joe Scott, a few years ago one of the best walkers in New Zealand, has taken up land in the Catlins river district, Otago, and makes regular trips to and from Port Chalmers where he is occasionally employed. Scott never thinks of travelling to Catlins by train, but starts (says the Bruce Herald) from Port on a walking tour, and makes the journey from there to his section at Catlins comfortably in a couple of days.   -West Coast Times, 2/11/1896.

He still engaged in, and won, walking races and trained an up and coming walker or two.  Early in the 20th Century, however, things took a very downwards direction for the world champion walker.


Many of our readers will call to memory the remarkable performances of Joe Scott, a once-famous long-distance walker. Mr Scott brought credit and renown to this Dominion, for he secured and successfully held against noted rivals the championship of the world. He put up in the course of his career some fine records, and while his star was in the ascendant people flocked to any hall or ground where he was competing. Now his star has set, and he lies very ill and in poor circumstances at his home in the North-east Valley. He is suffering from cancer in the throat, and has done practically no work for twelve months. Mrs Scott had obtained employment in a laundry, but had to relinquish it in order to nurse her husband. It is proposed to open a subscription-list, and the Caledonian Society have intimated their willingness to help. It is hoped that the number of sportsmen who applauded Scott in the zenith of his fame will now help him in his hour of dire necessity. "Old Identity" will acknowledge any subscriptions forwarded to him.  -Evening Star, 28/1/1908.


Two or three weeks ago told the public that Joe Scott, at one time the idol of the athletic world, was lying at his home, Duncan street, North-east Valley, critically ill, and in poor circumstances. To-day we announce his death. The disease that had seized upon him, cancer of the throat, developed very rapidly during the past few days, and Scott died at 4.30 yesterday morning, after being laid up for about ten months. His wife and six children are practically unprovided for. So far we have received and acknowledged 51s towards the fund for the relief of this deserving case. No doubt other contributions will now come in. Joseph Scott was born in Ireland forty-nine years ago. His father and mother came out to Sydney and then to Otago, reaching Dunedin when “Joe” was barely twelve months old. As a mere boy he showed skill in athletics, and a liking for manly sports; and his first formal appearance in public was when he walked at the Caledonian sports on the Northern Ground on New Year’s Day of 1875, being at that time only sixteen years old. That was the commencement of a brilliant and honorable career. Alfred Austin, himself a good walker, took up, “young Joe Scott” and taught him how to make boots and how to walk, and whilst still a young man Joe rose to quite the top of the tree in the sport that he made his hobby. His great record at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, in May of 1888, still appears in the annuals. On that occasion Scott walked 563 miles 1,510 yards in 72 hours. 12 hours a day. Prior to his visit to England, Scott had a go in the Garrison Hall, Dunedin, against W. Howes’s still unbeaten record of 127 miles 1,210 yards in 24 hours. He failed in this attempt, covering only 125 miles some odd yards, but his endeavor was made memorable by the fact that in his walk he did 100 miles in 18 hours. Scott’s last appearances in public were about eight or nine years ago, when he met Tom Scott and Winthrop. The deceased was a game man, who always posessed the confidence of the public.  -Evening Star, 10/2/1908.



With the commendable object of promoting a movement to raise funds for the purpose of erecting a headstone on the grave of the late Joe Scott, one-time world's champion walker, a meeting of sportsmen was held last night. Only five were present; a better attendance was expected. The meeting formed themselves into a committee, with power to add. It is intended to make a thorough canvass of both Otago and Southland, and to erect a stone worthy of the City. 

Mr A. Harper, being voted to the chair, explained that the idea was to raise enough money to erect a headstone on the grave of the late Joe Scott — a great athlete, well known not only in New Zealand, but all the world over — who had passed away some time ago, whilst in poor circumstances. What was wanted was to form a committee to raise subscriptions sufficient to erect the stone. They all know of Scott's great performances in all parts of the world. The secretary of the movement (Mr D. McKay) had the list of performances if anybody wished to see them. Mr Harper moved — "That the meeting (Messrs A. Harper, D. Powley, D. Trainor, D. Hutton, and D. McKay) form into a committee, with power to add, to raise subscriptions sufficient to get a memorial stone over the grave of the late Joe Scott." 

In answer to a question, the Chairman said that the probable cost of the monument would be about £25 or £30. There had been, he added, a little money collected now. 

Mr D. Trainor seconded the motion, but he thought that £30 was far below the mark. He thought that if they went about the thing in a proper spirit and a businesslike manner £100 could easily be raised. "New Zealand," he said, "has never produced a better, or even an equal, to Scott. Surely, even if we only canvass amongst the athletic people, we will raise £100." 

The chairman quite agreed with Mt Trainor. He thought that the public would only be too pleased to come forward with subscriptions. People all over the Dominion, he thought, would be willing to contribute. Even some outside the Dominion would help if necessary. Scott had proved his strength in the Old Country. "He had made money for himself, but his backers and trainers got it all unfortunately." 

The motion being carried unanimously, the chairman invited suggestions. 

Mr Trainor moved, Mr McKay seconded, and it was carried — "That the secretary (Mr D. McKay) give notice of this meeting to the various sports societies in Otago and Southland, with a list soliciting their support." Mt Trainor informed the meeting at this stage that Arnst, the world's champion sculler, had already contributed to the movemont. 

The Committee then made arrangements regarding the canvass to be made, and discussed the matter at some length, it being decided that a number of Scott's trophies should be exhibited in some prominent shopkeeper's window.   -Evening Star, 14/7/1909.

MEMORIAL TO THE LATE JOE SCOTT. Headstone erected in the Northern Cemetery to the memory of the world's champion walker (Photos by Guy.)  -Otago Witness, 13/7/1910.


Among the applications for reinstatement at the last meeting of the Otago Centre was one from Joseph John Scott, who had only once competed as a professional. The interest in this lies in the fact that the applicant is the son of the late Joe Scott, in his day one of the finest pedestrians in the world.  -Otago Witness, 19/7/1911.



The death occurred at her home at Opoho yesterday of Mrs Isabella Rachel Scott, wife of the late Mr Joe Scott, champion long-distance walker of the world. Mrs Scott, who was born at Jersey, Channel Islands, on July 27, 1862, arrived at Port Chalmers in 1874 by the sailing ship Tweed. On arrival she resided in King street, later moving to the Main road, North-east Valley, at the corner of Craigleith street. On December 8, 1881, she was married to Mr Joe Scott, and resided in North-east Valley. After her husband’s death in 1908 Mrs Scott moved to the corner of Opoho road, where she resided till the time of her death, in her seventy-fourth year. Of a kindly disposition, Mrs Scott had a host of friends, and was beloved by all. She is survived bv four daughters — Mrs T. H. Hendra (Opoho), Mrs J. Simpson (Dunedin), Mrs G. Naylor (Matakanui), Mrs S Bundle (Dunedin), and two sons, Mr J. J. Scott (Opoho) and Mr C. Scott (Gore).  -Evening Star, 26/2/1936.

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.  Photo: Southern Heritage Trust.

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