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The Pedestrian’s Record

James Irvine Lupton and James Money Kyrle Lupton’s, “The Pedestrian’s Record; to Which is Added a Description of the External Human Form”, 1890

The authors:

James Irvine Lupton (1830/1-1900), and his brother, James Money Kyrle Lupton, were essentially anatomists, and James Irvine Lupton was a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who wrote extensively on horses.  He also corresponded with Charles Darwin.  They were both based in Richmond, Surrey, and were both members of London Athletic Club.  JMK Lupton also played Tennis, and was an authority on Chess.


The place of the Luptons’ “The Pedestrian’s Record” in the history of Athletics literature:

This is an attempt to base training and coaching advice to athletes, on scientific principles rather than on traditional, word-of mouth methods, handed down from coach to athlete, some of which were generations out of date; and is a very useful source, telling us what common practice was in 1890 and what the new ideas were.  In addition, though, the section on results and statistics is particularly good, and for some competitions is the best we have.  It was updated shortly before publication in 1890.

The text:

The book comprises of the following sections

Athletics – containing a history of Athletics, a basic overview of physiology, and the ‘various tissues’ of which athletes should have some knowledge.

Athletic sports in England – more history – Athletic sports since the days of Charles II.  Description of current athletes and their standards.  Laments at the schism between the amateur and professional branches of the sport, and wonders if it is necessary. 

Training – General Remarks – Mens sana in corpore sano.  The mind - social class – some current (1889) coaches (Nat Perry, C.G. Wood, C. Ransom) – what medical student might be able to bring to coaching.

Before Commencing to Train – preparatory work in the gymnasium – importance of all-round development – mental culture – the ‘nervous centre and nerves’ – ‘there can be no doubt that the men of the past were stronger than those of the present – anecdotes of strong and fit men of the past – description of sprinting and sprinters – comments on middle and long distance runners – diseases, sleep, food, alcohol and smoking – physiology – blood, oxygen, body fat, glands, lungs, food – importance of all-round development (again).

Walking – Quarter [i.e. quarter of a mile – 440yds]

The Mile - From Two to Ten Miles -

Jumping [very general]

Sweating – A 6-page quote is given from 1842 as an example of what not to do! 

Dietary – more long quotes, outlining what should and should not be eaten


Sleep –

Pathology – balance between activity and rest discussed.

Congestion – blood, injury, inflammation, problems of running continually on hard

roads – use of ice – Jacob’s Oil and Elliman’s Embrocation – contusions – the heart – respiration – importance of exercise to the nation and its children.

[Results and Statistics]

            English Amateur Athletic Championships – winners (from 1866)

            Scottish Amateur Athletic Championships - winners (from 1883)

            Irish Amateur Athletic Championships - winners (from 1873)

            American Amateur Athletic Championships - winners (from 1876)

            London Athletic Club Championships - winners (from 1864)

            United Hospitals Athletic Championships - winners (from 1867)

            Oxford and Cambridge Athletic Sports - winners (from 1864)

            English Cross-Country Championships - winners (from 1877)

            Midland Counties Cross-Country Championships - winners (from 1879)

            Northern Counties Cross-Country Championships - winners (from 1883)

            Southern Counties Cross-Country Championships - winners (from 1884)

            Scottish Cross-Country Championships - winners (from 1884)

            Irish Cross-Country Championships - winners (from 1881)

            Oxford and Cambridge Cross-Country Matches - winners (from 1880)

Sheffield Handicaps – [statistics since 1857] giving date, ground, prize money, distance, scratchman, scratchman’s handicap, winner, winner’s handicap, winning margin.  [N.B. times were not officially taken at Sheffield].

Professional Walking Records – 1 mile to 435 miles; records for stated periods – 1 hour to 54 hours.

Amateur Walking Records – 1 mile to 435 miles.

Professional Walking Records – 50yds to 465 miles

Amateur Running Records – 50yds to 99 miles.

Professional Jumping Records.

Professional Hammer Throwing, Weight Putting and Feats of Strength.

Amateur Jumping, Hopping, Vaulting, &c.

Amateur Putting and Weight Throwing

Appendix – Anatomy – the Muscular System of Man – [there is no attempt to relate these topics to Athletics].

Addendum – [update of results just prior to going to press]

            Northern Counties Amateur Athletic Championships - winners (from 1880)

            Canadian Amateur Athletic Championships – winners (from 1883)

600yds China Challenge Cup (Handicap), [for Britons living in China] – winners (from 1873).


Peter Radford

Bibliographic details:


The Pedestrian’s Record


W. H. Allen & Co.

Place of Publication:


Date of Publication:


BL Catalogue:

General Reference Collection 7908.d.24.

"An Athletics Compendium" Reference:

J7, pp. 147-8


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