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British actress June Brown descendant of bare-knuckle Jewish boxer

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June Brown at the BAFTA's

While looting and vandalism shocked London this week, one British TV show mentioned a Jewish celebrity tie to an earlier illegal past time: bare-knuckle boxing. 

Last night marked the eighth season premiere of BBC One’s "Who Do You Think You Are?" The show films celebrities exploring their family heritage. 

On last night’s episode, British actress June Brown shared her research on her Jewish great-great grandfather, Isaac Bitton, who had an unusual claim to fame: being a bare-knuckle boxer. Unclear why this related trivia tidbit appeared in our April 4, 1935 Jewish Daily Bulletin, but here it is:

Isaac Bitton fought George Maddox at Wimbledon in 1802 in a bout that was called off after seventy-four rounds.

If gloveless British pugilism is your thing, read this obituary about Lord Shinwell. For more celebrity genealogy, check out what happened when Gwyneth Paltrow appeared on the American version of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Attention genealogists: Going to the 31st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Washington, D.C.? So are we! E-mail archive@jta.org for details, or contact us on Facebook.

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