The Jewish Museum

Jewish Britain

A History in 50 Objects


Mendoza jug

Daniel Mendoza, a Sephardi Jew, was champion boxer of England for most years from 1788 until 1795. Mendoza was a hugely popular character who introduced a new ‘scientific’ style of boxing, and was famed throughout the country as a skilled and courageous fighter.

This Staffordshire pottery jug dates from around 1800 and depicts a famous fight between Mendoza and Richard Humphreys in 1788.

Mendoza’s success encouraged other Jews into the boxing ring, the most famous being Samuel Elias, known as ‘Dutch Sam’. Mendoza set up a school of boxing in 1787, and the many Jewish boys he trained helped to encourage a lasting connection between Jews and boxing in England.

The museum holds many depictions of Daniel Mendoza and other 18th and 19th century Jewish boxers in its extensive collections of prints and drawings.



Josephine Bacon

Danny Mendoza's house, which bears a blue plaque, is a handsome residence almost opposite the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green


Bernard Harris

My father would always tell of how we were related to this great boxer and so I was delighted to learn from Brit Ecklands autobiography 'True Brit' that during her famous marriage to the late great Peter Sellers she would hear him tell that he was also related to Dutch Dan Mendoza. I guess that means I was distantly related to Peter Sellers as well as the champion bare knuckle fighter 'Dutch' Dan Mendoza

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