It seems that no clog championship styling itself as a “World Championship” had been held since Dan Leno had won the championship outright at Oldham in 1883.  That contest had been organised by theatre impresario E. H. Wood  and by 1898 he determined to revive the competition.

The 1898 World Championship was held at the Peoples’ Empire, Bow, London commencing on Monday 7th February. There were 28 competitors. Judging was on the basis of Execution, Original Steps, Time and Carriage. The competition was different from others known in that each dancer competed against one other in the heats, the winner going through. Winners in bold below:

Monday 7th: 1st House: Fred Stokes, Sunderland v Fred Burr (London), N. Pringle (Byker) v Jimmy Cusick (Manchester). 2nd House: Will Powell (London) v Harry Jennings (Mexborough) and C. Mack (Rochdale) v Joe Nixon (Birmingham) (draw).

Tuesday 8th: 1st House: J. M’Pike (Scotland) v Johnny Carlin (Liverpool), Martin Melia (St Helens) v J. M (or S.J.) Houlston (London). 2nd House: John Lannon (Rotherham) v Robert Campbell (Pendleton) and Richard Ferrell (Blythe) v James Copeland (Middlesborough).

Wednesday 9th: 1st House: Michael Hannaway (Scotland) v T.H. Fox (Fleetwood), James G. Burns (Glasgow) v John Langdan (Dublin). 2nd House: T.W. Royal (Manchester) v Patrick Conner (Manchester), J. H Roberts (Dublin) v Frank O’Mara. George Simpson v Fred Scott (London). Harry Belmont (Merthyr Tydfil) v J. Pike jnr (Motherwell) – not clear who won this. The drawn heat being won by J. Nixon. G. Simpson and F. Scott disqualified.

Thursday 10th [presumably semi-finals] the winners were: J. Roberts, Will Powell, J. Burns and Joe Nixon.

Saturday 12th – Finals. James Burns, Martin Melia and Michael Hannaway.

Championship 1898

1st place – James Burns of Glasgow, being awarded a prize of £20
2nd place – Martin Melia of St Helens winning a gold medal and £5.
3rd place – Michael Hannaway, Glasgow silver cup and £2.
4th place – Joe Nixon of Birmingham
5th place – T.W. Royal, Manchester 1st consolation prize – a cup
6th place – John P Lannon  – second consolation prize – a gold centred medal.
7th place – John Langdon, Dublin 3rd consolation prize

The judges were Ben Ray, E.H. Doyle, Joseph Perry, George Tustin, Joe May and Bennett. Referee Hasberrie Howard.

The belt was presented (in the absence of Dick Burge whoever he was) by George Ware.
Music composed specially by Messrs. Thompson and Peterson.
Stage manager was T.W. Davis.

Information from The Era 22/1/189812/2/1898, 19/2/1898, 19/2/1898 (2), Illustrated Police News 19/2/1898 (plus drawing above).