You write that "the early accounts state he 'was known to dish out violence with it.' "This player was Alex Bruce, who lost a hand in an accident, & played with a metal hook from 1858. He is actually named on the Rules Committee (with Tom Wills), in the oldest, surviving 1859 Rules. The early accounts state he "was known to dish out violence with it". He was a Scotsman.
It would be very dangerous being tackled around the neck by Bruce, with his "bad" hand.
Could you please advise which accounts you mean ? I cannot find any reference to such a statement being made during his lifetime.