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Duelling in Ireland – 1843

Alexander Hamilton- Aaron Burr Duel Gutenberg File of 1902 Book Wikipedia.org
Alexander Hamilton- Aaron Burr Duel
Gutenberg File of 1902 Book
Wikipedia.org
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Launceston Advertiser 2nd November 1843
IRISH DUELLING (abridged)

No gentleman had taken his proper station in life till he had “smelt powder,” as it was called; and no barrister could go circuit till he had obtained a reputation in this way; no election, and scarcely an assizes, passed without a number of duels; and many men of the bar, practising half a century ago owed their eminence, not to powers of eloquence or to legal ability, but to a daring spirit, and the number of duels they had fought.

It was no unusual thing for the opposite counsel to fall out in court in discussing a legal point, retire to a neighbouring field, settle it with pistols, and then return to court to resume the argument in a more peaceable manner.

The public mind was in such a state of irritation from the period of 1780 to the time of the union, that it was supposed that three hundred remarkable duels were fought in Ireland during that interval. Counties or districts became distinguished for their dexterity at the weapons used – Galway for the sword; Tipperary, Roscommon and Sligo for the pistol; Mayo for equal skill in both.

Weapons of offence were generally kept at the inns for the accommodation of those who might come on an emergency unprovided. In such cases, ‘pistols were ordered for two, and breakfast for one,’ as it might and did, sometimes happen, that the other did not return to partake of it, being left dead in the field.

The laws by which duelling is punishable were then as severe as now, but such was the spirit of the times, that they remained a dead letter. No prosecution ensued, or if it even did, no conviction would follow. Every man on the jury was himself probably a duellist, and would not find his brother guilty.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Tea and Pistols – 1864

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Tranter revolver, in 1863 given to Confederate Major General James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart by his prussian (german) Staff Major Heros von Borcke (1835-1895)
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Tranter revolver, in 1863 given to Confederate Major General James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart by his prussian (german) Staff Major Heros von Borcke (1835-1895)
LIFE IN SYDNEY AND SPORTING CHRONICLE 27 FEBRUARY, 1864 P4
HOW TO SILENCE A FOOL

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A Galway gentleman once entered a coffee house in London and called for tea. His brogue attracted the attention of a scented civilian in the opposite box, who relying on his superior accent, resolved to have a jest at the expense of the stranger. The civilian called for tea too; the Irishman called for muffins, so did the civilian, toast, milk, sugar, &c, were severally called for by the Irishman, and as severally called for by the fop, who enjoyed in his corner the supposed embarrassment to which he was subjecting the Galway gentleman. At last, with the greatest composure, and, if possible, with a richer brogue, the Irishman desired the waiter to “bring up pistols for two!” The jester’s echo was suddenly silenced, and he quickly made his exit.