illustration of two fencers in a French Salon, 1820.

Duelling and Fencing

Duelling was a way for ‘gentlemen’ to settle their quarrels. The duel of honour was fought in cold blood between gentlemen, one perhaps seeking ‘satisfaction’ from the other in response to an insult to his ‘good name’.

Swords

At first personal combats were fought with a sword and buckler. the rapier, a longer, narrower pointed sword was introduced after 1500. A new style of sword combat developed which emphasised the use of the point not the blade.

Swords were worn as part of a gentleman’s everyday dress.

Pistols

By around 1780 the pistol displaced the sword in the duel and many gentlemen owned a cased set of specialised duelling pistols. The duellist had to be able to aim and fire quickly and accurately, usually at a distance of not less than 15 metres (50 feet).

Duelling of any form has long been romanticised, however the reality was often, short, bloody, brutal and deadly.

18th century duelling interpretation

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18th century duelling - link to YouTube video


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EASTER TOURNAMENT 2015

Enjoy the thrills and spills of authentic medieval jousting in the heart of Leeds.

03 April 2015

Leeds

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Did you know?

The best ideas are simple

What do the Jennings rifle, the Winchester 73 rifle, the Maxim machine gun and the Luger pistol have in common? – they all use the same basic toggle mechanism to lock the breech and operate in the same way as a knee or elbow joint.