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. Swords were worn as part of a gentleman’s everyday dress. The rapier – a longer, narrower pointed sword – was introduced after 1500. Consequently, a new style of sword combat developed, which emphasised the use of the point not the blade.

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; 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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SUMMER FUN AT FORT NELSON

There will be plenty of SUMMER FUN activities to keep the children entertained at Fort Nelson, from Thursday 23 July – Monday 31 August 2015.

23 July 2015

Fort Nelson

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Did you know?

The iron lady of India

The most famous 19th century female warrior was the Rani of Jhansi, who recruited female gunners and troopers. She was often seen in the palace gardens controlling her horses with the reins held between her teeth and a sword in each hand.