I’ve found a few fun stories about dueling. Enjoy.
1.) English poet Mark Akenside avoided a duel with Counsellor Ballow because one refused to fight in the morning and the other refused to fight in the afternoon.
2.) In 1806, an MP named Humphrey Howarth got into a fight with the Earl of Barrymore after both had been out for a night of drinking after the Brighton races. A duel challenge was issued and they met the following dawn.
Howarth shocked everyone by turning up stark naked. He said that he knew “if any part of the clothing is carried into the body by a gunshot wound, festering ensures; and therefore I have met you thus.” The Earl of Barrymore declared that fighting a naked man would be quite ridiculous, so they both left the field without any further ado.
3.) During the French Restoration (1814-1830), there was a lot of bickering between former members of Napoleon’s army and the newly instated Royal Guard. Things got heated when a Napoleonic colonel named Barbier-Dufai mocked the cockade of a royal guardsman named Raoul.
Because hat ribbons are DEFINITELY something worth killing over, the two men decided to fight it out on the street then and there. Barbier-Dufai disarmed Raoul four times, which should have settled the matter. But nope.
For whatever reason, they decided that a four-time conclusive victory wasn’t enough. The two men tied their left arms together, got in the back of a coach, and stabbed at each other with daggers until one of them died.
Barbier-Dufai won, making it a five-time victory. But–considering that Raoul was dead, Barbier-Dufai had no one left to stab, and the coach upholstery was completely ruined–did anyone truly win that day?