Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tales of pistol-packing parsons and fistic friars

This is something I wasn't looking for today, but I'm glad I found it:

Extract of a Letter from Salisbury, Dec. 10.

“A few Days since a Duel was fought at a Place called the Hutt [...] about seven Miles from this Town, by a Clergyman of this County, and a neighbouring Gentleman. It seems the Clergyman thinking himself aggrieved, carried a Brace of Pistols to the Hutt, where he sent for the Gentleman, and told him he had used him very ill, therefore he insisted on his fighting him: The Gentleman was very unwilling to accept the Challenge, alleging that he had a Wife and several Children, to whom his Life was of very great Importance, and that he was no Ways prepared for such a Re-encounter.

The Clergyman still insisting that he should fight, after much Reluctance, the Gentleman took one of the Pistols, and the two Combatants then going Back to Back, after a certain Distance, they turned about, and the Clergyman fired first, but luckily did no other Mischief than carrying off Part of the Sleeve of the Gentleman’s Coat. The Clergyman being thus left at his Antagonist’s Mercy, though so very courageous before, now fell on his Knees, and begged his Life, which was generously granted by the Gentleman. Since this, the Affair, we are told, has been taken up by the Bishop, who is determined to have no fighting Parsons and therefore will make an Example of this.’”

--Public Advertiser, Monday, 19 December 1763, Issue 9088.

And this is something a bit more recent:

As shocked worshippers look on in horror, the monks kick and punch each other, knocking down tapestries and decorations. One or two of the monks seem to have a handy right hook.

The fight took place in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which Christians believe marks the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection. The Greeks say the Armenians interfered with their right to access a particular part of the church, while the Armenians accuse the Greeks of disrupting their celebrations of the 4th century discovery of the cross believed to have been used to crucify Jesus.


No comments: