Fremantle Stuff > Events > Duels
Allen Graham writes there was a duel fought in December 1829 between Thomas Peel and the master of the Gilmore, the ship which brought him and his colonists to the colony, Capt Geary. Apparently no-one was hurt, tho the matter was reported in the Hobart Colonial Times (Graham: 97.)
The next known duel was on 17 August 1832, between William Nairne Clark and George French Johnson (not Johnstone). They were partners in The Inquisitor newspaper.
The libel that was the cause of the colony's only duel was printed on that press. The duel was fought in 1831 on the south bank of the river to the west of the present traffic bridge, the combatants being a Scotch lawyer named Clark and a merchant named Johnstone. The latter was fatally wounded and Clark was committed for trial, but acquitted, duelling being a venial offence in those days. The pair of duelling pistols used in the encounter are now in the police museum, in Perth. Hitchcock: 22.
In January 1833, one Lewington took a shot at his father-in-law Robert Maydwell, because the latter had persuaded his daughter to leave her husband. He missed by a few inches. (Graham: 99)
The Perth Gazette of 16 January 1833 reported that a duel between two unnamed men was avoided by the intervention of their seconds, who persuaded them that the matter could be settled without a fight and also without loss of honour. (Graham: 99)
There are more events reported by Graham.
Graham, Allen 2005, 'Early duels of Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 4: 95-106.
Hitchcock, J.K. 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia, 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.
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