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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.

Hitchcock:
The libel that was the cause of the colony's only duel was printed on that press. The duel was fought in 1831 [1832] 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 [Johnson]. 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.

References and Links

Bray, F. I. 1930, 'New light on the Johnson-Clark duel', Early Days, vol. 1, part 8: 85-86.

de Mouncey, P. E.C. 1929, 'The historic duel at Fremantle between George French Johnson, a merchant, and William Nairne Clark, a solicitor, in the year 1832', Early Days, vol. 1, part 5: 1-15.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed.: 15-16.

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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