Lady Almeria Braddock And Mrs. Elphinstone
Photo credit: History.com
Dueling was not confined to gentlemen. Sometimes, gentlewomen got in on the action, too. In 1792, it was reported in Carlton House Magazine that Lady Almeria Braddock and Mrs. Elphinstone were taking tea when insults were said to have been exchanged. Mrs. Elphinstone had the temerity to tell Lady Braddock that she “had been” a beautiful woman.
Lady Braddock took exception to the past tense and took greater exception when the indiscreet Mrs. Elphinstone questioned the lady’s stated age, saying she was nearer to 60 than 30. Lady Almeria demanded satisfaction, to which Mrs Elphinstone is said to have replied, “Name your weapons. Swords or pistols?”Lady Almeria responded, “Both!”
On the morning of the duel, Mrs. Elphinstone put the first shot through Lady Almeria’s hat, which incensed the lady further. They set upon each other with swords, and Mrs. Elphinstone took a blow to her arm before the ladies judged honor to have been satisfied and ceased hostilities.
Seems to me that sometimes the "gentlewomen" of that time were anything but gentle. Nice to know that the settlement of disputes could be done without any killing being done.
Coffee in the kitchen this morning.