Updated 21 Apr 2001

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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This very strange story about a duel between a man called DOXEY and a doctor, using lancets as weapons, was found in The Times dated 6 October 1841, and sent by Keith Brooks, thanks Keith

The Times 6 October 1841

SINGULAR DUEL - Middleton-by-Wirksworth was a few days ago the scene of a truly remarkable affair of honour. An eccentric disciple of Aesculapius, who resides in a romantic village in Derbyshire, went over to Middleton on a visit to his friends. As he passed down the village he unluckily called at the Nelson's Arms, and as it was the Wakes the house was crowded with company, among whom was one Doxey, well known in the neighbourhood as a little chap, but a great talker, and with the reputation, among the small fry of the place, of being an uncommonly sharp, clever, and witty fellow, and considered by them a complete oracle. Doxey's forte is of political character; but whether, on this occasion, he advocated the cause of the many, or defended the Policy of the Tories, we could not ascertain. The oratorical renown of this sage had been borne to the peaceful dwelling of our Quixotic hero, who soon found opportunity of arguing some point of his political creed. The virulent language and menacing attitude of the rustic seer soon wrought the feelings of the doctor to the highest pitch, which ultimately ended in the latter demanding gentlemanly satisfaction of his diminutive opponent, in order to wipe off the stigma fixed upon him, and to restore his heretofore unsullied honour. Pistols were selected as the weapons for this deadly work. Seconds were appointed, the ground measured, and all necessary arrangements being complete, the word was given to fire. After an exchange of shots the seconds proposed an amicable adjustment of the matter, but the doctor, "jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel", turned a deaf ear to the proposal, and as swords were not to be had produced a case of lancets, determining to end the encounter with an instrument he knew more of than he did of pistols. The duellists, standing vis-a-vis, looked daggers at each other, and from their threatening attitude the affair excited much interest among those who witnessed it. The doctor, at the given signal, advanced with a firm step towards his antagonist, and made a plunge at him with the lancet; but Doxey adroitly avoided the blow, and in return threw his weapon with such good effect that it pierced his opponents breast, causing him to bite the dust, the blood flowing profusely from the wound. The doctor was conveyed in agony to the Inn and placed in a bed. The wound was not fatal, and in the course of a few hours the two heroes became good friends, and laughed heartily at their own folly.
- Derbyshire Chronicle.

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