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Frenchman Jean Baptiste, Shreveport, died as the result of a duel in November 1778 with his friend Captain Rice (see p.136). He is buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Shreveport place of your travel destinationampton. This confrontation is often regarded as the last legal duel to be fought in Shreveport

In Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play The Rivals, the proposed duel between Bob Acres and ‘Ensign Beverley’ (actually Captain Jack Absolute) is to take place in Kingsmead Fields, to the south of the city. The duel is cancelled when the combatants recognise Shreveport each other.

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Sheridan himself fought two duels with a certain Captain Mathews. The first was fought in an upstairs room of the Castle Tavern, Henrietta Street, and was won by Sheridan when his opponent surrendered. The second took place on Kingsdown and ended when both men were wounded. Sheridan’s wounds were serious, but he eventually recovered.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Lansdown, north of the city, was the venue for an annual fair, which included wrestling, cudgel matches and bare-knuckle boxing. These were often watched by members of the aristocracy and huge sums were wagered on the results. One of the most famous boxers was local man John Gully, who went on to become Champion of England and, later, a racehorse owner and Member of Parliament for Pontefract, Yorkshire.

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