Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

Accidents and Quarrels

14 February 1699   London. Yesterday morning two Gentlemen were committed to Newgate for quarrelling one with the other, whereby they both were slightly wounded, but before they fell out between themselves, they abused a Coachman, broke his head, and pulled off the number of his coach. (The Post Man)

16-18 April 1701   Some days ago, a Waterman, who had carried his Wife and Child down to see the Royal Soveraign, as returning a Gust of Wind laid the Boat almost on one side, which so frightned the Woman, that she also moved that way, and overwhelmed the Boat, so that the Man and his Son were drowned; but the Woman’s Coats kept her up till Boats came off from the shoar and took her up, by which means she was saved. [The London Post]

21-23 July 1701   Last Sunday about 8 at night 7 men very much in drink, came westward in a boat down to London Bridge, and tho they might have passed thorough with ease and safety, yet having no waterman with them (as is supposed) they stav’d their boat against the piles, whereby 3 of them were drownded, and the other 4 saved themselves with difficulty upon the piles, who being askt how they came there and what was become of their companions, Swore, they knew nothing at all of the matter. They were carried ashoar by some boats, and ’tis said went and drank all night to dry themselves. [English Post]

16-18 February 1702   Yesterday a Gentleman’s coach meeting a hackney in Long-Acre, and the latter refusing to make way for him upon a stop, the Gentleman jumpt out of his coach in fury, and killed one of the hackney-horses, and would have resented the affront which he thought to be put upon him on the coachman, had he not trusted to his heels, and made his escape. [London Post]




8-10 May 1711   Yesterday morning about 6 Sir Cholmly Deering, Bart. Knight of the Shire for the County of Kent, call’d upon Mr. Thorney, son of Major Thorney, his neighbour in the country. They went together in a hackney coach into Tuttle Fields and fought a duel within swords length with pistols. They both fir’d, and Sir Cholmly was shot thro’ the body, a piece of his wastcoat being forc’d into the wound. Mr. Thorney having receiv’d no wound, surrender’d himself, and was carry’d before a Justice of Peace. Sir Cholmly freely forgave him, desir’d he might not be prosecuted on his account, and dy’d in the afternoon. It’s said the quarrel began about 10 days ago. [Evening Post]

24-31 December 1720   On Sunday night last we had several rencounters in the streets of this city, between the Christmass Famlies in their passing from Westminster to Wapping, and from Wapping to Westminster, &c. concerning the right of precedency, in many of which scuffles the wives returned the husbands their canes, and took the chidren; and blows and oaths went as plentifully about at night, as strong beer and nonsense had done all the day, by those wretched commemorators of that glorious fesetival. (London Journal)

22 January 1730   One night last week 2 young Gentlemen in liquor, having drank a bowl of punch at Edward’s Chocolate-house, in Drury-lane Play-house passage, were going away without paying for it; when the woman of the house telling them, she hoped they would pay their reckoning, one of them in a reprobate manner swore she should dye that minute; and forcing her to kneel down, with his drawn sword pushed at her breast, but luckily it went only through her clothes, and stuck in the wainscot. Upon this several persons entered the room, and securing them, carried them to Covent-garden round-house; where one of them privately with a pen-knife stabbed one of the watch-men in the breast in a desperate manner, but not mortal. They were then sent to the Gate-house; but were since admitted to bail. British Journal. [The Grub-street Journal]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Accidents and Quarrels", 8 June 2002, updated 22 February 2005 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/quarrels.htm>

Return to list of Newspaper Reports