Code du Combat en Duel
(Code of Duelling)

Historically speaking, on the continent of Europe, fencing masters were held to be men of quality. They were respected as arbiters on the finer points of honour and the code of the duel. Louis XIV of France allowed fencing masters to claim patents of nobility (knighthood) when they had been members of the Academy for 20 years.

A French judicial duel in 1547, resulted in the death of one of Henri II's favorites, and, distraught over the outcome, he refused to grant any more duels. He did not specifically outlaw duelling, merely stopped granting approval for them. This duel (famous for the 'coup de Jarnac' which ended the duel) is often viewed as the last 'legal' duel in France.

In all cases, when the nobles and Crowns stopped granting the field, the illegal outside-the-city-walls-at-dawn type duels began to proliferate. The control and regulation of duels moved from the courts to the social arena. These duels of honour are the ones so well known from France in the 17th century, England in the 18th, America in the 19th and Hollywood in the 20th.

Duelling in The Age of the Throne is a sometimes honourable if not entirely legal way of settling disputes. A duel is simply a fight in which both parties have agreed to engage.

Honourable duels have the form of a CHALLENGE while duelling without a challenge, in the eyes of the court, is more of a "street fight" than a noble match.

All duels should be carried out in private as public duelling is illegal.

A HUGE thank you to Ethan R. Terrance for pointing me to this information


THREE SORTS OF OFFENSES
First A simple offense
Second An offense of an insulting nature
Third An offense with personal acts of violence
DEGREES OF INSULT
Slight Cases A lesser degree of (very rare among Gentry), when resolved with swords, requires a substantial drawing of blood (well beyond a piddling trickle) in the torso, neck, or head. N.B. Seconds from both sides can agree that an upper thigh or arm wound to a major vessel is satisfactory
Gross Cases A greater degree of offense, when resolved with swords require death or permanent removal
KINDS OF INSULT
The Offense and Retort An exchange of insults between the two parties. Example: John tells Robert he is impertinent, etc. Robert retorts that he lies; yet John must make the first apology because he gave the first offense.
The Lie Direct An unprovoked and untrue insult. Among the refined, a retort to a lie only serves to dignify it beyond the limits of polite company
The Third Party Insult An insult directed at a third party to whom the challenger feels some responsibility. They are always gross insults
The Blow A physical blow is a cowardly act of the rabble and unsuited for gentry. They are always gross insults
Undivulged Causes Preserving the honour of some person or persons unknown is the most common reason for this cause
An Issue of Contention This can be any cause, intellectual or otherwise, where there is a dispute between the parties but no clear insult either way. Example: Evolutionism v. Creationism. All Issues of Contention are gross and must be decided by death of one or both of the Primaries
RECONCILIATION
Apology Requires an admission of wrong-doing
Beg Pardon Asks for reconciliation without an admission of wrong-doing
Explanation A justification for the position taken
Withdrawl Removing the challenge prior to the duel
THE FRENCH CODE OF DUELLING
1 If, in the course of a discussion, an offense is offered, the person who has been offended is the injured party. If this injury is followed by a blow, unquestionably the party that has been struck is the injured one. To return one blow by another of a more serious nature severely wounding, for instance, after a slap in the face does not constitute the person who received the second blow, however severe it may have been, the party originally insulted. In this case, satisfaction may be demanded by the party that was first struck. Such a case must be referred to the chances of a meeting
2 If an insult follows an impolite expression, if the aggressor considers himself offended or if the person who has received the insult, considers himself insulted, the case must also be referred to a meeting
3 If, in the course of a discussion, during which the rules of politeness have not been transgressed, but in consequence of which, expressions have been made use of which induce one of the party to consider himself offended, the man who demands satisfaction cannot be considered the aggressor, or the person who gives it the offender. This case must be submitted to the trial of chance
4 But if a man sends a message without a sufficient cause, in this case he becomes the aggressor; and the seconds, before they allow a meeting to take place, must insist upon a sufficient reason being manifestly shown
5 A son may espouse the cause of his father, if he is too aged to resent an insult, or if the age of the aggressor is of great disparity; but a son cannot espouse the quarrel of his father if he has been the aggressor
6 There are offenses of such a galling nature, that they may lead the insulted party to have recourse to acts of violence. Such acts ought invariably to be avoided, as they can only tend to mortal combat
7 The offended party has the choice of arms. (This is a point of such vital importance that it is impossible to be too careful in ascertaining, coolly and deliberately, from which of the parties the insult originated. To name a duel, refers to time and place)
8 When the offense has been of a degrading nature, the offended has the right to name both the arms and the duel
9 When the offense has been attended by acts of violence, the offended party has the right to name his duel, his arms, the distance, and may insist upon the aggressor not using his own arms, to which he may have become accustomed by practice; but in this case the offended party must also use weapons in which he is not practiced
10 There are only three legal arms; the sword, the saber, the pistol. The saber may be refused even by the aggressor, especially if he is a retired officer; but it may be always objected to by a civilian
11 When a challenge is sent, or a meeting demanded, the parties have a mutual right to the name and address of each other
12 The parties should immediately after seek their seconds, sending to each other the names and addresses of their seconds. (This is a point of great importance. It sometimes happens that a man who has insulted another will select as his second some notorious ruffian, who will, to use the common expression, "fix a quarrel" on him, and endeavor to fight for his principal. Not long ago a fellow advertised himself in the public papers to fight for any person who might require his services.-Millingen)
13 Honour can never be compromised by the offending party admitting that they were in the wrong. If the apology of the offending party is deemed sufficient by the seconds of the offended; if the seconds express their satisfaction, and are ready to affirm this opinion in writing; or if the offender has tendered a written apology, considered of a satisfactory nature; in such a case the party that offers to apologize ceases to be the offender; and if his adversary persists, the arms must be decided by drawing lots. However, no apology can be received after a blow. An amicable arrangement of a quarrel should take place before the parties meet on the ground, unless circumstances prevent a prior interview. Howbeit, if when upon the ground, and even when armed, one of the parties thinks proper to apologize, and the seconds of the offended party are satisfied, it is only the party that tenders the apology upon whom any future unfavorable reflections can be cast
14 If the seconds of the offending party come to the ground with an apology, instead of bringing forward their principal, it is only to them that blame can be attached, as the honour of their principal was placed in their hands
15 No challenge can be sent by collective parties. If any body or society of men have received an insult, they can only send an individual belonging to it, to demand satisfaction. A message collectively sent may be refused; but the challenged party may select an antagonist, or leave the nomination to chance
16 All duels should take place during the forty-eight hours that have succeeded the offense, unless it is otherwise stipulated by the seconds. (This rule is of importance. Forty-eight hours may be considered a fair time to reflect upon the painful necessity of a hostile meeting; and there is, in general, reason to suppose that a challenge, sent long after a provocation, has been the result of the interference of busy friends.-Millingen.)
17 In a duel with pistol or saber, two seconds to each combatant are indispensable; one will suffice when the sword is used
18 It is the duty of the seconds to decide upon the necessity of the duel, and to state their opinions to their principals. After having consulted with them in such a manner as not to allow any chance of avoiding a duel to escape, they must again meet, and exert their best endeavors to settle the business amicably. If they fail in this attempt, they must then decide upon arms, time, place, distance, and mode of fighting; and at the same time they must endeavor to come to some arrangement regarding any difficulties that might arise, when the parties are on the ground.
19 Seconds are not witnesses; and each second should have a witness
20 No second or witness shall become a principal on the spot. Any insult received by them constitutes a fresh offense
21 The seconds should not remain more than ten minutes on the ground without a combat
22 The seconds in a duel with swords, may request that the offended party shall be allowed to ward off a lunge with the left hand. This, however, may be refused by the seconds of the aggressor
23 The seconds must determine whether the combatants in sword duels shall be allowed to take breath
24 The seconds will also decide (without acquainting their principals of this decision), whether the parties are to be separated after the first wound. In this arrangement they will be guided by the nature of the quarrel
25 They will also decide whether a fencing-glove, or any other article to wrap round the hand, is to be allowed; a string (Sword-knot) or common glove, are always allowed
26 The seconds are never to let their principals know that they are of opinion that the nature of the insult received is such as to render a mortal combat necessary
27 The seconds may refuse the sword, if the principal is unable to use it from any infirmity, unless the offended party has received a personal injury
28 The sword or saber may be declined by the seconds of a person with only one leg or arm
29 The seconds of a young man shall not allow him to fight an adversary above sixty years of age, unless this adversary had struck him; and in this case his challenge must be accepted in writing. His refusal to comply with this rule is tantamount to a refusal to give satisfaction, and the young man's honour is thereby satisfied
30 If any unfair occurrence takes place in a duel, it is the duty of the seconds to commit the circumstance to paper, and follow it up before the competent tribunals, when they are bound -n honour to give true evidence
31 It is the duty of seconds to separate the combatants the very moment that the stipulated rules are transgressed
32 A father, a brother, a son, or any relative in the first degree, cannot serve as a second fox or against his relative
33 In sword duels the seconds will mark the standing-spot of each combatant, leaving a distance of two feet between the points of their weapons. The standing ground to be drawn for by lots
34 The swords must be measured to ascertain that they are of equal length; in no instance must a sword with a sharp edge or a notch be allowed
35 The combatants will be requested to throw off their coats, and to lay bare their breasts, to show that they do not wear any defence that could ward off a thrust. A refusal to submit to this proposal is to be considered a refusal to fight
36 The offended party can always use his own weapons, if they are considered of a description fitting the combat. If, on comparing arms, the swords should be found to differ, the choice must be decided by chance, unless the disproportion is of a material nature
37 When the hand is wrapped up in a handkerchief, an end of it is not allowed to hang down. Should the party refuse to draw it up, the seconds may insist that he throws it off altogether, and is only allowed a sword knot. If fencing gloves are allowed, and one party declines their use, the other is not to be deprived of them; but if only one glove has been brought to the ground, it cannot be used
38 When the combatants are on the ground, the seconds are to explain to them all the stipulated arrangements, that they may not deviate from them on plea of ignorance. This being done, the signal of attack is given in the word "Allez"; but if before this signal the parties have already crossed swords, the signal is not necessary; but the first who advanced without it is liable to censure
39 The seconds shall hold a sword or a cane, bearing the point downward, and, standing close to each combatant, be prepared to stop the combat the moment that the rules agreed upon are transgressed
40 Unless previously stipulated, neither of the combatants shall be allowed to turn off the sword of his adversary with the left hand; should a combatant persist in thus using his left hand, the seconds of his adversary may insist that the hand shall be confined behind his back
41 In a sword duel the combatants are allowed to raise themselves, to stoop, to vault to the right or to the left, and turn round each other
42 When one of the combatants exclaims that he is wounded, or a wound is perceived by his second, the combat is to be stopped. With the consent of the wounded man the combat may be renewed
43 If the wounded man, although the combat is ordered to be stopped, shall continue to press upon his adversary with precipitation; this act is tantamount to his desire to continue the conflict, but he must be stopped and reprimanded. If, under similar circumstances, the combatant that is not wounded continues to press on his antagonist, although ordered to stop by the seconds, he must be immediately checked by them, and considered as having infringed the stipulated rules
44 When a second raises his sword or cane, it must be considered as the signal to stop; in such cases, the other second shall cry out "stop," when the parties must recede one step, still remaining in guard
45 In the duel with sabers, the seconds should endeavor to have it fought with short sabers, these arms being less fatal than long ones
46 The ground taken, the antagonists are to be placed opposite each other, at the distance of one foot from their saber points
47 In general these duels are fought with cuffgloves; but, otherwise, the parties may wrap a handkerchief round their hand and wrist, provided that no end is allowed to hang down
48 In regiments, the regimental saber is to be the one selected, provided that they are of the same length, and mounted in the same manner. The same precautionary steps are to be adopted as in the sword duel, to ascertain that no defence is worn by either party
49 The signal of "Allez" having been given, the combatants advance upon each other, and either give point or cut; vaulting, advancing, or retreating at pleasure
50 To strike an adversary when disarmed, to seize his arm, his body, or his weapon, is a foul proceeding. A combatant is disarmed when his saber is either wrenched from him or dropped
51 In saber duels in which the point of the arm is not to be used, sabers without a point are to be chosen. To give point and kill an adversary by the infringement of this rule, is to be considered an assassination. These duels should always be considered as terminated on the first loss of blood
52 And remember, most importantly in the game of AOTT, duels are meant as an honourable settlement to an argument or regimental fighting and should be fought one-on-one with no outside interference!!!!!

The preceding rules (with the exception on 52), which are founded upon long experience, in this fatal practice, have been sanctioned by twenty-five general officers, eleven peers of France, and fifty officers of rank. The Minister of War, who could not, consistently with his public duties, affix his signature to the document, gave his approbation in an official letter, and the majority of the prefects equally sanctioned the regulation.

Copied from Millingen's History of Dueling






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