The Duelling Ground at Hogg Hall

The traditional dueling ground at Hogg Hall is in a small clearing in the woodland behind the lake, about two hundred yards from the Great Folly. Hundreds of duels have taken place there over the centuries, but the most renowned was probably in 1789.

Prince Ferdinand Butt-Vanguard, Duke of Hertford, challenged Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Montague-Crabb, having accused him of making “certain noises unworthy of a gentleman.”

Montague-Crabb had no recollection of making any such noises but the Prince’s demands for an apology were refused. Butt-Vanguard demanded satisfaction and the two men met with pistols on Christmas Day. According to a report in the Potter’s Crotch Gazette, Butt-Vanguard’s shot “grazed his opponent’s forehead”.

Montague-Crabb, however, refused to fire back, stating that he had been called out to give satisfaction to the Prince and that satisfaction had been given. Butt-Vanguard refused to accept that honour had been satisfied and insisted that the Lieutenant-Colonel shoot him. Stalemate was reached and the two men stood and faced each other long into the night.

Next morning the pair were still at the dueling ground, and Butt-Vanguard continued to wait for Montague-Crabb’s shot. It began to snow. Six hours later, a blizzard having engulfed them, both men died of exposure. To this day the Butt-Vanguard family still demand to be shot at by the Montague-Crabbs every Christmas.

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