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Fight Her or Marry Her!
- Benjamin Child of Abingdon
was a handsome young man-about-town in Georgian Times.
- He was spotted attending a
wedding in Reading by a young girl called
Frances Kendrick. She fell in love with him immediately but Benjamin
took no notice of her, even though she was good looking and rich.
- So she anonymously sent him a
challenge to fight her in a duel. This was a sword-fight to the death
which took place when one person had insulted another.
- Benjamin turned up at Calcot
Woods (now Prospect Park) to find his challenger was a masked woman.
This was unheard of. Then she told him that he must fight or marry
- Benjamin decided he could not
take the chance of hurting the lady in a fight. So he agreed to marry
- He was whisked away in her coach
and the two were married at Wargrave Church, but the lady did not take
off her mask. Then Benjamin was taken to the big mansion at Calcot
Park and left alone in the drawing room.
- Servants and then the lady owner
of the house appeared and wanted to know what he was doing there.
- Eventually however, the same
lady admitted she was Frances Kendrick, his new wife. She was
extremely beautiful and Benjamin was very pleased.
- They were very happy together.
Frances became famous and was known as the ‘Berkshire Lady’.