Irishman's Coat of Arms

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Irishman's Coat of Arms

Postby Gary » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:21 pm

From Pvt. John Robert Shaw of the 33rd Regiment, then serving in America during the American Revolution.

There was a certain Bill Airton, a butcher, who was a mess mate of mine, and had often endeavored to provoke me to a fight; but as I always considered him a stouter man than myself, and being besides unacquainted with the art of boxing (as it is called) I had constantly declined his invitations, and endeavored to keep clear of all private quarrels.

It happened, however, one day, when myself and several of my companions made a fire before our wigwam, that Mr. Airton, who had been absent while the fuel was gathering, came up to the fire, and in a very abrupt manner says to me, "Shaw, d--n you stand back, you have no right here, d--n you, stand back." Giving me at the same time such a blow to the eye as made my head sing psalms for some time.

The sergeant then coming up, and, understanding the circumstances, says, "Shaw, you must fight and whip him or else I will whip you." So we buckled to it in our buff; and having a good second helped the cause very much on my side; for a good officer makes a good soldier. Inspired with confidence through the encouragement of the sergeant, I soon gave Mr. Airton an Irishman's coat of arms, i.e., two black eyes and a bloody nose, which made him a good friend ever after.

Poor John and the butcher then stript to their buffs,
Fell to work and engaged in what's called fisticuffs;
And so the big butcher that would be a brawling
And picking a quarrel, at last got a mauling.

See pages 35-36 of Don Haigst British Soldiers American Revolution.
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