The elegant and romantic Netflix series Bridgerton is hugely popular all across the world right now, but did you know that Toronto once had its own version of Bridgerton play out in real life?

In 18th-century Toronto, two high-ranking government officials duelled to the death in the name of a woman's honour, which will sound super familiar to anyone who's binge-watched the show.

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According to the Globe and Mail, Mr. John Small (pictured above) was a high-ranking government official living in Toronto in 1799, whose wife's honour was called into question by Mr. John White, Ontario's Attorney General at the time.

The Globe said Small's wife had "failed to give due attention" to Mr. White's wife at a ball, and so the Whites conspired against the Smalls by gossiping that Mrs. Small was sleeping around with other aristocrats — including Mr. White himself.

Mr. Small was not going to stand for his wife's besmirchment, so he challenged Mr. White to a duel.

"On January 3, 1800, Mr. Small shot and mortally wounded Mr. White," the Globe wrote, reporting that Mr. Small was acquitted at a murder trial a few weeks later.

But the Smalls were still ostracized from high society as a result of the duel, the Globe wrote, and rumours about Mrs. Small never went away.

Most Torontonians likely don't know who Mr. Small is, but they might recognize where his house once was — it's now the large glass Globe and Mail Centre on King St. E., according to the Globe.

This story might be super familiar to Bridgerton viewers, who — spoiler alert — watched Simon and Anthony duel in episode four over a perceived tarnishing of Daphne's honour.

Nobody died in Bridgerton's duel, which means that maybe Toronto's story is a little bit more exciting. Season two plotline, maybe?

 
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