1800 A Gentleman’s Duel At Dawn. From: Gentlemen’s Blood: A History of Dueling.
Between 1785 and 1845, around 1,000 duels with powder and ball were recorded, with about one in five resulting in a fatality. Plus, several duel winners were hanged for murder.
Numerous famous people and politicians were involved in duels. in 1765, the great-uncle of the poet, Lord Byron, killed his neighbour and cousin William Chaworth in a rapier duel over a dispute about the quantity of game birds each had on his land and the best way to hang them and Byron was then fined.
Grantley Berkeley, heir presumptive to his brother the 6th Earl of Berkeley, was angry at a criticism of his book about Berkeley Castle in Fraser’s Magazine. He thrashed the publisher and had the critic, Dr William Maginn, face him over pistols. Maginn received a flesh wound and the Berkeley honor was satisfied.
The Duke of Wellington was a keen country sportsman and an honored guest in the years after the Napoleonic Wars, however his visits, and his shooting, sometimes caused problems. In 1823, he hit Lord Granville, his host, in the face. At Lady Shelley’s, he shot a tenant who was hanging out her washing. His hostess declared: ‘You have endured a great honour today, Mary. You have the distinction of being shot by the Duke of Wellington.’
In March 1829, Wellington, by then Prime Minister, became angry when his parliamentary bill to allow Catholics into government after 200 years provoked criticism from the Earl of Winchelsea. The duke called him out and they met at dawn on Battersea Fields. As challenger, the duke fired first, aiming wide, and the earl then discharged skywards.
William Pitt was another British parliamentarian to be involved in a duel. He faced George Tierney on Putney Common, both missing their shots.
Andrew Jackson, later USA president, fought several duels and killed a famous marksman, Charles Dickinson, in 1806. In 1842, Abraham Lincoln and an adversary were talked out of a duel by their seconds. In 1815, Irish statesman Daniel O’Connell killed an opponent in a duel.1800 A Gentleman's Duel At Dawn. #Regency #Weapons Click To Tweet