The Duel Fought by the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchelsea – 23 March 1829

Posted on March 23rd, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

On 23 March 1829, the Duke of Wellington and Earl of Winchelsea fought a duel at Battersea Fields in South London.

At this time, the Duke of Wellington was Prime Minster of Great Britain and Ireland, and his Tory Government had passed the Catholic Relief Bill. This act was represented the legislative move towards Catholic emancipation, and a section of the legislation would allow catholics to take a seat in parliament.

Wellington (who had been born in Dublin) had not initially been a supporter of Catholic Emancipation, but the fear of rebellion meant that changed his viewson the subject – clearly, he was a pragmatist.

Conversely, The Earl of Winchelsea was a staunch Protestant, and he accused ‘the Iron Duke’ of ‘an insidious design for the infringement of our liberties and the introduction of Popery into every department of the State’.

Insulted by this slur on his integrity, Prime Minster Wellington challenged Winchelsea to a duel, which Winchelsea accepted.

Included below are two newspaper reports on the duel from newspapers published in March 1829.

newspaper report about the duel between the duke of wellington and earl of winchelsea

Sussex Advertiser – Monday 23 March 1829

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000256/18290323/006/0003

newspaper report about the duel between the duke of wellington and earl of winchelsea

Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette – Saturday 28 March 1829

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000417/18290328/008/0002

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