The Duel Fought by the Duke of Wellington and the Earl of Winchelsea – 23 March 1829 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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

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 article covering the duel between Duke of Wellington and Lord Winchilsea, London
Duel between the Duke of Wellington & Lord Winchilsea, London | Sussex Advertiser | 23 March 1829

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Newspaper article on duel between Duke of Wellington and Lord Winchilsea, London
Duel between the Duke of Wellington & Lord Winchilsea | Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette | 28 March 1829

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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