Sunday, November 15, 2009

Duel Between the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun

The year was 1712. Anne, of the House of Orange, ruled England. Efforts to restore the Stuart Monarchy were being undertaken by the Tories. The Duke of Hamilton in 1712, according to Scott, was named ambassador extraordinary to Paris. Hamilton had a lawsuit with Lord Mohun, whose character is described historically as being of the basest sort. Hamilton met with Mohun to settle the suit, during which meeting Mohun challenged Hamilton to a duel. The two men, along with their seconds, met a the Ring in Hyde Park for a sword fight. Mohun was soon slain, but Hamilton fell mortally wounded, dying soon afterward. The two seconds also fought, and according to the story told by Hamilton's kinsman and second, Colonel Hamilton, it was Mohun's second, a General Macartney who slayed the Duke. Macartney fled to the continent after the fight.

Tories felt that Mohun had been put up to the challenge by fanatical Whigs. Eventually Macartney returned to England to face trial. There was insufficient evidence to prove the case against Macartney.

Scott includes this story in his Waverly Tales: Tales of a Grandfather.

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