The Duel

Back in 1829, the Duke of Wellington was Prime Minister; there were asparagus fields where Battersea Park now stands; and when people disagreed, they sometimes had a duel.

Wellington was working for the emancipation of the Irish Catholics, and the Earl of Winchelsea was so annoyed by this that he challenged Wellington to a duel. Wellington agreed, and they met in the asparagus fields that would later become Battersea Park.

Once it came to duelling time, Winchelsea realised that he'd be better off if he didn't in fact shoot the Prime Minister - so he missed deliberately, and hoped that Wellington would do the same. Wellington did, and Winchelsea later wrote a very, very apologetic letter.

Read more stories about the nineteenth century.

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Picture pending.
Story source: various, including Iron Duke fights duel over Catholics, The Guardian, 27 March 1829.