The Duellist

George Finch Hatton (1791-1858) was Colonel of the East Kent Yeomanry from 1830 to 1853. His title was 10th Earl of Nottingham and 5th Earl of Winchilsea. He was responsible for the phrase “Kentish fire”meaning prolonged derisive cheering

As an extreme Protestant politician, he fiercely opposed the Catholic Relief Bill of 1829, and wrote that Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington - who had famously commanded the British at the Waterloo -  "under the cloak of some coloured show of zeal for the Protestant religion, carried on an insidious design for the infringement of our liberties and the introduction of popery into every department of the state". The duke replied with a challenge.

The duel took place in Battersea Fields in 1829, the Duke fired and missed; he claimed he did so on purpose. However, the duke was known as a poor shot and accounts differ as to whether he purposefully missed. Winchilsea kept his arm by his side at the command to "fire" then quite deliberately raised his arm in the air and fired. He then apologised for his letter.