- Museum number
- Object: A shot from Buckingham to Bedford. Thurday, May 2d, 1822.
A duel between the corpulent Duke of Buckingham (left) and the Duke of Bedford (right). The former stands squarely, heels together, his left shoulder towards his opponent, his pistol in his left hand, the left arm dropped. He turns his head in profile to the left, saying with a melancholy expression: He is the last man in existence I would wish to quarrel with; but the life of a public man is not worth preserving, unless it be preserved with honour" At his feet are two papers: Borough Proprietor, Corrupt Trafic &cc Bargain with Ministers and So much for Buckingham. Bedford stands in profile to the left, with flexed knees, firing into the air; his short hair is erect, and his top-hat flies off. He says: upon my honour I meant no personal offence to the Duke in the words I have used; nor did I mean to impute to him personally, any bad or corrupt motive whatever. At his feet are three papers: County of Bedford Mee[tin]g; Reform; and Agricultural Distress. The seconds are in the middle distance, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, incorrectly behind Bedford, wears a leek in his hat as in No. 9760, &c., and holds a bundle of leeks: Leek Plasters. He says: Splutter and Nails! [cf. No. 8113] her never cou'd have miss'd her if her had fired at her pelley. Lord Lynedoch, behind Buckingham, says: The whole business will terminate most satisfactorily. In the background are trees behind a garden wall. 4th May 1822
- Production date
Height: 252 millimetres
Width: 358 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
At the beginning of 1822 the Grenvilles joined the weak Ministry, demanding rewards (enumerated in No. 14365) regarded as excessive. At a county meeting Bedford (also a borough-proprietor) spoke of 'a great Borough Proprietor, now a noble Duke, late a noble Marquis, whose service and the services of whose adherents in Parliament had been purchased by Government, had been purchased by conferring high Offices on those adherents'. The speech was published in the Globe; a challenge followed. Sir Watkin, the only one of the Williams Wynn brothers not directly concerned, acted for his cousin and arranged the affair, which took place in Kensington Gardens. Buckingham missed and Bedford fired into the air. The speeches of the contestants are as reported in the Annual Register, after shots had been exchanged. Corr. of Lady Williams Wynn, 1920, pp. 281-90; Ann. Reg., 1822, Chron. p. 82. See No. 14365.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Given by Miss E M Gore-Browne
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number