Letter – The Era Newspaper – 1 Jul 1826

Document Type: Letter
Date: 1 Jul 1826
Correspondent: The Era Newspaper
Archive Source: Misc Newspaper Cuttings
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        The following extract will be interesting at the present moment. Mr. Beaumont is the gentleman whose quarrel with Mr. Somers is the subject of general conversation:- ’It may be safely affirmed that few public proceedings are more frequently the causes of duels than elections. The present position of one of the parties will render the following duel of more than common interest. In 1826, Lord Howick offered himself as a candidate for the representation of his native county, Northumberland. The election was severely and most expensively contested. The Earl of Durham, then Mr. Lambton, energetically supported by his personal exertions and influence the cause of Whiggery and his brother-in-law. On the tenth day of the election, Mr. Lambton was standing on the hustings at Alnwick, whilst Lord Howick was animadverting with great bitterness upon the singular coalition between two of his opponents, Mr. Wentworth Beaumont, a Radical, and Mr. Liddle, a Tory; when the former gentleman, who, during the whole of the election, had been greatly annoyed by the spirited freedom and censure of Lord Howick's remarks on his political career, and still more by the opposition of Mr. Lambton, accused Lord Durham of prompting his lordship. This Mr. Lambton unequivocally denied, and Mr. Beaumont retorted by giving him the lie. Mr. Lambton left the hustings, accompanied by the Honourable Charles, now Colonel Grey, and the efforts of his family to discover whither he had proceeded, were totally unavailing. The insult was offered in the hearing of Lady Louisa Lambton, who sat with her son in the window of a house adjoining the hustings, and the anxiety of the wife may be more easily believed than described. It was at length ascertained that Mr. Lambton, upon retiring, had dispatched a message to Mr. Beaumont, desiring that gentleman to hold a friend in readiness to receive a communication from General Sir H. Grey. The preliminaries of a meeting were arranged for next morning, and the Town Moor was appointed the place. Mr. Lambton reached the ground at the specified hour, and there received a communication that although Mr. Beaumont had, to avoid observance, left his lodgings by scrambling over the garden wall, yet he had been beset by a crowd, and apprehended interruption. Mr. Beaumont, at last, however, reached the spot, the parties were placed, when a magistrate, attended by the police, arrived. Mr. Lambton made the best of his way to his carriage, while Mr. Beaumont followed on horseback. It is impossible to describe the state of anxiety which prevailed at Alnwick during the suspense that ensued. Fears were entertained for the safety of Mr. Lambton, as well on account of his own debilitated state of health, as the acknowledged skill of his adversary as a marksman. The progress of one, if not the most determined contests ever known in electioneering annals ceased for a few hours to be interesting, and the duel was the all-engrossing subject of thought and conversation. After various interruptions, the parties at length met on the sands at Bamburgh, during a heavy fall of rain, and having exchanged shots, the affair terminated.

- United Service Journal.
This account of the duel between John Lambton and TWBeaumont during the 1826 general election campaign was printed in The Era Sunday newspaper on 23rd December 1838 given the interest at the time in the case between Beaumont and Somers in Paris, the subject of other correspondence at the time and the court report, given elsewhere in Dukesfield Documents

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467