Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of James Douglas, 1658-1712 4th Duke of Hamilton 1690s

Sir John Baptist De Medina 1659 - 1710

Portrait of James Douglas, 1658-1712 4th Duke of Hamilton, Sir John Baptist De Medina
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Oil on canvas
17th Century
30 x 25 inches 76.2 x 63.5 cm
 
The Duke of Hamilton was a great Tory magnate, shown here in the green sash of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's highest Order of Chivalry. He was killed in a duel Hyde Park by Lord Mohun, which arose out of a long-running property dispute between the two peers who each laid claim to an inheritance. Horribly he was stabbed by the mortally-wounded Mohun with a broken sword as he bent over him. His tragic death was attributed by many to a political plot, since Mohun was a Whig and the Duke was a Tory, but in fact he had merely been unlucky enough to cross a man with an taste for violence and a disposition that would now be considered psychopathic. Mohun both provoked the duel and uniquely the challenge was issued by the offending party, a man who had already been acquitted by his peers for murdering an actor in Covent Garden.
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