William Godwin's Diary


Charles Lennox, fourth duke of Richmond and fourth duke of Lennox (1764–1819) was a captain in the Coldstream Guards in 1789. The king appointed him to a company in the duke of York’s regiment without consulting the duke who complained publicly. Lennox promptly challenged the duke to a duel on Wimbledon Common, Lennox's bullet grazing the duke's curl, and the duke firing in the air. At a ball held to celebrate the king’s birthday shortly afterwards at St James’s, the Prince of Wales left a country dance when he noticed that Lennox was dancing. He reportedly told the Queen that he was ‘heated and tired, Madam, not with the dance, but with dancing in such company’.

This entry is also of interest for what it tells us of Godwin's habits of diary-keeping. As Lennox was not made colonel until 1803 and subsequently became lieutenant-general in 1805, it is possible to date Godwin’s insertion of this part of the entry to between those dates. On 13 October 1803, he records ‘Journal’ making this the likely date of this addition.

See DNB; The Times, 5 June 1789 and Christopher Hibbert, George IV (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976, repr. 1988), p. 138.