Sir Cholmeley Dering, 4th Baronet

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Sir Cholmeley Dering, 4th Baronet (23 June 1679 – 9 May 1711) was an English politician and duellist.

He was the eldest son of Sir Edward Dering, 3rd Baronet of Surrenden in Pluckley, Kent by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Cholmeley, 2nd Baronet of Whitby, Yorkshire. Cholmeley Dering was ten years old when he succeeded his father as baronet in 1689.

On 17 July 1704 he was married to Mary, only child of Edward Fisher of Mitcham, merchant, and of his wife Ellen, daughter of Richard Norton. Mary died in 1707 aged only 20, perhaps as a result of the birth of their younger son Cholmeley.[1]

Sir Cholmeley was the fourth successive head of the family to be MP for Kent. He was elected in 1705 to Queen Anne's second parliament, which would prove to be the last Parliament of England and the first of Great Britain. He retained the seat at the following Parliament in 1708.[2]

Sir Cholmeley was dining with others at an inn near Hampton Court on 7 May 1711 when he became involved in an argument with Richard Thornhill; they came to blows and in the ensuing struggle Dering kicked out several of Thornhill's teeth. Their companions broke up the fight, but Thornhill afterwards sent Dering a note challenging him to a duel at Tothill Fields in Westminster on the morning of the 9 May. The duel was with pistols, both being fired but only Dering was hit and he died soon after. Thornhill was tried for murder but convicted of the lesser offence of manslaughter, in light of the original provocation.[3]

The incident is recorded by Jonathan Swift in his Journal to Stella[4] and was alluded to by Richard Steele in The Spectator.[5] Thornhill was murdered on Turnham Green on 20 August the same year, by two men who allegedly invoked Dering's name as they killed him.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haslewood, Rev. Francis. (1876). Genealogical Memoranda of the Family of Dering. London.
  2. ^ The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, Volume I. (1797). British History Online.[1]
  3. ^ Burke, Peter. (1849). Celebrated Trials connected with the Aristocracy. London: William Benning & Co. (The use of April rather than May throughout the account seems to be an error.)
  4. ^ Swift, Jonathan. Journal to Stella; Journal to Stella – Letter 22
  5. ^ The Spectator Number 84. (6 June 1771)
  6. ^ Swift, Journal to Stella
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Hales
Sir Francis Leigh
Member of Parliament for Kent
1705–1707
With: Viscount Villiers
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Kent
1707–1708
With: Viscount Villiers
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Palmer
Sir Stephen Lennard
Preceded by
James Buller
Alexander Pendarves
Member of Parliament for Saltash
1708–1710
With: Alexander Pendarves
Succeeded by
Alexander Pendarves
Jonathan Elford
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Palmer, Bt
David Polhill
Member of Parliament for Kent
1710–1711
With: Percival Hart
Succeeded by
Percival Hart
Sir William Hardres
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Edward Dering
Baronet
(of Surrenden Dering)
1689–1711
Succeeded by
Edward Dering