Author Topic: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796  (Read 406 times)

Offline Les de B

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Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« on: Thursday 04 January 18 12:29 GMT (UK) »
I'm just trying to glean some extra information (if any?) regarding a pistol duel on Jersey in November 1796 involving my 3 x great grandfather, Captain/Major Stephen WATTS.

WATTS came to the Island about 1781 as Captain in charge of a Company of Invalids (he having lost a leg in American Revolution). In 1796 he became Barrack Master, and in November that same year he was involved in a pay dispute with Dr.SANDERSON which resulted in a pistol duel.  WATTS was shot in his raised pistol hand, losing his thumb, and the ball then entered his head. Some 15 English newspapers of the day reported the incident indicating it would result in a "most fatal issue" and the "the ball had not been extracted from his head". Fortunately, one newspaper reported on 2/12/1796 that he was recovering thanks to his brother-in-law Dr.HERIOT, and did in fact survive.

I'm just wondering if there was anymore local information about the duel other than that reported in the English papers? Was Dr.SANDERSON ever charged, as duelling was illegal, and he decamped from the scene leaving WATTS to die? Or where the duel may have been fought? Though I do know he was posted at Elizabeth Castle.

I have WATTS' details while he was in America, on Jersey Island, and his death (suicide!) in 1810, as well as all family details. It's just that I will be visiting Jersey in October 2018, and would like to know more about the duel (if possible?) before I arrive, as my time on the island will be limited.

Thanks

Les



de Belin, Swindail, Willcock, Williams, Moore, Watts, Searjeant, Watson, McCready, Reid, Spink, de Lancey, Van Cortland, and of course, Smith!

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Offline Hill

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Re: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« Reply #1 on: Monday 08 January 18 21:13 GMT (UK) »
Hi

Any chance this is your man?

Will of Stephen Watts, Captain on His Majesty's Redneed List of Invalids of Southampton , Hampshire 22 February 1810 ?

Do you have his will?

Stewart

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Offline Les de B

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Re: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« Reply #2 on: Monday 08 January 18 21:34 GMT (UK) »

Will of Stephen Watts, Captain on His Majesty's Redneed List of Invalids of Southampton , Hampshire 22 February 1810 ?

Do you have his will?

Stewart



Stewart, thanks for that, but I do have his Will.
de Belin, Swindail, Willcock, Williams, Moore, Watts, Searjeant, Watson, McCready, Reid, Spink, de Lancey, Van Cortland, and of course, Smith!

Offline Hill

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Re: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« Reply #3 on: Monday 08 January 18 22:38 GMT (UK) »
OK, I've been and looked at the available newspapers  around this time which are very few. Strangely, although titled differently, they seem to (all 4 of them!) have the same reports mainly centred around what was happening in France and local ship movements. I should also mention that the newspapers are in French, the language of the island at that time.

I discussed this further with the Chief Librarian at the Societe Jersiaise and she was not surprised that this wasn't in the newspapers as it could well be treated as an internal army matter. Doesn't explain though how it appeared in UK newspapers.

Certainly the Jersey Archive does not have any records.

All is not lost however as it just means I have removed these as a source and I shall look further over the next few days.

Stewart

Offline Les de B

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Re: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 09:11 GMT (UK) »

All is not lost however as it just means I have removed these as a source and I shall look further over the next few days.

Stewart

Thanks for your time Stewart - much appreciated.

Yes, a bit of a mystery as to why 15 English newspapers had the story, but no Jersey papers did? I thought there may have been something reported, as WATTS did receive a serious head wound, with the reports indicating SANDERSON, his aide, and WATTS' aide all fled the scene because they thought he was dead, and dueling was illegal. Apparently, he lay at the location for an hour before he was found by his brother-in-law, Dr.HERIOT. I was hoping that a Jersey newspaper may have reported the location, or whether SANDERSON was arrested - I guess that is not to be.

Just as a side note. I indicated WATTS was left an hour before his medical treatment. That is nothing compared to his injuries he received in the Battle of Orinskay in New York State. He was bayonetted in the throat, shot in the leg, and suffered a third non-described wound. Abandoned on the battlefield for 2 days, he was rescued by friendly Indians, returned to the British Camp, where his leg was amputated below the knee. Yep, certainly a survivor!

Les
de Belin, Swindail, Willcock, Williams, Moore, Watts, Searjeant, Watson, McCready, Reid, Spink, de Lancey, Van Cortland, and of course, Smith!

Offline Hill

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Re: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 23 January 18 15:01 GMT (UK) »
Success!!

At this time there were number of courts that sat dealing with different aspects of law.

The Cour du Samedi Register for 3rd Nov 1795 to 8th Nov 1796 is a record for mainly bankruptcy, naturalisations, deed polls and licensing but prior to 1797 dealt with some criminal cases.

The case can be found on page 429-430 (the last but one page!!) and it appears they were both fined 250 livre.

The report is in French which I cannot speak so it is possible to get a copy of the report by going to

http://catalogue.jerseyheritage.org and search on D/Y/F1/132

Alongside the entry is the ability to order a copy of those pages. Make sure you specify the names and page numbers.

Let me know if you have any problems.

Stewart

Offline Les de B

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Re: Pistol Duel Jersey Island 1796
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 24 January 18 10:47 GMT (UK) »
Hi Stewart

Thanks for finding those references for me. I did find the relevant references on the Jersey Heritage site, but having a little difficulty in working out how to view/purchase a copy. I've emailed them for some advice as what to do, though are you one of the members who assist there (you may receive my email  ;D )?

Anyway, thanks again for your time and effort - most appreciated!

Les
de Belin, Swindail, Willcock, Williams, Moore, Watts, Searjeant, Watson, McCready, Reid, Spink, de Lancey, Van Cortland, and of course, Smith!