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Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun of Okehampton

Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun of Okehampton
Lord Mohun, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1707

Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun English politician best known for his frequent participation in duels and for his reputation as a rake.

Mohun’s father died shortly after his birth, following a duel, and left him the family estate. The estate, however, was heavily in debt. Due to this Mohun received no education, and was forced to resort to gambling in order to support his lavish lifestyle.

Mohun married with the hope that this match would alleviate some of his debt. Unfortunately he received no dowry for the marriage, and the couple separated shortly thereafter. Following the separation, Mohun’s behaviour became ever more licentious. A gambling dispute resulted in his first duel. A friend of Mohun’s, an officer named Richard Hill, had fallen in love with the actress however he thought himself, almost certainly erroneously, to face competition from actor William Mountfort. Mohun and Hill ambushed the actor after a performance and, whilst Mohun restrained him Hill stabbed him through the chest. Following Mountfort’s death the next day, Hill fled the country. Captured, Mohun stood trial before the House of Lords. However, in a verdict that was widely condemned, Mohun was acquitted.

Mohun joined the army shortly after his acquittal. There he served under the uncle of his former wife, and briefly served in France. The Lords again tried Mohun for the murder following a duel on Leicester Square. Mohun was again acquitted.

After this incident Mohun took his seat in the House of Lords. Accompaning the Earl of Macclesfield on a diplomatic mission to Hanover. Following the death of Macclesfield later in the year, Mohun was left most of his estate. He spent over a decade defending his inheritance from rival claimants, most famously from James Douglas, 4th Duke of Hamilton.

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