Kill the Queen!
The Eight Assassination Attempts on Queen Victoria
- Barrie Charles
15th May 2012
Queen Victoria was our longest reigning monarch, a symbol of Britain's great age of power and imperialism. But her life could so easily have been cut short. Just three years after she ascended to the throne, a humble 'pot-boy' fired a brace of pistols at her from just six paces away. She escaped unharmed, but amazingly there were seven further attacks or attempts on her life over the next forty-seven years. The perpetrators were a mixture of madmen, attention-seekers, and fiends: the unemployed carpenter who ended up transported to the hell of a labour camp in Van Dieman's Land; the midget newsvendor who eventually took his own life; the army officer who dressed as a dandy; the disaffected artist, and the Fenian terrorists. Through it all there is Victoria; how she coped with the fear and became a symbol of resolve and determination. Each chapter of this book captures the drama of the attack and uncovers the would-be assassin's motives, describing their lives up to that point, their trial and sentence, and what became of them afterwards. Extensive original research in England and Australia has uncovered a mass of new and previously unpublished detail that makes for an absorbing read.