An Attempt on the Life of the Queen

Today, as I write this, it is Thursday 2nd March 2017.  What I want to do, though, is to take you back to Thursday, 2nd March 1882 because, on that day, one Roderick McLean attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria at Windsor with a pistol.

Apparently McLean’s motive was a curt reply to some poetry that he had mailed to the Queen!  Seven weeks later, on 20th April 1882, he was tried for high treason.  He was found “not guilty but insane” by a jury after five minutes’ deliberation and lived out the rest of his days in Broadmoor Asylum. The verdict prompted the Queen to ask for a change in English law so that those implicated in cases with similar outcomes would be considered as “guilty, but insane”.

The result of her request led to the passing of the ‘Trial of Lunatics Act’ in 1883.
This was the last of eight attempts by separate people to kill or assault Victoria over a period of forty years. The ‘full’ story is this incident – and a few more that tried and failed – will be ‘published’ in a few days time.

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