Today in 1882

2 Mar

Queen Victoria escapes an assassination attempt by Roderick McLean in Windsor. And to think people scoffed when she started wearing Heelys.

Sure, you can assassinate me - if you can catch me!


Queen Victoria survived eight assassination attempts during her reign, so it’s sort of unsurprising that an amateur like McLean couldn’t kill the Ninja Queen. Most of the would-be assassins shot at or tried to bludgeon her while she was riding in carriages, which you’d think she might stop doing after four or five assaults – or at least stop sticking her head out the window.  McLean apparently had been offended by an unkind response to a poem he had written the Queen and this was his motive for the attack. He was acquitted of his crime but declared insane and spent the rest of his life in Broadmoor Asylum. I think calling him insane is a little far-fetched. I know that every murder I’ve committed has been prompted by slights on my haikus.

Speaking of poetry, the dashing William Topaz McGonagall wrote a doozy about the incident and I would like to share it with you. If you’re going to speak ill of it, make sure you’re not riding in a carriage.

Attempted Assassination of the Queen

by Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall

William McGonagall

God prosper long our noble Queen,
And long may she reign!
Maclean he tried to shoot her,
But it was all in vain.
For God He turned the ball aside
Maclean aimed at her head;
And he felt very angry
Because he didn’t shoot her dead.
There’s a divinity that hedges a king,
And so it does seem,
And my opinion is, it has hedged
Our most gracious Queen.
Maclean must be a madman,
Which is obvious to be seen,
Or else he wouldn’t have tried to shoot
Our most beloved Queen.
Victoria is a good Queen,
Which all her subjects know,
And for that God has protected her
From all her deadly foes.
She is noble and generous,
Her subjects must confess;
There hasn’t been her equal
Since the days of good Queen Bess.
Long may she be spared to roam
Among the bonnie Highland floral,
And spend many a happy day
In the palace of Balmoral.
Because she is very kind
To the old women there,
And allows them bread, tea, and sugar,
And each one to get a share.
And when they know of her coming,
Their hearts feel overjoy’d,
Because, in general, she finds work
For men that’s unemploy’d.
And she also gives the gipsies money
While at Balmoral, I’ve been told,
And, mind ye, seldom silver,
But very often gold.
I hope God will protect her
By night and by day,
At home and abroad,
When she’s far away.
May He be as a hedge around her,
As He’s been all along,
And let her live and die in peace
Is the end of my song.

One Response to “Today in 1882”

  1. 21st Birthday Presents June 17, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Queen Victoria was obviously harder then a coffin nail

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