Reaction of the House of Lords to the assassination
The assassination of Spencer Perceval produced a shock wave which rapidly passed through the Palace of Westminster. The House of Commons, which was meeting only a few metres from where Bellingham had fired the fatal shot, adjourned until the next day. The House of Lords was informed of the event and ordered that no one should leave the House; it then proceeded to question a member of staff from the House of Commons who had witnessed Perceval's shooting.
These notes, which may have been made by a House of Lords clerk, record the announcement made by the Lord Chancellor to the House of Lords that 'a most melancholy and atrocious circumstance had taken place in the Lobby of the lower House of Parliament'. The notes also state that 'the Rt Hon Mr Spencer Perceval was shot within the walls of the two Houses of Parliament and is since dead of his wounds'.
Notes on the assassination of Spencer Perceval
11 May 1812
Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/JO/8/276A