The assassin: John Bellingham

The assassin: John Bellingham
  • Title: John Bellingham - Taken at the Sessions House Old Bailey

  • Artist : Denis Dighton

  • Date : 15th May 1812

  • Catalogue number : Palace of Westminster Collection, WOA 6280

  • Description :

    John Bellingham (1769-1812) was the assassin of the British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval. Born in St. Neots, Huntingdonshire, Bellingham was an unsuccessful businessman with a grievance against the Government.

    Bellingham was arrested in Archangel in Russia for debt in 1804, and after five years in prison, he returned to England. He was angry at the lack of assistance he had received from the Government and blamed it for his financial difficulties. Appeals to Perceval and his Ministers met with no success.

    On 11th May 1812 Bellingham shot Spencer Perceval as he entered the lobby of the House of Commons.  At his trial on 15th May 1812 he was found guilty of murder and was executed at Newgate Prison three days later.

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