Roderick Maclean

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Roderick Maclean
Died9 June 1921
Known forAttempted 1882 regicide of Queen Victoria

Roderick Maclean (died 9 June 1921) attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria on 2 March 1882, at Windsor, England, with a pistol. This was the last of eight attempts by separate people to kill or assault Victoria over a period of forty years. Maclean's motive was purportedly a curt reply to some poetry that he had mailed to the Queen.[1]

Tried for high treason on 20 April, the Scotsman was found "not guilty, but insane" by a jury after five minutes' deliberation, and he lived out his remaining 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"; this led to the Trial of Lunatics Act 1883.[2][3]

A poem was later written about Maclean's attempt on the Queen's life by William Topaz McGonagall.[4]


  1. ^ "From the archive, 4 March 1882: Queen Victoria survives assassination attempt". The Guardian. United Kingdom. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  2. ^ Banerjee, A. (4 October 2013). "Queen Victoria's Would-Be Assassins: A Review of Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem and the Modernisation of the Monarchy, by Paul Thomas Murphy". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  3. ^ Murphy, Paul Thomas (2 March 2014). "Roderick Maclean's attempt, 2 March 1882: the Last First Report in the Times". Shooting Victoria. Pegasus Books. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  4. ^ McGonagall, William (1882). "Attempted Assassination of the Queen". McGonagall Online.