Sunday, March 21, 2010

01Mar1872, The Queen is Attacked

LONDON, Friday, March 1st, 1872.
—A crazy attack was made on the Queen last night as she came home from a drive by a wretched Irish boy with an old broken unloaded pistol, which he levelled within a foot of her head. It seems he hoped (sanguine!) to frighten her into signing a paper he had for the release of the Fenian prisoners ; and that he had tried in vain to play this precious trick near S. Paul's on Tuesday. Lucky for him the crowd was too great : he wd. certainly have been set upon by the people and very likely torn to pieces. In a p.s. at the end of this document he begs to be shot, not hung, if he is caught ; I fear he will have neither honour, but a sound flogging. The Queen behaved beautifully ; she was horribly frightened, and just called out "Save me" to Lady Churchill, who was next to her ; but the next thing she did was to beg the guards not to hurt the scamp as he struggled with them ; and she then immediately sent off Gen, Hardinge to the Houses of Parlt. to have a proper statement made of the matter, and to prevent panic. Nevertheless some newsboys, I believe, shouted "Assassination of the Queen" about some of the streets. If anything was wanted to send loyalty up to boiling-point, this attempt has done it ! Great crowds gathered in the Park when the Queen pluckily drove out this morning in an open carriage with no extra precautions ; and again to see her go away ; and cheered famously. Little Bertram saw the departure joisted on somebody's shoulder, and announced that he cheered as loud as he cd., which no doubt encouraged Her Majesty.
Mr. Birch, the Pr. of Wales' old tutor, saw him since his illness and told — how much struck he was with the Prince's improved tone and seriousness ; adding, "I think Lady Lyttelton's early training may be telling now."

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