Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die

Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die

The Assassination of A British Prime Minister

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Traces the story of the only assassination in history of a British prime minister, drawing on detective reports, letters, and testimony.

McMillan Palgrave

At approximately 5:15 P.M. on the afternoon of May 11, 1812, Spencer Perceval, the all powerful prime minister of Great Britain, was fatally shot at short range in the lobby of Parliament by John Bellingham, a Liverpool businessman. Perceval polarized public opinion: Revered by some and hated by others for his fight against the lucrative slave trade, he domineeringly kept Britain at war against Napoléon and was driving her into war with the United States despite the huge economic drain of each, raising taxes to new heights to finance his decisions. Bellingham was not alone in blaming Perceval and his government for their ruinous policies; indeed, he claimed to have killed Perceval "as a matter of justice," and believed he would not only be exonerated, but also applauded for his action. But he was not to enjoy relief; within a week, granted the briefest of trials that trampled his right to due process, he was hanged.

In Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die, Andro Linklater examines the assassination against the dramatic events of the time with the eye and insight of the finest detective. Combing through Bellingham's personal records, including hitherto undiscovered correspondence; piecing together his strange movements through the reports of London's first detective agency; and using the letters and testimony of Bellingham's wife, Linklater convincingly reveals, as nobody has before, the outlines of a conspiracy. While he fired the shot and was solely charged with the crime, John Bellingham clearly did not, as history has stated, act alone.

& Taylor

Traces the lesser-known story of the only assassination in history of a British prime minister, in a 200th anniversary tie-in that draws on detective reports, letters and testimony to trace Spencer Perceval's lauded and hated views on slavery, the British war against Napoleon and shooter John Bellingham's motives. By the author of Measuring America.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Walker & Company, [2012]
Edition: First U. S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780802779984
Branch Call Number: 941.073 PERCE LINKL
Characteristics: 296 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Jul 06, 2013

A tremendous researcher, although perhaps not the most interesting of writers, still, this is an important book in the annals of financial history and assassination. Clearly, Bellingham was receiving payments from a most interesting source (Percival, the British prime minister, signed the law forbidding British ports to be used in slave-trading, which hurt the rich back then, tremendously), which leads one to those money trails of the Lincoln assassination (private bankers), the John F. Kennedy assassination (his major differences with the Wall Streeters and super-rich, David Rockefeller, the Morgan and Mellon and du Pont and Harriman families, and so forth), and how Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated right after he took up the call for workers' rights AND his anti-Vietnam War stance, while Sen. Bobby Kennedy might have shed light on both those assassinations, and had to be silenced as well (plus, Bobby's anti-war stance also).

pabennett Oct 13, 2012

I returned this item weeks ago.

Thank you.

hgeng63 Sep 10, 2012

Tiresome to me. Had to plow through this one.


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