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#OnThisDay In 1840: Queen Victoria Escaped A Second Assassination Attempt

On this day in 1840, John Francis made a second attempt at an assassination of Queen Victoria. The day prior, John Francis 3

had misfired his gun after aiming at Queen Victoria and fled. Prince Albert and a young boy were the only two to witness the incident. It was decided by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert that the safest way to reduce the threat on their lives by the hand of John Francis was to goad him into attempting another assassination as the guards watched to capture him.

On May 30, 1840, with bravery and trust in her guards, Queen Victoria entered a carriage without her ladies to accompany her as she understood the risks of this endeavor, and left her safety in the hands of her guards. As the carriage approached the location of the previous shooting, John Francis was recognized by PC

William Trounce. Trounce was conflicted between saluting Queen Victoria in loyalty, or protecting Queen Victoria by stopping John Francis. PC William chose to show loyalty to Queen Victoria and saluted to her. Promptly, John Francis  fired his pistol at Queen Victoria and missed. He was immediately arrested and convicted of high treason. Queen Victoria wrote, “We felt as if a load had been taken off our hearts, and we thanked the Almighty for having preserved us a second time from so great a danger.” With mercy and wisdom while maintaining justice as Queen Victoria was known for, John Francis’ sentence was changed to banishment from England to a penal colony.

The next day Queen Victoria chose to ride in a crowd of thousands of people congratulating her on her and praising her bravery. Her family sent her letters in which they expressed their astonishment at the boldness of John Francis against a woman and Queen, but also expressed their amazement at Queen Victoria’s wisdom. After her life threatening encounters, Queen Victoria still felt safest among her people as a good Queen should.