On This Day

May 1812 in History

Events in History


Assassination of a British Prime MinisterAssassination of a British Prime Minister

May 11 British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London. Ironically, descendants of both later stand for the same seat in Parliament at the same time but neither win.

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An artist's impression of Spencer Perceval's fatal shooting. Photograph: Hulton Archive
An artist's impression of Spencer Perceval's fatal shooting. Photograph: Hulton Archive
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BattleExecution

May 18 John Bellingham, a Liverpool merchant who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval on May 11, is hung for the crime at the Old Bailey in London

Assassin of Spencer Perceval John Bellingham
Assassin of Spencer Perceval
John Bellingham
British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval
British Prime Minister
Spencer Perceval

Birthdays in History

  • May 6 Martin Delany, African-American abolitionist and physician (1st African American major in US Army), born in Charles Town, Virginia (d. 1885)

Person of interestRobert Browning

May 7 Robert Browning, English poet (Pied Piper), born in London, England (d. 1889)

  • May 12 Edward Lear, English landscape painter and poet (Complete Nonsense Book), born in London, England (d. 1888)
  • May 12 Louis Ludwig Blenker, German-American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Worms, Germany (d. 1863)
  • May 17 Joseph Warren Revere, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1880)
  • May 19 Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1862)
  • May 23 Henri-François-Alphonse Esquiros, French poet and writer (Les Vierges Folles), born in Paris (d. 1876)
  • May 30 John Alexander McClernand, American politician and Major General (Union Army), born in Breckinridge County, Kentucky (d. 1900)

Deaths in History


MurderSpencer Perceval

May 11 Spencer Perceval, British statesman and Prime Minister (1809–1812), assassinated by John Bellingham at 49

British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval
British Prime Minister
Spencer Perceval

Person of interestJohn Bellingham

May 18 John Bellingham, English merchant who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, executed by hanging at 42 or 43

Assassin of Spencer Perceval John Bellingham
Assassin of Spencer Perceval
John Bellingham