John Bellingham killed Spencer Perceval in the British parliament building, shooting him in the chest using a pistol.
British prime minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated on this day in 1812, becoming the only one in British history to suffer this fate. Perceval was prime minister from 1809 until his death at the age of 49. His 12 children (aged 3 – 20) were thus left fatherless.
Perceval was killed by John Bellingham, an English merchant with a personal grievance towards the government. Namely, Bellingham had spent a long time imprisoned in Russia and believed that the British government was supposed to offer him compensation for this. Since his petitions had been repeatedly rejected, he decided to take revenge on the government.
Bellingham killed the prime minister in the evening, in the lobby of the House of Commons. Bellingham had acquired his gun several weeks earlier and it was apparently sewn into his clothing by his tailor. He used the British citizens’ right to freely enter parliament in order to get close to his target.