Bellingham was born in 1776 in St Neots. These
are the events that led him to murder the Prime Minister on 11th
his teens John Bellingham became a dealer specialising in marine
products which, by all accounts, was profitable and he soon built
up a successful company.
1803 Bellingham visited Russia on business, and set off by coach
a port for the return journey to England. Around that same time,
a ship called the Soluere had sunk in the White Sea.
vessel was insured by Lloyds of London, who were refusing to pay
the owners of the ship, suspecting fraud.
spent the next two years in a rat infested cell, being fed on
bread and water
Bellingham was one of the many who had cargo on the Soluere, and
the shipowners, fearing they would incur the total costs, initiated
legal proceedings against the carriers.
was arrested at the frontier, and placed in a Russian prison. Pleading
his innocence, he immediately sought help from the British Ambassador
in Russia, Lord Granville Leverson Gower.
Gower, on behalf of the British Government, declined to interfere,
and Bellingham spent the next two years in a rat infested cell,
being fed on bread and water.
his absence, his business fell into difficulties, and he soon had
creditors demanding money. One Russian merchant demanded 2,000 rubles
owed to him. Bellingham indicated he was unable to pay.
the fact that the original allegations against Bellingham had by
then been dropped, he was kept in custody - this time as a bankrupt.
Bellingham remained in detention for six years, and when he was
finally released in 1809, he was a bitter man, intent on compensation
his return to England he set about making representations to the
Government, stating he had been abandoned in Russia and now demanded
desperation he applied to the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval,
who replied saying he had no just ground of claim.
When he was finally released in 1809, Bellingham was a bitter
February 1812, Bellingham took up lodgings in 9 New Millman Street,
the next two months he was a regular visitor to the Houses of Parliament
where he attempted to lobby MPs to make representations on his behalf.
Many were sympathetic but none would help.
20th April 1812, Bellingham visited North Place, Grays Inn Lane,
where he engaged a James Taylor to make alterations to an overcoat.
instructed Taylor to make a nine inch deep breast pocket on the
left inside of the coat. The work was completed the following day,
and Taylor delivered the garrment to Bellingham at New Millman Street.
continued to be a frequent visitor to the gallery of the House of
Commons, and soon new most MPs by name. He showed particular interest
whenever the Prime Minister spoke.
in the House
after 5.00pm on Monday 11th May, 1812 John Bellingham entered the
lobby leading to the House, and sat near an open fire.
5.15pm there was the sound of footsteps as the Prime Minister and
his assistants walked down the corridor towards the lobby entrance
to the House...
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