The Romans In LondonLondon Grid for Learning

Queen Boudica, a proud woman, expected to inherit half of the kingdom of her husband, Prasutagus, when he died. The Romans, however, decided to seize her land and possessions, flogged the queen and mistreated her daughters. Boudica and her tribe, looking for revenge, joined with another tribe, the Trinovantes, who also had reason to resent the Romans. At first, the tribes were very successful and caused great trouble and destroyed Colchester.

The British tribes stopped to celebrate and spent time looting rather than continuing to advance. This gave time for the governor to reach London with a small force of cavalry but there were not enough to defend London and he evacuated all those Londoners left and they headed towards St Albans along Watling Street. The British tribes spent several days in London burning the buildings and killing anyone who was left, mainly the elderly and sick.

The tribesmen moved on to attack St Albans and the Roman historian, Tacitus, recorded that some 70,000 people were killed in all three towns. We do not know where the final battle took place but the Britons were unable to escape having brought their families to watch in wagons and carts behind them. Many were killed. We do not know what happened to Boudica – she either poisoned herself or she fell ill and died. The queen was probably in her mid to late thirties when she died but her final resting place is unknown.