The Attempt to Assassinate King George III by James Hadfield – 15 May 1800

Posted on May 14th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

At the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on 15 May 1800, James Hadfield tried to shoot King George III while the national anthem was being played, and the king was standing to attention in the royal box.

It’s reported that after missing his target, Hadfield then said to the king:

‘God bless your royal highness; I like you very well; you are a good fellow.’

Hmm, we’re thinking that his words might be a very good examples of quick thinking…

Hadfield went on trial for high treason but, after listening to evidence from three doctors as to Hadfield’s state of mind, the judge decided on an acquittal, with the proviso that Hadfield would be detained indefinitely at his majesty’s pleasure.

Hadfield died from tuberculosis in Bethlehem Hospital (i.e. ‘Bedlam’) in 1841.

You can read dozens of stories about James Hadfield, including his escape from prison and recapture in Dover, in the Archive.

historical newspaper story about james hadfield

Chester Chronicle – Friday 27 June 1800


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