A list of ten places—eight in London, and two nearby—with historical connections to the eight assaults upon Queen Victoria:
1. West Square, Southwark: Edward Oxford, the first of Victoria’s assailants, resided at 6 West Place, West Square for the month before his attempt on 10 June 1840. He was unemployed, having just quit his job at the Hog in the Pound on Oxford Street. Soon after he moved in Oxford bought a pair of dueling pistols, and spent much of his time practicing his stance and aim at a variety of London’s shooting galleries. The actual house he lived in almost certainly no longer exists, but the Square itself is remarkably preserved. Oxford would still recognize it.
2. Bethlem Hospital, Southwark: Literally a stone’s throw away from Edward Oxford’s home before the attempt is Bethlem Hospital, Oxford’s home after his trial and acquittal on the grounds of insanity. Detained at the Queen’s pleasure, Oxford lived for twenty-four years in the male criminal lunatic’s wing of the hospital—until the wing closed and Oxford and his criminally-insane fellows were shipped to another asylum (see #10, below). The doctors at Bethlem, however, never considered Oxford to be insane. This building today, shorn of its wings, houses the London branch of the Imperial War Museum.
3. Constitution Hill, Westminster: Flanking the walls of Buckingham Palace at the edge of Green Park, Constitution Hill was the site of no fewer than three assaults upon Victoria: Edward Oxford’s (1840), John Francis’s second try (1842) and William Hamilton’s (1849). Moreover, Arthur O’Connor in 1872 stood on Constitution Hill before clambering over the walls of Buckingham Palace to present a pistol to his Queen at an inner court. While Constitution Hill’s path and road have of course been modernized, Green park and Buckingham Palace are largely the same and it’s not difficult to see the spot exactly as four of the Queen’s assailants did.
4. The Mall and St. James’s Palace, Westminster: Two of Victoria’s assailants, John Francis (making his first try) and John William Bean, stood beside the Mall five weeks apart in 1842, in order to point their pistols at the Queen as she traveled the short distance from Buckingham Palace to Sunday chapel at St. James’s Palace. Only three people saw Francis’s feeble first attempt, but since one of them was Prince Albert, he and the Queen were alert when they rode forth the next day in order to flush Francis out. Few saw Bean’s actual attempt either—but many saw his temporary capture, but thought it was all a joke. Bean escaped but was arrested at home that night.
5: Cambridge House, Piccadilly, Westminster: On 27 June 1850 Queen Victoria was leaving the “out” gate of this building after visiting her dying uncle, the Duke of Cambridge, when Robert Pate, standing on the pavement, approached her and slashed her over the head with his cane, blackening her eye and leaving a welt. After the Duke of Cambridge died, Lord Palmerston bought the building and lived there as Prime Minister. The building later became the site of the Naval and Military Club, known as the “In and Out” because of its gates. Cambridge House is currently vacant.
6: Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, Westminster: Down the street from Cambridge House was Robert Pate’s ultimate destination on the evening he attacked Victoria—a destination he never reached: his home on the third floor of Messrs. Fortnum and Mason’s emporium. Pate was by far the richest of Victoria’s assailants, as this fashionable residence in the neighbourhood of St. James’s demonstrates. What were Pate’s rooms are now the men’s department of the store.
7. Hyde Park 1—the Perimeter: Before Robert Pate attacked the Queen, he was making his usual, obsessive, and frantic perambulation of the royal parks. He was a common sight on the periphery of Hyde Park in 1850, where he appeared to all to wield his cane as a sword to slash at invisible demons. A policeman who witnessed his eccentricity often nicknamed him “Cut and Thrust.”
8. Hyde Park 2/Albertopolis: During the last week of February 1872, while taking his favorite walk in Hyde Park, Arthur O’Connor, Victoria’s sixth assailant, hatched a wild plan to ensure his eternal fame: he would kill Queen Victoria. He later changed his mind, and decided to threaten the Queen and force her to sign a petition freeing all Irish political prisoners in British prisons. As it happens, O’Connor’s favorite walk adjoined the part of London quickly becoming known as Albertopolis—on the side of the park upon which the Crystal Palace was erected and the Great Exhibition of 1851 took place. In 1872 O’Connor could have seen in the distance the Royal Albert Hall, opened by the Queen a year before, and could have seen the spire rising above a hoarding of the not-yet-opened Albert Memorial.
9. Windsor Railway Station, Windsor, Berkshire: On 2 March 1882, Roderick Maclean shot at Victoria in her carriage as she and her daughter Beatrice rode out of Windsor railway station towards Windsor Castle. The station has changed considerably since that day, but one building remains—what was then the Queen’s waiting-room, and is now a restaurant. Victoria’s carriage was just feet away from the waiting room from which she had just emerged before Maclean took his shot.
10. Broadmoor Hospital, Crowthorne, Berkshire: Broadmoor, then known as Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, was the home of both Victoria’s first and her last assailant. Edward Oxford spent a relatively short time there; he arrived from Bethlem in 1864 and was freed in 1867 on condition that he leave the country. (He shipped to Melbourne, Australia, where he lived until 1900.) Roderick Maclean, on the other hand, lived his disturbed life here for an agonizingly long time—from 1882, the year of his attempt, until his death in 1921.