Spencer Perceval was the MP for Northampton over 200 years ago. He also served as the Prime Minister from 1809 – 1812. However he is most famous for being the only sitting Prime Minister in British history to have been assassinated.
He was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons in May of 1812. For years there was a mark on the tiles in St. Stephen’s Lobby in Parliament which indicated where he was supposed to have been shot. However in recent months, due to renovation works, this mark has been lost.
I felt it was a shame that this important piece of Northampton’s history in Parliament had been lost and so I organised with the Parliamentary authorities for a brass plaque to be placed in the hall near to where he was fatally shot.
The assassin’s present day descendant, Henry Bellingham, is now the Member of Parliament for North West Norfolk and also attended the ceremony at my invitation. I am pleased to say that as a Northampton MP, myself and Mr Bellingham have slightly better relations than our forerunners in 1812!
If you are ever on a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament, make sure to look out for this spot!