While there were several attempts on the life of Queen Victoria, only one plot actually caused her injury. The second-longest ruling monarch (after the current Queen Elizabeth II) managed to survive an impressive eight assassination attempts.
According to historian Paul Murphy, Victoria's seven would-be assassins were: "Shooting stars; they came from nowhere, burst into the light of public attention for a short time following their attempts and disappeared back into obscurity."
They all lived for several years after trying to kill the Queen, who never believed in the "insanity" plea and said most of the men who attacked her knew what they were doing. That meant some of the gunmen were banished to Australia instead of being executed.
Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert were traveling in an open carriage through Hyde Park on June 10, 1840. They had departed Buckingham Palace for their usual ride, and Albert later claimed he'd noticed "a little mean-looking man holding something toward us."
Suddenly, 18-year-old Edward Oxford fired his pistol at the Queen, just missing her. Luckily, Victoria had turned to look at a horse; apparently, she thought the shot was fired by a nearby hunter. By the time Oxford tried a second shot at the Queen, she'd managed to crouch down and escape the bullet. Oxford was found "guilty but insane" and was eventually deported to Australia after spending more than 20 years locked away in an asylum.
Scene of Edward Oxford's attempt to assassinate Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on the evening of Wednesday 10th June, 1840. (Heritage Images/Getty Images)
In the aftermath, the Queen represented popular opinion when she remained convinced that Oxford and those who came after him were "perfectly cognisant of their actions."
The next assassination attempt happened on May 29, 1842 as the Queen was riding in the open carriage with Prince Albert after a church service.
A "little, swarthy, ill-looking rascal" aimed his flintlock pistol in the direction of the couple, but the weapon malfunctioned and failed to fire. The man then ran away, disappearing into Green Park. He was later identified as being John Francis.
The next day, while royal security forces were on the hunt for the gunman, Queen Victoria made it clear she refused to stay holed up in the palace. She thought the best way to catch the would-be assassin was to be out and about as soon as possible.
So Victoria and Albert returned to their carriage and did the rounds of London. It proved to be a wise decision as a shot was fired near the royal carriage and police tackled the gunman. It was John Francis trying to finish off his work from previous day. He was sentenced to be hanged but the Queen decided to commute his sentence to "banishment for life."
Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) and Prince Albert (1819 - 1861), would often ride in an open carriage. (Getty)
Five weeks later, on July 3, 1842, another gunman tried to kill the Queen; 17-year-old John William Bean waited for the Queen to leave the palace for the short journey to the royal chapel.
He managed to push his way to the front of the crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of Victoria, and pulled out his pistol. However, the gun failed to fire. Somebody grabbed the teenager but he still managed to get away.
He was later caught and sentenced to 18 months of hard labor – his sentence was short because it was discovered his pistol contained more tobacco than gunpowder, so he wouldn't have killed the Queen if his pistol had actually fired.
On June 19, 1849, just before the Queen's birthday, Victoria was riding in her carriage with three of her children when 24-year-old William Hamilton fired a pistol at her. It was just as the royal carriage was returning to Buckingham Palace and took the Queen by surprise.
This time, the gunman was apprehended by the head keeper of Green Park. Hamilton, who was from Ireland and struggling due to unemployment, claimed to police that his gun was only loaded with powder "for the purpose of getting into prison, as he was tired of being out of work." He was sent to the dreadful prison colony of Gibraltar for seven years.
The next assassination attempt was by a former British Army officer, Robert Pate, who apparently had mental health issues and was known around London for his "manic behavior." On June 27, 1850 Pate approached the Queen's carriage as it stopped outside the palace.
Pate's Assault on the Queen, 1850. (Print Collector/Getty Images)
Then he went up to Victoria and whacked her on the head with a cane. Members of the public held him down as the Queen reassured her subjects "I am not hurt." However, she did sustain bruising to her head as well as a black eye. For his crime, Pate was sent to the penal colony of Tasmania for seven years.
While the Queen was enjoying an open carriage ride on February 29, 1872 around Hyde and Regent's Park, 17-year-old Arthur O'Connor managed to climb the fence of Buckingham Palace without being seen.
He ran across the courtyard and, by the time the Queen's carriage had returned, he was able to easily approach her and raise his pistol. Victoria's personal servant, John Brown, grabbed the teenager and wrestled him to the ground while the Queen was taken to safety, unaware of what was going on.
Later, O'Connor maintained he didn't want to kill the Queen; instead, he wanted to frighten her into signing a document to release Irish political prisoners from British prisons. He was sentenced a year in prison and 20 strokes with a birch rod before being banished to Australia. Brown was given a medal to honor his bravery.
The trial of Roderick Maclean in Reading, England, for shooting at the Queen, 1882. (Getty)
Once again, the Queen was riding in her carriage when she experienced her final assassination attempt. It was March 2, 1882 and a group of schoolboys from Eton College were cheering as they watched her pass by. Victoria later wrote: "At the same time, there was the sound of what I thought was an explosion from the engine, but in another moment, I saw people rushing about and a man being violently hustled, rushing down the street."
The disturbance was caused by 28-year-old Roderick Maclean who'd fired a shot at the Queen, forcing the school boys to whack him with their umbrellas before police took over. MacLean was found not guilty due to mental health reasons and was forced to spend the rest of his life locked in an asylum.