Queen Boudicca was married to Prasutagus ruler of the Iceni of East Anglia. When the Romans conquered southern England in AD 43, they allowed Prasutagus to continue to rule. However, when Prasutagus died the Romans decided to ignore his will, which left his kingdom shared between his daughters and the Romans, and to rule the Iceni directly. They confiscated his property and are also said to have stripped and flogged Boudicca and raped her daughters. These actions exacerbated widespread resentment at Roman rule.
In 60 AD, while the Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paullinus was on campaign in North Wales, the Iceni led by Boudicca, rebelled and were joined by other tribes. In response the Ninth Legion based at Longthorpe Fortress and led by Quintus Petillius Cerialis marched to meet her army, but they were defeated and she went on to destroy Camulodunum (Colchester) the capital of Roman Britain.
Boudicca's warriors then destroyed London and Verulamium (St Albans) killing thousands. Suetonius marched back from Wales and finally defeated her. She is thought to have poisoned herself to avoid capture. The site of the battle, and of Boudicca's death, are unknown.
Image: Boudicea Haranguing the Britons by John Opie
Longthorpe Roman fortress, in the location of the present day Thorpe Wood Golf Course, was built at the beginning of the Roman occupation in what appears to be a hurried way, suggesting that its purpose was to get Roman presence into the area quickly. It sat on a small ridge facing the river, and could hold half a legion, in this case, the Ninth. Despite being built in a rush, it was the only Roman fort in western Europe to have an onsite pottery and it produced excellent quality wares. The Ninth Legion was sent to quell Boudicca’s rebellion at Camulodunum (Colchester) in around 60AD and the few soldiers who did return were badly injured. With too few soldiers to sustain and defend the fort, it was redesigned to a much smaller scale.
Queen Boudicca was married to Prasutagus ruler of the Iceni of Eas…
Longthorpe Roman fortress, in the location of the present day Thorpe Woo…