Who was Boadicea?


Boadicea, or Boudicca, was a Celtic warrior queen who united several British tribes in revolt against the Roman occupation in 60-61 BC. Famously, she successfully captured and burnt the city of Londonium (modern-day London) to the ground, along with the towns of Verulamium (modern St Albans) and Camulodunum (Colchester). An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities by Boudica’s troops.

The Britons took advantage of the fact Roman Govenor of Britain, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was otherwise engaged in a military campaign in Wales. The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider pulling out of Britain, however Suetonius managed to regroup his forces and despite being outnumbered by Boudicca’s 100,000-strong army, defeated the Britons at the Battle of Watling Street (an ancient trackway between St Albans and Canterbury), reasserting Roman authority in the region. Boudicca either then killed herself so she wouldn’t be captured or fell ill and died, dependent on conflicting sources.