Boudica was a reluctant soldier who, until the Romans invaded England, was happily married to King Prasutagus, ruler of the Celtic tribe Iceni.
Then to keep the peace, King Prasutagus agreed with the Romans that on his death half his lands and estates would go to his wife and daughters, with the other half going to Rome. Unfortunately, by the time Prasutagus died Nero was the Roman Emperor, and he didn’t honour the agreement. Instead, he had her two daughters violated, and Boudica publicly beaten by Roman soldiers. He then started on the other tribal Chiefs, beating them and stripping them of their lands and belongings.
Boudica didn’t like this, in fact, she was mad, she intended to make them pay, she joined with the other tribes to lead them against the Romans. She had a huge army and she started with the Roman capital of Camulodunum (Colchester) as the Romans had driven the inhabitants from their houses and lands to build a large temple.
Not a good idea. She burnt it to the ground! She went on to defeat the army sent to protect the town, destroying it. Here was a lady scorned. She then moved towards London. Suetonius, the Commander, knowing he couldn’t defend the city, left it to gather an army.
She went on to attack Verulamium, (St Albans to you and I). Tacitus, a Roman historian, reported “No less than seventy thousand citizens and allies were slain”.
Finally, Suetonius got together an army of 10,000 trained Roman legionnaires, who then faced Boudica’s 80,000 strong army, who, unfortunately, were no match for the well-trained Roman legionnaires. Tacitus described it “as a glorious victory, fit to rank with those of olden days. Some say that a little less than eighty thousand Britons fell, our own killed being about four hundred, with a larger number wounded”.
All this was too much for Boudica, she also knew what would happen to her if she fell into the hands of the Romans, so she drank her own poison and died.
That is what happened when the Romans came across a woman scorned!
Isn’t history fun?