List of massacres in Great Britain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of incidents that happened in Great Britain and commonly called massacres.

This list does not include massacres on the island of Ireland from times when there was United Kingdom jurisdiction on that island. For those massacres, see List of massacres in Ireland.


Date Name Location Deaths Injuries Notes
61 AD Roman conquest of Anglesey Anglesey unknown Roman suppression of Druid religion
60 or 61 AD Boudica's attacks on Roman cities Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester), Londinium and Verulamium (modern-day St Albans) 70,000–80,000 (Mostly Britons) Forces led by Boudica, Queen of the Iceni tribe, massacred both Romans and Britons in Camulodunum, Londinium and Verulamium. Her forces were later defeated by the Romans at the Battle of Watling Street.[1]
686 Caedwalla's attack on Wihtwara Isle of Wight All but one According to Bede, King Caedwalla of Wessex "endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants" of the island for reverting to paganism.
13 November 1002 St. Brice's Day massacre Throughout the Kingdom of England Unknown The St. Brice's Day massacre was the mass killing of Danes in the Kingdom of England on orders of King Æthelred the Unready.[2]
1069–1070 Harrying of the North The North of England between the Humber and the Tees 100,000 William the Conqueror's men burnt whole villages and slaughtered the inhabitants. Foodstores and livestock were destroyed so that anyone surviving the initial massacre would starve over the winter.[3][4]
16 March 1190 Massacre of the Jews at York[5] York, England 150 "A wave of anti-Semitic riots culminated in the massacre of an estimated 150 Jews – the entire Jewish community of York – who had taken refuge in the royal castle where Clifford's Tower now stands. The chronicler William of Newburgh described the rioters in York as acting 'without any scruple of Christian conscientiousness' in wiping out the Jewish community."[6][7]
30 March 1296 Massacre of Berwick Berwick-upon-Tweed, Scotland (at the time) 7,500–16,000 unknown English troops massacred the civilian and military population after besieging the Scottish town.[8]
10–12 February 1355 St Scholastica Day riot Oxford, England 93 Unknown A riot culminating from tensions between the city of Oxford and the academic community of the university.
21 October 1490 Massacre of Monzievaird Monzievaird, Scotland possibly 120 Clan warfare
1521 Amersham Matyrdoms Amersham, Buckinghamshire 6 Massacre of Lollards for the heresy of reading the Bible in English [9]
1577 Eigg Massacre Isle of Eigg, Scotland 395 Clan warfare

According to the Clanranald legend, all but one of the Isle of Eigg's MacDonald clan were asphyxiated by their rival MacLeod clan in Massacre Cave on the south coast of the island.[10][11]

28 May 1644 Bolton Massacre Bolton, England 1,600 During the English Civil War, Royalist forces under Prince Rupert of the Rhine slaughtered a large population of the strongly Parliamentarian town of Bolton.
1646 Dunoon Massacre Dunoon, Scotland 200 Clan warfare
May 1647 Battle of Dunaverty Kintyre, Scotland 300 More than 300 MacDougalls and MacDonald's followers, men, women and children, were slaughtered at Dunaverty after being promised quarter (mercy) by the Covenanters.
13 February 1692 Massacre of Glencoe Glen Coe, Scotland 78 Committed by the Clan Campbell under Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon, ostensibly due to irregularities concerning the swearing of an oath of allegiance to William II of Scotland.
10 May 1768 Massacre of St George's Fields London, England 6–7 Committed by the military during a riot.
29 October 1797 Massacre of Tranent Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland 12 Townsfolk, including women and children, were killed by members of the Cinque Ports Dragoons, a fencible cavalry regiment, during a protest against the Act of Parliament to raise a Scots militia by a form of conscription.
16 August 1819 Peterloo Massacre Manchester, Lancashire, England 15 400–700 Committed by the military during a large outdoor protest.
May - 7 June 1831 Merthyr Rising Merthyr Tydfil, Wales 24-26 70+ Described by historian John Davies as "the most ferocious and bloody event in the history of industrialised Britain", the rebellion in Merthyr Tydfil and surrounding areas broke out following protests against falling wages, the price of bread, and forced redundancy. During the bloodiest incident, Highland troops sent to retake Merthyr fired on protesters during a fight against a large crowd.
4 November 1839 Newport Rising Newport, Wales 22 50+ Led by John Frost, between 1,000 and 5,000 Chartist sympathisers armed with home-made weapons marched on Newport, intent on liberating fellow Chartists who had reportedly been taken prisoner. About 22 demonstrators were killed when troops opened fire on them. The leaders of the rebellion were convicted of high treason, and sentenced to transportation for life.
12/13 August 1842 Preston Strike of 1842 Preston, Lancashire, England 4 3+ The Mayor Samuel Horrocks read the Riot Act. This gave local authorities the right to use force if necessary to disperse unlawful assemblies and stop riots. When violence escalated and the crowd did not disperse, the military then fired, shooting at least eight men.
22 February 1972 Aldershot Bombing Aldershot, England 7 18 A car bomb outside the headquarters of the British Army's 16th Parachute Regiment by Official IRA member Noel Jenkinson.
4 February 1974 M62 coach bombing West Yorkshire, England 12 38 A bombing on a coach carrying servicemen and their families by the Provisional IRA.
5 October 1974 Guildford pub bombings Guildford, England 5 65 Two bombs detonated in two separate Guildford pubs by the Provisional IRA who targeted them because they were popular with British servicemen.
21 November 1974 Birmingham pub bombings Birmingham, England 21 182 Two bombs detonated in two separate Birmingham pubs by the Provisional IRA.
16 August 1980 Denmark Place fire London, England 37 An arson attack against a night club on Denmark Street by patron who was angry at being barred from the club for arguing with a bartender. Described as the deadliest mass murder in modern British history.
19 August 1987 Hungerford massacre Hungerford, England 16 15 A spree shooting/murder–suicide.
21 December 1988 Lockerbie Bombing Lockerbie, Scotland 270 A bombing on the Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie by Libyan terrorist Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the wreckage of the destroyed plane fell onto the town of Lockerbie. All passengers and crew members on the flight died, and eleven people on the ground.
13 March 1996 Dunblane school massacre Dunblane, Scotland 17 15 A school shooting/murder–suicide.
7 July 2005 7 July 2005 London bombings London, England 52 700+ Al-Qaeda attack.

A series of coordinated terrorist suicide attacks throughout central London between 08:50 and 09:47. It was the United Kingdom's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, as well as the country's first ever suicide attack.

2 June 2010 Cumbria shootings Cumbria, England 12 11 A killing spree/murder–suicide.
22 March 2017 2017 Westminster attack London, England 6 49 A vehicle and knife attack. Terrorist attack.
22 May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing Manchester, England 23 400+ Islamist terrorist attack/suicide attack.[12]
3 June 2017 2017 London Bridge attack London, England 8 48 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria attack/vehicle and knife attack.[13]


  1. ^ Davies, Norman (1999). The Isles: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-19-820171-0.
  2. ^ Williams, Ann (2003). Aethelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. Hambledon: Hambledon Continuum. pp. 52–53. ISBN 1-85285-382-4.
  3. ^ Rex, Peter (2004). The English Resistance: The Underground War Against the Normans. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus. p. 28. ISBN 0-7524-2827-6. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  4. ^ Vitalis, Ordericus (1854). Thomas Forester Tr. (ed.). The Ecclesiastical history of England and Normandy. Volume ii. London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 28. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  5. ^ David Dickerson (2 July 1997). "Clifford's Tower: Massacre at York (1190)". Archived from the original on 19 September 2008.
  6. ^ "The 1190 Massacre: History of York". Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  7. ^ Margolis, Max L.; Marx, Alexander (1927). A History of the Jewish People. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America. pp. 387–388.
  8. ^ John Parker Lawson (1849), "Siege of Berwick, 1296", Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland, and of the Border Raids, Forays, and Conflicts, pp. 113–116
  9. ^ "Amersham Martyrs Memorial". Amersham Martyrs Memorial.
  10. ^ Wiseman, Andrew (21 May 2014). "The Calum Maclean Project: The Eigg Massacre of 1577".
  11. ^ "Isle of Eigg – Small Isles". 27 February 2015.
  12. ^ "The 22 lost lives of Manchester attack as all victims named by police". Daily Record. 25 May 2017.
  13. ^ Evans, Sophie (4 June 2017). "First victim of London Bridge massacre identified as 'beautiful' bride-to-be".

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