Boudicca was queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe, whose territories were in eastern Britain. After Boudicca’s husband died, the Romans annexed Iceni lands and ended their alliance. It is thought that Decianus Catus, procurator of Roman Britain, was responsible for this decision. When Boudicca, (described as tall and terrifying with ‘a great mass of tawniest hair’) objected, she was flogged and her daughters raped. Angered and humiliated, Boudicca mounted a revolt, exploiting the fact that the current governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was on a campaign against rebels in Mona (Anglesey). Joined by several tribes, including the Trinovantes, Boudicca razed the Roman cities of Camulodunum, Londinium and Verulamium, and defeated Roman general, Petillius Cerialis. Suetonius Paulinus hastened back to Londinium, along a Roman road known as ‘Watling Street’, where he defeated Boudicca and the rebels just south of Mancetter. There is some argument over whether Boudicca died in battle or committed suicide by drinking poison.
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