Open main menu

The New International Encyclopædia/Assassination

ASSASSINA'TION. The act of taking the life of any one by surprise or treacherous violence, either by a hired emissary, as in the case of political plots, or by a fanatic who hopes to further his ideas through the death of his victim, as in the case of anarchists (q.v.) in recent times. Generally the term is applied to the murder of a public pprsonage by one who aims solely at the death of his victim. In ancient times assassination was not unknown, and was often even applauded, as in the scriptural instances of Ehud and Jael, and in the murder of Hipparchus by Harmodius and Aristogiton. The following list includes the most important assassinations, arranged in chronological order: Philip of Macedon, B.C. 336; Julius Cæsar, B.C. 44; Thomas à Becket, 1170; Albert I., Emperor of Germany, 1308; James I. of Scotland, 1437; Alessandro de' Medici, 1537; Cardinal Beaton, 1546; David Rizzio, 1566; Darnley, 1567; James, Earl of Murray, Regent of Scotland, 1570; William of Orange, 1584; Henry III. of France, by Jacques Clément, 1589; Henry IV. of France, by Ravaillac, 1610; Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, by Felton, 1628; Wallenstein, 1634; Archbishop Sharp, 1679; Gustavus III. of Sweden, 1792; Marat, by Charlotte Corday, 1793; General Kléber, at Cairo, 1800; Paul, Czar of Russia, 1801; Perceval, English premier, by Bellingham, 1812; Kotzebue, the dramatist, 1819; Duc de Berry, 1820; Charles III., Duke of Parma, 1854; Abraham Lincoln, by Booth, 1865; Michael, Prince of Servia, 1868; Marshal Prim, 1870; Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, by communists, 1871; Earl of Mayo, Governor-General of India, 1872; Abdul Aziz, l876; Alexander II., Czar of Russia, 1881; President J. A. Garfield, at Washington, by Guiteau, 1881; Lord Frederick Cavendish and T. H. Burke, Phoenix Park, Dublin, 1882; President Carnot of France, at Lyons, 1894; Stefan Stambuloff, in Sofia, Bulgaria, 1895; Empress Elizabeth, of Austria, at Geneva, by an anarchist, 1898; King Humbert I., of Italy, at Monza, by an anarchist, Bresci, 1900; President Williain McKinley, at Buffalo, N. Y., 1901. No mention is made here of the unsuccessful attempts at assassination, which would include nearly all the crowned heads of Europe and many of the prominent statesmen of Europe and America in the list of prospective victims. For the origin of the word, see Assassins.