Chapter One

AuthorRichard D. Schneider
Cae Oe
   Daniel M’Naughten for “a most determined at-
tempt to assassinate the private secretary of Sir Robert Peel in the
open street, and in the broad face of day,” as e Times put it, might
have seemed straightforward enough. At about : on the afternoon
of January , , Edward Drummond had left the prime minister’s
Downing Street oce in the company of the Earl of Haddington, the
First Lord of the Admiralty, a staunch member of Peel’s cabinet and a
close personal friend of Drummond’s since the s when both men
had served under Prime Minister George Canning. ey proceeded
together up Whitehall to Haddington’s residence at the Admiralty,
Drummond bidding his colleague farewell and continuing up White-
hall to Drummond’s Bank on Charing Cross Road. One of England’s
leading nancial institutions (many of the royal family’s accounts had
been kept there since the time of George III), the bank had been
founded by Edward Drummond’s grandfather.
After a short visit with his older brother, Charles, who was a part-
ner at the bank, Drummond headed back to his apartment on Down-
ing Street at about four o’clock. He was partway between the Horse
Guards and the Admiralty when a man approached him from behind,
drew a pistol from inside his jacket, and “putting the muzzle into the
back of the unsuspecting gentleman,” then red.
Immediately after the pistol was discharged, a policeman, who had
witnessed the act, rushed up to the criminal. In the meantime, the
gunman returned the recently-red pistol to his jacket, then drew an-
other loaded pistol and was in the act of pointing it at Drummond
when the policeman seized him and pinioned his arms from behind.
e pistol was discharged, but “the aim of the assassin being thus di-

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