By Victoria Bellamy


Boudicca was Queen of the British Iceni tribe of Eastern England and led an uprising against the Roman Empire.

Originally her husband left the kingdom to his daughters and the Roman Empire in his will. However, the will was ignored because the Romans refused to legally accept female control, the kingdom was annexed, and Boudicca was beaten and her daughters raped. Boudicca revolted and led the Icenis and another tribe Trinovantes to destroy Camulodunum that was currently occupied by Roman soldiers. After conquering that they headed to Londinium where the Roman leaders had settled. Boudicca’s forces were too strong for them and they had to flee. The rebels led by Boudicca were able to destroy three settlements and kill 70,000-80,000 people.

Suetonius, the current governor, was able to regroup his forces. Before he took his stand against them on Watling Street, Boudicca made a speech and proclaimed herself “an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters”. She also said as a women she would die rather than become a slave like men. Boudicca and her rebel troops eventually lost the battle, losing almost eighty thousand Britons compared with only four hundred Romans. The cause of her death in 60 AD after that defeat is unclear, either she poisoned herself or fell sick and died. Nevertheless, her symbolism as a warrior lives on.

By Boudicca refusing to accept her fate of having her kingdom and tribe relinquished to the Romans, she broke the social norm and led rebels to fight against them. She was able to get hundreds of thousands of men to fight with her, showing her great strength as a military leader.