Boudica (or Bouddica or Boudecia) was queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.
Boudica’s husband Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni tribe, who had ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman Emperor in his will; however, when he died, his will was ignored —the kingdom was annexed as if conquered, Boudica was flogged, her daughters were raped, and Roman financiers called in their loans.
In AD 60 or 61, while the Roman governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was leading a campaign on the island of Anglesey off the northwest coast of Wales, Boudica led the Iceni, Trinovantes and others in revolt.They destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), earlier the capital of the Trinovantes, then a colonia (a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers) and the site of a temple to the former Emperor Claudius. On hearing the news of the revolt, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (London), the twenty-year-old commercial settlement that was the rebels’ next target. He concluded that they did not have the numbers to defend the settlement, so it was evacuated and abandoned. 100,000 (Iceni, Trinovantes and others) led by Boudica burned and destroyed Londinium and Verulamium (St Albans) and the Legio IX Hispana was cut to pieces. An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities by those led by Boudica. Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces in the West Midlands and, despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.
The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius’ eventual victory over Boudica re-secured Roman control of the province. Boudica then either killed herself, so she would not be captured, or fell ill and died—the extant sources, Tacitus and Cassius Dio, differ. [more +]