Friday, 10 June 2022

The Boudicca Gold Hoard

In early 2009, 824 gold staters, worth the modern equivalent of £1m, were found in a field near Wickham Market, Suffolk. Almost all the coins were minted by royal predecessors of Boudicca, the warrior queen of the Iceni tribe.
The Boudiccan Revolt raged from 60-61AD and saw British tribes, under Boudicca of the Iceni, try to defeat the Roman army. Boudicca was Queen of the Iceni, a British tribe who lived in what is today Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Her name is an early form of the more commonly known name 'Victoria'.
Her husband, Prasutagus, was ruler of the Iceni people, and the Romans allowed Prasutagus to continue as king, ruling on their behalf. But, when Prasutagus died, the Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and they confiscated the property of the leading Iceni families and called all their loans.The Romans are also said to have stripped and whipped Boudicca, and raped her daughters.

Boudicca led 100,000 Iceni, Trinovantes and others to fight the Legio IX Hispana and burned and destroyed Londinium, and Verulamium (modern-day St Albans). An estimated 70,000–80,000  were killed in the three cities.
The Romans regrouped in the West Midlands, and despite being heavily outnumbered, managed to defeat the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.

The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but the eventual victory over Boudicca resecured Roman control of the province. Boudicca either killed herself so she would not be captured, or fell ill and died.