Roy Foster

Who planned Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson’s murder?

Ronan McGreevy argues convincingly that Michael Collins authorised the assassination, despite having formally renounced hostilities against British targets

Portrait of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson. [Alamy]

Until very recently, political assassination was a mercifully uncommon occurrence in British politics, though that has changed. Previously when such murders did happen, they were usually associated with Ireland: the 1882 Phoenix Park murders of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Burke, the killings of Airey Neave and Lord Mountbatten, and numerous unsuccessful plots and near misses.

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