The Plot to Kill Lloyd George: The Story of Alice Wheeldon and the Peartree Conspiracy

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On the morning of 31 January 1917, the Midlands town of Derby awoke to find itself the focal point of one of the most sensational developments of the First World War. Four members of a Derby family had been arrested and charged with conspiring to murder the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, and a member of his War Cabinet, Arthur Henderson. The Old Bailey trial that followed gripped the nation. It turned out to be one of the blackest episodes in British political history - a provincial family had apparently been framed by a government desperate to discredit the pacifist movement. In this perceptive account of this disturbing case, Nicola Rippon describes in vivid detail the lives of Alice Wheeldon and her family, their extraordinary arrest and detention, and the conduct of the subsequent court case. She shows that, far from being potential murderers, the Wheeldons were almost certainly victims of a government plot aimed at discrediting the anti-war faction at a time when many people in Britain were beginning to turn against the conflict and question the justifications for it.