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Assassination was a specialised form of murder, in which the victim was a prominent individual — often the leader of a government. A person who carried out an assassination was called an assassin.

The First Doctor told Vicki that it was acceptable to hire an assassin in Roman times, and these assassins were preferably "dumb", i.e. mute, so that they couldn't speak out against their employer. (TV: "All Roads Lead to Rome")

According to Ian Chesterton, Hashashin was used in English in the form of the word assassin. (TV: "Five Hundred Eyes")


In 64, a centurion hired Ascaris to assassinate the lyre player Maximus Pettulian. After the assassination was carried out, the First Doctor posed as Maximus, making it appear that he had some somehow survived. Believing the Doctor to be Maximus, Ascaris tried to assassinate the Doctor, but was overpowered by the Doctor and Vicki. (TV: The Romans)

In 1289, the Mongol warlord Tegana tried and failed to assassinate Kublai Khan. (TV: "Assassin at Peking")

In 1400, there was a failed plot to assassinate King Henry IV of England and restore the deposed Richard II to the throne. The conspirators included the author Geoffrey Chaucer and his son Tom. (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale)

In 1572, fearing the influence of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny on her son, Charles IX of France, Catherine de Medici had Marshal Tavannes and the Abbot of Amboise hire an assassin, codenamed Bondot, to assassinate the Admiral. While on his way back from a council meeting, Bondot attempted to shoot the Admiral, but failed, and fled. The Abbot was killed for his failure and de Colingy was killed in the St Bartholomew's Day massacre. (TV: The Massacre)

In 1628, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham was assassinated by John Felton. (AUDIO: The Church and the Crown)

In April 1865, the Fifth Doctor averted an assassination attempt upon the life of President Abraham Lincoln in Richmond, Virginia. (PROSE: Blood and Hope) Only a few days later, on 14 April, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre in Washington DC. (AUDIO: Assassin in the Limelight)

During the 19th century, there were several attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria. (TV: Tooth and Claw)

On 28 June 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia triggered a series of events that rapidly escalated into Earth's first global conflict: World War I. Unknown to the general populace, however, the start of the war was influenced by the Nemesis. (TV: Silver Nemesis)

The Ninth Doctor and James Stevens were present at the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963. (TV: Rose, PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

On 29 November 1963, the British Minister of Defence Stephen Mulryne was assassinated by David Ritchie. (AUDIO: 1963: The Assassination Games)

In 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated. This led to many riots in the United States. (AUDIO: The Age of Revolution)

On 3 February, 1980, Isley was sent to assassinate a target in Cuba. While on the mission, her android nature was discovered, and she "eliminated" fifty witnesses. This caused a diplomatic incident between the US and Cuba and caused the US to suspend its android-making program. (PROSE: Nuclear Time)

In 1981, there was a failed attempt to assassinate the Pope. (PROSE: The Assassin's Story)

On 30 March 1981, John Hinckley Jr attempted to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan. (PROSE: The Assassin's Story)

In 1996, during Operation Endeavour, a Bosnian diplomat was assassinated by one of his bodyguards after signing an agreement with Josie Williams. (HOMEVID: When to Die)

In 2002, Stephen Keyser and Walter Jacobs made separate attempts to assassinate Sherilyn Harper, both of which failed. (AUDIO: The Fearmonger)

Torchwood One had an alpha-level assassin called Julius. Rachel Allan sent him after Yvonne Hartman, but he was killed by a freelance assassin that Yvonne had hired. (AUDIO: Uprising)

On 1 February 2007 of Pete's World, the President of Great Britain was assassinated as he attended the 40th birthday party of Jackie Tyler, by Cybermen created by John Lumic. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)

In 2008, the Saxon Master used the Toclafane to assassinate President Arthur Coleman Winters. (TV: The Sound of Drums)

In 2097, the female Pope visited Mars to anoint the first Martian bishops in order to improve relations between Martians and the humans. The Daleks made an assassination attempt. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

The Fourth Doctor was accused of assassinating the Lord President on Gallifrey. In reality, Goth carried out the assassination under orders from the Decayed Master. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

Kevin was a hired assassin sent by Drel McCavity. (PROSE: The Resurrection Casket)

The First Doctor witnessed the assassination of President William McKinley. (PROSE: Byzantium!)

"Executive action" was old CIA terminology for assassination. The pharmaceutical company The Pharm granted Billy Davis executive action for dealing with test subjects for Reset. (TV: Reset)

Like World War I, World War VI was sparked by an assassination. The assassination of Ingrid Bjarnsdottir, commissioner of the Icelandic Alliance, by the Peking Homunculus began a war between them and the Supreme Alliance of Eastern States led by Magnus Greel in the year 5000. (TVThe Talons of Weng-ChiangPROSEDoctor Who and the Talons of Weng-ChiangAUDIOThe Butcher of Brisbane)

In alternative timeline created by the Players, the Duke of Wellington was assassinated on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, which allowed Napoléon Bonaparte to win the battle and create a vast empire which encompassed most of the world. (PROSE: World Game)

In another alternative timeline, Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was assassinated by her fellow Conservative Party politician Heathcliffe Bower in 1984. However, the proper timeline was restored by the Fifth Doctor. (PROSE: The Assassin's Story)

Mrs Foyle created the Remonstration Bureau in the posthuman future. For a price, it would assassinate almost anyone in time and space. Some of the killers who worked for her were Lamia and Mr Stripes, the Great Nobodaddy, Hugo Mabuse and Bradleigh, Irma Vep, Mistress Orlando and the Knight Immortal. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

Behind the scenes[]