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Old 28-02-2013, 10:33
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default The Gordon Riots -June 1780

The Gordon Riots, June 1780

In 1778 Sir George Savile had successfully introduced a Catholic Relief Act, which was part of the Whig tradition of religious toleration. It absolved Roman Catholics from taking the religious oath on joining the army - and helped to boost the size of the British army, necessary in the face of war against America, France and Spain. The legislation was passed by Lord North's ministry.

Lord George Gordon

Lord George Gordon, a powerful and extreme Protestant, set up the Protestant Association in 1780, demanding the repeal of the Catholic Relief Act. He spread fears of "Popery" and royal absolutism; he suggested that Roman Catholics in the British army, especially the Irish, might join forces with their French and Spanish co-religionists and attack England.

He saw the Catholic Relief Act as a threat to Anglicanism and since being a Roman Catholic was equated to being a traitor (an idea going back to Elizabeth I and the belief that a person could not be loyal to the English monarch and the Pope at the same time) his Association attracted extremists. Much anti-Catholic feeling was roused.

The high point was in June 1780 when a crowd some 60,000 strong marched to the House of Commons to present a petition for the repeal of the Catholic Relief Act. The crowd included a riotous element and the whole event got out of hand. The mob took over London for a week. The London homes of Rockingham, Devonshire, Mansfield and Savile (the main advocates of the legislation) were attacked; those of Mansfield and Savile were burned and the others had to be defended by the militia.
The mob looted, burned, waved placards, attacked Catholic churches and presbyteries and the persons and homes of leading Catholics. It took a week for the government to collect enough militia and troops to quash the riots. The mob attacked prisons and freed prisoners. Eventually George III insisted that the troops should be called out.


John Wilkes was in command of the troops outside the Bank of England and ordered his men to fire on the crowd. This marked the end of the Wilkesite movement.

The result of the riots was:

290 dead
100 Roman Catholic buildings (churches, presbyteries, private homes) looted and/or burned (indicating some element of social protest)
70,000 paid in compensation to individuals
30,000 worth of damage to public buildings
25 ringleaders were hanged
Lord George Gordon was found "Not Guilty" of treason and got off scot free


I believe that in those days the English Peerage could and did get away with murder.

NB Barnaby Rudge a novel by Charles Dickens epitomises this inglorious affair

jainso31
http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight...orm/gordon.htm

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:32
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Default Re: The Gordon Riots -June 1780

THE CATHOLIC RELIEF ACT, 1778


The process by which the penal laws were dismantled began in 1774 with the provision of a new oath of allegiance intended to be acceptable to conscientious Catholics. This 1778 law enabled Catholics to hold land on longer and more advantageous leases and ended the process of dividing land owned by a Catholic among his sons upon his death.

AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF HIS MAJESTY'S SUBJECTS PROFESSING THE POPISH RELIGION


Whereas by an Act made in this kingdom in the second year of her late Majesty Queen Anne, entitled, An Act to prevent the further growth of popery, and also by another Act made in the eighth year of her said reign for explaining and amending the said Act, the Roman Catholics of Ireland are made subject to several disabilities and incapacities therein particularly mentioned; and whereas for their uniform peaceful behaviour for a long series of years it appears reasonable and expedient to relax the same, and it must tend not only to the cultivation and improvement of this kingdom, but to the prosperity and strength of all his Majesty's dominions, that his subjects of all denominations should enjoy the blessings of our free constitution, and should be bound to each other by mutual interest and mutual affection, therefore be it enacted … that from and after the first day of August 1778 it shall and may be lawful to and for any papist, or person professing the popish religion, subject to the proviso hereinafter contained as to the taking and subscribing the oath and declaration therein mentioned, to take, hold, enjoy any lease or leases for any term or term of years, not exceeding nine hundred and ninety-nine years certain, or for any term of years determinable upon any number of lives, not exceeding five, provided always, that upon every such lease a rent bona fide to be paid in money shall be reserved and made payable during such terms with or without the liberty of committing waste, as fully and beneficially to all intents and purposes, as any other his majesty's subjects in this kingdom, and the same to dispose of by will or otherwise as he shall think fit; and all lands tenements, hereditaments, whereof any papist or person professing the popish religion is now seized or shall be seized by virtue of a title legally derived by, from, or under such person or persons, now seized in fee simple or fee tail, whether at law or in equity, shall from and after the time aforesaid be descendable, deviseable, and transferable, as fully, beneficially, and effectually, as if the same were in the seizin of any other of his Majesty's subjects in this kingdom....

III. Provided, that no papist or person professing the popish religion shall take any benefit from this Act, unless he or she shall on or before the first day of January 1779, or some time previous to any such lease made to or in trust for him, if he or she shall be in this kingdom, or within six months after any devise, descent, or limitation shall take effect in possession, if at that time within this kingdom, or if then abroad beyond the seas, or under the age of twenty-one years, or in prison, or of unsound mind, or under coverture, then within six months after his or her return from abroad, or attaining the age of twenty-one years, or discharge from prison, or becoming of sound mind, or after she shall become a femme sole, take and subscribe the oath of allegiance and the declaration prescribed by an Act passed in this kingdom in the thirteenth and fourteenth years of his present Majesty's reign, …1

V. And be it enacted ... that no maintenance or portion shall be granted to any child of a popish parent, upon a bill filed against such parent ... out of the personal property of such papist, except out of such leases which they may hereafter take under the powers granted in this Act, …

VI. And whereas by an Act made in this kingdom in the second year of the reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne, entitled, An Act to prevent the further growth of popery it is amongst other things enacted to the effect following; in case the eldest son and heir of a popish parent shall be a Protestant, … such popish parent shall become and be only tenant for life of all the real estate, whereof such popish parent shall then be seized in fee tail or fee simple, and the reversion in fee shall be vested in such eldest son, being a Protestant subject, ... and whereas it is found inexpedient to continue any longer that part of the said recited Act, be it enacted ... that from and after the first day of November 1778 the conformity of the eldest son ... shall no affect or alter the estate of any popish parent ... but such popish parent shall remain seized and possessed of the same estate and interest in all and every his or her real estate, as he or she would have been, if such eldest son had not conformed, or the said Act of the second year of Queen Anne had not been made.

X. Provided also that no person shall take benefit by this Act who having been converted from the popish to the Protestant religion shall afterwards relapse to popery, nor any person who being a Protestant shall at any time become a papist, or shall educate or suffer to be educated, any of his children under the age of fourteen years in the popish religion.

STATUTES AT LARGE PASSED IN THE PARLIAMENTS HELD IN IRELAND, 1310-1800 (1786-1801), vol. 11, pp. 298-301.


Footnote

'An act to enable his majesty's subjects of whatever persuasion to testify their allegiance to him' permitted catholics to take an oath in which they promised allegiance to the king and his successors and repudiated the opinions that faith need not be kept with heretics, that it was lawful to murder heretics, that sovereigns excommunicated by the pope could be deposed or murdered by their subjects, and 'that the pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly within this realm'. Ir. Stat., x. 589-90

Extracted from Edmund Curtis and R B McDowell editors, Irish Historical Documents 1172-1922 Methuen London 1943 pp194-196


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Old 03-03-2013, 12:46
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Default Re: The Gordon Riots -June 1780

The British Museum have a print of a painting (burned in a fire) depicting a scene from the Gordon Riots, see:-


The riot in Broad Street on 7 June, 1780

AN141790001

Title (object) The riot in Broad Street on 7 June, 1780
Materials paper (all objects)
Techniques etching (scope note | all objects)
engraving (scope note | all objects)
Production person Print made by James Heath (biographical details | all objects)
After Francis Wheatley (biographical details | all objects)
Date 1790
Schools /Styles British (all objects)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Description
A scene in the street, at night; civilians stand by a bonfire on the left, into which furniture from an adjacent house is being thrown, at the centre one soldier attends to a wounded man; on the right, troops with bayonets fill the street, their weapons aimed at the crowd, many figures watching from the windows; unfinished working state. 1790
Engraving and etching

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: Etched in margin "F Wheatly pinx/ Jas Heath aquaf"

Dimensions
Height: 474 millimetres
Width: 628 millimetres

Curator's comments
For the final state see G,8.152
Literature: M. Webster, Francis Wheatley, London, 1970, pp. 53-5; Bindman in Kunst um 1800, pp. 87-94; Bindman 1989 cat.4

The scene is of the Gordon riots on 7 June 1780 when the London mob, which had rioted unchecked by the law for several days was confronted with the forces of the City of London militia under Sir Bernard Turner, who with discipline and humanity brought the disorder under control. The print was made from a painting commissioned by the great print publisher Alderman Boydell shortly after the event, as the dedication implies, to show the public spirit of City merchants, and possibly to draw attention to the inadequate response of the government. The painting was destroyed in a fire at James's Heath's house in Lisle Street (see Edward's Anecdotes of Painting, p.269) before the engraving was completed. Boydell had paid Wheatley 200. The print was finally published in 1790 at the price of one guinea.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject riot/mob (all objects)

Associated events Associated Event Gordon Riots 1780



Source britishmuseum.org


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Old 03-03-2013, 12:49
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Thank you for that Harry-on investigation I found this Act was revised five times up to to 1926; and was in point of fact, was in no way injurious, to the Protestant religion.

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Old 04-03-2013, 19:08
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SOCIAL CONDITIONS IN LONDON

The poor of London, as well as the not-so-poor, had many other reasons for discontent. For them the city was an unsavoury, unsanitary and grossly overcrowded place, where footpads and robbers were a constant menace and 'justice' was often meted out on the evidence of paid informers. The many gaols housed the bankrupts, the criminals and the political discontents: some 200 'crimes' merited capital punishment. There was resentment against war-profiteering and against the numbers of the Government's 'placemen' and pensioners. Those not liable to taxes were liable to impressment, into both the army and the navy, whose thirst for men seemed unquenchable. Employment was insecure and irregular and 'combining' to attempt to obtain better wages and conditions was illegal.

The city was home to French, Dutch, Irish and Jewish immigrants, as well as an unknown number of people of African descent. The majority of the Africans probably arrived in the city as the servants of returning plantation owners and colonial merchants, of the captains of vessels in the slave and colonial trades and of the wealthy and even not-so-wealthy households which had either bought them or received them as gifts from those involved in the trade. Some might have been second- or even third-generation Londoners as Britain had been involved in the trade in slaves since the sixteenth century. Others were black Americans who, having fought on the British side in the War of Independence, had been granted their freedom and had fled to Britain.

In such conditions it is hardly surprising that the riots of 1780, named after the leader of the Protestant Association, Lord George Gordon, should have transmuted from anti- Roman Catholic insurrection to a political riot lasting some days. The mob voiced no demands, but it was the symbols of authority and repression that the people burnt down: the gaols, the homes of judges and magistrates and the Lord Chief Justice; and the grossly unpopular Blackfriars bridge tollhouses; pawnshops, crimping houses (where impressed men were kept prior to embarkation) and spunging houses (which held debtors at the pleasure of their creditors).

Only the presence of the military prevented the sacking of the Bank of England. The black flag, used as a symbol of defiance in the Highland Clearances, was seen in the streets, sometimes emblazoned with a red cross, whose significance it has not yet been possible to determine. A total of 285 rioters were killed by the military; hundreds were wounded and 450 were taken prisoner.


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http://www.historytoday.com/marika-s...s-gordon-riots
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Old 04-03-2013, 21:29
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The Gordon Riots

Conditions in cities in Britain in the second half of the 18th century were unsanitary and overcrowded. High taxes, unjust and repressive laws, government profiteering and impressment into the army and navy were among the issues that inflamed the working classes and bred discontent. Civil disorder bubbled just under the surface of British society, waiting for a reason to explode. ................(article continues)

...............Anti-Catholic riots ensued in London, lasting for many days, as the masses vented their anger. Protests were violent and aimed at Catholic targets, such as homes and chapels, and a distillery owned by a Catholic in High Holborn. They also seem to have expressed a more general frustration: prisons and the Bank of England were attacked.

With no regular police force, the army was called in to restore order and King George III issued a proclamation to suppress rebellion in the kingdom.


Black Rioters and Observers
Among the mob were two men, John Glover and Benjamin Bowsey, described in newspaper records as 'Black' or 'Mulatto'. Both were free men. John Glover was indicted with several others and charged with 'riotous and tumultuous assembly; assaulting Newgate and setting loose the prisoners and setting fire to and destroying the prison'.

These events were confirmed by the Black writer Ignatius Sancho, who witnessed the uprising. He described how 'about a thousand mad men, armed with clubs, bludgeons, and crows, just now set off for Newgate, to liberate, they say, their honest comrades'.

Similarly charged as a 'disorderly person' was Benjamin Bowsey, a footman to General Honeywood. The General described his servant as 'a very honest and very foolish fellow...that got into idle company' while working in the kitchen of the St Alban's Tavern.

The register shows that Bowsey and Glover, prisoners at the gaol in Newgate (now the Old Bailey) were sentenced to death. On 19 July 1780, from the Court of St James's, Judge Hillsborough announced a stay of execution for both men. Then on 26 July, Bowsey (who had only been reprieved until 27 July) received a further reprieve.

A Stay of Execution for the Rioters Document | Transcript (see below for transcript - my comment)


Enlightenment
A more humane attitude was emerging in the judicial process in the late 18th century, as the philosophy of the Enlightenment encouraged moves towards a less violent society. Because of this, many prisoners of the time had their sentences commuted from death to transportation. On 30 April 1781, Judge Hillsborough informed the group of rioters, including Bowsey and Glover, that they were to be pardoned on condition that they entered and continued to serve as soldiers in the Corps of Footmen on the coast of Africa.

As for Lord George Gordon, the leader and instigator of the riots, he was subsequently tried before the Court of King's Bench, found not guilty of treason, and acquitted.

---------------------------------

Transcript
A Stay of Execution for the Rioters
SP 44/95, p. 1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

St. James's 19th July 1780.

Sheriffs of London and Middlesex the Keeper of the Goal of Newgate and all others whom it may concern. - Benj[ami]n Bowsey.
Respite.


Gentlemen,

I am commanded to signify to you the King's Pleasure that the Execution of the sentence of Death passed upon Benjamin Bowsey, now a Prisoner in the Goal of Newgate, be respited till Thursday the 27th: Instant.

I am etc.
Hillsborough


St James's 19th July 1780.

Sheriffs of London and Middlesex the Keeper of the Goal of Newgate and all others, whom it may concern.
John Glover.
Respite.


Gentlemen,

I am commanded to signify to you the King's Pleasure that the Execution of the Sentence of Death passed upon John Glover, now a Prisoner in the Goal of Newgate, be respited 'till further signification of His Majesty's Pleasure.

I am etc.,
Hillsborough
---------------------------------

References and Further Reading
Costello, R., Black Liverpool, Liverpool, 2001
Edwards, P., and Dabydeen, D., Black Writers in Britain 1760-1890, Edinburgh, 1991
Knapp, A., and Baldwin, W., Newgate Calendar, vol. IV, pp.253-72, London, 1826
Sherwood, M., 'Blacks in the Gordon Riots', in History Today vol. 47 (12), December 1997
For more information on Lord George Gordon and the Gordon Riots, see: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/p.../religious.htm

Source National Archives


Comment; Somewhat 'interesting' that these two chaps were given so much attention considering the overall unrest in London at the time. So, not only a sectarian dimension but also something of a race element in play.


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Old 05-03-2013, 09:15
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The greatest outburst of civil disorder in modern British history. They lasted for six days from 2 to 8 June and did enormous damage in London. They began with the presentation by Lord George Gordon of a petition to Parliament against recent concessions to the catholics, but violent and criminal elements soon took over. Many members of the mob lost their lives, shot by the military, engulfed by flames, or buried in rubble.

In all, 135 were put on trial, 59 capitally convicted, and 26 hanged, including a Jew, a negress, a one‐armed man, and ‘a poor, drunken cobbler’.

I am not sure about the racist element Harry,but I have noted what you have posted;and the two black men were reprieved-have had a look for something more specific re.persecution of "blacks"; but all I found was as emboldened above.


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Old 05-03-2013, 12:08
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Default Re: The Gordon Riots -June 1780

Here's an extract from Dickens's Preface to Barnaby Rudge:

"It is unnecessary to say, that those shameful tumults, while they
reflect indelible disgrace upon the time in which they occurred,
and all who had act or part in them, teach a good lesson. That
what we falsely call a religious cry is easily raised by men who
have no religion, and who in their daily practice set at nought the
commonest principles of right and wrong; that it is begotten of
intolerance and persecution; that it is senseless, besotted,
inveterate and unmerciful; all History teaches us. But perhaps we
do not know it in our hearts too well, to profit by even so humble
an example as the 'No Popery' riots of Seventeen Hundred and Eighty.

However imperfectly those disturbances are set forth in the
following pages, they are impartially painted by one who has no
sympathy with the Romish Church, though he acknowledges, as most
men do, some esteemed friends among the followers of its creed."
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:42
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Default Re: The Gordon Riots -June 1780

Thank you very much sJ for such a thoughtful post-I did read Barnaby Rudge a long time ago.
Barnaby Rudge, a local idiot,who wanders in and out of the story with his pet raven, Grip. Barnaby went to the gallows with a silly grin on his face-poor, harmless loon, that was Barnaby-while the crowd roared him to his death.

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Old 05-03-2013, 16:31
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1780; Five for the Gordon Riots

This date in 1780 saw three men and two women hanged at various spots around London for the previous month’s Gordon Riots. They were the first five souls among 19 who would suffer the last extremity of the law for that disturbance.

The eponymous Protestant Lord George Gordon, had inflamed a mob against the 1778 Papists Act, which disencumbered British Catholics of some of their legal disabilities. (In part to pad out the redcoat ranks as the army found itself stretched thin by the American Revolution.)

The Gordon Riots started from Lord Gordon’s march on Parliament to serve it an anti-Catholic petition, and turned into five days of anti-Catholic mayhem before the troops were finally called out to quell it. (The want of a standing professional police force was among the deficiencies London encountered.)

But the matter metastasized well beyond a merely sectarian event: a mass rally originating in the working-class Moorfields took an unmistakable class dynamic — assailing Newgate Prison and The Clink, liberating convicts in the process. The latter dungeon would never resume operations. “Crimping houses” for impressed sailors and “sponging houses” imprisoning debtors were also liberated.

Alongside white sailors and day laborers, London’s emerging black population would feature prominently (my comment - links to the site from which my earlier post #6 was taken) in this affair. A “copper coloured person,” a former slave named John Glover, was observed at the front rank of those torching Newgate. Peter Linebaugh attributes to Glover the incendiary (and, as it turned out, credible) threat, “Damn you, Open the Gate or we will Burn you down and have Everybody out.” (Glover was condemned to death, but reprieved for likely-fatal servitude on the African coast.)

Three of the five executed in London on this date were hanged at Tower Hill, including both women, Mary Roberts and Charlotte Gardiner. Gardiner, like Glover, was an African; she and Roberts had helped sack the house of an Italian Catholic innkeeper.

Although nineteen folks put to death within a month and a half hardly constitutes giving the rioters a pass, it’s somewhat striking in view of the unabashedly anti-authority conflagration in hemp-happy 18th-century England that the death toll wasn’t greater. And it could have been: in a treatment in the December 1997 History Today, Marika Sherwood reports that fully 326 people were tried for some role in the Gordon Riots. But elites’ sense of the situation may well be captured by Edmund Burke’s remark,

If I understand the temper of the publick at this moment a very great part of the lower, and some of the middling people of this city, are in a very critical disposition, and such as ought to be managed with firmness and delicacy.

Less than two score were actually condemned to death for all this mess, and barely half of them were actually executed.

---------------------------------------------------------------
The 19th century writer Charles Dickens set his very first historical novel,* Barnaby Rudge, during the riots, and has his fictitious lead characters among the crops doomed to the scaffold.
* The first of just two historical novels for Dickens; the second, of course, was A Tale of Two Cities
---------------------------------------------------------------

Gordon himself, an odd duck, had better resources than these poor saps, and repelled a treason prosecution.

However, fate still ordained him a death in Newgate Prison — by illness many years later, after being convicted of defaming Marie Antoinette. By that time, the former Anglican rabble-rouser had converted to Orthodox Judaism, circumcision and all.


Source ExecutedToday.com Posts filed under 'Rioting'


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Old 05-03-2013, 16:54
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My thanks for your efforts in finding these obscure websites Harry -man -you have a great mastery of finding the unusual-I found the understated from your link-quite piteous :-

Two cripples — both mere boys — one with a leg of wood, one who dragged his twisted limbs along by the help of a crutch, were hanged in this same Bloomsbury Square. As the cart was about to glide from under them, it was observed that they stood with their faces from, not to, the house they had assisted to despoil; and their misery was protracted that this omission might be remedied.
Another boy was hanged in Bow Street; other young lads in various quarters of the town. Four wretched women,† too, were put to death. In a word, those who suffered as rioters were, for the most part, the weakest, meanest, and most miserable among them. It was a most exquisite satire upon the false religious cry which had led to so much misery, that some of these people owned themselves to be Catholics, and begged to be attended by their own priests.
One young man was hanged in Bishopsgate Street, whose aged grey-headed father waited for him at the gallows, kissed him at its foot when he arrived, and sat there, on the ground, till they took him down. They would have given him the body of his child; but he had no hearse, no coffin, nothing to remove it in, being too poor — and walked meekly away beside the cart that took it back to prison, trying, as he went, to touch its lifeless hand.

Downloaded from link in #10


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Old 05-03-2013, 23:19
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Lord George Gordon;
Excerpts describing the events as they unfolded; the petition, the riots (an hour by hour - day by day account), the aftermath and/or consequences and his eventual demise in 1793.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VAGUE 33 HM KING MOB THE GORDON RIOTS
THE MADNESS OF LORD GEORGE AND THE GREAT LONDON RIOTS OF 1780


‘The Gordon riots made a profound impression on contemporaries. They took place at a time of acute political crisis, at the most dangerous moment of the American war, when the country, after numerous defeats and counter-alliances, found itself virtually isolated. At their height, on the night of June 7 1780, London appeared to onlookers to be a sea of flames. ‘I remember’, wrote Horace Walpole on the 8th, ‘the Excise and Gin Act and the rebels at Derby and Wilkes’ interlude and the French at Plymouth, or I should have a very bad memory; but I never till last night saw London and Southwark in flames!’
Sebastian Mercier, in his Tableau de Paris, wrote 9 years before the attack on the Bastille that such ‘terrors and alarms’ as were spread by Lord George Gordon in London would be inconceivable in a city as well-policed as Paris.’ George Rude ‘The Gordon Riots’ 1955 Paris and London in the 18th Century.

------------(The events continue and are presented as attachments below)------------

PDF Source housmans.com


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Old 06-03-2013, 08:47
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Many thanks for the attachments Harry -which I read with great interest-we now have a plethora of information on this most inglorious incident.A thread or two back we discussed the English "cruel"streak -this epitomises it to the full-it much worse than Peterloo.

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Old 22-04-2013, 11:33
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Default Re: The Gordon Riots -June 1780

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Claim for compensation was afterwards made for 57 houses destroyed (three of these chapels or mass-houses), besides two embassy chapels. Numbers, however, were constrained to fly in confusion by night, with their wives and children and little store of valuables. Their Protestant friends too often not daring to give them shelter, they fell in many instances into extreme distress. Others were shot by the soldiers in trying to escape from the mob; four are reported to have died from fear; Mr. Dillon of Moorfields, an old man, who had previously endured prosecution for his priesthood was wantonly thrown out of his sick-bed and died six weeks later.
The sum eventually paid to the Catholics is said to have been 28,219 pounds from the city, and 5200 pounds from the Government. Mr. Langdale put his losses at 100,000 pounds, but refused compensation, receiving instead leave to distill spirits for a year free of impost, and thereby (so runs the story) made up handsomely the damage he had suffered.

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http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06649c.htm
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