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Old May 6th, 2013, 11:31 AM   #71

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JCR, we had a bank holiday weekend here and I have just returned from a five day hill-walking break in the south-west of Ireland.
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We all have biases, it is a matter of how we recognise and allow for them. But you make a point of primary sources. Well, let me then offer them in relation to the centrepiece of your argument, the petitioners presenting their petition.
Your manner of showing objectivity is to quote, and presumably accept, the testimony of Gordon's defence witnesses at his trial! Do you think I would be objective if I quoted the testimony of the prosecution?

Trials are adversarial processes in which each side tries to argue black is white. At least I chose third party commentaries (e.g. Sancho, The Gentleman's Magazine and the Hansard). Lord George Gordon stated before the Privy Council that he had not foreseen the extent to which his interaction with the Protestant Association and the petitioners outside Parliament would lead to riots. He said he did not mean the disorders and was sorry for them. Was Gordon responsible in part for the riots? Yes. Did he care about the social status of those who subscribed their signatures to his petition or how they were dressed? No. He provides the evidence for this in his own words.

In a letter to the Speaker of the Commons he described an encounter he had with the Catholic Lord Petre. Gordon writes that Lord Petre stated to him 'that the Petitioners were a mean set of people [and] that it was owing to him they had become of consequence' and that Lord Petre wished Gordon to withdraw his support from them for a period of five years after which he could assess the situation anew regarding Catholic toleration. Gordon refused saying that 'however mean those concerned in the Protestant Association appeared to [Lord Petre], [Gordon] believed there were many among them who acted from principle ... [and] that he was indispensibly bound to do his duty'. There is implicit admission here that many of his supporters were of a mean sort. He claimed he told Lord Petre that his withdrawal 'would avail of nothing for the Roman Catholics anyway because there would probably spring up some Wat Tyler ... who would not have patience with government and might very possibly choose, from motives of ambition, to embroil the nation in civil war'. These are Lord George Gordon's own words.

At the very least that casts considerable doubt on the social status of the PA petitioners and their manner of dress despite the testimony of the defence witnesses who appeared coached in what the defence wished them to say. It also casts doubt on the idea that the PA, its members or Gordon were not rioters or were not involved in those riots in any way.

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Old June 28th, 2013, 03:47 AM   #72
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Gary, I've only just seen your latest post as I have been concentrating on other things.

On Trials, I think we are lucky to have both Gurney and Vincent to refer to for a full court report, as well as some newspaper material. Rather than simply believe on the basis of my bias, I have been most interested in the trial as a whole. Remembering the weight of power lay with the prosecution and the judges at that time, and that judges interpretted their role far more "intuitively" than is the case now, my first comparison is between the presentations of the counsel on both sides.

It is the failure of the prosecution to put back together what Erskine, in particular, tears apart, that makes me see the balance fall in Gordon's favour. I have no problem with the nature of adversorial trials.

Add the conflicts between the witness evidence and the clear inability of the prosecution to make a case out of their witnesses, the clear hostility of the judge to Gordon, and the evidence of Mansfield having another jury sent to him at Caen (Ken) Wood because he did not like their verdict, and it makes the Not Guilty verdict look convincing, rather than lucky.

Among the witnesses is another MP who is friendly to Gordon, but not a follower, who describes the scene at St George's Field. It is clearly a more respectable and peaceful group than the rabble content Sancho sees. I don't recall any witness who challenges the others who describe a peaceful and respectable groups of petitiones in the Field. Nor do the prosecutors - a sizeable and experienced team - seem to have spent their eight months making a strong case.

There is no evidence of Gordon being a liar or exaggerater, though he is enthusiatic in his beliefs. The Petre story is strengthened by the book by MaCarthy on behalf of the Prince of Wales' faction in the nature of its attack. The Lord North story by the acceptance of North, in parliamentary debate, of his corrupt nature in that he has tried to buy Gordon's seat from him to put in a government supporter - for one thousand pounds. Also, by the extent of government [then ususally called Ministry] corruption in England at that time.

(Not to mention Pitt's attempts to find the unaccounted 47 million pounds of Lord North's 10 years in power.)

There were different issues over the Papist Bill. The proposers were concerned with power issues, and the incrase in support where levers of power existed, the protestants, with Gordon - called to lead but *not* the creator of the movement - echoing the genuine fears of the threat to freedom. At the time the fears were not unreasonable, but - without a riot - would have been expressed in an orderly and constitutional manner.

For another example of a bill that raised hostility you might refer back to the Jew Naturalisation Bill of 1753. That one was repealed the following year. Many of the small middle class, and Gordon himself, were well read and probably knew of it.

I interpret the conversation with Petre differently, and bear in mind that Gordon was a very popular man and regarded as a wit and entertaining company among his own class. In terms of English subtlety his comment is a witty counter to Petre's damning description of the Protestant Association.

He says, almost certainly rightly, that his withdrawal from leadership would not change the protest - later (I think) Hannah More revises her opinion and sees him as a lightning conductor who actually reduced the level of mayhem, presumably both politically and physically.

Remember also that Petre is the one in England who agrees to support the Papist Bill. That is after the English Roman Catholic clergy have refused to do so, and think its introduction both unwise and unneccessary. The "Scotch" clergy, who did agree, ironically came away with nothing.

You seem almost horrifed at the idea of coached witnesses. And ignore the possibility that both sides did so. Perhaps a while on the DoJ-Apple case in the US now will show that coaching and "lawyer help" is part of the process. The proscution could have challenged every witness. My question is "why did they not?"

Gary, thank you for lowering the tone of the disucssion. It is much more intresting nad useful to see how we each arrive at our conclusions.
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Old November 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM   #73
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My previous post was clumsily phrased...when I said sailors and seamen supported Gordon in the Riots, I didn't mean that they were actually among the rioters. I just meant to make reference to the issue of them being among his supporters. After all, hundreds of them complained to Gordon of being unemployed, and being promised employment, and he took up their cause in that regard. (Please see Percy Colson, "The Strange History of Lord George Gordon", pp140-1).

Lord George Gordon's activity spanned more than just being the inspiration for the riots of 1780. His activity went beyond the riots themselves, and he was a thorn in the flesh of the authorities for a decade afterwards....

Yes, the three identified black Londoners who were tried after the Riots were not sailors (Marika Sherwood, "Blacks in the Gordon Riots", p25).

The profession of seamen was the largest employer of black men at the time (Norma Myers, "Reconstructing the Black Past", p68).

Gordon had a strong appeal to certain aspects of the working class, and newspaper reports said that as much as 30,000 people assembled to support him during his arrest (Public Advertiser, 11 July 1780).

Gordon publicly announced his abhorrence for slavery during a period of time when he was based in Jamaica (Robert Watson, "The Life of Lord George Gordon", p5, p126), and he even took up cases of slaves which Wilberforce was not interested in (Public Advertiser, 5 Feb 1788).

As to the advice Gordon gave to black people about not going to Sierra Leone, they can be found in the newspapers of the day (Public Advertiser, 18 Dec 1786; Morning Herald, 2 Jan 1787; Morning Herald, 29 Dec 1786; Public Advertiser, 18 Dec 1786; Morning Herald, 13 Jan 1787).
Hi Shivfan
I came across this contempory report about the Gordon Riots when I was researching Charlotte Gardiner's family tree . It is from some old notes I have and I think (though not sure) it is from The Newgate Calender (newspaper) . The sailor chap mentioned in the list * William M'Donald I have seen in other records described as "mulatto". He is also in London Parish Burial Records next to Charlotte in the list , buried the same day


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"Among those tried and convicted, were several women and boys; but not one individual of the smallest respectability or good fame; negroes, Jews, gypsies, and vagabonds of every description; the very refuse of society.

Richard Roberts and William Lawrence, mere lads in appearance, hardly seventeen years of age, were among the principal leaders in these dreadful scenes of destruction, and were the first who were brought to trial. They were convicted of pulling down the house of Sir John Fielding, and hanged in Bow Street.

Thomas Taplin, a captain-rioter, convicted of extorting money from Mr. Mahon. That gentleman deposed that a ragged little boy came first up to him, and said, "God bless your honour, some money for your poor mob!" He bid him begone. "Then," replied the imp of mischief, "I'll call my captain." Then came up the prisoner, Taplin, on horse-back, led by two boys, and attended by forty or fifty followers. Mr. Mahon was intimidated, so as to purchase his security with half-a-crown. Taplin was also hanged in Bow Street, where he had stopped Mr. Mahon.

George Kennedy, hanged in Bunhill-row, for pulling down the house of Mr. M'Cartney, a baker.

*William M'Donald, a cripple, who had lost an arm, and had formerly been a soldier, hanged on Tower-hill for destroying the house of J. Lebarty, a publican, in St. Catharine's lane, near thereto.

James Henry, for setting fire to the house of Mr. Langdon, on Holborn-hill.

George Bawton, a poor drunken cobbler, who meeting Mr. Richard Stone, in High Street, Holborn, stopped him, saying, "Pray remember the Protestant religion." Mr. Stone offered twopence, but the cobler damned him, and swore he would have sixpence, which was compiled with, for this he was hanged! a punishment which at any other time would have borne no proportion to the crime, and an instance of severity which we trust could not at any other time have occurred in England.

William Browne, for extorting money from Mr. Daking, in Bishopsgate Street, as for the Protestant cause, and threaten ing to rip him up, if he did not comply.

William Bateman, executed in Coleman Street, for pulling down the house of Mr. Charlton.

John Gray, Charles Kent, and Letitia Holland, hanged in Bloomsbury-square, for being a party to setting fire to the mansion of Lord Chief Justice Mansfield.

Mary Roberts and Charlotte Gardener, the latter a negress, hanged on Tower-hill for assisting to demolish the house of J. Lebarty, as before-mentioned.

Enoch Fleming, executed in Oxford-road, for assisting in pulling down the house of Ferdinand Schomberg.

George Staples, for being concerned in the riot in Moorfields, and assisting to pull down the Roman Catholic chapel there, and the house of James Malo.

Samuel Solomon, a Jew hanged in Whitechapel, for joining in the demolishing the house of Christopher Conner.

James Jackson, at the Old Bailey, convicted of setting fire to Newgate.

George Staples and Jonathan Stacy, also hanged in Moorfields, for being concerned in the riot, and burning of houses there.

Joseph Lovell and Robert Lovell, father and son, a pair of gypsies, hanged for aiding in setting fire to the house of Thomas Conolly.

The following, convicted of setting fire to the King's Bench Prison, and houses near thereto, were executed in St. George's Fields, viz. Robert Loveli, Mary Cook, Edward Dorman, Elizabeth Collins, Henry Penny, and John Bridport.

Among the rioters, to sum up the account of their infamy and wretchedness, was Jack Ketch himself. This miscreant, whose real name was Edward Dennis, was convicted of pulling down the house of Mr Boggis, of New Turnstile. The keeper of Tothill Fields Bridewell would not suffer Jack Ketch to go among the other prisoners, lest they should tear him to pieces. In order that he might hang up his brother rioters, he was granted a pardon."

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Old November 4th, 2013, 01:07 AM   #74

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Thanks for that...especially the info on Charlotte Gardener.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #75
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Thanks for that...especially the info on Charlotte Gardener.

Thanks

Here they are,
St Sepulchre, Holburn, London, burial 1780

July 11th
William McDonald Chr (church ?) (of) Old Baily 29y (years old)
Charlotte Gardiner ditto (Chr Old Baily) 25y


Click the image to open in full size.

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Old November 4th, 2013, 09:54 AM   #76
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Sorry image hasn't uploaded above, will try again tomorrow
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Old November 5th, 2013, 08:17 AM   #77
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Thanks

Here they are,
St Sepulchre, Holburn, London, burial 1780

July 11th
William McDonald Chr (church ?) (of) Old Baily 29y (years old)
Charlotte Gardiner ditto (Chr Old Baily) 25y

Hope picture has worked this time


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #78
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Sindane,

That is interesting material, and illustrates how the poor and disadvantaged were dismissed with contempt by the classes above them. For those swelling groups, dispossessed from villages, farms and estates as well as immigrants from Ireland, staying alive was a constant challenge.

With the similarly swelling number of offences, it was hard for any to avoid an appearance in the courts. Even though the policing of London then was rudimentary to say the least, and most people were caught through information. Many of the constables were members of local communities, and so also able to see who might have committed a crime. Appearances in court were also far from the fairness we see today, and despite the pressure on juries to find against prisoners, verdicts of Not Guilty outnumbered Guilty.

And with transportation to the American colonies no longer possible, and Botany Bay far from on the agenda, hanging was the easy option. The growth of hulks, as waterborne prisons, was about as nasty otherwise, as the penal system then was capable of.

Apart from miscarriages of justice, about the most unreasonable hanging about that time was the stealing of a shilling by a gang of six. Tuppence per death! It is little wonder that the riots aimed at symbols of authority that hurt the poor: prisons, homes of the Lord Chief Justice, constables and magistrates and roundhouses. And the issue of the Irish and wages was the reason for the actions in Moorgate. The Irish workers were, of course, Catholics, as was Mr Malo, the silk factory owner; just the right excuse to hide behind in the wake of the petition!
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Old November 11th, 2013, 12:59 PM   #79
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Sindane,

That is interesting material, and illustrates how the poor and disadvantaged were dismissed with contempt by the classes above them. For those swelling groups, dispossessed from villages, farms and estates as well as immigrants from Ireland, staying alive was a constant challenge.

With the similarly swelling number of offences, it was hard for any to avoid an appearance in the courts. Even though the policing of London then was rudimentary to say the least, and most people were caught through information. Many of the constables were members of local communities, and so also able to see who might have committed a crime. Appearances in court were also far from the fairness we see today, and despite the pressure on juries to find against prisoners, verdicts of Not Guilty outnumbered Guilty.

And with transportation to the American colonies no longer possible, and Botany Bay far from on the agenda, hanging was the easy option. The growth of hulks, as waterborne prisons, was about as nasty otherwise, as the penal system then was capable of.

Apart from miscarriages of justice, about the most unreasonable hanging about that time was the stealing of a shilling by a gang of six. Tuppence per death! It is little wonder that the riots aimed at symbols of authority that hurt the poor: prisons, homes of the Lord Chief Justice, constables and magistrates and roundhouses. And the issue of the Irish and wages was the reason for the actions in Moorgate. The Irish workers were, of course, Catholics, as was Mr Malo, the silk factory owner; just the right excuse to hide behind in the wake of the petition!
There were some Irish but most catholics in England would have been English. I think the Irish thing is prone to exaggeration frankly. The house that was attacked by the McDonald/Roberts/Gardiner mob belonged to an Italian inn keeper, Mr Lebarty. He had previously had Mary Roberts thrown out of a boarding house near his inn and the attack on his home seemed to be a grudge about that rather than his religion.
Was Mr Malo Irish ?

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Old November 11th, 2013, 01:29 PM   #80
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"...................According to the military the final death toll in the riots was 210; plus terminally wounded the total came to 300; Wraxall reckoned it was more like 700 and Hibbert’s calculation from the military reports was 850. No deaths were accountable to the mob. A repentant informer said the mob consisted of ‘200 house-breakers with tools, 550 pick-pockets, 6,000 allsorts and 50 men that gives them order what to be done – they only come at night.’ Walpole thought they were ‘chiefly apprentices, convicts and all kinds of desperadoes… a regiment of street walkers.’ Dorothy George called them ‘the inhabitants of the dangerous districts in London who were always ready for pillage.’ However, unemployed lowest class don’t feature very highly in George Rude’s arrested rioters breakdown of small employers – shopkeepers/craftsmen, soldiers, sailors, journeymen apprentices, waiters, servants and labourers. Although the uprising was a failure in any normal insurrectionary sense, according to de Castro, ‘from the rabble’s standpoint the riots were an unqualified success. The outcasts, the unwanted, the insubordinate, the brutal, had flouted the constitution. A constitution whose wheels, as they revolved in round-house, bridewell, pillory or press-gang, grated on their ears, albeit ears untuned and unwashed. The rabble had mocked, and exultingly mocked, the lawn-sleeved prelate; they had bearded the clean-shaven and brocaded the peer; they had begrimed the flowered waistcoat and soiled the powdered curls of the man of fashion. They had filled their pockets, they had gratified their bellies; they had exhorted artisans to rebellion, and they had incited apprentices and servants to violence. They had set at defiance the military authority, they had disabled the constabulary and had well-nigh wrecked the prison-system. They had revelled in pillage, they had played with flame, they had sported with carnage; they had shown that war can effectively be waged without preliminary hymns to the lord of hosts – they had fought their good fight.’ George Rude concluded that ‘behind the slogan of ‘No Popery’ and other outward forms of religious fanaticism there lay a deeper social purpose: a groping desire to settle accounts with the rich, if only for a day, and to achieve some rough kind of social justice.’ Christopher Hibbert summed up King Mob: ‘In later centuries historians were able to detect in the riots a violent symptom of that quasi-revolutionary movement which was to end the political system of George III. But the rioters themselves were, of course, only indirectly concerned with this. They were interested in destruction, not reform… They rose up incoherently in protest, unprepared and inarticulate, unsure even themselves of what they wanted or hoped to attain. Encouraged by fanatics and criminals, reckless and drunken, they themselves became criminals, and died to no purpose which they could name, rebels without a cause and without a leader"

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

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