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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:12 AM   #81
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Sindane,

I wasn't suggesting the rioters were Irish. The attacks in Moorfields were on Irish property; the main grievance being that Irish bricklayers and labourers would accept lower pay than the indigenous Londoners. And yes, Malo was Irish, and preferred to employ his fellow countrymen. In social terms another cause of discontent there may well have been loss of common land; a major estate had just been completed which occupied about three quarters of the original Moor Fields.

It is very difficult to assess numbers. Then there was no real system, and now we rely on what evidence and information remains. But somewhere between 500 and 700 for deaths makes sense to me, and around 14,000 for the original petitioners; I base that on the rough measure of a two hour column, six abreast, walking at around 2-3 miles an hour. That it may have swelled to 20,000 or more by the time it reached Westminster also makes sense.

In assessing the mix of rioters you do need to be aware of the policing at that time, and the detail role of the troops during the days from June 2 to June 9. Up to the Thursday arrests were made by Constables and magistrates. Constables were mostly of the working and disadvantaged communities of London, and magistrates would be resisted and both constables and magistrates attacked.

And there were very few in comparison to today. And they were hardly a "force", but more or less independent, and under the charge of magistrates, who were not full time on the whole. During the riots themselves very few were arrested until the last day, when crowds could dissolve, unless caught in a trap—as was done to those attacking the Bank of England. Fielding's Bow Street Runners were still just one small group.

The troops did almost no control activity until the Thursday, following clear orders from King George III, the only person in authority who appeared to have the slightest idea how to handle the matter.

As for those appearing in court in the following days, they were mostly arrested "on information". A perfect opportunity for scores to be settled. And it is possible—probable even—that many constables would be unwilling to arrest up family, friends and neighbours.

Arrest and trial can hardly be compared to today, since information, arrest, trial and condemnation could—often did—happen within 24 hours, and hanging could be a few days later. There was no right to representation, and rarely money to pay for it. Prisoners would often not know the charge till in court. And there was no appeals system.

I find Hibbert extremely biased, but his research is impressive. As you see, the consensus is of people who were not petitioners being the rioters. And the grudges for Londoners generally were immense and mostly justified. The riots took off on Monday, after it became clear there was no real resistance to disorder.

And there was a political agenda in using the riots to discredit the petitioners, and most of all Lord George Gordon, who was a focus for reform, and for putting the requests of the disregarded classes to parliament, and through the newspapers. His efforts at representing those groups had already resulted in him being called "The Party of the People".
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Old November 12th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by JCR Harris View Post
Sindane,

I wasn't suggesting the rioters were Irish. The attacks in Moorfields were on Irish property; the main grievance being that Irish bricklayers and labourers would accept lower pay than the indigenous Londoners. And yes, Malo was Irish, and preferred to employ his fellow countrymen. In social terms another cause of discontent there may well have been loss of common land; a major estate had just been completed which occupied about three quarters of the original Moor Fields.

It is very difficult to assess numbers. Then there was no real system, and now we rely on what evidence and information remains. But somewhere between 500 and 700 for deaths makes sense to me, and around 14,000 for the original petitioners; I base that on the rough measure of a two hour column, six abreast, walking at around 2-3 miles an hour. That it may have swelled to 20,000 or more by the time it reached Westminster also makes sense.

In assessing the mix of rioters you do need to be aware of the policing at that time, and the detail role of the troops during the days from June 2 to June 9. Up to the Thursday arrests were made by Constables and magistrates. Constables were mostly of the working and disadvantaged communities of London, and magistrates would be resisted and both constables and magistrates attacked.

And there were very few in comparison to today. And they were hardly a "force", but more or less independent, and under the charge of magistrates, who were not full time on the whole. During the riots themselves very few were arrested until the last day, when crowds could dissolve, unless caught in a trap—as was done to those attacking the Bank of England. Fielding's Bow Street Runners were still just one small group.

The troops did almost no control activity until the Thursday, following clear orders from King George III, the only person in authority who appeared to have the slightest idea how to handle the matter.

As for those appearing in court in the following days, they were mostly arrested "on information". A perfect opportunity for scores to be settled. And it is possible—probable even—that many constables would be unwilling to arrest up family, friends and neighbours.

Arrest and trial can hardly be compared to today, since information, arrest, trial and condemnation could—often did—happen within 24 hours, and hanging could be a few days later. There was no right to representation, and rarely money to pay for it. Prisoners would often not know the charge till in court. And there was no appeals system.

I find Hibbert extremely biased, but his research is impressive. As you see, the consensus is of people who were not petitioners being the rioters. And the grudges for Londoners generally were immense and mostly justified. The riots took off on Monday, after it became clear there was no real resistance to disorder.

And there was a political agenda in using the riots to discredit the petitioners, and most of all Lord George Gordon, who was a focus for reform, and for putting the requests of the disregarded classes to parliament, and through the newspapers. His efforts at representing those groups had already resulted in him being called "The Party of the People".
Yes i know the rioters were not Irish. What i meant was that Irish immigration, issues and anti-Irish feeling always seems to get exaggerated in general when it comes to English working class districts. The Irish were only one part of the massive immigration into London at that time
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Old November 12th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #83
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Sindane,

Yes, you are right. I mentioned the large number dispossessed round England and Scotland. Those pressures on space and housing were part of the whole situation too. The specifically Irish issue did apply in Moorfields, which was a tiny corner of the whole series of riots and mayhem. As I read it [and I am not sure if it was accurate, though it fits well with the overall picture] The Saturday threats had no involvement outside the local Moorfields people. It was on the Sunday that physical violence occurred; and that was said to be organised by on-the-ground leaders.

This reading explains the gap between the threats on Saturday, and the violence beginning only on Sunday afternoon. In fact, up to Monday afternoon, the most remarkable thing is that there were so many gaps when things were quiet. That does argue agent provocateurs.

Joseph
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Old January 9th, 2014, 05:40 AM   #84

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Britain suffered the [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnans_in_Excelsis]Regnans in Excelsis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] for generations and it didn't end there, think off the 1798 rebellion and the mass murder of Irish Protestants. You could hardly blame them for their resistance
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Old January 13th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #85
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The Irish certainly suffered, both as immigrants and in Ireland. As with many immigrant groups into London, in particular, they undercut the wages of those already there. It was that simmering resentment that found voice on the Saturday, and turned to full violence on the Sunday. The fact that the Irish immigrants were also Roman Catholic gave a hook for the dissaffected workers and families to use.
When one views the rounder picture, the suffering of the London poor, and the size, in both numbers and proportion of population of the City and its suburbs, one can fully see the seeds of action. The major lawkeeping force at that time, for riot or revolution, was the army.
It was the failure to check, either the Friday night actions at the two Roman Catholic chapels or at Moorfields on Sunday, that gave confidence to the discontented. The evidence appears to show they were then responsive to agents provocateur. After the complete absence of resistance to Monday's burning and looting, the numbers of rioters grew.
But, the main point I had been making, any direct connection to the original parade in support of the Protestant petition was completely broken. Even the evidence on the day is that the disorder was caused by the poor and criminal of London.
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