Sacheverell riots

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Sacheverell riots, 1710. These erupted in London's West End on the night of 1/2 March 1710 following the third day of the impeachment of Dr Henry Sacheverell. This outspoken high Anglican Oxford don was on trial at Westminster Hall for publishing a sermon condemning the Whig government for undermining the fabric of church and state through its favouritism towards dissenters. Rioters from a broad cross-section of London society, inspirited with church fervour and anti-government hatred, demonstrated their sympathy for the doctor by sacking and burning six prominent dissenting chapels. The trial and the riots heralded the collapse of the Godolphin ministry in August.

Andrew Hanham

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Government resistance