1817. Demobilization, rapid industrialization, and agricultural recession made the post-war years miserable. In November 1816 the Spa Fields
riots culminated in an attack upon the Tower and were followed by the suspension of habeas corpus
. The march of the Blanketeers
from Manchester followed in March 1817. The east midlands had its own problems of unemployment among textile workers. In the summer of 1817, Oliver
, the government spy, reported the likelihood of risings. On 8 June several hundred men assembled at Pentrich and Ripley and began the 14-mile march to Nottingham, where, their leader Jeremiah Brandreth assured them, they would find mass support. They found none and in heavy rain were easily dispersed by the hussars. Brandreth, who had killed a man on the march, was executed with two others, and 30 rioters were transported. The subsequent revelation of the role of Oliver as provocateur
embarrassed the government.
J. A. Cannon