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Gordon riots

Gordon riots, 1780. 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. Prisons were attacked and the inmates released, catholic chapels destroyed, breweries, taverns, and distilleries plundered, and the houses of catholics and magistrates set on fire. Order was with difficulty restored after troops had been called out. 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’. The riots were used by Dickens as the backcloth to Barnaby Rudge.

J. A. Cannon

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Gordon Riots

Gordon Riots (1780) Violent demonstrations against Roman Catholics in London, England. Protestant extremists led by Lord George Gordon (1751–93) marched on Parliament to protest against the Catholic Relief Act (1778), which lifted some restrictions on Catholics. The march degenerated into a week-long riot in which c.450 people were killed or injured.

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Gordon Riots

Gordon Riots a series of anti-Catholic riots in London in June 1780 in which about 300 people were killed. The riots were provoked by a petition presented to Parliament by Lord George Gordon (1751–93) against the relaxation of restrictions on the holding of landed property by Roman Catholics.

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Gordon riots

Gordon riots: see Gordon, Lord George.

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