Index

Burdett riots

One of the Beddome family is mentioned below - see Boswell Brandon Beddome for details. But in reading it, I found it so interesting that I decided to reproduce the whole.

In 1810, Sir Francis Burdett, a English reformist politician, came sharply into collision with the House of Commons. The radical John Gale Jones had been committed to prison by the House, and Burdett questioned the power of the House to take this step, and trying in vain to have him released. The House voted this action a breach of privilege, and the speaker issued a warrant for Burdett's arrest. The charge was libelling the House of Commons. Barring himself in his house for two days, he defied the authorities, while a mob gathered in his defence. Burdett's colleague Thomas Cochrane offered assistance, but, realizing that Cochrane intended to use military tactics during this civil and political affair, Burdett declined. At length the house was entered, and under an escort of soldiers he was conveyed to the Tower of London. Read on for what happened next...

This is taken from Report of the Committee appointed by the Court of Lord Mayor and Aldermen - To investigate by what causes and under what Circumstances some persons were killed or wounded by the Military, on Monday the 9th of April, 1810

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All this was happening before the Chartist movement and the Peterloo affair (see Favell's comments on this). It was also during the Napoleonic wars, before Trafalgar, and there was strong feeling against the war. The authorities were also worried about the effects of the French Revolution (1789) on the poorer people in England. But the report seems quite fair and even-handed. On the whole, the people giving evidence don't approve of the mob or the soldiers.


An incient at the Burdett riots (a contemporary picture - not very even-handed)

Burdett riots


A report from the Times, also not very even-handed - the other way!

Times report of Burdett riots Times report of Burdett riots Times report of Burdett riots