Gordon riots

From Academic Kids

The Gordon riots were a Protestant religious uprising against the Roman Catholic Relief Act, 1778, which was intended to emancipate the Roman Catholics in England at the time. Led by Lord George Gordon, a crowd variously estimated at 40,000 to 60,000 marched on the Houses of Parliament demanding the repeal of the legislation on June 2 1780. The demonstration quickly deteriorated into a riot, and severe destruction was inflicted on Catholic churches and homes, including the chapels on the grounds of several embassies, as well as the Bank of England, Newgate Prison and Fleet Prison.

The army was called out on June 7 and 285 rioters were killed. Of those arrested, about 20 or 30 were executed. Gordon was arrested and charged with high treason, but was found not guilty.

The riots are described second-hand by Charles Dickens in his historical novel Barnaby Rudge.


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