A Brief History
On June 2, 1780, a week of violent rioting began in London, England, the worst in the city’s history, by protestors against recent legislation to reduce official discrimination against Catholics.
Known as The Gordon Riots due to Lord George Gordon being a primary anti-Catholic leader, a staggering 300 to 700 people were killed and many more injured, while property was damaged including the embassies of Catholic countries. Also damaged was the reputation and prestige of England in the eyes of the rest of Europe, especially those nations with large Catholic populations.
The riot was ended when the Army was called out and ordered to fire on any groups of rioters numbering four or more, resulting in most of the fatalities.
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For more information, please see…
Haywood, Ian and John Seed, editors. The Gordon Riots: Politics, Culture and Insurrection in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Hibbert, Christopher. King Mob: The Story of Lord George Gordon and the Riots of 1780. Hippocrene Books, 1989.
The featured image in this article, a painting by Charles Green (1840–1898) of the Gordon Riots, is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.
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