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King Mob (Sutton History Classics)

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King Mob (Sutton History Classics)

3.5 (1801)

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    Available in PDF Format | King Mob (Sutton History Classics).pdf | English
    Christopher Hibbert(Author)
This is an account of the Gordon Riots, one of the most violent outbreaks of popular protest in British history. In 1780, Lord George Gordon MP led 50,000 people to present a petition calling for the repeal of the 1778 Roman Catholic Relief Act. The demonstration turned into a riot.

Christopher Hibbert is, in the words of The Times, perhaps the most gifted popular historian we have. His long list of publications includes The Making of Charles Dickens, London, the Biography of a City, The Virgin Queen, The Road to Tyburn and the Roots of Evil (also in Sutton History Classics)

2.5 (5767)
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Book details

  • PDF | 208 pages
  • Christopher Hibbert(Author)
  • The History Press; New Ed edition (20 May 2004)
  • English
  • 2
  • Biography
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Review Text

  • By M. Baerends on 4 February 2013

    'King Mob' is an exciting book about the 1780 London Riots. The unwitting instigator of these riots was Lord George Gordon, an eccentric Scottish nobleman. After an unsuccesful stint in the Navy Gordon obtained a seat in the House of Commons by typically underhand means (not uncommon in those days). His parliamentary career would not really take off either. That is, until the government decided to relax legal discrimination against catholics (hoping this would help to recruit catholics in the military for the American War). Gordon ended up leading the protestant movement against this relief.From that point onwards, events spiraled out of his (or anyone else's) control as professional criminals and a multitude of street boys and girl prostitutes took advantage of demonstrations he organised. In the end the whole thing degenerated in days of violent rioting, burning down of prisons and houses of perceived catholics (irish or otherwise) and other 'enemies' of the mob. Although the authorities called in the army this initially did not help much as no magistrates could be found to order the soldiers to use force - without such direct instructions from civil magistrates the military was not allowed to act. Only after further escalation did the authorities act decisively and after significant bloodshed the riots were squashed.I certainly recommend this book, it is an exciting read and it does a good job in explaining why the 1780 riots could never have led to the same drastic changes that the French revolution 9 years later did - the London Mob simply lacked a proper King or other intelligent leader to channel its destructive energy.

  • By Rosemary Jackson on 14 September 2015

    Arrived from Hopton books the morning after it was ordered. It was not for me but for someone who was interested to know more about the rebellion and how it was dealt with by the authorities.

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