Bristol Riots

Bristol Riots

The Bristol Riots refer to a number of significant riots in the city of Bristol in England.

Bristol Bridge riot, 1793

The Bristol Bridge Riot of 30 September 1793 began as a protest at renewal of an act levying of tolls on Bristol Bridge, which included the proposal to demolish several houses near the bridge in order to create a new access road, and controversy about the date for removal of gates. [cite journal | quotes = | last = Jones | first = Philip D. | authorlink = | coauthors = | date = | year = 1980 | month = | title = The Bristol Bridge Riot and Its Antecedents: Eighteenth-Century Perception of the Crowd | journal = The Journal of British Studies | volume = 19 | issue = 2 | pages = 74–92 | issn = | pmid = | doi = | id = | url = | language = English | format = | accessdate = ] 11 people were killed and 45 injured, making it one of the worst riots of the 18th century. [cite web | title='Riot!' The Bristol Bridge Massacre of 1793 (audio file) | work=Bristol Radical History Group | url= | accessdate=2007-03-07]

Queen Square riots, 1831

The Bristol Riots of 1831 took place after the House of Lords rejected the second Reform Bill, which aimed to get rid of some of the rotten boroughs and give Britain's fast growing industrial towns such as Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds, greater representation in the House of Commons. Bristol had been represented in the House of Commons since 1295, however by 1830 only 6,000 of the 104,000 population had the vote. [cite web | title=Bristol riots | work=Spartacus Education | url= | accessdate=2007-03-07]

Local magistrate Sir Charles Wetherell, a strong opponent of the Bill, visited Bristol to open the new Assize Courts, on 29 October. He threatened to imprison participants in a disturbance going on outside, and an angry mob chased him to the Mansion House in Queen Square. The magistrate escaped in disguise but the mayor and officials were besieged in the Mansion-house. [cite web | title=The Bristol 1832 Reform Bill riots | work=The Vistorian Web | url= | accessdate=2007-03-07]

The rioters numbered about 500 or 600 young men and continued for three days, during which the palace of the Bishop of Bristol, the mansion of the Lord Mayor of Bristol, and private homes and property were looted and destroyed, along with demolition of much of the gaol. Work on the Clifton Suspension Bridge was halted and Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself was sworn in as a special constable.cite web | title=Revolting riots in Queen Square | work=BBC Bristol | url= | accessdate=2007-03-07]

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Brereton of the Dragoons led a charge with drawn swords through the mob in Queen Square. Hundreds were killed and wounded and the mob dispersed. Brereton was later court-martialled for leniency because he had refused to open fire on the crowds, but shot himself before the conclusion of his trial. About 100 people involved were tried in January 1832 by Chief Justice Tindal.cite book | title=Trials of the persons concerned in the late riots | publisher=Philip Rose | place=Broadmead, Bristol | year=1832] Four men were hanged despite a petition of 10,000 Bristolian signatures, which was given to King William IV.

St Pauls riot, 1980

The St Pauls riot started on April 2 1980, in the St Pauls district, when the police carried out a raid on the Black and White Café located on Grosvenor Road in the heart of St Pauls. It is unclear why the riot started either due to the police ripping a customer's trousers and refusing to pay, [cite web |url= |title=St. Paul's Riot: 1980 |work=Bristol Riots |accessdate=2006-06-01 (Warning: Site has Pop-up ads)] or they were simply attacked as they removed alcohol from the café. The riot continued for many hours and caused large amounts of damage including a Lloyds Bank and post office. Several fire engines and twelve police cars were damaged along with the shops. 130 rioters were arrested. The next day the Daily Telegraph headlined with, "19 Police Hurt in Black Riot" and blamed lack of parental care. [cite web |url= |title=25 years since the St Pauls riots |accessdate=2006-06-01]

Hartcliffe, 1992

On July 16 1992 there was a riot in Hartcliffe estate after two men who had stolen an unmarked police motorbike were killed in a chase with a police patrol car. The disturbance lasted for 3 days. Police were stoned and many shops in the Symes Avenue shopping centre were attacked and destroyed. [cite web |url= |title=Summer 1992 riots in England |accessdate=2007-03-13]


ee also

* Urban riots

External links

* [ BBC Bristol microsite on 1831 Queens Square riot]

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