Monday, 16 May 2016

16th May 1816: Rioting commences in Norwich

On Thursday 16th May, the first of 2 days of serious rioting began in Norwich. The Norfolk Chronicle of 18th May carried a report:
Late on Thursday evening, a mischievous and riotous disposition manifested itself here among those of the lowest class, (chiefly youths) who about nine o'clock assembled in the Market-place, and first began to throw fire-balls about, which seemed to have been prepared for the purpose; they afterwards broke the Hall windows, and those of several respectable individuals, and then proceeded to the New Mills, breaking all the City Lamps in their way:—the people at the Silk manufactory being at work, they attacked the windows, and on the lights being extinguished, some of the more audacious broke into the New Mills, (the windows of which they had first broken) and took thereout a quantity of flour, some of which they threw into the river, and some they carried away in the sacks. On their return from the Mills, they broke the lamps, and windows of several gentlemen in St. Andrew's, Bank-street, Tombland, Magdalen-street, and other places, and proceeded to Dr. Alderson's house, who on coming out to remonstrate with them on their highly improper conduct, was knocked down. 
In consequence of these outrages, the Mayor and Magistrates immediately assembled at the Hall, where they continued till a late hour; and the constables and several respectable persons, with staves and torches, proceeded to the New Mills, but the mob had dispersed. 
A picquet of the West Norfolk Militia was stationed before the Hall, and a party of the First Royal Dragoons, commanded by Capt. Phipps, and headed by a Magistrate, went down to Trowse Mills, where it had been reported a party had proceeded, but that happily was not the case; they then returned, and patroled the streets till morning.—Every precaution will be take to prevent a repetition on such violations of the public peace.

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