Saturday, 28 May 2016

28th May 1816: 4 prisoners liberated at Halstead, Essex, & a riot ensues

After the arrest on Monday 27th May 1816 of 5 prisoners for the breaking of a threshing machine at Sible Hedingham, Essex, on the 20th May, the authorities took them to be held in custody at nearby Halstead the following day, 28th May. The Kentish Weekly Post of 14th June described what happened:
We are concerned to state that a riot commenced at Halsted, in Essex, in the evening of the 28th ult. by the mob liberating four prisoners who were about to be lodged in Halsted house of correction, for destroying some machinery at Sible-Hedingham. One of the constables who was conducting them to prison, having taken shelter in the house of a tradesman, it was furiously attacked, and the windows of the shop, &c. broken, and otherwise damaged. The mob then continued their outrages during the remainder of the evening, by an almost indiscriminate attack upon the windows of the principal inhabitants. 

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