Monday, 11 March 2013, 1:00PM
Museum of London

The Gordon Riots of 1780: London in Flames, a Nation in Ruins

Professor Ian Haywood

In June 1780 the most destructive urban riots in English history erupted onto the streets of London. Sparked by resistance to the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, the riots soon escalated into a sustained assault on government properties and institutions. Fuelled by popular resentment against the war with America, the mob set fire to the private houses of members of parliament, central London prisons, and the toll-booths on bridges: at one stage even the Bank of England was attacked. For several nights it seemed as if the whole of London was ablaze and the country was on the verge of revolution: in the words of one newspaper, ‘every thing served to impress the mind with ideas of universal anarchy and approaching desolation’. In this talk, Professor Ian Haywood argues that it was this spectacle of apocalyptic destruction that gave the Gordon riots their cultural power and mystique, evoking memories of the Great Fire of 1666 and anticipating both the French Revolution and the Bristol Reform-Bill riots of 1831.

This is the second in a series of four 'Mondays at One' lectures, From Gin Lane to the Band of Hope.  Other lectures in the series are as follows:
    An Infernal Spark: Drink, Addiction and Disease
    Cannabis Britannica: The rise and demise of a Victorian wonder-drug
    "The fangs of the serpent are hid in the bowl": The Temperance Movement

professor-ian-haywood

Professor of English at Roehampton University. Recent publications include, The Gordon Riots: Politics, Culture and Insurrection in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2012) (co-edited with John Seed), Bloody Romanticism: Spectacular Violence and the Politics of Representation 1776-1832(Palgrave, 2006) and The Revolution in Popular Literature: Print, Politics and the People 1790-1860 (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Read More
Read Less

Transcript

11 March 2013

The Gordon Riots of 1780: London in Flames, a Nation in Ruins
Professor Ian Haywood

View PDF
Print
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

Why God won’t go away?

Professor Alister McGrath
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Five Catastrophes That Made London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Learning from History? The 1975 Referendum on Europe

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Monday, 23 May 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

London's Great Fire and its Aftermath

Dr Stephen Porter
Wednesday, 1 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Conspiracy Theories: A Threat to Democracy?

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Christopher Wren: Buildings, Place and Genius

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

What Would Jesus Do? Christian Culture Wars in the Modern West

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 14 April 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Religion, Morality and Meaning: How do we know what’s right to do?

Professor Alister McGrath
Tuesday, 5 April 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Gardening Entrepreneurs

Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA
Monday, 21 March 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The World's Local Religion

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 10 March 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Set Square and Stethoscope: The Architecture of London's Medical Profession

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 9 March 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Secret of Sir Christopher Wren's Success

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:30PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

St Paul's Cathedral: Not The First Dome in London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:25PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

51 Churches Were Rebuilt After the Great Fire: Where did the Funding Come from?

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:20PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Christopher Wren: 'It is not what you know, it is who you know'

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:15PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Christopher Wren's Visit to the Exiled King: Can The Theory Be Proven?

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:10PM
WATCHED

Churches After the Great Fire of London: Lines of Sight and Spires

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:05PM