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Thursday, 20 February 2020, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

The Cato Street Conspiracy, 1820: A Study in Terrorism

Vic Gatrell

Two hundred years ago a group of conspirators assembled in a Cato Street stable in order to plan the massacre of the whole British cabinet at dinner and bring about revolution. Had they succeeded they would have achieved modern Britain's first terrorist atrocity. They were, however, moved by hunger and by democratic and secular principles, so are comparisons with today's terrorists appropriate? 

The lecture discusses their identities, motives and impact, and the forgotten fact that their failure ended British revolutionary fantasies for a century.

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Professor Vic Gatrell (B.A. (Hons.) (Rhodes, S.Africa); M.A. (Cambridge);  Ph.D. (Cambridge)) is a British social and cultural historian and a Life  Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In the Cambridge Faculty
of History he has been a Lecturer in British Economic and Social History and Reader in British History; for four years he was Professor of British  History at the University of Essex. He was a pioneer in developing the  history of crime and law, and has lately specialised in the cultural history of eighteenth-century London. His work has been awarded several prizes: the T.S.Ashton Prize of the Economic History Society (1976); the Whitfield Prize of the Royal Historical Society for The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868 (1995); the Wolfson Prize - Britain's premier history prize - for City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London (2006); English PEN's Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History for City of Laughter; and the same book was listed for both the  Samuel Johnson Prize and The Authors' Club Banister Fletcher Award for Art History. His The First Bohemians: Life and Art in Eighteenth-Century London was listed for the Hessell-Tiltman Prize. He is currently finishing a book on the Cato Street Conspiracy.

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