The Sacherevell Riots, 1710
Interesting riot situation in which circumstances are not unlike those of present day Britain.
The Sacheverell riots were a series of outbreaks of public disorder, which spread across England during the spring, summer and autumn of 1710 in which supporters of the Tories attacked Dissenters’, particularlyPresbyterians’ homes and meeting-houses, whose congregations tended to support the Whigs… The Sacheverell and Rebellion riots are regarded as the most serious instances of public disorder of the eighteenth century.
The riots reflected the dissatisfaction of many Anglicans to the toleration of an increasing number ofIndependent, Baptist, and Presbyterian chapels, which diminished the apparent authority of the Church of England; and were a reaction to perceived grievances against the Whig government, in regard to high taxation resulting from the War of the Spanish Succession, the recent sudden influx of some 10,000 Calvinist refugees from Germany, and the growth of the merchant classes, the so-called “monied interest”.
Rioting broke out in London. On the evening of March 1, protestors attacked an elegant Presbyterian meeting-house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, built only five years before. They smashed the windows, stripped the tiles from the roof and ripped out its interior wooden fittings, which they made into a bonfire. The crowd then marauded through much of the West End of London chanting “High Church and Sacheverell” .
It spread across the country, notably in Wrexham, Barnstaple and Gainsborough, where Presbyterian meeting-houses were attacked, with many being burnt to the ground. The Sacheverell riots and further disturbances in 1714 and 1715, led to the passing of the Riot Act.
taken from –