Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 April 2022
The rioting and looting after Henry Hunt’s great reform meeting on Spa Fields on 3 December 1816 marked a turning point in Thistlewood’s career. Its failure led to his attempt to flee to America, to his capture, and in June 1817 to the aborted treason trial of Watson, Preston, Thistlewood, and Hooper. This collapsed once it was shown to be based on the evidence of the spy John Castle. Henceforth Thistlewood was a marked man on the extremist edges of London radicalism.