Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-mzfmx Total loading time: 0.522 Render date: 2022-08-12T19:34:25.340Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

“In Favour of Popery”: Patriotism, Protestantism, and the Gordon Riots in the Revolutionary British Atlantic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2013

Abstract

In 1778, in response to news of the American alliance with France, the British government proposed a series of Catholic relief bills aimed at tolerating Catholicism in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Officials saw the legislation as a pragmatic response to a dramatically expanded war, but ordinary Britons were far less tolerant. They argued that the relief acts threatened to undermine a widely shared Protestant British patriotism that defined itself against Catholicism and France. Through an elaborate and well-connected popular print culture, Britons living in distant Atlantic communities, such as Kingston (Jamaica), Glasgow, Dublin, and New York City, publicly engaged in a radical brand of Protestant patriotism that began to question the very legitimacy of their own government. Events culminated in June 1780, with five days of violent, deadly rioting in the nation's capitol. Yet the Gordon Riots represent only the most famous example of this new, more zealous defense of Protestant Whig Britishness. In the British Caribbean and North America, unrelenting fears of French invasions and the perceived incompetence of the government mixed with an increasingly confrontational Protestant political culture to expose the fragile nature of British patriotism. In Scotland, anti-Catholic riots drove the country to near rebellion in early 1779, while in Ireland, Protestants and Catholics took advantage of this political instability to make demands for economic and political independence, culminating in the country's legislative autonomy in 1782. Ultimately, Catholic relief and the American alliance with France fundamentally altered how ordinary Britons viewed their government and, perhaps, laid the foundations for the far more radical political culture of the 1790s.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The North American Conference on British Studies 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Castro reports that 40,000 Londoners were present, while Rudé says there were 60,000. de Castro, J. Paul, The Gordon Riots (London, 1926), 2829Google Scholar; Rudé, George, Paris and London in the Eighteenth Century: Studies in Popular Protest (London, 1970), 270Google Scholar.

2 Rudé, George, Hanoverian London, 1714–1808, 2nd ed. (Phoenix Mill, UK, 2003), 162–63Google Scholar; Sutherland, Lucy S., The City of London and the Opposition to Government, 1768–1774: A Study in the Rise of Metropolitan Radicalism (London, 1959)Google Scholar; Shoemaker, Robert B., The London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth-Century England (London, 2004)Google Scholar. For contemporary prints of middling and lower sort political participation, see Brewer, John, ed., The Common People and Politics, 1750–1790 (Cambridge, 1985)Google Scholar.

3 “Protestant Association,” London Evening-Post, 30 May 1780.

4 Rudé, Paris and London, 270.

5 “London,” London Evening-Post, 3 June 1780.

6 My account of the rioting is drawn from several contemporary newspapers: “Monday, June 5. London,” London Evening-Post, 6 June 1780; “Wednesday, June 7. London,” London Evening-Post, 8 June 1780; “Friday, June 9. London,” London Evening-Post, 10 June 1780. See also Castro, The Gordon Riots, and Hibbert, Christopher, King Mob: The Story of Lord George Gordon and the Riots of 1780 (London, 1958)Google Scholar. Rudé examines the social composition of the crowd in Rudé, George, “The Gordon Riots: A Study of the Rioters and Their Victims,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser., no. 6 (1956): 93114CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Rogers, Nicholas, “Crowd and People in the Gordon Riots,” in The Transformation of Political Culture: England and Germany in the Late Eighteenth Century, ed. Hellmuth, Eckhart (Oxford, 1990), 3955Google Scholar; Bloom, Clive, Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels, and Revolts (London, 2003), 120–41Google Scholar; Black, Eugene Charlton, The Association: British Extraparliamentary Organization, 1769–1793 (Cambridge, 1963), 131–73Google Scholar; Haydon, Colin, “The Gordon Riots in the English Provinces,” Historical Research 63 (1990): 354–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and Anti-Catholicism in Eighteenth-Century England, c. 1714–80: A Political and Social Study (Manchester, 1993)Google Scholar.

7 Hibbert, King Mob, 66–70.

8 It was later reported that 1,294 prisoners escaped during the riots. “Correspondence and papers relating to [the Gordon] Riots in London, 1780,” 15 June 1780, the National Archives (TNA): PRO PC 1/3097.

9 “The Thunderer,” 8 June 1780, TNA: PRO WO 34/103/231–33. Rogers argues that the Quebec Act played an important role in shaping popular opposition to the Catholic Relief Bill after 1778. Rogers, Nicholas, “The Gordon Riots and the Politics of War,” in The Gordon Riots: Politics, Culture, and Insurrection in the Late Eighteenth-Century Britain, ed. Haywood, Ian and Seed, John (Cambridge, 2012), 2528Google Scholar.

10 “Letter from Jno Mansel, Lt Coll, 3rd Dragoon, Artilery Ground to [Unknown],” 12 June 1780, TNA: PRO WO 34/103/367–68.

11 “Letter from Richard Worsley, Hyde Park Camp to [Unknown],” 11 June 1780, TNA: PRO WO 34/103/325–26.

12 Rudé, “The Gordon Riots,” 99, 105. This is a conservative number based on official government records. Hibbert suggests that the number of dead was closer to 850. Hibbert, King Mob, 144n.

13 Quoted in Rudé, London and Paris, 268.

14 The introductory chapter to Christopher Hibbert's study is revealing titled, “The Mad Scotchman.” Hibbert, King Mob. J. Pual Castro began his study by quoting Edward Gibbon, who said the riots were marked “by a dark and diabolical fanaticism.” The Gordon Riots, 1. Eugene Black titled his chapter on the Protestant Association “The Children of Darkness.” The Association. George Rudé's 1956 landmark study of the social composition of the rioters may have challenged the fanatical, xenophobic nature of the crowd, but it did little to move the riots beyond London city lines. Rudé, “The Gordon Riots.” Colin Haydon, in his more recent study of anti-Catholicism in eighteenth-century England, is less critical of the rioters, arguing that they were acting on deeply rooted English plebeian cultural and religious fears that were commonly expressed in the eighteenth century. Anti-Catholicism in Eighteenth-Century England, c. 1714–80: A Political and Social Study (Manchester, 1993)Google Scholar and Popery at St. James's”: The Conspiracy Theses of William Payne, Thomas Hollis, and Lord George Gordon,” in Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory in Early Modern Europe: From the Waldensians to the French Revolution, ed. Coward, Barry and Swann, Julian (Ashgate, 2004), 173–95Google Scholar.

15 Wilson, Kathleen, The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture and Imperialism in England, 1715–1785 (Cambridge, 1995), 264–69Google Scholar; Rogers, Nicholas, “Crowd and People in the Gordon Riots,” in The Transformation of Political Culture: England and Germany in the Late Eighteenth Century, ed. Hellmuth, Eckhart (Oxford, 1990), 3955Google Scholar; Sainsbury, John, Disaffected Patriots: London Supporters of Revolutionary America, 1769–1782 (Kingston, 1987)Google Scholar; Haydon, Colin, “The Gordon Riots in the English Provinces,” Historical Research 63 (1990): 354–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar. In a recent essay, Rogers finds that while the riots may have weakened support nationally for the radical opposition, they had almost no effect on London city politics in the following several years. Rogers, “The Gordon Riots,” 21–41. Dana Rabin's essay positions the riots within the debate over metropolitan London's place within an increasingly diverse empire. Imperial Disruptions: City, Nation, and Empire in the Gordon Riots,” in Haywood and Seed, The Gordon Riots, 93114Google Scholar.

16 Stephen Conway's account remains the most comprehensive to date. The British Isles and the War for American Independence (Oxford, 2000), 166266Google Scholar.

17 This London-centric approach continues to dominate the most recent literature on the riots. For example, see Haywood and Seed, The Gordon Riots. In response to a recent review of their volume, the editors defended their limited geographical approach by wrongly arguing “that the Gordon riots were predominantly a London phenomenon.” Author response to Katrina Navickas, review of The Gordon Riots: Politics, Culture and Insurrection in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain, ed. Ian Haywood and John Seed. Reviews of History, no. 1249 (May 2012), http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1249 (accessed 25 May 2012).

18 Historians no longer debate that the empire's peripheries shaped mainland British politics, especially during the American war. For example, see Colley, Linda, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837 (New Haven, 1992)Google Scholar; Gould, Eliga H., The Persistence of Empire: British Political Culture in the Age of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, 2000)Google Scholar; Wilson, The Sense of the People; Conway, The British Isles. Few, however, have moved beyond this “two-way street” thinking to see British political culture and patriotism as the product of a complex web of connections in which communities on the peripheries were connected with one another and to the imperial center in London. For a later, nineteenth-century example of this approach, see Ballantyne, Tony, Orientalism and Race (London, 2007)Google Scholar. The definitive study of the emergence of an English/British Atlantic print culture remains Steele, Ian K., The English Atlantic, 1675–1740: An Exploration of Communication and Community (New York, 1986)Google Scholar.

19 Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (London, 1983), 4445, 61, 62Google Scholar. Charles E. Clark makes a similar case for the effect of newspapers on drawing colonial Americans together. Clark, “The Newspapers of Provincial America,” in Three Hundred Years of the American Newspaper, ed. Hench, John B. (Worcester, 1991), 367–89Google Scholar.

20 For the American perspective, see Murrin, John M., “A Roof without Walls: The Dilemma of American National Identity,” in Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American Identity, ed. Beeman, Richard, Botein, Stephen, and Carter, Edward C. II (Chapel Hill, 1987), 333–48Google Scholar.

21 Historians have typically downplayed the significance of the Quebec Act on the movement toward rebellion in the American colonies. Vernon P. Creviston's recent essay offers a persuasive counter to this argument. No King Unless It Be a Constitutional King”: Rethinking the Place of the Quebec Act in the Coming of the American Revolution,” Historian 73, no. 3 (Fall 2011): 463–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

22 All four communities enjoyed a vibrant print culture during the American Revolution. There were two newspapers published weekly in Kingston, and two in Glasgow, in addition to the ever-popular monthly Scots Magazine. Dubliners enjoyed the greatest access to news, with as many as six newspapers published during the American War. New Yorkers also benefited from an expansive print culture, with a total of four newspapers published weekly in the final years of the conflict, including arguably one of the most famous newspapers in all of the empire, James Rivington's Rivington's Gazette.

23 The term “popular political culture,” while fairly amorphous, can be best understood as the formal and informal political beliefs and culture of ordinary British subjects. This political culture found expression in the eighteenth-century emergence of what Jürgen Habermas called the “public sphere.” The space was both real and imagined, and often assumed textual existence in the many newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and broadsides that emerged during this period. Habermas, Jürgen, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Burger, Thomas and Lawrence, Frederic (Boston, 1989)Google Scholar. Newman, Simon, Parades and the Politics of the Street: Festive Culture of the Early American Republic (Philadelphia, 2000), 56Google Scholar.

24 Donovan, Robert Kent, “Voices of Distrust: The Expression of Anti-Catholic Feeling in Scotland, 1778–1781,” Innes Review 30 (1979): 6263CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

25 O'Flaherty, Eamon, “Ecclesiastical Politics and the Dismantling of the Penal Laws in Ireland, 1774–82,” Irish Historical Studies 26, no. 101 (May 1998): 3350CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Burns, Robert E., “The Catholic Relief Act in Ireland, 1778,” Church History 32, no. 2 (June 1963): 181206CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Bartlett, Thomas, The Fall and Rise of the Irish Nation: The Catholic Question, 1690–1830 (Savage, MD, 1992), 8292Google Scholar.

26 By the 1770s, there were roughly 80,000 Catholics living in England (1.3% of the population) and 30,000 in Scotland (2.5%), whereas Irish Catholics amounted to between 70% and 80% of the island's total population of 4 million. Donovan, Robert Kent, “The Military Origins of the Roman Catholic Relief Programme of 1778,” Historical Journal 28, 1 (1985): 8283CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

27 Doll argues that the government's enlightened pro-Catholic motives were similar to those that led to the passing of the Quebec Act in 1774. Doll, Peter M., Revolution, Religion, and National Identity: Imperial Anglicanism in British North America, 1745–1795 (Madison, 2000), 146–53Google Scholar.

28 Stanbridge, Karen, “Quebec and the Irish Catholic Relief Act of 1778: An Institutional Approach,” Journal of Historical Sociology 16, no. 3 (September 2003): 375404CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

29 Morley, Vincent, Irish Opinion and the American Revolution (Cambridge, 2002), 177–89Google Scholar; Conway, The British Isles, 246–48.

30 Haydon, Anti-Catholicism and “‘Popery at St. James's,’” 173–95.

31 The ritual parading and burning of effigies during annual Pope's Day celebrations was but one example of the various ways in which ordinary Britons defined themselves in opposition to Catholic France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. See McConville, Brendan, The King's Three Faces: The Rise and Fall of Royal America, 1688–1776 (Chapel Hill, 2006), 5670Google Scholar; Cressy, David, Bonfire and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England (Berkeley, 1989), 141–55Google Scholar.

32 Pincus, Steven, 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven, 2009)Google Scholar.

33 The now vast literature on this subject owes its origins to the groundbreaking work of Linda Colley, especially Britons and Britishness and Otherness: An Argument,” Journal of British Studies 31, no. 4 (October 1992): 309–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Her work has been refined and challenged by a number of historians. See Pestana, Carla Gardina, Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the British Atlantic World (Philadelphia, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; McConville, The King's Three Faces, 15–80; Gould, The Persistence of Empire; Cogliano, Francis D., No King, No Popery: Anti-Catholicism in Revolutionary New England (Westport, 1995)Google Scholar; Greene, Jack P., “Empire and Identity from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution,” in The Eighteenth Century, ed. Marshall, P. J., 2 vols. (Oxford, 1998) 2:208–30Google Scholar; Claydon, Tony and McBride, Ian, ed., Protestantism and National Identity: Britain and Ireland, c. 1650–c.1850 (Cambridge, 1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Kidd, Colin, British Identities Before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic world, 1600–1800 (Cambridge, 1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar and North Britishness and the Nature of Eighteenth-Century British Patriotisms,” Historical Journal 39, no. 2 (June 1996): 361–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Connolly, S. J., “Varieties of Britishness: Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Hanoverian State,” in Uniting the Kingdom? The Making of British History, ed. Grant, Alexander and Stringer, Keith J. (New York, 1995), 193207CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

34 Stephen Conway has shown how important this alliance was to Britons living in the British Isles, but he has not explored the issue in the wider context of the Atlantic World. Conway, Stephen, ‘“A Joy Unknown for Years Past’: The American War, Britishness, and the Celebration of Rodney's Victory at the Saints,” History 86, no. 282 (April 2001): 180–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and From Fellow-Nationals to Foreigners: British Perceptions of the Americans, Circa 1739–1783,” William and Mary Quarterly 59, no. 1 (January 2002): 65100CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Cogliano, No King, No Popery, 71–87; Wahrman, Dror, “The English Problem of Identity in the American Revolution,” American Historical Review 106, no. 4 (October 2001): 123CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

35 Creviston, “No King Unless It Be a Constitutional King,” 463–79.

36 Conway, The British Isles, 16–20. The term “rage militaire” was first used by Charles Royster to describe the American response to Lexington and Concord in 1775. See Royster, A Revolutionary People at War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1775–1783 (Chapel Hill, 1979), 2553Google Scholar.

37 Conditions were worse in Scotland, where there was very little military protection and no local militias. See “Letter from Oughton to Lord Suffolk, Edinburgh,” 27 April 1778, TNA: PRO SP 54/47/131; “Letter from Oughton to Lord Suffolk, Edinburgh,” 19 May 1778, TNA: PRO SP 54/47/135; “Letter from Oughton to George III, Edinburgh,” 7 September 1778, TNA: PRO SP 54/47/187; “Letter from W. Hamilton to Lord Viscount Weymouth, Edinburgh,” 29 October 1779, TNA: PRO SP 54/47/346–47. See also Donovan, Robert Kent, No Popery and Radicalism: Opposition to Roman Catholic Relief in Scotland, 1778–1782 (New York, 1987), 204–07Google Scholar.

38 Donovan, No Popery, 58; Transactions of the Eighty-Five Societies, in and about Glasgow: United … to Oppose a Repeal of the Penal Statues against Papists in Scotland (Glasgow, 1779)Google Scholar.

39 Many of the public declarations made in opposition to the Catholic relief act mentioned France's alliance with the Americans. Glasgow Mercury, 7 January 1779, 14 January 1779, and 21 January 1779; Scots Magazine 41 (February 1779), 106–08. See also “Supplement to the Glasgow Journal, No. 1957,” n.d., TNA: PRO SP 54/47/210–211.

40 Donovan, No Popery, 67.

41 Scots Magazine 41 (February 1779), 107.

42 “Address of the Paisley Ayr Shire Society,” Glasgow Mercury, 28 January 1779; “Address of the Society of Weavers in Pollockshaws,” Glasgow Mercury, 4 February 1779.

43 “Address from the heritors, kirk-session, society of weavers, and other mechanics in Govan,” Glasgow Mercury, 25 February 1779.

44 “Address from the heritors, elders, and people of the parish of Galston,” Glasgow Mercury, 4 February 1779.

45 “Letter to Lord Suffolk,” in Transactions of the Eighty-Five Societies, 7.

46 “Address from the heritors and heads of families in the parish of Carluke, Lanerk County,” Glasgow Mercury, 28 January 1779. See also “London,” London Evening-Post, 9 February 1779; “London, Feb. 9, 10,” Freeman's Journal, 16 February 1779.

47 Kaplan points out that the British public was well aware of private Catholic meetinghouses in their communities into the nineteenth century. They helped to preserve, he argues, “the monopoly of a community's official church in the public sphere” by forcing dissenting groups to the private, though known, margins of society. Kaplan, Benjamin J., Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2007), 172–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

48 Glasgow Mercury, 22 October 1778; “A letter from Glasgow of the 22d inst.,” Newcastle Chronicle; Or, Weekly Advertiser, 31 October 1778; “Extract of a letter from Glasgow, Oct. 19,” Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser [London], 28 October 1778.

49 “Letter from J. Oughton to Lord Suffolk, Edinburgh,” 12 February 1779, TNA: PRO SP 54/47/228; Glasgow Mercury, 11 February 1779; “Extract of a letter from Glasgow, dated Feb. 9 eight at night,” London Evening-Post, 16 February 1779. His surname also appears as Bagnal, Bagnall, and Baynall in various publications. Marwick, James D. and Renwick, Robert, eds., Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Glasgow with Charters and Other Documents, 11 vols. (Glasgow, 1876–1916), 8:547–53Google Scholar. The riots are all the more shocking considering there were only twenty known communicants in the entire city. Darragh, James, “The Catholic Population of Scotland Since the Year 1680,” Innes Review 4 (1953): 55CrossRefGoogle Scholar. A similar, if not more violent, riot occurred a day later in nearby Edinburgh. “Extra of a letter from Edinburgh, Feb. 5,” London Evening-Post, 9 February 1779.

50 “To the Committee for conducting the Free-Pres [sic],” Freeman's Journal, 20 February 1779.

51 “Dublin, February 16,” Freeman's Journal, 16 February 1779.

52 By the summer of 1780, there were as many as 60,000 volunteers. In Dublin, contemporary reports suggest that at least 8,000 men had joined by August 1780, or nearly 1 in every 5 Protestants in the city. Smyth, Peter, “‘Our Cloud-Cap't Grenadiers’: The Volunteers as a Military Force,” Irish Sword 13 (1978–79): 185207Google Scholar; O'Connell, Maurice R., Irish Politics and Social Conflict in the Age of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, 1965), 68102Google Scholar; McBride, Ian, Scripture Politics: Ulster Presbyterians and Irish Radicalism in the Late Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 1998), 123–33Google Scholar; McDowell, R. B., Ireland in the Age of Imperialism and Revolution, 1760–1801 (Oxford, 1979), 239–74Google Scholar; O'Connor, Stephen, “The Volunteers of Dublin 1778–84: A Short Study of Urban Volunteering,” in Georgian Dublin, ed. O'Brien, Gillian and O'Kane, Finola (Dublin, 2008), 6877Google Scholar.

53 For example, see reports of the July 1778 woolen riot and attacks on British soldiers throughout 1778 and 1779. Morley, Irish Opinion, 181–83.

54 Quoted in Morley, Irish Opinion, 204.

55 There is a vast amount of literature on the free trade crisis. See O'Connell, Irish Politics, 129–67; Powell, Martyn J., Britain and Ireland in the Eighteenth-Century Crisis of Empire (New York, 2003), 158–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Morley, Irish Opinion, 223–30; Smyth, Peter, “The Volunteers and Parliament, 1779–1784,” in Penal Era and Golden Age: Essays in Irish History, 1690–1800, ed. Bartlett, Thomas and Hayton, D. W. (Belfast, 1979), 113–20Google Scholar; Burns, R. E., “The Belfast Letters, the Irish Volunteers 1778–79 and the Catholics,” Review of Politics 20, no. 4 (October 1959): 678–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

56 McDowell, Ireland in the Age of Imperialism, 253–55; Conway, The British Isles, 208–10.

57 Their rise in prominence was partly due to the rumored (though never realized) French invasion months earlier, in which the volunteers were praised for defending their island in a time of crisis. Smyth, “The Volunteers and Parliament,” 115–19; Morley, Irish Opinion, 198–203.

58 For a more typical Protestant British celebration, see “Dublin, November 5,” Freeman's Journal, 5 November 1778.

59 “Dublin,” Freeman's Journal, 6 November 1779.

60 “To the Committee for conducting the Free-Press,” Freeman's Journal, 4 November 1779.

61 “Dublin,” Freeman's Journal, 6 November 1779.

62 “Dublin, December 21,” Freeman's Journal, 21 December 1779.

63 Small, Stephen, Political Thought in Ireland, 1776–1798: Republicanism, Patriotism, and Radicalism (Oxford, 2002), 48112CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

64 Broomfield, J. H., “The Keppel-Palliser Affair,” Mariner's Mirror 47 (1961): 195205CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Wilson, The Sense of the People, 255–69. Rogers examines the popular dimensions of the affair in Rogers, Nicholas, Crowds, Culture and Politics in Georgian Britain (Oxford, 1998), 122–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

65 Sainsbury, Disaffected Patriots, 146.

66 “London,” London Evening-Post, 18 February 1779. Rogers, Crowds, Culture and Politics, 135–36.

67 Wilson has counted at least seventy-five provincial towns celebrating Keppel's acquittal in Wilson, The Sense of the People, 257. In comparison, there were seventy-six demonstrations in favor of Wilkes between 1767 and 1771. Brewer, John, Party Ideology and Popular Politics at the Accession of George the Third (Cambridge, 1976), 175CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The London Evening-Post listed reports of celebrations in forty-four different towns and villages throughout England and Wales. London Evening-Post, 18 February 1779. For examples of celebrations outside of England, see “European Intelligence. London, February 11,” Jamaica Mercury, and Kingston Weekly Advertiser, 8 May 1779. Major General James Pattison to Captain Blomfield, New York City, 3 May 1779,” in Collections of the New-York Historical Society, for the Year 1875 (New York, 1876), 51Google Scholar. Dublin. February 27,” Royal American Gazette, [New York City] 27 May 1779Google Scholar. “Dublin, February 20,” Freeman's Journal, 18 February 1779; Morley, Irish Opinion, 176–77.

68 Wilson argued that the Keppel riots revealed strong pro-American sentiment in England. Wilson, The Sense of the People, 255–69. Rogers, however, correctly points out that there were only a small minority of protests that spoke in favor of the Americans and in several instances the rioters actually called for “a happy and speeding reconciliation with the Americans” but a “severe drubbing to France.” Rogers, Crowds, Culture and Politics, 143–46.

69 “The Humble Petition of his Majesty's loyal Protestant Subjects of the Cities of London and Westminister,” London Chronicle, 8 January 1780; “Protestant Association,” St. James's Chronicle; or, the British Evening Post, 8 January 1780; “Protestant Association,” Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, [London]14 January 1780; “Protestant Association,” St. James's Chronicle; or, the British Evening Post, 22 February 1780; “Protestant Association,” London Evening-Post, 11 May 1780. See also Black, The Association, 31–130; Gould, The Persistence of Empire, 164–78.

70 For example, see The following is the Petition of the Protestant Association, agreed upon at a late Meeting,” Supplement to the Royal Gazette [Kingston], 29 April 1780Google Scholar.

71 “An Appeal from the Protestant Association to the People of Great Britain” (London, 1779).

73 “Protestant Association,” London Evening-Post, 11 May 1780.

74 Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, [London] 18 January 1780.

75 Quoted in Hibbert, King Mob, 37.

76 Quoted in Castro, The Gordon Riots, 24–25.

77 Saracen's-Head Inn, 6th Feb. 1781. Ten o'Clock at Night,” Glasgow Journal, 6 February 1782Google Scholar.

78 Glasgow,” Glasgow Journal, 6 June 1782Google Scholar.

79 For Kingston, see Royal Gazette, 12 August 1780; Supplement to the Royal Gazette, 12 August 1780; Royal Gazette, 26 August 1780. For New York City, see “Letter from London, dated June 7,” Rivington's Gazette, 26 August 1780; Royal American Gazette, 31 August 1780; “New-York, September 6,” Rivington's Gazette, 6 September 1780; Royal American Gazette, 14 September 1780.

80 Supplement to the Royal Gazette, [Kingston] 12 August 1780.

82 Supplement to the Royal Gazette, [Kingston] 2 September 1780.

83 London, June 20, 1780,” Royal Gazette, [Kingston] 16 September 1780Google Scholar.

84 The writer was most likely referring to Benjamin Franklin, the American diplomat in Paris at the time. “New-York, September 6,” Rivington's Gazette, 6 September 1780.

85 “Extract of a letter from a gentleman in London to his friend in New-York, dated July 5, 1780,” Rivington's Gazette, 6 September 1780.

86 “Dublin, June 10,” Freeman's Journal, 10 June 1780.

87 “Dublin, June 24,” Freeman's Journal, 24, June 1780.

88 Earl of Hillsborough to Lord Buckingham, 11 June 1780. “Report on the Manuscripts of the Marquess of Lothian Preserved at Blickling Hall, Norfolk” (London, 1905), 367–68. There were also rumors several months earlier of dissenting Irish MPs forming an association modeled after Gordon's. O'Flaherty, “Ecclesiastical Politics,” 43.

89 There are no accurate population numbers for Dublin in 1780. In 1766 there were about 59,000 Protestants in a city of 145,000, but those numbers continued to decline throughout the remainder of the century. Fagan, Patrick, Catholics in a Protestant Country: The Papist Constituency in Eighteenth-Century Dublin (Portland, 1998), 4445Google Scholar.

90 “Dublin,” Freeman's Journal, 15 June 1780.

91 Edwards, R. Dudley, “Minute Book of the Catholic Committee, 1773–1792,” Archivium Hibernicum 9 (1942): 4748CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The situation worsened when Parliament passed the Combination Act, which sought to suppress journeymen combinations (preindustrial unions) in Ireland. On 13 June, nearly 20,000 Catholic and Protestant journeymen gathered in Phoenix Park to present a petition to the Lord Lieutenant in opposition to the bill. A riot was avoided only after the volunteers were called out to breakup the protest. “Extract of a Letter from Dublin, June 14,” London Chronicle, 22 June 1780; O'Connell, Maurice, “Class Conflict in a Pre-Industrial Society: Dublin in 1780,” Irish Ecclesiastical Record 103, no. 2 (February 1965): 93108Google Scholar.

92 Haydon, “The Gordon Riots,” 354–59.

93 For more on the connection between legislative independence and free trade, see Hill, From Patriots, 146–53.

94 Morley, Irish Opinion, 310–11.

95 Ibid., 312.

96 Dublin Evening Post, 6 November 1781; “Dublin, November 6,” Freeman's Journal, 6 November 1781. For more on Catholic enrollment in volunteer companies, see Morely, Irish Opinion, 234–36.

97 Freeman's Journal, 26 February 1782.

98 Moley, Irish Opinion, 262–76; Bartlett, The Fall and Rise, 98–102; McBride, Ian, “‘The Common Name of Irishman’: Protestantism and Patriotism in Eighteenth-Century Ireland,” in Protestantism and National Identity, 254Google Scholar.

99 “Dublin, June 6,” Freeman's Journal, 6 June 1782.

100 “To Mr. Rivington,” Rivington's Gazette, 6 January 1779.

101 “New-York, June 13,” Rivington's Gazette, 13 June 1778.

102 “An American,” Rivington's Gazette, 20 June 1778.

103 “Extract of a letter from New York,” Glasgow Mercury, 12 November 1778.

104 “From the New York Gazette,” Glasgow Mercury, 1 April 1779.

105 “Extract of a letter from Philadelphia,” Glasgow Mercury, 29 June 1780.

106 Supplement to The Jamaica Mercury, 8 May 1779.

107Continuation of the Debate on the Catholic Bill on Wednesday last,” Freeman's Journal, 26 February 1782.

3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

“In Favour of Popery”: Patriotism, Protestantism, and the Gordon Riots in the Revolutionary British Atlantic
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

“In Favour of Popery”: Patriotism, Protestantism, and the Gordon Riots in the Revolutionary British Atlantic
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

“In Favour of Popery”: Patriotism, Protestantism, and the Gordon Riots in the Revolutionary British Atlantic
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *