History Walk 2: Riots, Massacres and Reform 1700s-1832

This 1.5 hour walk in the centre of Bristol takes us through a century of working class history, charting the path of the 'crowd' from the 'moral economy' of the 1700s, through the effects of the French Revolution to the 'Reform Riots' of 1831/2. So come and find out: Why Bristol merchants trembled if the Kingswood Colliers were in town How best to do 'collective bargaining by riot' What happened during the infamous Bristol Bridge massacre What a silver coin, some stolen hammers and a tricolour […]

The Bristol Riots 1831 and the ‘Picketing of the Bristol Packet’ at Newport

This article was recently published in the excellent Chartism online magazine and is the result of a collaboration between BRHG and David Osmond, Ray Stroud, Peter Strong, Les James, historians from Newport and Cardiff. Our thanks to Les James for authoring the piece and allowing us to reproduce it. ​ Members from the Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) brought their bookstall to the 2016 Newport Chartist Convention held at the John Frost School. Di Parkin, Roger Ball, Maureen Ball, Steve Mills […]

The 1831 Bristol rising

Solidarity in South Wales

  After the defeat of the first reform bill in early October 1831 violent protests exploded in many British cities. The rising in Bristol was the most spectacular and suffered the harshest repression by the military. This talk considers this revolt and, using new research, solidarity actions in South Wales to aid the Bristol ‘rioters’. A workshop at Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair, Room 1, Cathays Community Centre, 36-38 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff CF24 4HX

Commemoration of the 1831 Bristol ‘Riots’ at Queen Square

Queen Square 1831
29 October 2016 A small group of us gathered at the statue of William III in Queen Square to remember the three day ‘riot’ of October 1831 which shocked the country at the time and put the government in fear of revolution. This event eventually led to the 1832 Reform Act which lessened the rampant corruption in the form of ‘rotten boroughs’, created new seats in a number of industrial cities and increased the franchise to include some of the male middle class (but not women or the working […]

Arrowsmith and the ‘Bristol Revolution’ of 1831

Queen Square on the Night of 30th October 1831, 1831, W. J. Müller
I was fortunate enough to acquire, among a collection of books, both the 1884 and the considerably expanded 1906 edition of Arrowsmith’s Dictionary of Bristol, edited by Henry J. Spear and J. W. Arrowsmith. Concurrent with other research I have been conducting into the Bristol riots of 1831 I perused the entry in each edition and was struck by the volume of revisions. It should initially be noted that the account given in the 1906 edition is substantially longer. As such it is perhaps the detail […]

The 1831 Hammer Film

The night before the 1831 riots, hundreds of Sledge Hammers were 'borrowed' from the Acraman's Iron Foundry in Bathurst Basin (now Bristol General Hospital). These hammers were used during the riots to break down the doors of the four prisons in Bristol. The day after the riots, all but two of these hammers were returned. This fact, at the time, was used as evidence of prior planning by the "mob". The hammers were recreated for the Bristol Radical History Week 2006 exhibition by Jasper Johns at […]

The BRH Summer Party On Brandon Hill

Miscellaneous 2007
Reclaim the Hill!: A celebration of the radical history of Brandon Hill and Stop the College Green Dispersal Order. Despite the vagaries of the English summer of 2007, a small but feisty mob of radical historians, skate boarders and cider drinkers gathered on Brandon Hill in Clifton on August 19th. We were both celebrating the 175th anniversary of the invasion of the Great Reform Dinner and protesting against the dispersal order served on Bristol citizens this summer. What is the connection? […]

1831 Uprising Commermoration

Celebrate the popular revolt that shocked the British ruling classes into democratic reform. Join the 'mob' waving flaming brands and listen to fiery speeches as we remember the hundreds of Bristol rebels who changed the course of history. Dress : Bawdy Attitude : Raucous

Insurrectionary Bristol: 1831

Britain in 1831… a tinder box? The Reform Act and suffrage The events of October in Bristol The trials and punishments Was it chaos, protest or class war? The wider political implications Why we should commemorate 1831 Listent to this talk: [audio: Queen Square Riot|artists=Ian Bone] Downlaod to this talk (1.5 Mb mp3 file)

Pin It on Pinterest