Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Found yesterday, while in pursuit of project-related data:

Riots in St. Giles's

Bow Street--For several Sundays during the summer months, the peaceful inhabitants of St. Giles's and its vicinity were kept in continual alarm by the outrageous conduct of the lower kind of Irish, resident in that neighbourhood, and other parties of Irish who came from Whitechapel , Shadwell, Woolwich, &c. for the express purpose of fighting with those of St. Giles's, in which conflicts much mischief has been frequently done; the savage ferocity of these people (both men and women) inducing them to use bludgeons, knives, cutlasses, rusty swords, shovels, and other dangerous weapons. Complaints of this shocking profanation of the Sabbath were made to the Magistrates, and a strong guard of constables and patroles were ordered to attend, by whom several of the ringleaders were apprehended, and obliged to find bail for their good behaviour, which then had the desired effect of checking the nuisance.

For two or three Sundays past, this practice has been renewed. One of these riots continued almost the whole of Monday last, which being represented to Mr. Read, the Chief Magistrate of this Office, he sent a number of patrole men in the evening, who, notwithstanding they met with great resistance and were assaulted with sticks, brick-bats, &c. took four of the principals in the affray into custody, who were yesterday examined before Mr. Graham, when, appearing to be very able fellows, and not in any particular employ, the Magistrate very properly judged them fit persons to serve his Majesty at sea, and accordingly sent them on board the tender for that purpose: which mode, we understand, will be adopted in future to all others so offending, as the only means of effectually checking such dangerous tumults.

In an age before the Daily Mail, I suppose the Morning Chronicle (Wednesday, 23 September 1807, iss 11966) would have had to suffice.

You don't hear that many references to the 'lower sort of Irish' (both men and women) that often these days.

That's a shame somehow.

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