RIOTS AT lintsroth—Nothing which could possibly alarm the most timid
has occurred at this ill-fated town since our last publication. The most perfect tranquillity now prevails ; and the only things which keep up the remembrance of the terrible Sunday sennight, are the ruined buildings which it has left behind it, and the preparations making for the trial of the criminals charged with their destruction. The tottering walls of the houses in Queen Square have been pulled down, previous to clearing away the rubbish left by the fires ; and this may retard the discovery of many bodies which are still supposed to be buried under it. The total number of prisoners is about two hundred. Many were, a short time after they bad been arrested, let loose on the intercession of persons who spoke to their characters. Several of these have been taken up again, on specific charges. Therels nothing so ab- surd that the public are not prepared to believe of the Bristol Corpora- tion, and therefore the report, very confidently put forth in the Herald, that they mean to have the prisoners tried by Sir Charles Wetherell,— and that if 500 soldiers will not insure his safe entrance into the scene of his recent glories, 1,000 or 2,000 will be procured,—will not be re- ceived as at all out of the way. Neither have we the slightest doubt, that if the Corporation so will it, and retain their power, Sir Charles will go down, and act the judge as gaily as he pleads in the Vice-Chan- cellor's Court ; where he is said to have been gesticulating during the week with even more than ordinary vehemence of humour.
The number of killed and wounded, as far as the hospital returns go, we rejoice-to find is much smaller than we had at first reason to appre- hend. The total number who have died is 12 ; of whom 8 died from the effects of burning and drinking, and four only from wounds. The wounded amount to 95 ; of whom 10 are by shots, 48 by cuts or bruises of the horses of the military, and 37 from falls or drunkenness. Among the deaths, is the young boy Thomas Morris, who was shot by a person named Captain Lewis, a special constable, under such circumstances— and they must have been very strong ones—that the jury felt themselves justified in bringing in a verdict of manslaughter. The Captain, very wisely, finding that the evidence was going against him, withdrew him- self from the scene. Whether he will take a term before he deliver him- self up, as St. John Long did, or whether he will deliver himself up at all, will, we suppose, depend as much on the character of the future as of the past. The whole of the wounded are doing well. They are of course strictly guarded, as, with hardly an exception, they will be subjects for the prison as soon as they quit the infirmary. Of those who were killed in the streets, and on whom inquests have sat, the following is a summary of the verdicts— Excessive drinking 1 Burnt in Queen Square 1
Killed by a coach-wheel 1 Found burnt to death in Queen Suicide—lunacy 1 Square, near the houses destroy. Shot in the breast 1 ed by lire 5 Apoplexy from excessive drink 1 Inflammation of the brain, brought on
Killed during the riots, mode of death by a cut 1 not specified 1
Two of these persons were, however, not connected with the riots at all—namely, the coach-wheel and the suicide cases.
The Bristol papers still teem with anecdotes of an event that must long form an ma in the city. The.Mercury, which has shown much in- dustry in collecting materials, and which treats the subject with great moderation and good sense, offers this week, as it did last, some curious facts. The conduct of the magistrates exhibited throughout, a callous- ness to consequences, which would look like romance, if predicated of any but a self-elected body, ever the most insolent in prosperity, and the most imbecile and contemptible in adversity. " We have it," says the Mercury, " on the authority of Mr. Cossens, chief constable of the ward of Castle Precincts, that at the moment when the Doddington troop of Yeomanry passed up Castle Street, on Sunday evening, a mob of two hundred were engaged in breaking into the George and Dragon public-house, in the same street. Mr. C., anxious to restrain their violence, entreated the commanding officer, Captain Codrington, to send a detachment of men to his assistance. The Captain, apparently ignorant of what had been passing, replied, he could not act until the Riot Act had been read, and that he was going to the Bishop's Palace for orders. The troop subsequently appeared in front of the Mansionhouse, while the flames were at their height, where, however, they remained only two or three minutes, and in about two hours afterwards actually returned on their road to Sodbury, without rendering the least assist- ance, in consequence of being unable to find a magistrate to give the ne- cessary orders for them to act."
The following extract of a letter from Captain Codrington, of the Doddington Yeomanry, to the Home Secretary, gives us another and equally satisfactory trait of the Bristol magistrates—" Having, how- ever, fifteen miles to go, and the night being very dark, we could not reach Bristol till after nine, when, I lament to say, we found the city on fire in many places, the gaols emptied, and the town in the greatest confusion. Having paraded through the principal parts of the city for more than two hours, without being able to find a magistate,—hearing that they had in fact left the town after withdrawing both his Majesty's troops and the police,—fmding ourselves thus unsupported, and without a hope of being in any way serviceable,—the city being actually in the uncontrolled power of the populace,—I had no alternative but that of withdrawing also my men,and we returned home about five o'clock this morning."
Mr. Herapath, who seems to have been most praiseworthily active on the occasion, offered to their Worships a plan by which the whole of the
rioters might have at once been caught like rats in a trap. "Per- sons acquainted with the localities of Bristol"—we quote from the lier• cury again—" must know that the situation of the New Gaol, being surrounded by water, is approachable only by bridges. On the one side is the Floating Harbour, constantly filled with from twenty to thirty feet of water, and on the other side is the New River, at this time ['i. e. when the mob were destroying the gaol] filled with the tide, but having no fordable pass even at low water. At either end are the locks for :ad- mitting vessels into the float, and over these are swing bridges which preserve the communication with the Hotwells and the city. Mr. H.'s plan was simply to turn the bridges round. To this, we understand, Mr. Alderman G. Hilhouse objected, observing that the rioters would then re- venge themselves by setting fire to his ship-yard. Mr. Herapath was then asked if he thought the members of the Political Union would assist to quell the riots ? He replied, that the Union disapproved of the conduct of the Magistrates in calling in the military, and, in consequence, under them he thought they would not serve ; but, if the Magistrates would sanction the Union being employed, he thought he could engage for the services of a considerable number of them, eating tinder himself. To this, however, there was some demur, when Mr. Herapath retired. . At a subsequent hour, one o'clock in the morning, he again went to the Councilhouse to beg the assistance of two hundred men, with whom he proposed undertaking to clear the Square ; but, at this time, the only in- dividual whom he could find at head-quarters was the City Chamberlain." It was from no lack of warning that the Bristol Corporation acted as they did. About a week before the fatal day of the entry of Sir Charles Wetherell, the Corporate Authorities were so convinced of the danger of the Recorder coming publicly into the city in the customary manner, that a deputation of Alderman Fripp, with another Alderman and one of the Sheriffs, waited upon Lord Melbourne at the Home Office, and requested the aid of a body of soldiers. The Members, Messrs. Protheroe and L'aillie, were written to by Lord Melbourne, and requested to attend on the following day at the Home Office, on important business. Mr. Protheroe attended, and when informed that the Corporation bad applied for a military escort, he opposed it, and engaged to go down to Bristol, and accompany Sir C. Wetherell in his carriage into the city in safety, if the military were dispensed with. The Union was requested, by the magistrates, to act as a guard to the Recorder; and consented, while the magistrates were yet undetermined to call in the military: as soon as that step was resolved on, the Union determined to let them have it all their own way. On Sunday, when the effects of their bravado and imbecility were fatally apparent, Mr. Herapath was once more sent for ; but still the corporators hesitated ; and in fact it was not until they had actually abandoned the town to its fate, that a deputation at length pre- vailed on the Political Union to form an interim government, in con- formity with which solicitation the Vice-President was invested with the powers of Under Sheriff, by Messrs. Bengough and Lax. Mr. Maushee, an old Reformer, was also appointed an Under Sheriff. The reason why the Union refused to assist the military in escorting Sir Charles Wetherell, is well and wisely given—" because they knew if they acted with the military, and any riot took place, it would be said the Union was the cause of it."
The Magistrates seem to have been as unmindful of their friends as their enemies ; in fact, could we suppose them guilty of thinking or planning at all, we should say their only object was to get up as glorious a riot as possible, it mattered not by whose means. Mark their treat- ment of the soldiers—" On visiting the gaol," says the Mercury, " in the course of the week, to satisfy ourselves of the extent of damage committed, we fell into conversation with an individual who appeared to occupy some office there ; and we expressed our surprise that the troops should have permitted the mob to go on destroying the gaol and burning the governor's house, after they had arrived in sufficient time at least to prevent the accomplishment of the latter. The individual re. plied by saying, that the soldiers had considered themselves insulted by the Magistrates—that they hal been under arms the whole of 'Saturday, from an early hour in the morning until they were called out in the even- ing; and that neither man nor horse, in the shape of refreshment, got bit or drop. We relate this verbatim, as we received it. Our informant also added, that the men appeared highly incensed—they said, 'they knew what duty was ; but that they had never before experienced such treatment. For themselves they did not much. mind ; but they were vexed that their horses should have gone without a single feed of corn."'
That the slightest effort might, in a hundred instances, have stopped the rioters, is obvious from all the accounts received. The governor of the prison stated to the Times correspondent, that had the detachment of the 3rd Dragoons only backed their horses against the prison-gate, they might, without even drawing a sabre, have captured the rioters within the walls, and prevented half the mischief which occurred. The rogues who perpetrated the mischief seem to have been so well aware that there was no real force opposed to them, that they even made a joke of their doings. " At one spot, three of the incendiaries, who seemed exhausted with their fatigues, were joined by two females, and seating themselves in chairs, the whole group gave themselves up for awhile to refreshment. Whilst they were eating, and drinking wine, each one from a separate bottle, they revelled in delight at the scene before them. i I'm d—d,' said one of them, i if we ar'n't been hard to work, and now I think 'tis time we should rest a bit.' Another, with an oath at every word, said, i I'm cursed if this bean's very funny : Charley com'd down here to try the prisoners; but Charley funk'd, and so he cut and runn'd away. Well, we turn'd judges, and so we found. all the prisoners not guilty; and I'm d—d if we ar'n't made a reg'lar gaol deliv'ry." " While the work of incendiarism was going on at the Bridewell," says the Mercury," we paid a visit to this scene of criminal operations. This was at about five o'clock in the evening, two hours and a half after the first attack had been made. The keeper's house was then standing entire, but the opposite side, forming more immediately the prison, was still burning. At this period, we solemnly declare, there were not more than twelve rioters present on the outside. Our fellow citizens know full well that Bridewell Lane, at best, is but a nariow thoroughfare ; but at the time we speak, any female could have passed along without experiencing the least interruption. We found a man,
standing with one of the doors in his hand, half open, and, on our at- tempting to look down the passage, he very civilly asked us to wali rn and see thefire !"
There is one, and but one trait of honest English nature discernible in these excesses—the rioters evinced throughout no inclination to shed blood ; not a single house was subjected to their visitations without a previous admonition to the inmates to retire
Of the commencement and immediate causes of the riot a .correspon-s dent gives the following clear account—it fully bears out all that we said on thessubject-last week:- "-The force by -which Sir Charles Wetherell was guarded, be it known, consisted of the very rankest Tories of Bris- tol; who were appointed constables, the majority of the respectable por- tion of the inhabitants having utterly refused to be identified in any way with this triumphal entrance of the rotten-borough champion. But these Ultra-Tories were not found to constitute what was thought to be a sufficient force. To remedy this, a number of men were hired at four shillings a-day, and were made constables. These two kind of constables —the paid and the unpaid—composed the civic force. When Sir Charles arrived at the Mansionhouse, Queen Square was full of people, but they had all the characteristics of an ordinary mob. Double rows of constables lined the passage for Sir Charles, who made his way to the house as rapidly as possible. Some stones had been thrown and much disapprobation had been expressed. The constables did not move from their posts till Sir Charles was housed ; but they marked attentively from what quarter the stones were thrown, and the moment the object of their solicitude was in safety—for it was their idol, not the peace, which these constables were bent upon preserving—the moment Sir Charles was out of danger, they formed in a mass, and made a determined mall among the unarmed multitude, the unpaid leading the way, and the paid following, conceiving, no doubt, that they had wages to receive, and that the work to perform was a matter of course to them. My informant, who was present in the square, and upon whose veracity I can rely, says, the scene at this instant baffles descrip- tion—the constables laying about them with their heavy batons, and beating with savage fury men, women, and children, who were flying before them in the utmost terror. Individuals were knocked down, and, while prostrate on the ground, were the objects of the brutal attacks of the constables. It was this most uncalled-for—most unwarrantable— and most dastardly and cowardly proceeding that roused the desolating sprit of the mob ; women were screaming terror, and in the next breath vowing the utmost vengeance. It was now—and it is important that we mark the circumstance—the whole character of things changed. Poli- tical feeling dictated the first hostile demonstrations that were exhibited on Sir Charles's entrance ; and political feeling, mingled with the pomp of authority, urged on the constables in their wanton attack ; but here all political feeling ended. The spirit of revenge now fired the mob ; and succeeding in taking revenge, plunder and destruction followed." A special commission is still talked of ; and Farley's Bristol Journal nsists on having the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench at the head of it! We noticed in the commencement of this narrative, that the " hare-brained," or, as the Scotch, by a more appropriate analogy, have it, "cat-witted" Corporation of Bristol, have talked of getting Sir Charles 'Wetherell to try the prisoners. The people of Bristol, it will he seen from the following declaration, which is now in course of signature, do not entirely agree on this point, more than on others, with their rulers.
Bristol, Non. 8.-The undersigned householders, liable to item as jurors for the city and county of Bristol, and others exempted by their professions from that office, come forward, at the present eventful crisis, publicly to declare-
" 1. That the calm and impartial administration of the laws is not only the first duty of a judge, but is also a sure means of upholding the dignity of his office, and of securing to him personally the respect and admiration of all good citizens. "2. That it is therefore a great detriment and misfortune to the community, that the judicial functions should ever be intrusted to a political partisan, who can
hardly fail, in periods of excitement, to become obnoxious to some portion of the public ; and that the association of the two characters of judge and leader of a poli- tical party in the one and the same person is highly injurious to the dignity of the laws, and a fruitful source of animosity and discontent among the people. ",3. That with these sentiments the undersigned cannot but express their opinion (while they bear testimony to his uprightness as a judge), that it is the duty of the
present Recorder of this city, Sir Charles Wetherell, either immediately to surrender
his judicial office, or to withdraw himself from the contested field of politics ; as they are persuaded that, so long as he acts in the double capacity of judge and poli-
tician, the interests of justice in this city will be compromised, party spirit be ren- dered more violent and bitter, and the feelings of a large number of his most respec- table fellow-citizens be directly outraged and insulted."
From the tenor of two letters addressed to Mr. Cunningham, on the subject of an immediate investigation into the causes of the riots, by Mr. Baillie and Mr. Protheroe, the Members for the town, it appears that the propriety of such an investigation was to be discussed in the Cabinet on Tuesday night. A letter from Lord Althorp to Mr. Prothe- roe states, that on account of Lord Melbourne's absence nothing could be done on Tuesday ; an announcement which the Bristol people are very dissatisfied wit: Mr. Protheroe has very properly suggested, that the most effectual means by which the Bristol people can secure the active sympathy of Government, is to show that they feel their grievances themselves. In consequence of this suggestion, a committee met on Thursday, for the purpose of arranging the preliminaries of a public meeting, when the voice of the people can be fully and impartially heard.
Rears AT Cove:arms—Serious disturbances have taken place at Co- ventry, in consequence of a dispute between the masters and workmen on a point where they never did and never will agree—the amount of wages. In consequence of some manufacturers having lately given out work at a reduced price, a meeting of the weavers was held on Monday, to consider of the matter ; and, the matter being considered, a great number of them proceeded through the city. A large mob afterwards attacked a factory in the New Buildings, in which were some power- looms belonging to Mr. Woodhouse. Having smashed the looms, and destroyed every thing in the factory, smoke was immediately seen to issue from the windows, and in a few moments the whole was in a blaze. The magistrates appeared to have acted with promptitude. The Riot Act was read, the troops were called out ; and a number of special con- stables were sworn in, consisting of respectable inhabitants. Up to the latest period that intelligence was received, though the excitement was strong, no further danger was apprehended from the Coventry weavers. A letter in the Globe states, that the reduction of wages-contemplated, was from Gs. to 2s. 6d. Even in the absence of all contradictory evidence, we must suppose this statement grossly exaggerated ; still the reduction seems to have been considerable.
THE Bissunss.—The Monmonth Merlin states that the Bishop of Llandaff has publicly declared that he is convinced of the necessity of
Reform, and that he wishes it to be generally known that he will sup- port the measure when again brought forward. The Bishop of Worcester was burnt on Saturday evening, in effigy, at Redditch.—Sun.
' About eleven. at!night on the 5th, a large body of determined fellows made their appearance in Cathedral Ward, Exeter, with the effigy of the Bishop, which was burnt immediately before the-Bishop's Globe.
The Bishop of Durham left Auckland Castle on Thursday, for Harro- gate. We understand his Lordship has manifested great signs of un easiness since the burning of his effigy.—Durham Chronicle.
On Saturday night, some urchins paraded the effigy of a Bishop about the streets of Canterbury. Little interruption took place until the ap-
proach of the figure towards Burgate ; when another effigy, representing his Satanic Majesty, seized the Bishop, and a terrible scuffle ensued, which ended in the former being declared the victor.—Kentish Chronicle.