RIOTS AT BRISTOL.
The Bristol Mercury has given an account o these terrible riots, so full and apparently accurate, as to leave us only the task of
abridging it. At about half-past ten, on Saturday, Sir Charles
Wetherell was perceived approaching the town at a rapid rate, in a chariot drawn by four greys. At Totterdown, on being handed into the Sheriff's carriage, he was assailed by yells, groans, and hisses. The constables immediately closed round the carriage, a gentleman on horseback riding close by the side of each door, and three or four hun- dred preceding and following. In this manner, the cavalcade proceeded towards the city. Just as Sir Charles was passing over Hbl's Bridge, his carriage was assailed with four or five stones. The crowd increased as the procession moved on, and the expressions of diseppmbation be- came more deafening; in Temple Street, the windows of the houses were crowded with spectsters, and the lower orders of females were par- ticularly vociferous. In petsing from the Bridge to High Street, one of the constables received a dangerous blow from a stone ; and in High Street also some stones were thrown.
On arrival at Guildhall, in Broad Street, it was with difficulty that Sir Charles could alight, from the pressure of the multitude ; lie was,
however, handed out in safety, and proceeded' to take his station on the bench. The doors of the hall were then thrown open ; and in a few mi- nutes the area was completely clinked up. On the Recorder alighting,
he seemed somewhat agitated ; but he appeared to be in the en- joyment of excellent health. On taking his seat, he resumed his com- posure, and smiled and nodded to several individuals whom he recog- nized in Court.
There was great uproar and confusion (luring the reading of the Com- mission ; and at length Sir Charles directed the officers, if they saw any person in Cmirt making a disturbance, to bring him forward, and he would immediately commit him. The only effect of this notice was to raise, if possible, a lender clamour than that which it was intended to suppress.
At length, the useal preliminaries were gone through ; and an adjournment of the Court took place till eight o'clock on Monday morn-
ing. The Recorder then withdrew from the bench; and the populace, after some further marks of their displeasure towards the Learned Judge himself, gave three cheers for the King, and retired into the street.
On Sir Charles's reappearance on his way to the Mansionhouse, where he and the Corporation were to dine, he was greeted with a repetition of
the same favours that had before been so liberally bestowed upon him ; but there was no violence, until his arrival at the l‘dansionhouse, in Queen Square ; where a few stones were thrown, and a lamp or a window of the carriage was broken.
A few minutes after Sir Charles and the Mayor alighted at the Man- sionhouse, a rush was made on the populace, by a posse of special con- stables, for the purpose of securing the persons by whom the missiles had just been thrown ; and an individual was dragged into the Man- sionhouse. The immediate cause of this capture, which was executed with great violence, is said to have been a stone thrown by an idle boy at a fire which stood smoking in the area ! Again, another rush took place, and another capture was made ; and this was repeated several times. The least show of opposition on the part of the populace, during
these proceedings, subjected them to the most brutal attacks of the spe- cial constables. One man was knocked down by a blow on his head, and
afterwards unmercifully beaten ; indeed his skull was fractured. No Magistrate made his appearance to direct the operations of the consta- bles, or to remonstrate with the populace.
At this moment the number of persons collected in the square could not have been less than ten thousand; and a cry having been raised
" To the Back," where piles and faggots and firewood are usually kept,
a large body of the mob proceeded thither, and having armed themselves with sticks, returned in a few minutes to the scene of action ; but the constables, rushing out in a holly, the sticks were soon strewed inn every
direction upon the wanted. This was about half-past twelve o'clock. From that period till about four o'clock, there were occasional skir-
mishes between the constables and the populace, which generally ended in some one being taken into custody; but nothing more serious was threatened or tools place.
About four o'clock, in considerable portion of the constabulary force retired to their homes, for the purpose of refreshing themselves, with an
understanding that they should return to relieve the remainder at six
o'clock. From that moment the mob became more daring, until at length they called forth the Mayor, who cautioned them of the conse-
quences of continuing their refractory proceedings ; he alluded to the military in the immediate neighbourhood, and said he should be sorry that, during his mayoralty, such scenes should take place as most pro- bably would ensue, if lie should be compelled to read the Riot Act, and
they should be called in to quell the disturbance. The Mayor, who is well known as a Reformer, was, during his address, assaulted with stones, and a very large one narrowly missed striking him on the head. The Riot
Act was then read, but without producing the least good effect upon the mob, who rushed upon the constables, disarmed them, and beat them
severely. In this affray, it is said, some lost their lives, others had their limbs broken; one constable, as a condition of release from their ven- geance, was compelled to throw his own staff at the Mayor's windows ; others were obliged to seek refuge in flight ; and one was chased into the float, whence he was taken up by a boat-hook.
Nothing now remaining to curb the mob, the work of violence imme- diately commenced, by a general and simultaneous attack on every part of the Mansionhouse. The windows and sashes and shutters were beaten to pieces ; the doors forced, and every article of furniture on the ground-floor broken up. The iron palisades, together with the curb- stones in which they were set, were wrenched down, and furnished many a desperate villain with a formidable crow-bar ; young trees were torn up and converted into weapons; walls were thrown down to provide bricks with which to assail the upper windows; and straw and combus- tibles were procured with which to fire the whole premises. At this critical moment, Sir Charles is said to have effected his retreat (in dis- guise) through the adjoining premises: it was not made known until twelve o'clock on Sunday that he had left the city. The Mansionhouse was only saved from conflagration by the arrival of the. troops.
Under the protection of the military, the constables again collected in considerable numbers, and several more of the most daring of the moil were made prisoners. Still it was found impossible to clear the square or streets adjacent. The soldiers trotted their horses backward and for-
ward amidst the cheers of the mob, but not the slightest disposition was shown to disperse. The Colonel of the district, Colonel Breretou,
harangued the multitude ; entreated them to repair to their homes, and cautioned them of the dreadful consequences which their conduct other- wise would infallibly draw upon them. He was everywhere received with loud cheers ; but though. the crowd cheered, they would not obey. About midnight, a party of the rioters, disappointed by the restraint which the troops imposed upon time:, ero vielsd to the Council...len:se, where they commenced oreraLions the windows. orders were then given to the cavelry to ciriree :es! a uteri, of the greatest confusion began. The people were pigtual te the streets fier a
considerable distance by the st,(111.rs. (nr 1!:(2.111 received severe „its from the sabres. }Ley of ti 0 13;■:/p1,' tOr 1,2 rA'tige in the passages in Wine Street, from whence theym :salmi thetr. ni s with stones. At this conjuncture, one of the soldiers ' no ties: ssverely struek, turned round, and slant a man dead upon the e It has been reported time he dismounted and followed him ; hut tide ‘111, 1101: the case. This was Sine first person who fell 2111 immediate victim to the riot. The s Viers centinued to gallop about the streets, and to prevent the reassembling of the mob during the night.
On Sunday morning, every thing remaining quiet, the troops were withdrawn for refreshment, having been on: duty for more Can' twenty- four hours. They had scarcely diseppeared, when the moll again com- menced their outrages, by finishing the destruction of the Mansionhouse. Ascending to the upper rooms, they pr000de t to throw out the valua- ble furniture into the square. The drawer.; :mil other depositories were ransacked ; and the whole of the wearing, apparel, bed and table-lineu, china, &c. were ph:nick:red, or wantonly destroyed..
During the sacking of the. Mansiculemse, the wine-cellars were foreml, and at least one-third of a stock of about three hundred dozen of wine was carried oft and wasted and drunk by the mob. The mdli became inn consequence madly infuriate, told remmilless alike of whet mischief' they committed, or what risk they ircurred. Tie seem: at this minnent was shocking ; all ages, of both sexes. wer.•1.) be seen greedily swallowing
the intoxicating liquort, while upon tbs the bodies of stores wend
to lie found deed with Titc tri1,1i,, were speedily repleeed; but the mei/ 11:1W i,11 t it,' ::11(1 sought to wreak their vengeance on the subliers fee tine wiennils inil:cted on the preceding even ing, and particularly fur tine ShOOtillg of OW 1111111M:ore noticed. They attacked them with a shower of stones and brickbats, which the tacit were unable to oppose, as :no magistrate was ill attendance to take the responsibility of orders to that effect. In this state of things, the coat- mendin, officer judged it prudent to withdraw his men (the 14th Light Dragoons), anti replace them with a body of the 3d Dragoons Guards. On the retreat of the 14th, they were followed by a large portion of this mob. On arriving. at St. Augustine's hack, the soldiers turned round and fired on their assailants, and several of the people fell. The mob, however, nothing daunted, still continued to foliate them, and in College Green seine further firime occurred. The mob continued hanging upon the soldiers' heels until they arrived at their quarters in the Boar's Ilead. Yard, where they again fired on their assailants. In these several skirmishes, there was one men killed and seven or eight were wounded.
Immediately after, Colonel Brereton rode down to the square, followed by a considerable number of men and boys, who cheered hint on his way thither. He assured them that there should be no snore firing, and that the 14th should be immediately sent out of tine city. This was about eleven o'clock, when divine service was commencing in the churches ins the neighbourhood. The withdrawal of the troops, next to the with..
drawal of the constables tine pi, , loins evening, was singularly injudicious, for there seems no doubt that the mob considered the military as beaten ; it had the effect also of keeping the forces that remained from acting when they ought to have aeted, and made them art at least with more severity than they would otherwise have been called en to do.
The Mansionhouse re:main:me guarded by the 3d Dragoons, the mob next proceeded to the Br idea ell for the purpose of rescuing the prisoners. On their arrival, they lost no time in procuring sledge-hammers front the nearest smith's shop, amd immediately proceeded to beat in the doors. The keeper (Mr. Evans) had just sat down to dinner when lie received the visit of the unwelcome intruders. Having succeeded in opening the doors, they proceeded to liberate the prisoners, and, having accomplished that end, set the bul:ding ou fire. During this operation not the slightest molestation was effered them by civil force or military!
The Bridewell was fired about two o'clock. At the same hour a more formidable panty proceeded to the New Gaoha strong-built modern building, erected about tern years since at a cost of nearly 100,0001. The mob speedily succeeded in forcing an entrance into the yard and the Governor's house ; they then proceeded to throw every moveable article into the new river, and as the tide was fast ebbing, all was carried off by the stream. The caravan used for conveying the prisoners to the Guildhall was launched into the water entire. The rioters procured hammers from the adjoining ship yard, and with them the massive locks on the iron doors of the different wings were smashed to atoms. The prisoners were soon released ; and many of them, both male and female, stripped of their prison-clothes, and proceeded on their way almost in a state of nudity. It is said that there must have been some concerted plant in the attack on the prison, as the prisoners were soon clothed in smock-frocks given them by the mob. It does not appear very wonder. ful that when an attack was made on tine gaol, some friends of the inmates should be found among the assailants.
ment by taking off their caps, and almost immediately after turned round and departed. As soon as the work of, destruction at the gaol was completed, the rioters divided into parties ; one of which destroyed the toll-houses at Prince's Street Bridge, at the Wells, and at St. Philip's. Another party set off, about seven o'clock, to the Gloucester county prison, Lawford's-gate, which in a short time was broken into, the prisoners al released, and the building also fired. At the same time a third party proceeded to Bridewell, which had only partially been destroyed, and kindled up the wing occupied by the keeper ; so that the three prisons were in flames at the same instant. After this, a mere handful of the miscreants proceeded to the Bishop's Palace, Canon's Marsh ; and having effected an entrance, immediately commenced the work of de- struction. Orders were sent for the military, who had been guarding the Mansionhouse, and they immediately came to protect the Palace ; but hardly were their backs turned, when the Mansionhouse was seen burn- ing ; and no sooner had they ridden back with a view to save it, than the Palace, now left to its fate, was fired also. The must valuable effects, it was understood, had been removed early in the day.
After the destruction of the Mansionhouse, it was hoped that the fury of the mob would have been appeased ; but it was otherwise. The rioters conceived the plan of firing the adjoining houses ; and, by twelve at night, the whole mass, from the Mansionhouse to the middle avenue, including the Customhouse, and all the back building, in Little King Street, were one immense mass of fire. The Customhouse, as may readily be supposed, was a large building ; and the expertness of the wretches in lighting it up, it is certain, proved the destruction of many who were ranging the upper apartments. Many of them were seen as they ap- proached the windows to drop into the flames ; and others, among whom was a female, threw themselves in desperation from the windows. Still the conflagration went on. A small band, chiefly boys, who seemed to go about their work as if they had been regularly trained to the employ- ment, proceeded to extend the devouring element, preceding their opera- tion by giving half an hour's notice to the inmates to retire. The win- dows were afterwards smashed in, the furniture thrown out and carried off, and the premises ignited with a rapidity truly astonishing. In this manner they swept away one whole side, and then proceeded to another ; commencing with the Excise-office at the corner. Altogether, there have been completely destroyed forty-two dwelling- houses and warehouses, exclusive of the Mansionhouse, Excise-office, Custom-house, the four Toll-houses, the three Prisons, and the Bishop's Palace.
Strange and incredible as it may appear to those who have not at- tended the paralyzing influence of panic on ordinary minds, by much the greater part of this mischief was perpetrated by a mere handful of half- grown boys. Similar scenes took place in various parts of London during Lord George Gordon's riots, from similar hesitation and imbecility in the civil rulers. Some of our readers may recollect the remarkable tes- timony of a witness at the trial of the rioters, charged, among other acts, with burning Lord Mansfield's house. " Had I," said he, "dropped from the clouds at that instant without any previous knowledge of the people and the laws, I should have thought that the burning of the house was the consequence of a judicial sentence, and that the civil au- thorities were assembled at the spot to see it carried into regular and uninterrupted execution." Such, in fact, would have been the conclu- sion which any foreigner must have drawn from the acts of the Bristol mob during the greater part of Sunday and Sunday night. We may add, that the mob which perpetrated the mischief in the one case, had as much in common with the Reformers as that which perpetrated it in the other had with the Protestants.
On Monday morning, the mischief being now nearly over, the rioters wearied with rioting, and the thieves satiated with plunder, the Magis- trates roused themselves to exertion, and orders were given to clear the streets ; which the military are, in some accounts, accused of having obeyed with a severity, if not wantonness, which proved fatal to num- bers who had taken no part in the disturbances, nor wished to do. The Political Union was also applied to, and its members instantly came forward to act as constables ; and by their exertions, backed by a general enrolment of the inhabitants, the peace of the city was maintained.
During the whole of Monday, the civil 'authorities, who were now supported by various detachments of troops which arrived in the course of the day, were employed in searching out the plunderers and the plunder; and their efforts were so successful, that by Monday night nearly all that had not been destroyed was recovered. The quantity of goods carried off from the houses previous to setting fire to them was immense. They were carried away by waggon-loads. One woman was taken into custody, who had contrived to pick up thirteen feather-beds for her own share from the spoils of the Bishop's Palace. The mob, by which all the mischief was done, seems to have been composed, in addition to the mere scum and refuse of the town, of the men employed on the quays, and colliers from the mines in the neigh- bourhood. It was said that the sailors had joined in the riot ; and there is a story of their taking up a position and daring the military with a piece of ordnance. The whole of this is false. The sailors had nothing to do with the riots. The only ground on which they were charged, seems to have been their refusal, some days before the entrance of Sir Charles Wetherell, to be sworn in as special constables, from an idea that to appear as the supporters of the Magistrates would be tantamount to confessing themselves Anti-Reformers. Thetown continued tranquil throughout Monday night, and during the whole of Tuesday and Tuesday night; but even on Wednesday morning, the shops were but partially opened, and every thing wore an appearance of gloom which it will require many days to clear away. The damage can at present be but roughly estimated. It is reckoned by some at a quarter of a million—by others as high as a couple of millions.
r Such is the narrative of these terrible doings, from their commence- ment to their termination. As might be expected, the journals and private letters teem with anecdotes, more or less authentic, respecting the rioters, and that psychological curiosity, the Bristol Magistracy, which, in its way, presents as curious a picture of human nature as th ruffians who fired Queen Square.
Of the magnitude of that force which has occasioned so astounding
utischlef, a correspondent of the Tines offers the following criteeion,
"One house escaped the flames through the courage of its owner's wife. She told me the story. Her husband is lame, and she was left to pro. tect her dwelling against the rioters. They shattered the windows, but she kept the doors closed against them. At last some drunken boys and prostitutes gained admission by a window, and flung her into the street. A few determined men in each house, she declared, would have pre- vented the accomplishment of this devastation."
Other instances are given by the correspondent of to-day's Chronicle- " We give two instances of what was effected by a few persons, by a de-
termined resistance of the rioters, and these facts are indisputable. At the corner house in Queen Square, three men armed themselves and resisted the entrance of the rioters at the door, and actually beat them off. When the mob broke open the door of the Cathedral, five respect- able inhabitants—and it is a singular fact that they were all Dissenters— rushed into the door-way and seized the foremost of the ringleaders, and partly by using force, and partly by appeal and remonstrance, saved that fine old building from destruction." One of the Bristol journals says—" We are prepared to show that those who were the practical rioters and incendiaries, were not what are generally called the town's people,' but thirty or forty Irishmen, with about fifty boys,—a class of miscreants who neither knew nor cared any thing about Reform."
The civil force opposed to the mob seems to have been equally respect- able. " One thing I have been struck with," says -a letter, " and that is,
the juvenile appearance of many of the special constables ; they seemed to be quite boys, and evidently quite unfit for performing such an im- portant office at such a period. if the constables who were sent among the mob in the first instance were of the same description, it is easy to account for the unfortunate collision that took place.
The wealthy inhabitants seem to have taken matters very coolly. " The Magistrates," says the Bristol Gazette of Thursday, " when they found that the armed force of the city was too weak to quell the disturb- ance, called upon their fellow-citizens to meet them at the Guildhall, and consult the best means of restoring the peace of the city ; but their fel- low-citizens kept aloof. It is true that some came, and about thirty or forty remained ; and it is true that several of the Magistrates placed themselves at the bead of these thirty or forty, and went into the Com- mercial Rooms and on the Exchange, and requested the gentlemen they met in the streets to join them ;—and it is true, that before they reached Prince's Street Bridge, more than half of those who had joined deserted the body ; some, because their dinners were ready, and some because they had no wish to encounter a desperate mob unarmed." The same journal states, that "soldiers were coolly walking backwards and for- wards while the incendiaries were proceeding with the work of destruc- tion, and that the firemen of the different Companies alone, armed with their fire hatchets, would have been more than sufficient to have routed the mob at any time during the Sunday evening." Although there was nothing like a Reformer mixed up with the riot, the Anti-Reformers, in the thickest of it even, seem to have been willing to add what stimulus they could. "After Sir Charles had ad- journed the court at the Guildhall, he proceeded to the Mansionhouse, amidst continued groans. In passing the Commercial Rooms, he was cheered by the persons who were assembled in the rooms. This quite infu- riated the mob." And having infuriated the mob, some at least of the Tories, it would appear, were not unwilling that the Reformers should have a little experience of their fury. "A gentleman, Mr. W.," says a letter dated 'Wednesday, "who is popular in the city generally as a sup- porter of the rights of the people, had saved his property in King Street, and removed it to an avenue opposite, close to the large doors of the capacious yard of what is called King's Street Hall. As no fire could reach here, this gentleman requested the owner to allow him to place the said property inside the gates. This he refused, saying, 'Let Mr. W. use his own counting-house ! ' Some hours after, this same Mr. W., together with a friend of his, succeeded in saving 200 or 300 pieces of brandy and puncheons of rum, 50 of which had already taken fire. These spirits happened to belong to Mr. F.'s brother-in-law. Mr. W. and his friend again begged permission to roll the whole into the yard : the reply, `There is too much liberality in the world already: I will not allow it.' They then told him the doors should be forced, as the safety of the city depended on the brandy being put out of the reach of the fire. He then opened the gates."
Of the conduct and appearance of the mob there are numerous de- scriptions, all equally revolting. " It is believed," says one of the jour- nals, " that many of the wretches who were engaged in sacking and lighting the Custom House fell victims to their thirst for plunder and liquor. Many of them were seen as they approached the windows to drop into the flames ; and others, among whom was a female, threw themselves in desperation from the windows. The latter was carried to the Infirmary, where she has since died." Another journal observes, " When the building was in flames, six of the, rioters were observed at the upper story, and they fell into the flames. In the cellars of the Customhouse, many were destroyed, and in the cellars of the Bishop's Palace four of the rioters were yesterday found dead. One man was on Tuesday taken out of the ruins of the Customhouse alive, but in a hor- rid condition. He had got drunk in the cellar, and the ruins fell in upon him. One of his arms was literally burnt off. Six other bodies, or rather the remains, which were merely cinders, were also found in the ruins. Three other bodies, burnt very much, of which none of the fea- tures of the face were discernible, were exposed on the green in the middle of Queen Square. Great numbers of persons were on the spot to view them ; and the stench of the corpses was most intolerably offen- sive. The savages who committed these horrid deeds not only destroyed the furniture at the Bishop's Palace, but also a library, containing works that were exceedingly scarce and valuable. It is also a lament- able fact, that for hours hundreds of the rioters were rolling about the streets in a drunken state, and no magistrate attempted to interfere ; those who were applied to displayed the utmost alarm for their own per- sonal safety, and others of the aldermen could not be found." The skill of the incendiaries is not to be measured by their numbers ; it appears to have been great. " In several houses the villains, with axes, cut holes through the various floorings to give free vent to the air, and in the lower rooms they set fire to the chairs, tables, sofas, &c. In some houses the shrieks of the inmates, particularly females, were truly terrific and, as several of the inhabitants are missing, there is no
doubt they have been victims to the flames. When the wretches set fire to the house of Mrs. Joaes, in Prince's Street, that lady was confined to her bed, having given birth to an infant only three hours before. The villains obtained 501. at one house to go away without firing it, and the only house now standing- on one side of Queen Square, belonging to a Mrs. Rossiter, was prevented from being destroyed by Mrs. R. telling the mob she was a poor widow, and giving the leaders 10s."
The quantity of the plunder caned off was immense, and the robbery was managed with singular audacity. " During the whole of Monday night, fur eight hours at least, the plunder from different houses was car- ried off by the rioters openly in carts ; several casks of wine were found four miles from Bristol, and not less than forty waggon loads of furni- ture have been recovered. An Irishman was brought up on Wednesday, wearing three shirts, three jackets, three pair of trousers, and two pair of stockings, which he had stolen at one of the fires. He was remanded. Soon afterwards an Irishwoman was charged with being one of the rioters, and under her gown were found two silk waistcoats and two blankets which were wrapped round her waist—she pretended to be ' as ladies wish to be.' "Much stolen property," says a letter dated Wednes- day, " has been found in the direction of Bedminster—plate-chests buried, &c. On Sunday night, heleed, cart-load after cart-load of stolen goods were most daringly conveys(' over this bridge. One noted fellow taken to-day, at a house in Marsh Street (which street is celebrated for being occupied by the lowest Irish), had on him a bundle of bank-notes, which proved to have been taken from Miles's countinghouse in Queen Square. About fifty known ruffians and rioters were taken in the course of the day, and lodged in the remaining wings of the New Gaol. Seven men were taken at one place ; one of them was a tall, furious, and well-known Irishman. He was a most determined-looking character. It is stated that he was the first who attacked the Mansionhouse. The recoveries of property have led to many curious exposures. Several houses in Marsh Street were found, though without exciting any very considerable surprise, to be literally crammed with stolen property. Three waggon-loads were taken from only two houses; from which it may be inferred how much is there and elsewhere deposited." " One of the sabred men," says another letter, had under his coat a hussar's jacket, and his pockets were filled with broken china, &se.; be has been removed by the constables. A lad, who is severely wounded in the head, had in his bosom a lady's glove, some children's books, some keys be- longing to the Customhouse, and a book with the owner's name upon it. Around another man was wrapped a blue silk shawl, and hie pockets were filled with plunder. This man was maimed by leaping from a burning house. There was only one woman brought in ; she had been cut by her husband, after he returned home. No female was hurt by the soldiery." It is very justly observed, by one of the correspondents of the Times, that it was fortunate fur the city that the desire of plunder was the ruling passion of the mob, or the effects might have been still more (treader 1. " Had they thought of any thing but gorging and thieving, they would have fired the city in twenty places, as they might have done on Sun- day night, and reduced it to ashes, instead of confining their ravages almost entirely to Queen Square." The same correspondent describes the horrible appearance of Queen Square—" That unfortunate locality presented sights most exasperating to the citizens, and most revolting to human nature. Men stretched in drunken stupor beside puncheons of rum : women in loathsome shapes, bearing the outward marks of the sex, in the same state of beastly degradation ; wine held up for sale by sated robbers, at 2d. a bottle : and while the flames burst from the burning building, so as to be visible at a distance of seventeen miles, a crew of miscreants, so intent upon rapine, that nut a few of them were buried beneath the tumbling roofs, which their own hands had fired. At the Customhouse, while one frantic gang applied the torch to the upper part of the pile, another, unwittingly, cut off the retreat of some of the more tardy of ;hese desperadoes, by setting lire to the lower divi- sion. In this manner three men were entombed in the glowing mass. Two leaped from the roof, and were dashed to pieces ; and two boys, who attempted a similar mode of escape, were, I was assured, actually seen frying in the molten lead that streamed upon the pavement." The Bristol people speak very freely of their Magistrates. " Those who speak very favourably of the Mayor's personal worth," says a letter, concur in censuring his public conduct. They pronounce him deficient in the nerve necessary to provide for perilous emergencies. I have heard various instances of remissness cited against the city Magistrates. At half-past ten o'clock on Sunday morning, they issued handbills, request- ing the attendance of the citizens at the Guildhall to cooperate with them for the restoration of order. My respectable informant attended accordingly at twelve o'clock, but no magistrate made his appearance ; and, on inquiry, he was told that the Mayor and Council were engaged in deliberation. He and others consequently withdrew. A troop of Yeomanry Cavalry had been summoned from Sodbury—a place about eleven miles distant. They entered the city, but finding no magistrate to direct them, they took sonic refreshment and rode back. A detach- ment of the 3rd Dragoons, under similar circumstances, retired (luring
the assault on the New Prison. Unable to act for want of legal autho- rity, the soldiers returned the cheers of the rabble, in order to escape a shower of missiles. The 14th Dragoons were withdrawn on Sunday, to be succeeded by this party of twenty men, who were less offensive to the Mob."
Nor are the correspondents of the London journals more complimen- tary to the people of Bristol than to its rulers. " The lower classes of Bristol and its neighbourhood," says one, " have always been a turbu- lent race. So far back as the reign of Stephen the place was charac-
terized as ' a volcano whence the kingdom was deluged with fire and sword: The colliers, who are said to have taken an active part in the late riots, occupy a district of country a few miles out of the city, called Kingswood ; and until they were in some degree civilized by the Wesleyan Methodists, a few years since, these people were in a state of moral degradation scarcely above that of barbarians. In times of public commotion, they have always been the most powerful auxiliaries
of the town mob, whenever the latter have, front any cause, been excited to rise in opposition to the laws ; and in 1793, they assisted the cityinalcontents in their opposition to a bridge toll, when the rioters were fired upon by a regiment of militia, and forty persons killed or wounded: In old times, the city was Often besieged by the colliers. During the last thirty ythIrs, it has Fr:noun:11y lit-2:1 found neecssary to call in the military to rep:-^ss the violziwe of thc mob at elections ; and on this subject the inember for Presun: c:,11,1 a tale unfold.' " The 14th have been blamed very much for their conduct. The correspondent of the Sun says---" Sonic of the London papers affect to doubt the misconduct of the 14th Hussars. I again state that they have been guilty of excesses, and I will detail one case in support of my assertion. I mention only one, because I will not risk one that is not authenticated ; and as I have been on duty since Monday, I have had little time for inquiry. A lir. Nash, a very re- spectable broker, who had been on business on Monday last to Unity Street, was returning by 3Ir. Protheroe's sugar-house, when he met two
of the 14th. soldiers,' said he, I am glad yon are come to
town. Oh, you --,' replied one of the fellows, ' you are as bad as the rest.' With that he struck at ?Ir. Nash with his sword, and cut off part of one of his fingers. ' You are not going to cut me down, to be sure!' cried the terrified Mr. Nash. The soldier again raised his sword, and, making use of a similar expression, he cut at him a second time, and severed his hat in two, barely escaping his head. This, I assure you, is riot the only ease detailed, in which all the laws of human nature and human right were outraged by the man-butchers,' as they are now very generally termed. A man was shot by one of them ; and an intelli- gent had who was standing close by declares, that the man had committed no offence, and that he was deliberately killed by a pistol bullet." If these accusations prove to be well founded, the troop employed at Bris- tol ought to be instantaneously discharged. The number of casualties cannot be stated ; they have been very nu- merous. Several inquests have been held, but the only one which ex- cites interest is that on a young boy, shot, or supposed to have been shot, by a Captain Lewis. The boy was innocent of offence. The gentle- man, it is said, had been knocked down and abused, and fired a pistol in his own defence ; the boy was then about twenty yards distance. At the Infirmary, on Saturday evening, four persons were received with sword wounds, and one shot through the lungs. lit anticipation of the probable consequences, every possible preparation was made during the night for attention to casualties. On Sunday in the forenoon, eight persons were brought in with gun-shot wounds. With the exception of one man, who was struck with a ball which had passed over the river, all were under twenty years of age, and one only twelve years old, chiefly from St. Philip's. On Monday, the wounded began to pour in, nearly all cut by the sword severely, either in the face, neck, or head. In it great many of the latter cases, the sabre had slashed entirely through the hat into the skull, so that some will probably terminate fatally. That these were actual rioters there can be no doubt, as many were athletic, stout fellows, with plundered articles in their possession, arid in the highest state of excitement from liquor. One lad was shot through the body, and is since dead.
:tie I:1 the military Tere hurt, except one man, slightly :rounded.
Queen Square, which.has suffered so severely, is said to be the largest square in Europe. It has in the centre a fine equestrian statue of Wil- liam the Third by Ryshrach. Of the houses in this square, totally de- stroyed, the following- list has been published : Besides the Customhouse, the houses occupied by C. Anderson, Esq. ; Mrs. Phil- lips ; Thomas Webb and Co.. merchants ; Thomas Sheppard, merchant (and No. 5. Little King Street, at the back thereof); Misses Vigars ; Reverend J. Baden; Cun- ningham and Robley, merchants ; J. Leman and Sons, solicitors ; Mansionhouse, Banqueting-room, stables, Ecc. ; bliss Giroux, Monsieur Chalice, Mrs. Davey, Mrs. E. Roberts, Mrs. White, Mr. J. Richards, bookseller ; Mr. H. Humbev, architect; Mrs. Roussiquet, Miss Jones, Mr. T. Croker, coach builder ; Mr. C. IV. Stephens, Mr. B. Bickley, Messrs. Miles and Kingston, J. P. Miles, Esq., MP., Mr. H. Bur- gess Smith, Mr. J. S. Broad, commercial agent Mr. T. Bowden, Mr. Harlon/. blesses. Warner, the Maginnis Brewery (and 25, Key Street), Mr. C. Ball, Mr. Jesse Barrett. Mr. Cross, Mr. Strong, bookseller ; Mrs. Jones, Princes Street, Sze.
The impudent and most unfounded charge that the Reformers—mean- ing by that term the friends of the Bill and of the 31inistry—have been im- plicated in the riots, is best met by a fact stated by the Bristol Gazette. " Though nearly two hundred persons," says that journal, "are in custody fur rioting, and though against a considerable number there is positive evidence of being concerned in various acts of incendiarism, yet not one is proved to be a Bristoliau connected in any way with the poli- tical party which has been so strongly opposed to Sir Charles Wetherell." This charge, which has been pressed by the Standard with singular con- tempt of evidence, seems to have excited in Bristol very strong feelings of indignation. A correspondent of the Globe, who dates November 2nd, says 44 the Standard not only publishes correspondence giving a most false and exaggerated statement of the facts, but, by its ignorant and scurrilous
abuse of the Reformers of this city, goes far to merit the title which it has gained of vagabond journal.' If we did not know that there are no men in the world so credulous and so blind as the ill-starred Tories, we could not imagine that a paper styling itself (I fear with too much truth) the Leading Journal of its party, could risk such state- ments as that paper of Tuesday has dared to print. Never was a lie more daring and absurd than the assertion that the Reformers of this city have, directly or indirectly, been the cause of the late dismal exer
cise of mob power. Could the editor of that paper be ignorant that hune dreds of men as respectable as himself, and each, probably, with tenfold
more property staked in the maintenance of the public peace than he,
rank themselves among the Reformers of Bristol? And are these men, one and all,' wretches,' as he has scandalously said the Reformers of
Bristol,' without qualification, are ? Such vile aspersions are, perhaps,
best left alone; but is it not melancholy that the Tory readers of that journal should be thus humbugged and deluded ? One fact may be worth a thousand argument-s. Not a Reformer in this city has hesitated
to enrol himself a special constable as soon as our panic-struck Magi- strates would authorize the necessary arrangements; and if these wor- thies had accepted the offer of the Political Union here to form an escort
for Sir Charles Wetherell in the first instance, not a head would have been broken or house fired; but they courted the aggression of the mob by their ostentatious display of force; and when their weakness had
been proved, and the mob had gained courage to plan further violence, personal safety seemed the first consideration of our magnates ; and
when at last they were found at their post, it was nothing but considera- tion ! consideration 1 while the rioters were acting and taking means to swell their numbers by liberating the felons from the gaols." "The friends of Sir Charles Wetherell," sayi the Herald. of yester- day, "are very actively disseminating a report that he did not proceed
to Bristol without first consulting the Home Secretary upon the subject, and whose sanction he obtained. Whether such was or was not the case, we have, of course, no means of ascertaining." That be applied to the secretary, is.very likely ; such an application would be but another spe- cimen of the superlative impudence of his party. Of course, if the Secre- tary said " Go," he was liable for all that took place ; if he said " Don't go," the Minister was the mere tool of the rabble, whose orders he was ready at all times to obey. Without pretending to know any thing of the application, we trust Lord Melbourne had commonsense enough to bid Sir Charles do as he pleased, and take the consequences of his doing. The inquests have elicited very little that was not previously known. That on the body of the boy shot by Captain Lewis is not yet finished. There seems to have been more haste than discretion in the firing by which the boy fell; it is admitted that he was not aimed at. In the other inquests on the bodies of those that have died in the hospitals, or been found dead in the burnt houses, nothing has been inquired into but the mere fact of the cause of death ; and the return has been in each case " Died of burning (or wounds, as the case might be) ; but how or by whom caused, not known." There was a numerous meeting at the Commercial Rooms on Thurs- day; when two resolutions, in the form of memorials, were offered,—one to Lord Melbourne, calling for an inquiry into the conduct of the Ma. gistracy ; another to Lord Hill, calling for a similar inquiry into the conduct of Colonel Brereton. An amendment on these memorials was moved, which called also for inquiry, but named no party, lest it might appear to condemn before trial. The amendment was to the following effect :--
" We, the undersigned Merchants, Bankers, Trader., and other Inhabitants of the City of Bristol, deeply lamenting, the riotous and disgraceful proceedings that have recently occurred in this City, and the sad destruction of property resulting therefrom ; that the lives and fortunes of the citizens were for a considerable period entirely at the mercy of a desperate mob ; and firmly convinced that all this might have been prevented if proper precautions had been adopted—do earnestly request your Lordship will be pleased to cause an investigation to be instituted, as the only course that will pacify the minds of the public, and restore confidence in the future."
It was carried by a majority. On Wednesday, his Majesty having come to town for the purpose, a Privy Council was held, at which the following proclamation was agreed to, respecting the riots at Bristol.
"BY TILE ICING—A PROCLAMATION.
"Wi radAm, R.—Witereas in divers parts of Great Britain. and more particularly in the towns of Derby and Nottingham, and in the City of Bristol, tumultuous as- semblages of people have taken place, and outrages of the most violent description Lave been committed both upon the persons and property of divers of our subjects; end whereas all the restraints of law and order have been overborne nod trodden thaler foot by such lawless multitudes, the mansions of individuals violently entered, pillaged, and set on tire, the ordinary course of justice forcibly inter-
rupted, the gaols for the confinement of criminals broken into and destroyed, and
'me:factors and persons charged with offences let loose upon the public, to the great disturbance and clanger of the common weal, and the subversion of established Government : And whereas the welfare and happiness of all nations do, under 1,17111C Providence,chiefly depend upon the observance and encoreement of the law : And where:::: it is our firm determination faithfully to discharge the duty imposed on us, to preserve the public peace, and vigorously to exert the powers which we possess for the protection of all our subjects, in the entire enjoyment of their rights and liberties ; We, therefore, being resolved to suppress the wicked and flagitious practices aforesaid, have thought tit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue this our royal proclamation, solenuily warning all our liege subjects to guard against every attempt to violate the law, and to abstain from every art inconsistent with the peace and good order of society ; and We do hereby charge and command all Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, Chief Magistrates of citi Os, boroughs, and cor- roratiuns, and all the 31:atistrates throughout Great Frit:du. that they do effectually xemess all tun:nits, riots, outrages, and breaches or the pence within their respec- tive jurisdiction ; and that they do make diligent inquiry in order to discover and bring to instiec the movers and perpetrators of all si:ch seditious and wicked acts as aforesaid : And we do farther earnestly and solemnly exhort, enjoin, call upon, and command all our liege subjects, of all ranks and conditions, that they do come forward upon the first appearance or apprehension of any such disturbances as aforesaid, as they are bound by their duty to ;Is, by their regard for the general in- terest, and by the obligation of the law, and that they be actively aiding and as- sisting to all Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, and Other Magistrates, in enforcing the law against evil doers, anti in protecting their feliow.subjects in the enjoyment of their property and the exercise of their rinitts, against all forcible, illegal, and unconstitutional .nterferenee, control, or ligje •;sion.
" Given at our Court at St. James's. this tind day of November, 1331, and in the second year of our reign. God save the King."
The Court Circular adds, that a reward of 1,000/. has been offered for the apprehension of any of the rioters mentioned in the proclamation.
The Bristol riots have displayed, in a striking point of view, the ad- vantages which accumulated capital bestows on a nation like England. A telegraphic communication was made to the commander at Plymouth, and in three hours a number of troops were put on board a steam-boat and despatched toSuuthampton, where horses for their conveyance were, by telegraph, directed to be in readiness the moment they landed. While the insurrection was in progress, considerable disturbance took place in Bath, on the Yeomanry troop belonging to that town being called out to assist the civil power at Bristol. The mob did not, how- ever, go further than breaking the windows of the inn, where the cap- tain of the Yeomanry sought shelter. A meeting took place in the even- sag, and a number of special constables were sworn in, who patrolled the city during the night ; happily the precaution was unnecessary. On hearing of the riots at Bristol, a mob, consisting principally of boys, assembled at Trowbridge on Monday evening, and showed a dis- position for mischief: they broke the public lamps, and an immense number of windows ; but they were prevented by the respectable inha- bitants from proceeding to other outrages.—Devizes Gazette.
We are sorry to learn that placards were exposed at Tewkesbury yesterday, containing the words " Down with Pull Court." This house is near Tewkesbury, and is the seat of Mr. Dowdeswell, M.P. for the borough. We understand that some members of the Upton troop of Yeomanry Cavalry were stationed at Pull Court last night in case of attack, but no attempt was made. Few circumstances prove more clearly the alarm which exists in the country at this moment, than the fact that at the houses of the nobility and opulent gentry, preparations have been made for defence in case of an attack.--Worcester Journal,