Military map showing the areas in which troops were deployed during the Gordon riots, 1780

Description

This map details the encampment position of over 15,000 troops called to London in June 1780 in order to put down the Gordon Riots. Use of military force to deal with protest and insurrection in Georgian Britain was fraught with controversy. Until the early 19th century policing was arranged on an amateur basis, with civil order largely maintained by a complex system of watchmen, volunteers and militia. This ‘citizen army’ was considered to be an essential part of the British libertarian tradition, free from any intervention by military or government forces. Although the army was only deployed as a last resort, in practice the inadequacy of policing generally meant that this occurred surprisingly often. Troops engaged in such duties were assisted by the ‘Riot Act’, which permitted soldiers to use force to disperse crowds of 12 people or more once a magistrate had read a declaration ordering them to leave.

Full title:
Disposition of the Troops and General View of the Patroles in and about London on account of the Riots in 1780, from: Coloured plans of Encampments and dispositions of the Army in Great Britain, from 1778 to 1782; ...
Created:
1780
Format:
Map
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Add MS 15533

Full catalogue details

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