Was your Ancestor in the Bristol Riots?

There have been a number of Bristol Riots, the most recent being in 1980, but the most notorious took place between 26 & 31 October 1831, ostensibly in favour of “Reform” – to extend the right to vote. The skies of Bristol glowed blood red from the fires lit by the mob, the Bridewell and Gaol were torched and the prisoners freed. There were 250 casualties, killed and wounded. Five men were executed, Christopher DAVIS, John KEYES, Richard VINES, Thomas GREGORY and William CLARKE.

The following is a list of the more fortunate smaller fry with, where possible, the punishments they received. It will be seen that a number of them have “death recorded” against their names. In these cases the sentences were commuted to transportation for life. It is stated that when these individuals “were given to believe that their lives would spared, a few seemed to care little, being heard to say, “Thank you, My Lord.” Patrick Kearney was more voluble, and cried “Thank Ye, My Lord. My life’s spared till Ireland’s free. Sweet Ireland For Ever!” It seems to me that a disproportionate number, from their surnames, were “Bristol Irish.”

name

charge

result

Sarah ANDERSON & Mark PARKER

Theft of sofa from Benjamin BICKLEY

acquitted

George ANDREWS

Assisting firing house of Messrs LEMAN & Wm CROSS

Guilty, death recorded

Edward ARBORNE

Destroying house of F.T. BARNARD

Thomas AYLAND

Theft of bonnet from A. WOOKEY

“of trifling value” – discharged

Patrick BARNETT

Setting fire to house of William CROSS

Guilty, death recorded

James BAYLEY

Destroying house in St Nicholas

William BEARDE

Destroying Gaol

12 months hard labour

William BEER

Firing Gaol

Thomas Evans BENDALL

Setting fire to Bishop’s Palace

Guilty, death recorded

William BENNETT

Destroying house in St Stephen

Boy, guilty

James BENTLEY

riot

Boy, guilty

John BOND

Firing house, St Nicholas

acquitted

Thomas BRIMMELL

Theft of a Bible from John Price KIRBY

6 months hard labour

John BRITTON

Theft of a sword from Henry JEW

acquitted

Benjamin BROAD

Firing house, Queen Square

Guilty, death recorded

Peter BROWN, seaman

See John HARPER

guilty

Samuel BROWNING & Felix WYMAN

Theft of a pair of sheets from Joseph RICHARDSON

2 years hard labour

John Tarrant BUFFIN

Demolishing house of Benjamin BICKLEY & theft of cotton handkerchiefs from Christopher CLAXTON

William BURGESS

Theft of papers belonging to His Majesty & a book from Charles ANDERSON

6 months hard labour

William CHAMP

Setting fire to house of Wm SHEPPARD

Boy, guilty

Mary CHARLES

Stealing a muff and other articles from Hester BARRETT

Not Guilty

William CHRISTOPHER

Irishman

Breaking house of John Stroud BROAD, and theft from there & from Julia HARFORD

Transported 7 years

Charles COATES

With John REES, destroying house of Benjamin BICKLEY

Guilty, 2 years imprisonment

James COLE

Theft of 6 books from Alexander Campbell JOHNSON

6 months

Timothy COLLINS

Firing house, St Nicholas

Guilty, death recorded

James COURTNEY

Pulling down Gaol

Guilty, death recorded

John & Sarah COX

Receiving violin see Joseph KEATES

Not guilty

Henry CRINKS – see KRINKS

Stephen CULLEN

Theft of 7 bottles of wine from James ROOM, jun

4 months hard labour

Edward DADY

Theft of books

Previous good character, sentence deferred, then 6 months hard labour

John DALLY & John HOWELL

Destroying house in St Nicholas

acquitted

William DOGBERTY

Riot in St Stephens & St Nicholas

No evidence offered, bound over

Benjamin DONNE (Dunne)

Theft of brass weight, property of His Majesty

12 months hard labour

James DONOVAN

Demolishing house is St Nicholas

acquitted

Daniel DOYLE, boy

Demolishing Bridewell

Also Theft of a watch, valued £1. To be imprisoned 6 months and whipped during this time. His mother the next named was reprimanded for sending her son & daughter out looting. This may be the same Daniel Doyle tried several years later for stealing lead from roof of the “Lady Rodney” Steam Packet and transported for life. See Bs Merc 4.7.1835

Eleanor DOYLE

Theft of 8 pairs of gloves from Rebecca JONES

acquitted

William DREW, mariner

Breaking into house of John MOXHAM, theft

12 months hard labour

Margaret DWYER (GWYER)

Receiving linen sheet, property Wm HUMPHRIES, Governor of the Gaol

Not Guilty

James DYER

Theft 4 gallons beer, property R. WALTER & pulling down a house

Guilty, death recorded.

Thomas FITZGERALD

Destroying Gaol

acquitted

Stephen GAISFORD

Firing house, Queen Square

Guilty, death recorded

Thomas GALLICK

Theft 6 yards linen from Christopher CLAXTON & 2 coats from J.L. BICKLEY

12 months hard labour

Henry GREEN

Destroying house of J.J. LEMAN

Guilty, death recorded

Margaret GWYER

See Margaret Dwyer

Samuel HARDING

Destroying Custom House

2 years hard labour

John HARPER & Peter BROWN

Disturbing peace in St Nicholas

guilty

Anthony HARVEY

Riot & disturbing peace

boy

James HASTY

Theft of a parcel of cancelled bank notes from J. BRADLEY & F.T. BARNARD

“the bits of paper” were valued at 2 shillings. Acquitted

William HEDGES, (boy) Joseph HEDGES, (boy)

Destroying house of Charles PINNEY, esq

Both guilty

Cornelius HICKEY

Riot St Stephens

Guilty, death recorded

Daniel HIGGS

Firing Gaol

Guilty, death recorded

Catherine HOGAN

Theft of 2 silk dresses property of Duncan M’ARTHUR

12 months hard labour

John HOWELL

See John DALLY

acquitted

Charles HUISH

See James STREET

Transported 7 years

Thomas HUSSEY

Theft of 7 bottles of wine from James ROOM, jun

4 months hard labour

James IVES

Theft of a gold watch from Rev Charles BUCK & a silver salver Value £30 from house of Anna Maria BRICKDALE belonging to Mayor, Burgesses & Commonalty of Bristol

7 years transportation

John JACOBS

Riot & disturbing peace

Guilty

David JAMES

Theft, 70 gallons beer from John STURDWICK ROWE

Guilty. Sentence of death recorded

John JARVIS

Theft of 7 bottles of wine from James ROOM, jun

4 months hard labour

John JELLEMY/JEREMY of Brislington *

Firing house of Wm HUMPHRIES

2 years imprisonment.

William JENKINS

rioting

guilty

John JONES

Theft of 6 books from Robert SAY

12 months hard labour

Patrick KEARNEY

Assisting firing of Gaol

Guilty, death recorded

Joseph KEATES

Theft of Violin from Wm CROSS

7 years transportation

Henry KRINKS, & John THOMAS

Theft of 60 gallons spirits, 60 gallons beer & a clock from J.S. ROWE

Guilty. Sentence of death recorded

Thomas LANE

Theft brass chandelier suspender, property Charles PINNEY esq.

1 month, hard labour, previous good character, judge said parents and masters should have more control over their children

William LEE

Theft of silver dessert spoon from William Charles STEPHENS

3 months hard labour

Samuel LEVERS

Stealing 2 promissory notes from John Stroud BROAD

Aaron MARTIN, stable boy

Theft of cabinet, property of A.JOHNSON

7 years transportation. Said “Thank ye, My Lord, I did not know I had so long to live.”

Thomas MARTIN

Theft of cabinet, property of A.JOHNSON

Relative – brother?- of above, acquitted

Daniel M’Carthy

Firing house of F.T. BARNARD

12 months hard labour

Edward McDonald

Entering dwelling house of Chas PINNEY

Boy, guilty

John MECAY

Destroying gaol

Guilty, death recorded

William MASON

Theft of gold watch from Julia HARFORD

12 months hard labour

William MORGAN

Disturbing peace & want of sureties

guilty

Richard NEVILLE

Destroying house in St Stephens

7 years transportation

Nathaniel (Samuel?) NEWTON

Breaking into house of Thos SHEPPARD

acquitted

Charles NOTT

Theft of 20 Gallons spirit from Edward ZINCRAFT

12 months hard labour

Jonas OSBORNE

Demolishing house in St Nicholas

Boy, acquitted

William OSGOOD

Setting fire to Bridewell

Mary PARKER

1 month hard labour

John PEACH

Theft of 5 plated candlesticks, property of Rt Hon Robt GRAY, Lord Bishop of Bristol & silver cup, property of HM the King

James PHILLIPS

Firing house, St Nicholas

Boy, guilty

Richard PHIPPS

Firing Gaol

Robert POUCHARD

Firing Gaol

Not guilty

William PUNCH

Destroying Bridewell

12 months hard labour

James PRICE

Theft 4 gallons beer, property R. WALTER

Guilty, death recorded

Hannah REEVES/REES

Receiving 2 linen sheets property of Henry BRIDGES SMITH

6 months hard labour

William REEVES

Theft of papers belonging to James LEMAN

“the bits of paper” were valued at 2 shillings. Acquitted

John REES

See Chas COATES

guilty

William REYNOLDS

Theft of silver tankard from Benjamin BICKLEY

Guilty, death recorded

John SIMMONS/SYMMONS

Theft tea urn and fender from Wm STRONG

Guilty, death recorded

James SIMS

Destroying Bishop’s Palace

Samuel SMITH

riot

acquitted

James SNOOK

Destroying house of William STRONG

Guilty, death recorded

James STREET & Charles HUISH

Entering house of Elizabeth DAVY

7 years transportation

George STYLING

Destroying house in St Nicholas

guilty

Daniel SULLIVAN

Firing, St Nicholas

Boy, guilty

Michael SULLIVAN

Destroying a house

Guilty, death recorded

John THOMAS

See Henry KRINKS

John TOWELL

Destroying house in St Nicholas

Guilty, death recorded

Charles TURTLE

Destroying house in St John the Baptist

acquitted

James E. WALKER

Theft of 2 gallons beer from E.C. LEWIS & a quart from George BAKER

This was robbery with violence. Sentenced to be transported for life

Matthew WARRY

Assisted pulling down house of Thomas EVANS keeper of Bridewell

Guilty, death recorded

Charles WATERS

2 years

Charles WILLIAMS

Destroying house of T. WEBB

Guilty, death recorded

James WILLIAMS

Firing Gaol

Felix WYMAN

See Samuel BROWNING

2 years hard labour

· In my booklet “Brislington Bulletins, no. 7, 1825-40” I stated that no Brislington parishioner was involved, then lo and behold along came John Jellamy who, in 1827, lodged with my distant kinfolk William and Harriet PILLINGER.

· This article was prompted by an email from Peter & Roslyn Dunning from Australia peteandros@westnet.com.au who are descendants of the cheeky chappie Aaron Martin. It is great to know that he survived down under. If anybody knows his parentage – he lived at Lewin’s Mead and his father was a farmer, please contact Peter and Ros.

· The above information with much more detail can be found in Bristol Mercury 3 January & 17 January, 1832. It is interesting to note that this newspaper was against capital punishment and argued forcibly, sadly without success, for the reprieve of the five men who were hanged and made much of the discrepancies of the sentences between them and a number of the others.

A future article will list the casualties.