‘Episcopal treason and plot’: effigy burning in the autumn 1831 reform protests

Fifth of November Celebration at Exeter – the bonfire in the Cathedral Close (1882)

In our Overall Survey of Protest events in Britain and Ireland in response to the defeat of the Second Reform Bill from October to December 1831, one prevalent activity that was difficult to categorise was the practice of parading and burning of effigies in public locations, sometimes outside the residence of the ‘victim’. This article presents some examples we found.