Public Talk: The Burning of Bristol’s New Gaol in 1831

This talk was delivered online in collaboration with Bristol Museums, M Shed and the Regional History Centre, UWE on Thursday 17th November 2022 by Steve Poole. Steve looks at the storming, burning and liberation of Bristol’s supposedly ‘impregnable’ New Gaol during the reform riots of 1831. The attack on Bristol Gaol, it will be argued,… Continue reading Public Talk: The Burning of Bristol’s New Gaol in 1831

‘I fear there will be blood spilt this evening’: The Blandford ‘reform riots’ of October 1831

In early October 1831, the defeat of the Second Reform Bill in the House of Lords led to a wave of pro-reform public protests and disturbances across Britain and Ireland. Meanwhile in Dorset, a microcosm of the national struggle over electoral reform was being fought out in a county by-election which posed Lord Ashley –… Continue reading ‘I fear there will be blood spilt this evening’: The Blandford ‘reform riots’ of October 1831

Beyond Contagion: Understanding The Spread of Riots

The ESRC funded Beyond Contagion project involved a three-year study (2016-2019) of the August 2011 riots in England. Its aim was to critically assess the concept of ‘contagion’, that is the supposed involuntary spread of behaviours between humans. The core idea is that, particularly in crowds, mere exposure to the behaviour of others leads observers… Continue reading Beyond Contagion: Understanding The Spread of Riots