Burdett Riots (Piccadilly Riots)

(482 words)

Historical Context Note

Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844) was a radical Whig MP who married a daughter of the Coutts banking family. Having lived in Paris during the early years of the French Revolution, he returned to England on the outbreak of war in 1793 and was particularly offended by the suspension of Habeas Corpus as part of Pitt’s anti-revolutionary repression in 1794. In 1796 he used some of his wife’s money to buy a seat in parliament and joined the Foxite Whigs in opposition to the Tory government. His advocacy of reform and denunciation of the coalition of European monarchical powers who opposed the Revolution led him to be considered seditious, especially when in 1799 he forced an enquiry into the Cold Bath Fields prison where many radicals were …

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Clark, Robert. "Burdett Riots (Piccadilly Riots)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 March 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=5495, accessed 28 September 2016.]