Cato Street Conspiracy

Historical Context Essay

John Gardner (Anglia Ruskin University)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error


The Cato Street Conspiracy is the name given to a plot to murder the entire British Cabinet at a dinner to be held in the Earl of Harrowby's house in Grosvenor Square, London on the 23rd of February 1820. Before this could take place, the plotters, a group of impoverished radicals and revolutionaries, were captured in a loft in Cato street in Westminster. Of the eighteen men who met in Cato street five were publicly hanged outside Newgate prison on May 1st 1820, six were transported to Australia for life, and the remaining “conspirators” were either rewarded or released due to their status as spies, agent provocateurs, or men who had turned King's Evidence. The “conspiracy”, as public records now make clear, and as was widely recognised at the time, was instigated by the…

2028 words

Citation: Gardner, John. "Cato Street Conspiracy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 November 2004 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

1507 Cato Street Conspiracy 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.