The First Catholic Relief Act in 1778 led to the Gordon Riots of 1780 which lasted for a week and were of great ferocity in London where many major public buildings including the Bank of England, the prisons of Newgate and Fleet, the house of Lord Mansfield and Langdale Gin Distillery were attacked and burned. The Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Challoner, had to flee for his life. Beginning as a protest march to present a petition against the passing of the Relief Act, the rioting soon became disassociated with direct anti-Catholicism, and became mob violence, aimed at freeing prisoners and causing havoc and looting. A fascinating summary of the background and progress of the riots, together with a brief biography of the enigmatic character of Lord George Gordon.
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