Riot Jug

On March 1st 1830 the Reform bill was presented to the House of Commons. However the bill was denied, and 4 MPs resigned. Finally the great Reform Act of 1832 was passed and marked one of the most important changes to the British Electoral System.
Lord Ashley was voted into power shortly after the Reform Bill was put forward, and he refused to let it take place, the Riots were also a result of this.

In Yeovil the Riots were one of the worst scenes of violence that it had ever witnessed, and the Mudford and Martock troops were called in, to attempt to put an end to the assault. An account from the Western Gazette that was printed in 1831 says that:' they went to the house of Mr White, one of lord Ashley's agents, and where they also broke the windows.' This refers to the rioters' and the 'action' that they took against Lord Ashley. Total chaos was apparent, and in the Western Gazette it shows this by saying that: "Mr Charles Cattle unfortunately shot himself in the thigh and we are informed that the ball is not yet extracted." Following the riots where it took some time for the troops to restore order, the Mudford were awarded, with earthenware jugs which had a silver lip, with the inscription on each: 'Presented by the inhabitants of Yeovil and it's vicinity in testimony of their approval of the conduct of the Mudford troop Yeomanry Cavalry during the riots in that town in 1831. Followed by name of person it was presented to.' The Community Heritage Access Centre holds four 'Yeovil Riot Jugs'.


On the evening of Friday the 21st of October 1831, Yeovil was subject to riots that were a result of the great Reform Act being opposed. They occurred after the narrow defeat of the Blandford Parliamentary candidate, who was promoting a reform.

In April 1831 the House of Commons put forward a request for a Reform Act. On 22nd of September the House of Commons passed the Reform bill. However the Conservatives who still dominated the House of Lords launched a complaint and the bill was defeated. When the ordinary people heard the news, the Reform Riots took place. They took place in several British towns, including Yeovil and Bristol in October 1831. In fact, the riots in Bristol were the most serious in the country.

 

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The Riot Jug

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