Down with the Irish!

2 August 1736
Late on Friday night, and early on Saturday morning, a great disturbance happen’d in Rosemary-lane, near Rag-fair, where upwards of 150 men assembled in a riotous manner with clubs, and other unlawful weapons, and oblig’d all the house-keepers in Rose-mary-lane, and the parts adjacent, to put lights in their windows, otherwise they would pull their houses down, which put the people in the greatest consternation; so that the whole place appear’d with lights at each window; and some few that had none, got their windows broke to pieces. The mob went from Rose-mary-lane to Well-street by the Watch-house, and pull’d down the house of one Welden, a cook, at the sign of the Bull and Butcher, and broke the houshold goods all to pieces. By this time Clifford William Phillips, of Goodman’s-fields, and Richard Farmer, of Well-Close-square, Esqrs. two of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, had procured a party of Grenadiers from the Tower, with a Commanding Officer, in order to disperse the mob, but to no purpose, for they went from Well-street into Rag-Fair, and demolish’d the Queen’s Head, and a cook’s shop (the master of which is an Irish man) in Mill-yard, and a tavern hard by, kept by Irish people:

From Rag-Fair they went to Church-lane, and demolish’d the White-Hart Ale-house, and from thence to White-Lion-street, and demolish’d the Gentleman and Porter, they being all houses where Irishmen used. The general cry was, while they were committing these outrages, Down with the wild Irish. Justice Phillips, and the commanding officers from the Tower, had their swords drawn, and desired the mob quietly to depart; but they could not disperse them till towards four o’clock on Saturday morning, when John Brundit, Edward Dudley, William Ormond, Robert Maccay, Thomas Batteroy, and Robert Page, were apprehended, and on Saturday night were committed to Newgate.
     A party of his Majesty’s Horse-Guards, a partyh of the Horse Grenadiers, and two parties of Foot, patrole every night in the streets of Spital-fields, White-chappel, Rag-Fair, &c.
     Last Saturday about 16 other persons were apprehended, on suspicion of being concern’d in the said riots. (Daily Gazetteer)

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Down with the Irish!", 3 December 2003 <>

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