Smashig og the Prince-Regent of Great Britain 's coach

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THE PROVOCATION
After the end of the French Wars, it became increasingly clear that England was
suffering from great social, economic and political upheavals.
known as the 'Condition of England Question'.
speeded up by the effects of the French Wars on the country. Most of the major
changes were the direct result of the French Wars.
Others came from natural growth and change.
The distress and discontent caused by these enormous changes were manifested in
a series of events in the period 1811-19. One of these was the attack on the Prince
Regent
The prince's dissipated lifestyle, his illegal marriage to the Roman Catholic widow,
Maria Fitzherbert
his disastrous official marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick
his low level of morality
laughing stock throughout the country.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
28 January 1817
BEFORE
Hot on the heels of the Spa Fields riots, the provincial radicals decided to hold a
meeting at the Crown and Anchor on 22 January 1817.
Few of the delegates were aware of the change of mood in London so they arrived
full of faith in the powers of parliament and hope for the future.
Some of those who attended went on to become members of subsequent
working-class movements: Samuel Bamford, William Benbow, Henry Hunt, William
Cobbett, Sir Francis Burdett.
The meeting convened but Burdett was noticeable by his absence: this was a blow
because he was not only a radical MP but was Chairman of the Hampden Club.
The delegates voted to support a petition for universal suffrage, despite the leaders
wanting to press only for household suffrage.
The delegates cheered as their representatives left for parliament, Lord Cochrane
carrying the petition that had been signed by half a million people.
AFTER (when the smashing actually happened)
On returning from the opening of Parliament in London, the coach carrying the Prince-Regent
of Great Britain is set upon by an angry mob.
The windows are smashed, either by a rock or other projectile, or perhaps he was fired upon
Prince-Regent survived
That same morning, the Prince Regent had been driven to Westminster to open the
new session of parliament.
Unfortunately, on his way there, his carriage had been mobbed and either a stone or
a bullet (it was never identified precisely) had broken the glass of his coach window.

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The debate in the House of Commons was interrupted when the news of the attack
was taken there from the House of Lords.
Parliament adjourned after sending loyal messages to the Prince.
Parliament moved quickly, re-enacting Pitt's repressive legislation of the 1790s in
what became known as the Gag Acts.
On 4 March 1817, Habeas Corpus was suspended; the suspension was not lifted until
January 1818.…read more

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