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The East Anglian bread riots if 1816

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The East Anglian bread riots if 1816

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » January 30th, 2016, 1:19 pm

200 years ago, with the East Anglian countryside a seething mass of anger and hunger, it was a time when towns were stalked by insurrection. The East Anglian bread riots of 1816 were the result of a collision of certain social factors in the region. Unemployment was high, as early forms of machinery gradually started to have an impact on the availability of agricultural work. At the same time, heavy rain had destroyed crops, ruining any chance of a decent harvest. The cost of grain was also high and food was becoming unaffordable for the poor.

Meanwhile, soldiers were starting to return from the Napoleonic Wars, adding further pressures on the availability of work and food. To add to the tension, new laws were introduced that meant the poor could no longer use the common land they relied upon to grow extra food or graze cattle. These ongoing political, social and economic pressures finally came to a head in May 1816. Isolated incidents and small protests culminated in full-scale riots, which the military was called in to control. Those considered to be the most troublesome were arrested; most were imprisoned, some were deported and a handful were hanged. Areas where disturbances were reported include Brandon, Downham Market, Norwich, Littleport and Ely.

Two centuries on, various local groups are involved in discussions about the best way to mark the bicentenary. In Downham Market, where there were riots involving up to 1,500 people, a 30-minute dramatisation of the events, Bread or Blood, has been produced.

For more information: http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/events_to_m ... _1_4386253

Sarah
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Re: The East Anglian bread riots if 1816

Postby jf42 » January 30th, 2016, 3:21 pm

There had been riots in the same region twenty years before. After the cold, wet autumn and severe winter of 1794-95, there were bread shortages, exaerbated by the effect of war on grain prices. Many of the ragged troops returning from Germany in April 1795 were quartered in the country between London and the East Anglia coast where they landed, not only to counter the threat of French invasion, but also available to quell social unrest in the region.
Last edited by jf42 on April 13th, 2016, 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The East Anglian bread riots if 1816

Postby Andrew » January 30th, 2016, 10:30 pm

Reminds me of; no bread, 'let them eat cake'...and we all know how that ended up!
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Re: The East Anglian bread riots if 1816

Postby jf42 » January 31st, 2016, 12:31 am

Did that, like, you know, actually happen dude? :geek:
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Re: The East Anglian bread riots if 1816

Postby Skarpskytten » January 31st, 2016, 12:10 pm

jf42 wrote:Did that, like, you know, actually happen dude? :geek:


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