The Attack on the New and Old Meeting Houses


Image:The New Meeting from The Riots at Birmingham, July 1791. The publication was republished by Arthur Bache Matthews, Birmingham in 1863.

Image from: Private Collection

The first act of violence was the stoning of the empty hotel but the mob soon moved on to more “worthy” targets in the shape of Priestley’s New Meeting House on Moor Street and the nearby Old Meeting House in Worcester Street. It seems that Brooke may have bribed the mob to move on; if so this could have been simple self-interest as he owned a house near the hotel. Martineau contends that he went further, specifically recommending that they attack the Meeting Houses, and that he did this as part of a concerted plan with Carles and Spencer.

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Image courtesy of: Birmingham Central Library
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4547-0A Sorry End: The Priestley Riots of 1791 4502-0Introduction: Interpretations 4095-0The French Revolution Dinner 14 July 1791 4546-0The French Revolution Dinner 14 July 1791 471-0The Attack on the New and Old Meeting Houses 473-0The Attack on Priestley’s House at Fair Hill 475-0The Attack on Baskerville House 483-0The Attack on William Russell’s House at Showell Green