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David Cox, ‘The Wolves let loose at Wolverhampton’: A study of the South Staffordshire Election ‘Riots’, May 1835', 1-31

Article

Published onSep 01, 2011
David Cox, ‘The Wolves let loose at Wolverhampton’: A study of the South Staffordshire Election ‘Riots’, May 1835', 1-31

Abstract
This article is an examination of the circumstances surrounding a series of
disturbances which took place in Wolverhampton on 26-29 May 1835 as the result of a hotly contested Parliamentary by-election. It offers a local case study of the ways in which the political and social élite attempted to control and suppress popular unease and discontent amongst the disenfranchised by use of both the Riot Act 1715 and military force. The article relates this disorder to the wider political context of a period of considerable turmoil, most notably the ways in which political election campaigns were conducted and controlled. The role of the county magistracy and its relationship with the military is also discussed, as are the problems of controlling crowds at a time before the advent of a professionally trained provincial police force. The article builds on previous research carried out into the events of the ‘riots’, and offers a re-evaluation of the disturbances in Wolverhampton in late-May 1835.

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