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List of riots in London

The following is a list of riots and protests involving violent disorder that have occurred in London:

Red commemorative plaque in Dock Street
  • 1221: Riots occur after London defeats Westminster in an annual wrestling contest; ring-leaders hanged or mutilated in punishment.[1][2]
  • 1391: Riots break out in Salisbury Place over a baker's loaf[2]
  • 1668: Bawdy House Riots took place following repression of a series of attacks against brothels[4]
  • 1719: Spitalfields weavers rioted, attacking women wearing Indian clothing and then attempting to rescue their arrested comrades[5]
  • 1743: Riots against Gin Taxes and other legislation to control the Gin Craze, principally the Gin Act 1736; rioting was fuelled by consumption of the drink itself[6]
  • 1769: The Spitalfield Riots when silk weavers attempted to maintain their rate of pay
  • 1830: Attacks against the Duke of Wellington in his carriage and on his home, for his opposition to electoral reform (which had been seen partly as a solution to rioting by rural workers).
  • 1907: The Brown Dog riots, medical students attempt to tear down an anti-vivisection statue.
A dispute arose between certain of the craft of the goldsmiths and certain of the craft of the tailors

The Justiciar...took proceedings against them in the King's behalf, saying that they, against the peace and their fealty to his lordship the King, had gone armed in the City, and had at night wickedly and feloniously wounded some persons, and had slain others, whose bodies, it was said, had been thrown into the Thames.

  • 1977: The Battle of Lewisham occurred when the Metropolitan Police attempted to facilitate a march by the National Front[8]
  • 1981 Brixton riot against the Metropolitan Police. Especially on 10 July, rioting extended to other parts of London and numerous other cities around the UK[9]
  • 1985: Broadwater Farm riot, residents of Tottenham riot against the Metropolitan Police following a death during a police search
  • 1995: 1995 Brixton riot against the Metropolitan Police occurred after a death in police custody.
  • 2001: May Day riot in central London by anti-capitalist protestors.[17]


  1. ^ Palmer, Alan; Palmer, Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 79–81. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2. 
  2. ^ a b c "John Strype's Survey of London Online". Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Introduction". British History Online. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "Striking the posture of a whore: the Bawdy House Riots and the "antitheatrical prejudice". - Free Online Library". Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "'Industries: Silk-weaving', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2". Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "'The Gin Craze and Gin Riots'". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Marxism and Rioting". Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY - 13 - 1977: Violent clashes at NF march". 13 August 1977. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "A Different Reality: minority struggle in British cities". Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c DK Renton. "Memories of Welling". Retrieved 22 January 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Dearlove 2000, p. 108
  12. ^ a b c Hansard (18 October 1993). "Welling: Disturbances". Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  13. ^ Moyes, Jojo (15 November 1993). "Hard-left violence 'hurting anti-racist organisations'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Mail on Sunday (17 October 1993). "Masked Mob Stone Police: 100 hurt as riot erupts on march". 
  15. ^ Saggar 1998, p. 136
  16. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY - 1 - 2000: May Day violence on London streets". 1 May 2000. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  17. ^ "The London May Day protests at a glance". 1 May 2001. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 


  1. ^ The march was against the headquarters of the British National Party, located in the area.[11] Thousands of people attended the demonstration, for which 2,600 police officers were deployed.[12] A hardcore element associated with the SWP and Militant[13] refused to accept police instruction to divert the march away from the BNP's headquarters itself, once it had gone past it. In a resulting riot, 21 police officers and 41 demonstrators were injured,[12] leading to a frontpage headline "Masked mob stone police" in the Mail on Sunday.[10][14] In 1995, Welling Council shut down the BNP headquarters.[15]