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The London Riot Map

May 26, 2018
by the gentle author

Each Saturday, we are featuring one of Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND from the forthcoming book of his extraordinary cartography to be published by Spitalfields Life Books & Batsford on Thursday June 7th.

Please support this ambitious venture by pre-ordering a copy, which will be signed by Adam Dant with an individual drawing on the flyleaf and sent to you on publication. CLICK TO ORDER A SIGNED COPY OF MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND BY ADAM DANT

Tickets are already on sale for Adam Dant’s illustrated lecture showing his maps at the Wanstead Tap on Thursday June 21st. Click here to book tickets

(Click on this image to enlarge it and study the history of urban turbulence)

Adam Dant maps the venerable London tradition of riots in his elegant cartography of public disturbances from AD60 until the present day, LONDON ENRAGED.


AD 60      Battle Bridge – alleged current site of King’s Cross station where Boudica’s Revolt resulted in her death

1189         Tower of London – Jews honouring Richard I at the king’s coronation were massacred

1196         St Mary le Bow,  Cheapside –  William Fitz Osbert AKA ‘William of the Long Beard’s’ sermon against ‘The Rich’ resulted in rioting and his being drawn apart by horses and hanged on a gibbet

1221         Westminster – Riots followed an annual London v Westminster wrestling  match

1268        City of London – ‘ A dispute arose between certain members of the craft of the Goldsmiths and certain of the craft of the Tailors ‘

1391         Salisbury Place, Westminster –  The Bakers’ Loaf Riots

1517         St Paul’s Cross – Evil Mayday Riots, A Xenophobic speech by Dr Bell prompted subjects of Henry Vlll to riot against foreigners

1668        Moorfields/Shoreditch –  ‘The Bawdy House Riots/Messenger Riots ‘Dissenters prevented from private lay worship lay siege to illegal brothels in the East End in protest at the King’s tacit approval of such trade’

1710         Lincoln’s Inn – The Sacheverell Riots : The trial of preacher Henry Sacheverell resulted in riots, the destruction of Daniel Burgesse’s Presbyterian meeting house and the passing of the 1714 Riot Act

1719         Spitalfields Weavers’ Riots – weavers riot and attacked women for wearing Indian clothing

1743        Gin Riots – Rioting against the gin act is fuelled by the consumption of gin

1768        St George’s Field’s, Lambeth – Crowds gathered and rioted in protest against the imprisonment of John Wilkes for criticising the king

1769        The Spitalfields Riots – Weavers Riot over rates of piece-work pay

1780        The Gordon Riots – Lord George Gordon called for the repeal of the Catholic Relief Act of 1778 and a return to the repression of Catholics

1809       The Old Price Riots,  New Theatre Covent Garden – Riots caused by rising theatre ticket prices

1816        Spa Fields Riots –  Revolutionary Spenceans rioted after a mass meeting in Islington

1830       Hyde Park – Riots for electoral reform resulted in the Duke of Wellington’s carriage  being attacked and his installation of iron shutters at Apsley House

1866       Hyde Park – Members of the Reform League riot after it’s suppression

1886       The West End Riots –  Rioting followed a protest by the Social Democratic Foundation, Britain’s first socialist political party who agitated against free trade

1887       Trafalgar Sq, Bloody Sunday –  Violence erupted between police and demonstrators protesting against unemployment and coercion in Ireland

1907       Battersea Park, The Brown Dog Riots – Rioting started after medical students attempted to destroy an anti-vivisection statue of a dog

1909      The Tottenham Outrage – Deaths and injuries resulted from the fall out of an attempted armed robbery by two Bolsheviks

1911        The Siege (or Battle) of Sidney Street – A violent stand-off occurred between police and the army and two Latvian revolutionaries

1919        The Battle of Bow St – Police clashed with  Australian, American and Canadian servicemen after attempting to stop them playing dice outside the YMCA

1932        Hyde Park , National Hunger March Riot – Police confiscates a petition of a million names from The National Unemployed Workers Movement resulting in riots

1936         The Battle of Cable St – East enders rioted against the police who attempted to protect a march by the British Union of Fascists

1958         Notting Hill – Race riots between White British residents and West Indian Immigrants

1968        Grosvenor Sq – Demonstrations against the US war in Vietnam outside the American Embassy turned violent

1974        Red Lion Sq – Disorder followed demonstrations against the National Front by Anti-Fascists

1976       Notting Hill Carnival Riots – Riots occurred after heavy handed policing of pickpockets in the carnival crowd

1977       The Battle of Lewisham – A National Front march from New Cross to Lewisham resulted in riots after violent clashes with Anti-Fascist demonstrators

1979        Southall Riots – A demonstration against a National Front election meeting resulted in violence and the death of Anti-NF activist Blair Peach

1981        Brixton Riots – Riots on ‘Bloody Saturday‘ resulted from antagonism between the police and residents of an area with a high level of socio-economic problems

1985        Brixton Riots – Rioting and fires followed the wrongful shooting by police of Dorothy ‘cherry ‘ Grose

1985        Broadwater Farm Riots – Tensions between local black youth and largely white Metropolitan Police following the shooting of Dorothy Grose turned to rioting after the death of Cynthia Jarrett of a heart attack during a police search

1990        Poll Tax Riots – Rampaging and looting followed a protest against Margaret Thatcher’s Community Charge or ‘Poll Tax’

1995        Brixton Riots – Rioting occurred after a peaceful protest outside Brixton Police station became violent

1996        England v Germany UEFA cup riot, Trafalgar Sq

1999        Carnival Against Capitalism – A battle ensued between mounted police and protestors who had bricked up the LIFFE entrance and set off a nearby fire hydrant to release the lost Walbrook river

2000        Anti-Capitalism Mayday Riot

2001         Anti-Capitalism Mayday Riot

2002         Millwall FC New Den Stadium – Riot between fans of Millwall and fans of Birmingham FC

2009        G20 Summit Protest Riot – Police ‘kettled’ protestors outside the Bank of England which resulted in a riot and the death of innocent newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson

2009        West Ham FC Upton Park – rioting between fans of Millwall FC and West Ham FC

2010        Millbank – Riots followed student protests against increase in tuition fees

2011         Oxford Circus – Protestors demonstrating against government public spending cuts were ‘kettled’ by the police

2011          Tottenham Riots – Riots followed the shooting by police of Mark Duggan and spread from Tottenham across the country

2010        Brick Lane – American Apparel Disturbances, riots followed after customers were prevented from shopping for cut-price clothes

2016        Brick Lane – The ‘Fuck Parade’ rioting followed a  ‘Class War’ demonstration against ‘Cereal Killer’ Cafe


Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND is a mighty monograph collecting together all your favourite works by Spitalfields Life‘s cartographer extraordinaire in a beautiful big hardback book.

Including a map of London riots, the locations of early coffee houses and a colourful depiction of slang through the centuries, Adam Dant’s vision of city life and our prevailing obsessions with money, power and the pursuit of pleasure may genuinely be described as ‘Hogarthian.’

Unparalleled in his draughtsmanship and inventiveness, Adam Dant explores the byways of English cultural history in his ingenious drawings, annotated with erudite commentary and offering hours of fascination for the curious.

The book includes an extensive interview with Adam Dant by The Gentle Author.

Adam Dant’s  limited edition prints are available to purchase through TAG Fine Arts

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Malcolm permalink
    May 26, 2018

    My cousin was injured at the Broadwater Farm riot in 1985. He was a Police Constable from the same duty as Keith Blakelock, who was brutally butchered and almost beheaded by a frenzied mob armed with machetes, knives and swords. All he had was a wooded truncheon.
    My cousin suffered a broken nose and broken ribs after he was knocked over and kicked like a football by another mob. Fortunately he was rescued by his colleagues, otherwise he may well have been murdered too.
    It was a shameful day when students protesting about the raising of fees in 2010 were beaten and kettled for hours by a huge contingent of police. It is a dangerous day when the police are deployed as a paramilitary force by the government for such purposes.
    The history of riots and protest in London is long and sometimes bloody.
    Adam’s maps are brilliant.

  2. Roger Whitaker permalink
    May 27, 2018

    Perhaps the Peasants Revolt of 1381 could be included. I Believe there used to be a memorial to it at the base of the tall block of flats in Harpley Square that face onto Massingham Street.

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