The 'burning, plundering and destruction'
of Newgate Prison

This engraving, made the year after the Gordon Riots, claims to be an ‘exact representation’ of the attack by the rioters on Newgate gaol. The building was set on fire and prisoners released - they can be seen in the crowd wearing leg irons.

We know from the records that two Black men - Benjamin Bowsey and John Glover - were among the rioters outside the prison. Perhaps they are the two Black figures shown in the middle foreground of this picture.

Guildhall Library 4915 (1781)
By courtesy of Guildhall Library, Corporation of London



back to top back to top