a great disturbance

Monday last being Michaelmas-day, John Fisher, Esq. was sworn in Mayor of the Corporation for the year ensuing. At the same time it was agreed to return the Thanks of the Hall to Joseph Chambers, Esq. the late Mayor for the steady discharge of his duty in the Interest of this Corporation against all opposition.
++On tuesday last a great disturbance happened in this town, occasioned by Mr. Pridmore of Market-Harbro’, Cheese-factor, who having lodged a considerable quantity of Cheese at a Warehouse at the Bell Inn in this town; contrary to the advice of the Magistrates, whose opinion he asked, and contrary to his own promise before given, that it should remain till the fair; he was imprudent enough to attempt to take part of it away; accordingly a Waggon was loaded about one o’clock and sent off, but at the end of Humberstone-gate, leading out of this town, was stopped by several women, who seized the fore-horse by the head, whilst others got into the waggon, and distributed the whole before the magistrates received any Information of these proceedings. The Mob were by this time considerably encreased in numbers, and proceeded immediately to Mr. Pridmore’s warehouse in the Bell-yard, which they broke open, entered in at the windows, began to give the Cheese away, and would soon have emptied the warehouse if the timely arrival of the Magistrates had not prevented them. The whole town was now alarmed; the mob poured in from all quarters; the drums beat to arms; the guard, headed by Ensign Mortimore, were almost instantly upon the spot, and formed into a square, with bayonets fixed, and in about twenty minutes were joined by the whole regiment, who formed as they came up, and soon cleared the street. Notwithstanding this formidable appearance, and though the Riot-Act was read, the people refused to disperse, but continued assembling in greater numbers, and behaved with great intolerance. The Magistrates, desirous if possible to restore peace without resorting to extremities, thought it prudent to remove he Cheese from the Warehouse to the Change in the Market-place, and to appease the mob promised they should be supplied with that commodity the next day at Two-pence per lb. The Cheese was accordingly removed in carriages under the escort of a party of soldiers with bayonets fixed, surrounded by a great number of the mob, and safely lodged as above. — The mob then proceeded to examine all the Inns, warehouses &c. visited by the hucksters and all other places where there was any probability of Cheese being lodged; and where any were found, it was removed under a strong guard to the Change, after which, and placing centry’s at the doors, the soldiers, who had been all day under arms, were dismissed. The mob however continued together, and as soon as dark grew more riotous than before, seized upon and examined every waggon that came to town. In the Burton-Stage waggon a small quantity of Cheese was found, which they began to distribute, but by the timely arrival of the guard very little was lost, and the rest secured as before. Betwixt 8 and 9 at night, Sleath’s Ashby-waggon, and Longman’s Derby-waggon, also two waggons loaded with Cheese were all stopped upon the Coal-hill; at this time its supposed not less than 4000 people were assembled, who regardless of all property, seized upon every thing in their way. The drums were again ordered to beat to arms; every thing seemed confusion; Lawless Riots on the one hand; on the other, nothing seen or heard but soldiers running to arms; clashing of bayonets; lighted flambeaux everywhere; drums beating; parties of soldiers marching to join the main guard, (who had marched before to secure the waggons, and just arrived as the mob had broke bulk of one of the Cheese-waggons, and begun to distribute it); these however were all secured, brought to the Change and there unloaded; as was Longman’s waggon of 18 firkins of butter, which he at first told the people were oysters.
++About eleven o’clock the mob began to disperse; but some of them remained all night in the streets, watching the ends of the town for loaded carriages &c.
++Wednesday morning all waggons were examined, amongst others two waggons loaded with books, the property of Mr. Ayscough of Wigstan, was stopped by the mob; but upon examining the contents they were suffered to pass. About Twelve o’clock this day some of the Cheese (with the consent of the owner) was sold at 2d per lb. Four women behaving with great intolerance to the Magistrates were taken and committed to gaol; the last of whom was rescued from the Constables. About nine o’clock the mob assembled in great numbers at the gaol, determined to rescue the prisoners, and with brickbats and stones entirely destroyed every pane of glass fronting the streets; they also forced open the outer door of the gaol into the Bridewell, from whence the prisoners had just been removed. The mayor, Recorder and Justices, repaired to the gaol, to put a stop to these outrageous proceedings; the guard was sent for, and five of the ring-leaders of the mob were apprehended and committed to gaol; the residue soon dispersed.
++Thursday a Captain’s guard of 100 men was mounted, and fifteen rounds of powder and ball delivered to each man, centrys placed within and without the gaol. The cryer also publicly gave notice, that if any attempt was made to rescue the prisoners they would be fired upon. All remained quiet last night, and this day, and the people seem settled to work.