the mob at Cavendish-bridge

On tuesday being the quarter sessions of the peace for this county, the justices thought proper to issue warrants from the bench to apprehend the ringleaders of the late riot at Hinkley, which were accordingly sent to the Constable, who took two of them: but a great mob of people assembling, they would not suffer them to be brought to prison; the Riot-Act was read but all to no purpose; the mob forced themselves into the room where the prisoners were confined, and in open violation of all law and authority set them at liberty.
++On Sunday last a disturbance happened in the butter market at Ashby-de-la-zouch in this county; occasioned by a farmer asking two-pence per pound extraordinary for butter; an old woman clapping one hand in the nape of his neck, with the other rubbed a pound of butter all over his face: A considerable mob arising, a warehouse was searched for cheese, but finding none, they soon after dispersed.
++We hear from Cavendish-bridge in this county, that on saturday last, a mob of people not exceeding 100, principally women and children, said to be collected from Sheepshead, Hathern, and parts adjacent, having intelligence that a quantity of cheese was lodged in a warehouse near the said bridge, they [the mob] about one o’clock in the day time, by force and violence entered the said warehouse, and took away as much cheese as they could conveniently carry, in the whole about 20 hundred; a person concerned in part of the property thus taken away, collected together a few men, and pursued them to Dunnington [a village about a mile distant from the bridge] taking from all they overtook what cheese they were loaded with and nine of the rioters prisoners, on whom the cheese was found. The prisoners were taken to a publick house, and application made to one of his Majesty’s justices of the peace for this county, to grant warrants of commitment, but either for want of sufficient information, or perhaps, not chusing to meddle in the matter, he declined acting therein; upon which the prisoners were dismissed.
++Saturday night all remained quiet.
++Sunday about midnight, a mob, more formidable in numbers, (supposed about 300) came down to the said warehouse, but were fired upon by a guard of about 18 men, planted in the warehouse purposely to defend it; notwithstanding the fire-arms the mob assaulted the warehouse with great fury; but the people within keeping a continual fire of grape and small shot, and being besides assisted by some flanking parties who fired whenever the back part of the warehouse was assaulted, in about two hours they dispersed: — About 4 o’clock in the morning, they returned again, some of them with fire-arms, but the people within kept a continual fire as before, about six o’clock they thought proper to retreat.
++Monday four or five owners of the cheese, joined by several farmers and others on horseback, about 30 in number, with a considerable number of footmen, determined to go up to Dunnington, in search of the rioters; they accordingly went and applied to the justice as before, for General Search Warrants, the justice not chusing to grant them, [but rather to avoid acting at all, surrounded by a numerous mob, in a village distant from any assistance, with the whole county in a fervent;] it is said some menaces, and other ill language were used by some of the company, not altogether so respectable as might have been expected to a gentleman in the commission of the peace. — Finding they could not procure the warrants, they returned back to Cavendish-bridge, where a council was held, and it was agreed to return back to Dunnington, and if they could not get warrants, to seize upon the most suspected persons, concerned in the late riots, and carry them before some other magistrate; they accordingly returned to Dunnington, rode up to the justice’s house, and (’tis said, but we hope is not true) broke open his outer gates, struck at his doors and windows with great violence, and used many unbecoming expressions. Be that as it may, the towns-people were exasperated at their behaviour, and joined the mob, who began the assault upon the cheese-factors and their attendants, by discharging a great number of brickbats, stones, &c. The horsemen being thus attacked in front and flank, the people shouting, and vollies of stones falling from the hills (where the women and children were planted in rows five or six deep;) the horses became ungovernable, and falling back upon their footmen, a scene followed of inconceivable confusion; both horse and foot fled with the utmost precipitation, pursued by the victorious mob, who followed them quite down to the bridge, where a faint attempt was made to replace the guard in the warehouse, but the pannic was so great that the men refused to stand to their arms, and the mob were suffered to enter without any molestation. One of the cheese-factors, in his fright, is said to have forced his horse into the river, and swam the Trent. The mob in the mean time soon emptied the warehouse of about two tons of cheese, (the greatest part having been taken out that day, and laden on board two vessels, which were sallen down the river, and left at anchor, one of them in the mouth of the Darwent, and the other in the mouth of the Soar.)
++The bells rang at Dunnington, as if a signal victory had been obtained, and a hogshead of ale is said to have been given to the populace. The mob in Dunnington having intelligence brought them where the boats laden with cheese lay, which had that day sallen down the river, about dusk the same evening collected together, in number about 500, and went in search of them, one of which they soon found, set up a great shout, lighted a fire, and immediately set to unloading the cargo, the greatest part of which, amounting to 900l. the property of one person, was given away to their companions.
++Fifty-Pounds was offered by the owner of the cheese, if they would suffer the cargo’s of the boats to remain untouched, and that a pair of scales should be erected, and the country supplied at 2d per lb. To which one of the ringleaders replied, Damn his Charity, we’ll have the Cheese for naught.
++On tuesday the mob again returned to Cavendish-bridge, went over the bridge and to a warehouse near Shardlow, belonging to Mr. Heath of Derby, which they broke open and took out about two ton of cheese, without interruption.
++About 4 o’clock they left the said warehouse, following the course of the Darwent towards Derby; near Barrow-mill they met a Derby-boat, but being weak in numbers were beaten back by the bargemen. The same evening they returned back over the bridge, and hearing of a boat loaded with cheese, lying a little below King’s-mills, they went up the Trent, and attacked it, but it growing very dark, they agreed to lie-down under the hedges till morning. About 4 o’clock in the morning, the boatmen loosed the boat, and sell down the river, and before they were overtaken, reached Barton in Nottinghamshire, where she was seized by the mob and about three ton of cheese taken out.
++Thursday the mob came again to Cavendish-bridge and went over it; and again broke open Mr. Heath’s warehouse, which while they were pillaging, a party of light horse came unexpectedly upon them, and took 32 prisoners, which they conveyed to Derby-gaol; the rest escaped.