Market practices could be the cause of many disorders throughout the early modern period, so food riots were a common occurrence. Rural customs and traditional rights were based on the belief that the rural community were entitled to a fair price of grain, even in times of dearth. These core beliefs naturally came with strong rules about which market practices were acceptable, and which were not. In this article, we meet a particular type of market villain: the ‘badger’. Neil Howlett uncovers the story of a Midford food riot in 1630 following the arrival of corn badgers.
In the summer of 1832, Bristol artist William Muller followed an extensive series of paintings and sketches recording the previous year’s Reform riots, with this interesting drawing of a Reform celebration. Steve Poole analyses the details present in the picture, as well as the significance of the events in the picture, placing them in larger context.