In the spring of 1801, the county of Somerset was convulsed by some of the most severe and sustained food rioting ever experienced in the southwest region. Against a background of wildly spiralling prices in every basic commodity, large crowds toured the county’s mills,markets, baker's shops and farms demanding cheaper bread and forcing fair-price agreements on both producers and local magistrates. Steve Poole introduces a 200 year old letter recording tumultuous events in a small West Somerset village.
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.