Gordon Riots

New Catholic Dictionary illustration of the Gordon RiotsAlso known as

  • No Popery Riots


The name comes from the head of the movement, Lord George Gordon. They occurred in London, England from 2 June to 9 June 1780. The “Protestant Association” had prevented the introduction of a Catholic Relief Bill in Scotland, and were encouraged to work for the repeal of the Catholic Relief Bill in England and Canada. Lord George Gordon, president of both the English and the Scottish associations, procured a petition for the repeal of the Relief Bill, signed by more than 30,000 names, and carried it to the House of Commons on 2 June 1780, accompanied by a huge procession wearing blue cockades and carrying flags reading “No Popery”. Attacks were made on the property of Catholics, and as the riot spread the prisons were set afire and many Protestants suffered. The crowd was finally dispersed by a military force. Lord George Gordon was acquitted. Probably he did not foresee the result of his actions. Some compensation was paid to the Catholics for their losses.

MLA Citation

  • “Gordon Riots”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 September 2010. Web. 13 June 2021. <http://catholicsaints.info/gordon-riots/>