[1820] - Cato Street Conspiracy foiled

The Cato Street Conspiracy refers to an attempt to murder the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, and his cabinet on 23 February 1820. It was hatched at a meeting place on Cato Street in London by leading Spenceans, a radical group founded by Thomas Spence (1750–1814) that advocated common ownership of land. Angered by the Peterloo Massacre and the introduction of the Six Acts in August 1819, the conspirators sought to assassinate the cabinet, overthrow the government and establish a committee to lead a revolution akin to that which had occurred in France in 1789. The gang of conspirators had, however, been infiltrated by a government spy. On 23 February the Bow Street Runners, with the support of reinforcements from the Coldstream Guards, moved in to arrest the group. In the brawl that followed Arthur Thistlewood, the leading conspirator, killed a policeman and managed to escape with three others. They were caught and arrested a few days later. The subsequent trial took place on 28 April. The five principal conspirators were sentenced to death. They were hanged and beheaded at Newgate Prison on 1 May 1820. The other men involved were transported for life.

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