CATO STREET CONSPIRICY
steel engraving, 10½ X 6 ins. 6.7 X 5.2 cm. fold marks,
The Cato Street Conspiracy was an attempt to murder all the British cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Lord Liverpool in 1820. The Cato Street Conspiracy is notable for dissenting public opinions regarding the punishment of the conspirators. While some supported the attempts to ensure that the Spencean Philanthropists were found guilty, others remained conflicted because of the demand of parliamentary reform. The conspirators were called the Spencean Philanthropists, a group taking their name from the British radical speaker Thomas Spence. The group was known for being a revolutionary organization, involved in minor unrest and propaganda. Some of them, particularly Arthur Thistlewood, had been involved with the Spa Fields riots in 1816. Thistlewood came to dominate the group with George Edwards as his second in command. Most of the members were angered by the Six Acts and the Peterloo Massacre, as well as with the economic and political depression of the time. They planned to assassinate a number of cabinet ministers, overthrow the government and establish a "Committee of Public Safety" to oversee a radical revolution, similar to the French Revolution. According to the prosecution at their trial, they had intended to form a provisional government headquartered in the Mansion House.
Stock ref: 13617