Sea Green Singers - Ely
& Littleport Riot Song - Commoners Choir - To see an
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Ely & Littleport Riot Song
- Commoners Choir
They worked all day just for half a shillings pay
So the sermon preached and the judgement
The Ely and Littleport riots of 1816, also known as the Ely riots or Littleport riots, occurred between 22 and 24 May 1816 in Littleport, Cambridgeshire. The riots were caused by high unemployment and rising grain costs, much like the general unrest which spread throughout England following the Napoleonic Wars.
The Littleport riot broke out when a group of residents met at The Globe Inn. Fuelled by alcohol, they left the inn and began intimidating wealthier Littleport residents, demanding money and destroying property. The riot spread to Ely where magistrates attempted to calm the protests by ordering poor relief and fixing a minimum wage; see printed bill (reproduced at right). The following day, encouraged by Lord Liverpool's government, a militia of the citizens of Ely, led by Sir Henry Bate Dudley and backed by the 1st The Royal Dragoons, rounded up the rioters. In the ensuing altercation at The George and Dragon in Littleport, a trooper was injured, one rioter was killed, and at least one went on the run.