This Day in History – February 23rd, 1820

Cato St ConspiratorsThe Cato Street Conspiracy was an attempt to murder all the British cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Lord Liverpool that was exposed on February 23rd, 1820. The name comes from the meeting place near Edgware Road in London. The police had an informer and the plotters fell into a police trap and 13 were arrested, while one policeman was killed. Five conspirators were executed, and five others were transported to Australia.

How widespread the Cato Street conspiracy was is uncertain. It was a time of unrest; rumors abounded. Chase notes that, “the London-Irish community and a number of trade societies, notably shoemakers, were prepared to lend support, while unrest and awareness of a planned rising were widespread in the industrial north and on Clydeside.”

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