May Festival: The Aberdeen Riots Something Different

May Festival: The Aberdeen Riots

The Aberdeen Riots of October 1785  

Linklater Rooms, University of Aberdeen

Friday 27th May 11.30am to 12.30pm

Aberdeen has been stereotyped somewhat in the past as a city that exemplified the political, social and economic values of what historians call the ‘conservative north-east’ of Scotland. But the city’s rich historical archives reveal that during the 1780s Aberdeen had a deserved  reputation as a major centre in Scotland pushing for innovative political reforms in national and local government. However, in October 1785 the tensions arising from such politics spilled over onto the streets in the form of two days of severe rioting. This talk explores the background to the riots, who the rioters were and what they wanted, before explaining why such a traumatic event in the city’s history has been all but forgotten.    

Supported by Arts & Humanities Research Council    

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