to pull off their neckcloths, and throw their coats and waistcoats
open ; and some, towards the centre, quite overpowered by the ex-
cessive heat, which was of course rendered more unendurable by
the multitude around them, lay down upon the grass, and offered
all they had about them for a drink of water.
Still, no man left the
ground, not even of those who were so distressed; still Lord
George, streaming from every pore went on with Gashford; and
still Barnaby and his mother followed close behind them.
They had arrived at the top of a long line of some eight hundred
men in single file, and Lord George had turned his head to look
back, when a loud cry of recognition — in that peculiar and half-
stifled tone which a voice has, when it is raised in the open air and
in the midst of a great concourse of persons — was heard, and a man
stepped with a shout of laughter from the rank, and smote Barnaby
on the shoulders with his heavy hand.
'How now!' he cried. 'Barnaby Rudge! Why, where have you
been hiding for these hundred years?'
Barnaby had been thinking within himself that the smell of the
trodden grass brought back his old days at cricket, when he was a
young boy and played on Chigwell Green. Confused by this sud-
den and boisterous address, he stared in a bewildered manner at
the man, and could scarcely say 'What! Hugh! '
'Hugh!' echoed the other; 'ay Hugh — Maypole Hugh! You
remember my dog? He's alive now, and will know you, I war-
rant. What, you wear the colour, do you? Well done! Ha ha ha!'
'You know this young man, I see,' said Lord George.
'Know him, my lord! as well as I know my own right hand. My
captain knows him. We all know him.'
'Will you take him into your division?'
'It hasn't in it a better, nor a nimbler, nor a more active man,
than Barnaby Rudge,' said Hugh. 'Show me the man who says it
has! Fall in, Barnaby. He shall march, my lord, between me and
Dennis; and he shall carry,' he added, taking a flag from the hand
of a tired man who tendered it, 'the gayest silken streamer in this
BARNABY RUDGE 375
'In the name of God, no!' shrieked the widow, darting forward.
'Barnaby — my lord — see — he'll come back — Barnaby — Barnaby!'
'Women in the field!' cried Hugh, stepping between them, and
holding her off. 'Holloa! My captain there!'
'What's the matter here?' cried Simon Tappertit, bustling up in
a great heat. 'Do you call this order?'
'Nothing like it, captain,' answered Hugh, still holding her back
with his outstretched hand. 'It's against all orders. Ladies are
carrying off our gallant soldiers from their duty. The word of com-
mand, captain! They're filing off the ground. Quick!'
'Close!' cried Simon, with the whole power of his lungs. 'Form!
She was thrown to the ground; the whole field was in motion;
Barnaby was whirled away into the heart of a dense mass of men,
and she saw him no more.
The mob had been divided from its first assemblage into four divi-
sions; the London, the W^estminster, the Southwark, and the
Scotch. Each of these divisions being subdivided into various
bodies, and these bodies being drawn up in various forms and fig-
ures, the general arrangement was, except to the few chiefs and
leaders, as unintelligible as the plan of a great battle to the mean-
est soldier in the field. It was not without its method, however; for,
in a very short space of time after being put in motion, the crowd
had resolved itself into three great parties, and were prepared, as
had been arranged, to cross the river by different bridges, and
make for the House of Commons in separate detachments.
At the head of that division which had Westminster Bridge for
its approach to the scene of action. Lord George Gordon took his
post; with Gashford at his right hand, and sundry ruffians, of most
unpromising appearance, forming a kind of staff about him. The
conduct of a second party, whose route lay by Blackfriars, was en-
trusted to a committee of management, including perhaps a dozen
376 BARNABY RUDGE
men: while the third, which was to go by London Bridge, and
through the main streets, in order that their numbers and their
serious intentions might be the better known and appreciated by
the citizens, were led by Simon Tappertit (assisted by a few sub-
alterns, selected from the Brotherhood of United Bull-dogs), Den-
nis the hangman, Hugh, and some others.
The word of command being given, each of these great bodies
took the road assigned to it, and departed on its way, in perfect
order and profound silence. That which w^ent through the City
greatly exceeded the others in number, and was of such prodigious
extent that when the rear began to move, the front was nearly four
miles in advance, notwithstanding that the men marched three
abreast and followed very close upon each other.
At the head of this party, in the place where Hugh, in the mad-
ness of his humour, had stationed him, and w^alking between that
dangerous companion and the hangman, went Barnaby; as many
a man among the thousands who looked on that day afterwards
remembered well. Forgetful of all other things in the ecstasy of the
moment, his face flushed and his eyes sparkling with delight, heed-
less of the weight of the great banner he carried, and mindful only
of its flashing in the sun and rustling in the summer breeze, on he
went, proud, happy, elated past all telling: — the only light-hearted,
undesigning creature, in the whole assembly.
^What do you think of this?' asked Hugh, as they passed through
the crowded streets, and looked up at the windows which were
thronged with spectators. 'They have all turned out to see our
flags and streamers? Eh, Barnaby? Why, Barnaby's the greatest
man of all the pack! His flag's the largest of the lot, the brightest
too. There's nothing in the show, like Barnaby. All eyes are turned
on him. Ha ha ha!'
'Don't make that din, brother,' growled the hangman, glancing
with no very approving eyes at Barnaby as he spoke: T hope he
don't think there's nothing to be done, but carrying that there
piece of blue rag, like a boy at a breaking up. You're ready for ac-
tion I hope, eh? You, I mean,' he added, nudging Barnaby roughly
with his elbow. 'What are you staring at? Why don't you speak?'
Barnaby had been gazing at his flag, and looked vacantly from
his questioner to Hugh.
BARNABY RUDGE 377
'He don't understand your way/ said the latter. 'Here, I'll ex-
plain it to him. Barnaby, old boy, attend to me.'
'I'll attend,' said Barnaby, looking anxiously round; 'but I wish
I could see her somewhere.'
'See who?' demanded Dennis in a gruff tone. 'You an't in love I
hope, brother? That an't the sort of thing for us, you know. We
mustn't have no love here.'
'She would be proud indeed to see me now, eh, Hugh?' said
Barnaby. 'Wouldn't it make her glad to see me at the head of this
large shew? She'd cry for joy, I know she would. Where can she
be. She never sees me at my best, and what do I care to be gay and
fine if she's not by?'
'Why, what palaver's this?' asked Mr. Dennis with supreme dis'
dain. 'We an't got no sentimental members among us, I hope.'
'Don't be uneasy, brother,' cried Hugh, 'he's only talking of his
'Of his what?' said jMr. Dennis with a strong oath.
'And have I combined myself with this here section, and turned
out on this here memorable day, to hear men talk about their moth-
ers!' growled !Mr. Dennis with extreme disgust. 'The notion of a
man's sweetheart's bad enough, but a man's mother!' — and here
his disgust was so extreme that he spat upon the ground, and could
say no more.
' Barnaby 's right,' cried Hugh with a grin, 'and I say it. Look'ee,
bold lad. If she's not here to see, it's because I've provided for her,
and sent half a dozen gentlemen, every one of 'em with a blue flag
(but not half as fine as yours), to take her, in state, to a grand
house all hung round with gold and silver banners, and everything
else you please, where she'll wait till you come, and want for noth-
'Ay!' said Barnaby, his face beaming with delight: 'have you in-
deed? That's a good hearing. That's fine! Kind Hugh!'
'But nothing to what will come, bless you,' retorted Hugh, with
a wink at Dennis, who regarded his new companion in arms with
'No, indeed?' cried Barnaby.
'Nothing at all,' said Hugh, 'Money, cocked hats and feathers^
378 BARNABY RUDGE
red coats and gold lace ; all the fine things there are, ever were, or
will be; will belong to us if we are true to that noble gentleman —
the best man in the world — carry our flags for a few days, and keep
'em safe. That's all we've got to do.'
'Is that all?' cried Barnaby with glistening eyes, as he clutched
his pole the tighter; 'I warrant you I keep this one safe, then. You
have put it in good hands. You know me, Hugh. Nobody shall
wrest this flag away.'
Well said!' cried Hugh. 'Ha ha! Nobly said! That's the old
stout Barnaby, that I have climbed and leaped with, many and
many a day — I knew I was not mistaken in Barnaby. — Don't you
see, man,' he added in a whisper, as he slipped to the other side of
Dennis, 'that the lad's a natural and can be got to do anything, if
you take him the right way? Letting alone the fun he is, he's worth
a dozen men, in earnest, as you'd find if you tried a fall with him.
Leave him to me. You shall soon see whether he's of use or not.'
Mr. Dennis received these explanatory remarks with many nods
and winks, and softened his behaviour towards Barnaby from that
moment. Hugh, laying his finger on his nose, stepped back into his
former place, and they proceeded in silence.
It was between two and three o'clock in the afternoon when the
three great parties met at Westminster, and, uniting into one huge
mass, raised a tremendous shout. This was not only done in token
of their presence, but as a signal to those on whom the task de-
volved, that it was time to take possession of the lobbies of both
Houses, and of the various avenues of approach, and of the gallery
stairs. To the last-named place, Hugh and Dennis, still with their
pupil between them, rushed straightway; Barnaby having given
his flag into the hands of one of their own party, who kept them
at the outer door. Their followers pressing on behind, they were
borne as on a great wave to the very doors of the gallery, whence
it was impossible to retreat, even if they had been so inclined, by
reason of the throng which choked up the passages. It is a familiar
expression in describing a great crowd, that a person might have
walked upon the people's heads. In this case it was actually done;
for a boy who had by some means got among the concourse, and
was in imminent danger of suffocation, climbed to the shoulders
of a man beside him and walked upon the people's hats and heads
BARNABY RUDGE 379
into the open street; traversing in his passage the whole length of
two staircases and a long gallery. Nor was the swarm without less
dense; for a basket which had been tossed into the crowd, was
jerked from head to head, and shoulder to shoulder, and went spin-
ning and whirling on above them, until it was lost to view, without
ever once falling in among them or coming near the ground.
Through this vast throng, sprinkled doubtless here and there
with honest zealots, but composed for the most part of the very-
scum and refuse of London, whose growth was fostered by bad
criminal laws, bad prison regulations, and the worst conceivable
police, such of the members of both Houses of Parliament as had
not taken the precaution to be already at their posts, were com-
pelled to fight and force their way. Their carriages were stopped
and broken; the wheels wrenched off; the glasses shivered to
atoms; the panels beaten in; drivers, footmen, and masters, pulled
from their seats and rolled in the mud. Lords, commoners, and
reverend bishops, with little distinction of person or party, were
kicked and pinched and hustled; passed from hand to hand
through various stages of ill-usage; and sent to their fellow-sena-
tors at last with their clothes hanging in ribands about them, their
bagwigs torn off, themselves speechless and breathless, and their
persons covered with the powder which had been cuffed and beatea
out of their hair. One lord was so long in the hands of the popu-
lace, that the Peers as a body resolved to sally forth and rescne
him, and were in the act of doing so, when he happily appeared
among them covered with dirt and bruises, and hardly to be rec-
ognised by those who knew him best. The noise and uproar were
on the increase every moment. The air was filled with execrations,
hoots, and bowlings. The mob raged and roared, like a mad mon-
ster as it was, unceasingly, and each new outrage served to swell its
Within doors, matters were even yet more threatening. Lord
George — preceded by a man who carried the immense petition on
a porter's knot through the lobby to the door of the House of
Commons, where it was received by two officers of the House who
rolled it up to the table ready for presentation — had taken his seat
at an early hour, before the Speaker went to prayers. His followers
pouring in at the same time, the lobby and all the avenues were
380 BARNABY RUDGE
immediately filled, as we have seen. Thus the members were not
only attacked in their passage through the streets, but were set
upon within the very walls of Parliament; while the tumult, both
within and without, was so great, that those who attempted to
speak could scarcely hear their own voices: far less, consult upon
the course it would be wise to take in such extremity, or animate
each other to dignified and firm resistance. So sure as any mem-
ber, just arrived, with dress disordered and dishevelled hair, came
struggling through the crowd in the lobby, it yelled and screamed
in triumph; and when the door of the House, partially and cau-
tiously opened by those within for his admission, gave them a mo-
mentary glimpse of the interior, they grew more wild and savage,
like beasts at the sight of prey, and made a rush against the portal
which strained its locks and bolts in their staples, and shook the
The strangers' gallery, which was immediately above the door
of the House, had been ordered to be closed on the first rumour of
disturbance, and was empty; save that now and then Lord George
took his seat there, for the convenience of coming to the head of
the stairs which led to it, and repeating to the people what had
passed within. It was on these stairs that Barnaby, Hugh, and
Dennis were posted. There were two flights, short, steep, and nar-
row, running parallel to each other, and leading to two little doors
communicating with a low passage which opened on the gallery.
Between them was a kind of well, or unglazed skylight, for the ad-
mission of light and air into the lobby, which might be some eight-
een or twenty feet below.
Upon one of these little staircases — not that at the head of
which Lord George appeared from time to time, but the other —
Gashford stood with his elbow on the bannister, and his cheek rest-
ing on his hand, with his usual crafty aspect. Whenever he varied
this attitude in the slightest degree — so much as by the gentlest
motion of his arm — the uproar was certain to increase, not merely
there, but in the lobby below; from which place, no doubt, some
man who acted as fugleman to the rest, was constantly looking up
and watching him.
'Order!' cried Hugh, in a voice which made itself heard even
BARNABY RUDGE 381
above the roar and tumult, as Lord George appeared at the top of
the staircase. 'News! News from my lord!'
The noise continued, notwithstanding his appearance, until
Gashford looked round. There was silence immediately — even
among the people in the passages without, and on the other stair-
cases, who could neither see nor hear, but to whom, notwithstand-
ing, the signal was conveyed with marvellous rapidity.
'Gentlemen,' said Lord George, who was very pale and agitated,
'we must be firm. They talk of delays, but we must have no delays.
They talk of taking your petition into consideration next Tues-
day, but we must have it considered now. Present appearances look
bad for our success, but we must succeed and will ! '
'We must succeed and will!' echoed the crowd. And so among
their shouts and cheers and other cries, he bowed to them and re-
tired, and presently came back again. There was another gesture
from Gashford, and a dead silence directly.
'I am afraid,' he said, this time, 'that we have little reason, gen-
tlemen, to hope for any redress from the proceedings of Parlia-
ment. But we must redress our own grievances, we must meet
again, we must put our trust in Providence, and it will bless our
This speech being a little more temperate than the last, was not
so favourably received. When the noise and exasperation were at
their height, he came back once more, and told them that the alarm
had gone forth for many miles round; that when the King heard
of their assembling together in that great body, he had no doubt,
His Majesty would send down private orders to have their wishes
complied with; and — with the manner of his speech as childish, ir-
resolute, and uncertain as his matter — was proceeding in this
strain, when two gentlemen suddenly appeared at the door where
he stood, and pressing past him and coming a step or two lower
down upon the stairs, confronted the people.
The boldness of this action quite took them by surprise. They
were not the less disconcerted, when one of the gentlemen, turning
to Lord George, spoke thus — in a loud voice that they might hear
him well, but quite coolly and collectedly.
'You may tell these people, if you please, my lord, that I am
382 BARNABY RUDGE
General Conway of whom they have heard ; and that I oppose this
petition, and all their proceedings, and yours. I am a soldier, you
may tell them, and I will protect the freedom of this place with my
sword. You see, my lord, that the members of this House are all in
arms to-day ; you know that the entrance to it is a narrow one ; you
cannot be ignorant that there are men within these walls who are
determined to defend that pass to the last, and before whom many
lives must fall if your adherents persevere. Have a care what you
'And my Lord George,' said the other gentleman, addressing him
in like manner, 'I desire them to hear this, from me — Colonel Gor-
don — your near relation. If a man among this crowd, whose up-
roar strikes us deaf, crosses the threshold of the House of Com-
mons, I swear to run my sword that moment — not into his, but into
your body ! '
With that, they stepped back again, keeping their faces towards
the crowd; took each an arm of the misguided nobleman; drew
him into the passage, and shut the door ; which they directly locked
and fastened on the inside.
This was so quickly done, and the demeanour of both gentlemen
— who were not young men either — was so gallant and resolute,
that the crowd faltered and stared at each other with irresolute
and timid looks. Many tried to turn towards the door; some of the
faintest-hearted cried they had best go back, and called to those
behind to give way; and the panic and confusion were increasing
rapidly, when Gash ford whispered Hugh.
'What now!' Hugh roared aloud, turning towards them. 'Why
go back? Where can you do better than here, boys! One good rush
against these doors and one below at the same time, will do the
business. Rush on, then! As to the door below, let those stand back
who are afraid. Let those who are not afraid, try who shall be the
first to pass it. Here goes! Look out down there!'
Without the delay of an instant, he threw himself headlong over
the bannisters into the lobby below. He had hardly touched the
ground when Barnaby was at his side. The chaplain's assistant,
and some members who were imploring the people to retire, imme-
diately withdrew ; and then, with a great shout, both crowds threw
BARNABY RUDGE 383
themselves against the doors pell-mell, and besieged the House in
At that moment, when a second onset must have brought them
into collision with those who stood on the defensive within, in
which case great loss of life and bloodshed would inevitably have
ensued, — the hindmost portion of the crowd gave way, and the
rumour spread from mouth to mouth that a messenger had been
despatched by water for the military, who were forming in the
street. Fearful of sustaining a charge in the narrow passages in
which they were so closely wedged together, the throng poured out
as impetuously as they had flocked in. As the whole stream turned
at once, Barnaby and Hugh went with it: and so, fighting and
struggling and trampling on fallen men and being trampled on in
turn themselves, they and the whole mass floated by degrees into
the open street, where a large detachment of the Guards, both
horse and foot, came hurrying up ; clearing the ground before them
so rapidly that the people seemed to melt away as they advanced.
The word of command to halt being given, the soldiers formed
across the street; the rioters, breathless and exhausted with their
late exertions, formed likewise, though in a very irregular and dis-
orderly manner. The commanding officer rode hastily into the
open space between the two bodies, accompanied by a magistrate
and an officer of the House of Commons, for whose accommoda-
tions a couple of troopers had hastily dismounted. The Riot Act
was read, but not a man stirred.
In the first rank of the insurgents, Barnaby and Hugh stood side
by side. Somebody had thrust into Barnaby's hand when he came
out into the street, his precious flag; which, being now rolled up
and tied round the pole, looked like a giant quarter-staff as he
grasped it firmly and stood upon his guard. If ever man believed
with his whole heart and soul that he was engaged in a just cause,
and that he was bound to stand by his leader to the last, poor
Barnaby believed it of himself and Lord George Gordon.
After an ineffectual attempt to make himself heard, the magis-
trate gave the word and the Horse Guards came riding in among
the crowd. But, even then, he galloped here and there, exhorting
the people to disperse; and, although heavy stones were thrown at
384 BARNABY RUDGE
the men, and some were desperately cut and bruised, they had no
orders but to make prisoners of such of the rioters as were the
most active, and to drive the people back with the flat of their
sabres. As the horses came in among them, the throng gave way at
many points, and the Guards, following up their advantage, were
rapidly clearing the ground, when two or three of the foremost,
who were in a manner cut off from the rest of the people closing
round them, made straight towards Barnaby and Hugh, who had
no doubt been pointed out as the two men who dropped into the
lobby: laying about them now with some effect, and inflicting on
the more turbulent of their opponents, a few slight flesh wounds,
under the influence of which a man dropped, here and there, into
the arms of his fellows, amid much groaning and confusion.
At the sight of gashed and bloody faces, seen for a moment in the
crowd, then hidden by the press round them, Barnaby turned pale
and sick. But he stood his ground, and grasping his pole more
firmly yet, kept his eye fixed upon the nearest soldier — nodding his
head meanwhile, as Hugh, with a scowling visage, whispered in his
The soldier came spurring on, making his horse rear as the peo-
ple pressed about him, cutting at the hands of those who would
have grasped his rein and forced his charger back, and waving to
his comrades to follow — and still Barnaby, without retreating an
inch, waited for his coming. Some called to him to fly, and some
were in the very act of closing round him to prevent his being
taken, when the pole swept into the air above the people's heads,
and the man's saddle was empty in an instant.
Then, he and Hugh turned and fled, the crowd opening to let
them pass, and closing up again so quickly that there was no clue
to the course they had taken. Panting for breath, hot, dusty, and
exhausted with fatigue, they reached the river side in safety, and
getting into a boat with all despatch were soon out of any im-
As they glided down the river, they plainly heard the people
cheering; and supposing they might have forced the soldiers to
retreat, lay upon their oars for a few minutes, uncertain whether to