The Cato Street Conspirators

This contemporary print depicts the fracas between the conspirators and the police, before the Guards arrived. Thistlewood is stabbing Constable Smithers while saying "Extinguish the lights!". Smithers is saying "Oh God! I am...." He died later. Behind him is George Ruthven, a well known Bow Street Runner who is saying "We are Peace Officers. Lay down your arms." The black man behind Thistlewood is Davidson who was to be the leading swordsman in the planned attack on Lord Harrowby. Two men are escaping through windows, one of which is Robert Adams, an Ipswich-born shoe maker who had been a trooper in the Blues. He actually walked straight past the Guards unchallenged as they entered Cato Street.

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by Stephen Luscombe