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1736 - Anti-Irish riots break out
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The old church of St Leonard's, Shoreditch is being knocked down so that it can be replaced by a new building. News gets out that English workmen employed to demolish it have been dismissed and replaced by Irishmen. The Irish labourers are accepting wages that are less than two-thirds of what was being paid to the English workers. Crowds gather to protest.

For several evenings, rioting crowds rampage through the East End of London. Shouting 'Down with the Irish!' they attack and damage several public houses kept by Irish people. One of the pubs that is attacked is in Cable Street (formerly Hog Lane), very close to Knockfergus. Another is in 'Rag Fair' (Rosemary Lane).

In one incident, a crowd damages the house of a master weaver. Challenged by an officer of the City Militia, the rioters complain that several of the big master weavers of Spitalfields employ only Irish workers, because they can pay them lower wages.

In Southwark and Lambeth, south of the Thames, and on Tyburn Road, near St Giles, mobs stop passers-by to ask them whether they are on the English side or the Irish side. However, no one is hurt in these incidents.

The disturbances south of the river suggest that there is now a sizeable Irish community living there.



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