A riot of an alarming character, and which had nearly been attended with loss of life, occurred at Wainfleet on Saturday evening last.
About 300 bankers, or navigators, are employed on a new navigation near Burgh, who have committed numerous depredations upon the property of the farmers in the neighbourhood but their lawless and outrageous attack upon the persons and property of the peaceable inhabitants of Wainfleet is so flagrant and unprovoked, that the inhabitants, who are in danger of their lives, ought instantly petition the Home Secretary to remove the soldiers from their useless position at Boston, to Wainfleet, Burgh, and the neighbourhood, where they may be of real service.
Early in the day about seventy of these semisavages arrived at Wainfleet, where they remained ‘randying’, as they term drinking, making no secret of their intentions.
They were joined in the afternoon by about thirty more. They commenced operations about seven o’clock, by driving all the market people and others out of the Angel Inn, using the most horrid language, and threatening to murder all who opposed them.
- Angel Inn Wainfleet
Nor was this a mere threat, for Mr. Maulkinson, the landlord of the Angel, was knocked down, and very seriously injured one of then, who used either a plank-hook or tool. They then rushed out into the street, holding up their tools and cheering, and threatening to knock down all before them.
Of course the inhabitants were struck with consternation the appearance of 100 athletic men, brandishing their formidable and deadly weapons, which were all bright, while they rent the air with the most horrid imprecations, and most beastly and murderous threats.
About twenty rushed into the shop of Mr. Webster, butcher, whom they struck, but did not materially injure.
They then paid a visit to Mr. Hubbert, a draper, before whose shop they gave three cheers, crying, ” Now for it.”
One of them, however, exciaimed, ” We’ve done enough,” and they then went away without committing any depredations.
They shortly returned again, but were prevented by one the mob, who said, ‘I know Hubhert’s a real good fellow.”
The constable, aided by the principal inhabitants, in the mean time were not inactive ; they resisted them, using forks and such other weapons they could procure, and about ten o’clock they had succeeded in dispersing and driving them from the town.
A party of about twenty inhabitants then took horse and went pursuit of the fugitives, who were in full retreat in all directions. Just outside the town three bankers were captured, having in their possession three geese they had just killed, and which have been identified.
Proceeding they apprehended eight more, and in all about 40 were made prisoners.
The Rev. T. H. Rawnsley, who had been sent for from Spilsby, promptly attended, and that night 21 in a waggon, and five in a cart, were escorted to Spilsby, where they were safely lodged in the gaol.
Eleven or twelve more were next day sent join them.
The cowardice of these men only equalled their brutality—an old man actually kept the whole party at bay some time by presenting fork which he held in his hand. – Lincolnshire Chronicle.
Source: Sussex Advertiser – Monday 14 January 1833