Riot at the Crown Inn, Worcester

The Crown Inn,  Broad Street, Worcester is a fine example of an old coaching inn of the 18th century, but in fact, it is much older than that. There are references to the Crown in the City Chamberlain's Account's of 1556, and again of 1578, under the heading 'Rentil of the Cities landes in St Nicholas parish' - 

Item, of Anthony Atwoods for a tenement called the signe of the Crowne - 8d' Across the centuries it has  witnessed many and varied events, from the slaughter outside its doors of the Civil War; the grand processional funerals and lying-in state of great dukes, to the music making of the Worcester Glee Club at which Sir Edward Elgar played his violin.

One exciting event was the riot of 1681, when feelings were running high, for it was the first general election to be held in the City for 20 years. The Council was equally divided between Whig and Tory, but the feeling in the City was overwhelmingly anti-Tory and anti-Clerical. The Torie's great supporter was Lord Windsor of Hewell Grange, who had fought as a Royalist in the Civil War, and had been Lord Lieutenant of the County since the Restoration. The Whig mob, knowing that his lordship had put up at the Crown, wished to demonstrate their opposition to all his lordship stood for. They assembled in Cripplegate and marched to Broad Street, and the Crown.

In Broad Street, a youngster taunted them, and they were after him. He took refuge in the house of Samuel Richardson, the goldsmith, but the mob were close on his heels, and as Richardson tried to bar his door they threw dust in his face, blinding him. A parish constable who tried to clear them out was knocked down, but neighbours, knowing that Mrs. Richardson was pregnant hurried to throw the mob out and bar the door. In the house  opposite, Mr Francis Haines was entertaining the Bishop's Chaplain, and both went into the street to render assistance, but at the sight of a clergyman, the mob became more furious, and shouted 'Noe lawn sleeves. Noe Pope, Knock him down'. Haines and his guest retreated rapidly.

The real object being Lord Windsor, the mob turned to the Crown, shouting;

'Wee will hunt him out, weele have him or burn the place down'. 

But the doors of the Crown were sturdy and firmly bolted, so turning to Alderman Powell's house, a few doors away, shouted,                       '                                                                                                                              'Where is Alderman Powell who threatened to put us in the stock' Weele put him in the stocks'.

The Alderman bravely appeared and dispersed the rabble. Their next objective was the Bishop's Palace. Moving down the High Street they knocked people down, leaving one old lady with a broken arm, and half dead from shock. Then they chased four people into the Globe Inn nearly opposite the Town Hall, they proceeded to the Palace, chanting;

     'Downe with the Bishop'. and there the demonstration ended.