The music consists of four parts, of which Zadok, the Priest is the most famous. It features in the film The Madness of King George.
On 23 February 1820, a group of political conspirators met in this rented house off the Edgware Road to discuss their plans for overthrowing the Government. They intended to gatecrash a dinner being held for the cabinet at Lord Harrowby’s house and kill the lot with pistols and grenades.
It was a time of great unrest in Britain. The return of soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars and the invention of labour-saving technology had made traditional employment difficult to find. Protests by the workers had been brutally suppressed by the Government.
The conspirators hoped that the murder of the cabinet would trigger a general uprising against the ruling class. They planned to decapitate the ministers and exhibit some of their heads on Westminster Bridge.
But police got wind of the scheme. Around 7.30 that evening, a group of Bow Street Runners arrived to arrest the ringleaders. Some of them managed to escape through a rear window, but most were captured. Arthur Thistlewood, the group’s leader, killed a Runner with a sword before being arrested. See next post for his fate.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 120. The episode is famous in British history. By what name is it known?
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