Supporting the civil power: citizen soldiers and the Gordon Riots

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on the military response to London’s Gordon Riots of June 1780. It shows how soldiers worked alongside the civilian authorities to suppress the disturbances, and how the militarized response was composed of militiamen, volunteers, and vigilantes, as well as regulars. This serves to emphasize the overlaps between the military and civil spheres, and shows how the figure of the ‘citizen soldier’ had a key role in the ideology and practice of policing. This, in turn, suggests that we need to rethink how we conceive of ‘supporting the civil power’ within the English police tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalThe London Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


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