Designing and Dangerous Men: The Story of the Transported Cato Street Conspirators

The Cato Street Conspiracy of 23 February 1820 was an attempt by a group of radicals to assassinate the British Cabinet while they dined at the house of Lord Harrowby in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London.
This act aimed to precipitate a revolution, depose the King, change Britain into a people’s republic, and liberate Ireland. The conspiracy failed – but not without loss of life.
Much has been written about this event, typically ending with the gruesome hanging and beheading of five plotters outside Newgate Prison on 1 May 1820, or shortly thereafter. More than these men however, were convicted of high treason for the part they played. Another five had their sentences changed to transportation for life, and one to six-months’ imprisonment.
To-date the story of the five transported conspirators has for the most part remained untold. In this book, Kieran Hannon moves the Cato Street Conspiracy beyond May 1820, by exploring the fates of the transported conspirators: Richard Bradburn, Charles Cooper, John Harrison, John Shaw Strange and James Wilson. It is the first attempt to extend the existing Cato Street Conspiracy narrative, and our understanding of this historically significant event.

Kieran presented a fascinating preview of his new book at our February 2021 meeting. Purchase Designing and Dangerous Men: The Story of the Transported Cato Street Conspirators at the Book Depository.

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