Bristol Innkeepers’ Broadside


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[003688] [Bristol Innkeepers’ Broadside]; Weeks, John. Bristol, January 4, 1793. At a Very Numerous and Most Respectable Meeting Held This Day, in the One Hundred and Fourth Year of British Liberty, at the Bush-Tavern, of the Inn-Keepers, Vintners, and Victuallers, of This City, Mr. John Weeks in the Chair. Bristol: J. Rudhall, 1793. First Edition. Elephant Folio. Unbound. Broadside. Good+. Single sided printed broadside, approximately 320mm x 450mm in size

Trimmed to ornamental border, central vertical crease, unrelated contemporary newspaper extract adhered to reverse of right hand column where once removed from a scrap book. Text in double column, attractive ornamental border

A pledge from publicans and others, with a total of six hundred and eighty signatures, to support the King and constitution, and to “suppress any inflammatory writing that the factious Revolutionists may dare to issue”, also noting that it is one hundred and four years after the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1689. It further quotes from Blackstone’s Commentaries, and notes that “It has also been held an Offence of this Species to drink to the pious Memory of a Traitor. These being Acts which encourage Rebellion”

The printer was J.[ohn] Rudhall of Small Street, who published Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal and was the brother in law of the Bristol printer William Pine (see BBTI)

John Weeks owned the Bush Inn and Tavern in Corn Street, Bristol, between 1775 and 1800. He has been described as a “notorious patriot-publican” and “eccentric” (see Harrison, Crowds and History, pages 242-243)

Pubs were vital meeting spaces for radicals, this broadside elucidates the attempts to reduce their access to such venues. The Crown and Anchor in London, for example, became synonymous with radical meetings and was often represented in popular political prints of the period, becoming “part of the caricaturists’ palette of symbols with which to communicate” (Parolin, Radical Spaces – Venues of Popular Politics in London, 1790-c.1845, page 107)

ESTC T224123 (BL only)