In 1778 the Papist act was put before parliament to mitigate the 1698 Popery act, which had imposed a number of penalties on Catholic people. The new act would allow Catholics to join the thinly stretched British forces without having to take a religious oath along with other liberties. The following year Lord George Gordon headed the protestant association in a campaign against the legislation, he incited a mob to riot with fears of Papism and absolute monarchical rule. On 2 June 1780 the 60,000 strong mob marched to the house of commons with a petition to repeal the legislation with some members of the house of lords being attacked on the way. The riots went on for some time and on 7 June, troops were ordered to fire upon the crowds killing around 285 people.
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