Thursday, November 4, 1847 — The whole of the East Sussex Constabulary were ordered to Lewes, 200 special constables were sworn in, 80 London Police were sent down, and two troops of Lancers at Brighton were kept under arms in readiness at a moment’s notice, if required.
No sooner, however, had the clock struck twelve on Thursday night, and Guy Fawkes Day thus commenced, than a lighted tar barrel, held by a chain passed through it, was set rolling down the steep part of St. Ann’s Hill toward High Street, preceded by a man armed with a pick axe and disguised by a mask, and followed by about 80 others armed with bats and bludgeons, shouting and making an awful uproar.
Captain Mackay, however, had been apprised of what was to take place, and with the approbation of the Magistrates adopted a plan to suppress the nuisance.
At the foot of the hill in question, he stationed about a dozen of his men, two of whom were instructed to hold a chain from side to side of the street, to be raised on the approach of the rioters.
On their arrival at the spot in question, the chain was raised knee high, and over it fell several of the leaders.
Eight were pounced upon by the police and conveyed to the station house, while their companions took flight.
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