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Broadside entitled 'Alarming Riot'


Alarming Riot.

A full and particular Account of that most alarming
RIOT at Wick Caithness Shire, in consequence
of Cholera having appeared there on Thursday
last, the 26th July, against Dr Allison of this city,
who was in imminent danger of his life, and had to
leave the place.

We copy the following from the Courant of Saturday last, and are
sorry for the occurrence of the circumstances, in cosequence of
the false and vague reports and insinuations made of on the
occassion :....

" We are sorry to state that two cases of decided cholera occurred
on Thursday week, in the same family, at Wick, where several
thousand strangers from all parts of Scotland and foreign countries
resort at this seeson for the purpose of prosecuting the herring fish-
ing.    Both cases, which were of the most malignant character, un-
fortunatly terminated fatally in a Very short time.

Until   the strangers arrived, the medical gentleman (Dr E. D. Allison, from

Edinburgh), who had charge of the hospital, &c. at Wick, appeared
to have secured the confidence of all classes of the inhabitants in
the. arrangements which he proposed and carried into effect, in the
prospect of an attack of the cholera.    This, however, was much
shaken when the fishermen arrived from Mussel burgh, Fisherrow,
Dunbar, &c. who related to the inhabitants frightful stories about
the number of persons, their friends and neighbours, who had been
poisoned, some of whom had been buried alived, and that all the
patients whom Dr Allison had attended had died ; and foretold, that
if he remained much longer, that he would play the same tricks to
them likewise, as he was sent down for no other purpose than pro-
curing fifty subjects every week for Edinburgh College.    It was
confidently asserted, too, that twelve dozen of coffins were ready ;
and that Dr A. had engaged,   that if he once got a patient into the
hospital, he would take good care that they would not come out a-
gain alive.    The circumstance of the first case having terminated
fatally with groat rapidity, and after an exhibition of some medicine,
appeared to confirm these grassly unfounded stories.    The cases
were alleged net to be cholera and Er A, was immediately charged
with the murder of the patients?with poisoning all the public
wells, which were forsaken.    Crowds, mostly composed of south
country fishermen, soon collected around the quarntine hospital,
which was getting ready to receive the survivin ginfected family,
and were harangued in the most violent manner by several of their
number. Dr A. in vain assured the mob that he was innocent of
the crimes imputed to him; that he had never attended any person
at the towns above mentioned, and that all the other charges was
unfounded ; but he was answered with the most fearful impreca- .
tions and threaning language, horrid yells, and cries of " Murder
him--off with the murderer ! " &c.    A ruffian made an attempt to
knock him down, but the Chairman of the Board of Health pro-
tected him, and indoing so became the object of the fury of the
mob, from whom he was rescued with dfficulty, whilst Dr A. after
taking refuge in a house, was attended to his lodgings by one of the
magistrates.    In the meantime, the mob, now amounting to 1590,
ordered the few contents of the quarantine hospital   to be instantly
removed on a cart, and then safely lodged in the cholera hospital.
Large bodies of special constables patroled during the night near
the Chairman's and Dr A.'s residence,    As Dr A. found the people
not only determined to oppose him in all his measures, but threat-
ened his life, he therefore conceived it to be vain to anticipate future
usefulness, and immediately resigned his duties, which the Board
found, tor the same reasons, absolutely necessary to accept, as be-
ing the only means for calming the fury of the populaee.    A few
panes of glass in the cholera hospital were broken in the riot, and
two of the most violent rioters were apprehended, but they were
liberated next day.   Several members of the Board waited in the
hotel and saw Dr A. depart safely with the mail for Edinburg, with
warm expressions of respect and regret.

Edinburgh: Printed for John Lyons.?Price One Penny.

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Probable date of publication: 1832   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(21)
Broadside entitled 'Alarming Riot'
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