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Thistlewood

london and funeral

THISTLEWOOD, Arthur, English con spirator: b. Tupholm, Lincolnshire, 1770; d. London, 1 May 1820. He is said to have im bibed anarchistic doctrines from the writings of Paine and from a visit to France before the fall of Robespierre. He entered the army in 1798 and rose to the rank of a lieutenant. After various misfortunes, both natural and the result ofgambling and dissipation, he became an active member of the society formed by Thomas Spence, which aimed at revolutionizing all social institutions. He attempted to organize a revolution in 1816 which failed through the efforts of informers, and in 1817 was indicted for treason, but escaped conviction. In 1818-19 he suffered a year's imprisonment for a threatened breach of the peace. After his re lease he became the principal agent in the memorable Cato Street conspiracy (so called from the meeting-place, of the conspirators in London), the object of which was to murder several of the members of the administration at a cabinet dinner, attack either Coutts's or Child's bank, seize the Tower and Mansion House and set up a provisional government.

The day selected for carrying out the plot was that fixed for the funeral of George III at Windsor, when all the military would be out of London to take part in the funeral proces sion. This absurd scheme was betrayed by a man who was ostensibly one of the conspirators and the deepest in Thistlewood's confidence. The projectors were arrested just as they were about to proceed to the execution of their pur pose 23 Feb. 1820. Being tried and condemned as a traitor, Thistlewood, with four of his co adjutors, was hanged and decapitated.