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The Trial of Colonel Brereton

Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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Rolinda Sharples painted the trial of Colonel Brereton after the event. The Bristol Reform Riots of 1831 were a protest at the House of Lords preventing the Reform Bill from passing through Parliament. Lieutenant Colonel Brereton was court-martialled in January 1832 for sending his squadron away on the Saturday night in the midst of the chaos. Some people thought that Brereton could have done more to save the city from destruction if he had acted earlier and more decisively. For others, however, Brereton had been trying to hold his troops back from violence against the rioters. Many people thought that he was being made a scapegoat for the failure of the city magistrates to support him and give him orders to cope with the rioting. Tragically, Brereton shot himself four days after the trial began.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol

Title

The Trial of Colonel Brereton

Date

1834

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 101.6 x W 148.5 cm

Accession number

K1074

Acquisition method

purchased, 1931

Work type

Painting

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Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

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