The Whitechapel Murders and the 'Red Spring'.

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale. The man revealed to be 'Jack the Ripper' in November 1888.

The generally accepted beginning of the British Revolution is the revelation of 'Jack the Ripper' on 9th November 1888. The 'Ripper' had killed at least four other women by the November of 1888, all were killed in the same way all the throats of the women were cut prior to abdominal mutilations and internal organs were removed from at least three of the victims. The 'Ripper' killings baffled the police investigators and no links were found.

However, on the night of the 9th November 1888 the Ripper's luck would run out. He attempted to kill the Irish prostitute Mary Kelly. But Kelly managed to overpower and kill the man who was later identified as the Queen's grandson Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale. Kelly was arrested by police for murder and taken into custody leading to riots in the East End of London, where she was seen as a hero for overpowering him and killing him in self-defence.

In the coming months the unrest spread around the United Kingdom and riots occurred in the East End, Whitechapel, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Mary Kelly was praised by the working classes as a hero and led to great resentment towards the upper classes, one newspaper headline read Third in line hunted poor for sport! Evil resides among the rich!. The riots across Britain continued into the January of 1889.

Mary Kelly was put on trial at the Old Bailey on 20th February 1889. She was not allowed to take the stand or give testimony as the authorities were afraid she could stir the working classes into open revolt. Despite the overwhelming evidence of self defence Kelly was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. This outraged the working classes and the popular British Socialist movement made the promise to stage more riots and demonstrations if Kelly was hanged.

The Trafalgar Square Massacre

The Queen's own Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry charging protesters on The Mall.

On 13th April 1889 Mary Kelly was hanged in prison. In wake of this event the British Socialist movement staged a protest in Trafalgar Square on 15th April. This would become known as the Trafalgar Square Massacre, the government panicked and sent in soldiers from the 5th Hampshire Rifles to stop the protest. They misunderstood the orders and fired on protesters killing 400 in Trafalgar Square and a further 179 on Westminster Bridge. A further 145 protesters were killed by a detachment of the Queen's own Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry in a charge on The Mall.

What followed became known as The Red Spring, so named because of all the blood that was spilled that spring. Further massacres occurred in Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow. This was the attempt of the British government to reassert control over the angry and rioting working classes. However after some time the detachments of the army, sent to suppress the population, were converted to the people's cause by the leader of the cause Thomas Potter. These divisions and the 'People's Army' began their march on London in June 1889, after a short battle with the regular army outside Oxford (in which it surrendered and joined the cause) the army reached London.

Proclamation of the PSRGB

Thomas Potter proclaims the People's Socialist Republic of Great Britain and Ireland in Kensington Gardens, 27th June 1889. (Painted C1897)

When they arrived in London the 34,000 strong people's army were confronted by the Queen's household guards. After the long and bloody Battle for Westminster the Guards were routed and the now 7000 strong army marched on Buckingham palace. When they arrived they discovered that the Queen and Royal family had fled for Canada a few days earlier. After the Prime Minister and leading politicians had been arrested, tried and publicly executed in Trafalgar Square the People's Socialist Republic of Great Britain and Ireland (PSRGB) was proclaimed by Thomas Potter in Kensington Gardens on 27th June 1889.

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