Riot Act

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An Act to prevent civil disorder passed by the British Parliament in 1715. The Act made it a serious crime for anyone to refuse to obey the command of lawful authority to disperse; thus the Act imposed upon the civil magistrates the dangerous duty of attending a riot, or a large meeting which might become riotous, and reading the Riot Act. Frequent use was made of the Act in the 18th century. Its use declined in the 19th century and it was repealed in 1911.

Subjects: History — Warfare and Defence.

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