The most persistent and widespread disturbances in eighteenth-century England were those associated with food. Food riots covered a wide range of activities, such as stopping the movement of grain, the seizure and resale of grain, flour and bread at ‘fair’ prices, attacks on mills and warehouses, the spoiling of foodstuffs, and various degrees of tumultuous assembly to force dealers or local authorities to reduce prices. Disturbances of this kind can be found in many parts of Europe between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, often sharing common features, such as the ritual of price-fixing, the use of ceremonial elements, a relatively high degree of discipline among the participants, and concentration on those specifically concerned with the trade in foodstuffs and the setting of prices usually occurring in years of high prices. 1 The fluctuation of prices of wheat and bread are shown in Table 4.