The French Revolution brought new issues into British politics, while at the same time exacerbating existing conflicts. Most obviously, the traditions of eighteenth-century mob activity were given a new dimension by the rise of popular radicalism and the threat of a revolutionary ideology being imported from France. Historians have debated sharply the extent to which Britain faced a serious threat of revolution in these years, but almost all recognise that the problems faced were of a new order. The reintroduction into Britain of an ideology of revolt in the shape of Jacobinism, brought a potential challenge not seen since the heyday of Jacobitism or the religious upheavals of the seventeenth century. 1 Moreover, beyond the direct impact of events in France there were also the changes being wrought by industrialisation and urbanisation. Threats of political disaffection and the often violent loyalist response were not occurring in a static society, but one which was experiencing the major dislocations of early industrialisation.