The Great Blow: Examinations and Informations relating to the Great Blow in Norwich, 1648

On 24th April 1648 a rioting crowd unwittingly unleashed the largest explosion in seventeenth-century England, detonating ninety-eight barrels of powder in the house rented to Norfolk’s County Committee in Norwich.  The city magistrates’ subsequently investigation ensured that the ‘mutiny’, ‘crack’ or ‘blow’ as contemporaries called it, became the best documented riot of the century.

This volume publishes in full for the first time the 278 informations and examinations taken in the wake of the ‘Great Blow’.  These are among the Norwich City Records collection, itself the largest archive of an early modern English provincial city.  These important testimonies constitute the largest single archival collection for the study of popular royalist insurgency in civil-war England.

Available to Purchase

This volume was supported by the Norwich Freemen’s Charity

Series: Norfolk Record Society

Volume Number: LXXXII

Year of Publication: 2018

Edited By: Andrew Hopper, Emily Wilbur Alley, Jean Agnew

Cover: Hardcover

Language: English

ISBN-13: 9780995773615


  • Riots — England — Norwich — History — 17th century — Sources.
  • Explosions — England — Norwich — History — 17th century — Sources.
  • Pillage — England — Norwich — History — 17th century — Sources.
  • Political violence — England — Norwich — History — 17th century — Sources.
  • Norwich (England) — History — 17th century — Sources.
  • Great Britain — History — Civil War, 1642-1649 — Destruction and pillage — Sources.
  • Norfolk (England) — History — Sources.
  • Destruction and pillage.
  • Explosions.
  • Pillage.
  • Political violence.
  • Riots.
  • England — Norfolk.
  • England — Norwich.
  • Great Britain.