Which participant in the Swing Riots are you most closely connected to?

+25 votes

We're checking out the Swing Riots, the 1830 uprising by agricultural workers in southern and eastern England, in the Connection Finder this week. We begin with Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, who initiated reforms in the House of Commons to try to end the violence.

Featured alongside him are others involved in the incidents:

Who are you most closely connected to? If you're one of the 23,707,000 of us who are connected to each other on our big tree you can check with the Connection Finder.

You can check for shared ancestors with the Relationship Finder. Are you a cousin to any of them? Your Relationship Finder Quick Links page (see your profile pull-down menu under "Relationships") has quick links for several notable groups.

New special feature: Check out how you're connected to other rebels by searching the Convicts from England to Australia category and related categories like famous Australian convicts and Labor Activists and Reformers using the green MyConnections button in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Let us know how you're related below! If you want to share your connection on social media with cousins and friends, click the "get shareable image" below the results, e.g. Gustav Vasa and Richard Lionheart. Then just upload it along with the URL of your direct connection. (Please refrain from sharing your connection on the featured profiles themselves, though. It clutters conversations on research and collaboration. Thanks!)

Help us with next week's feature: this year's Emmy award nominees and winners!

WikiTree profile: Charles Grey
in The Tree House by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (595k points)
edited by Abby Glann

48 Answers

+16 votes
AFAIK, I have no genealogical link to the Swing Rioters, but my closest WikiTree connections are with several people listed on this week's contacts, all 15 steps away.

I do have a story about the Swing Rioters, hoeever. A school friend asked me to research her family tree.  Her earliest Australian contact was a Chinaman, named Ming.  We don't know how he or his future wife came to Tasmania.  He was doing regular business trips between Launceston and Melbourne.  On one such trip, he became ill and died on the wharf upon arrival.  He was buried at Footscray, before there were proper cemetery records. Even before this, his wife had formed a relationship with a Swing Rioter, [[Aggas-156|William Aggas (abt.1804-1875)]] who was the father of her two daughters.  Later, they married.
by Doug Laidlaw G2G6 Mach 3 (31.8k points)
Square [brackets] don't work on g2g.   Y'all need to use a link.
Thanks, Melanie.  A question: why are so many earls listed?
Doug -- probably because the lower classes are much harder to find documents for.  Those in the upper echelons are much better documented, their entire lives some of them.

 Grey became Prime Minister November 1830. By then  the riots had spread from the destruction of a threshing machine in Kent in August  to most of the Southern Counties from Norfolk in the East   to  Gloucestershire in the West. Grey believed that  parliamentary reform would help solve the problems. This  lead to the 1832  Reform Act but that didn't help the landless Labourer. His government's  reforms to solve the problems of rural unemployment  and unrest  included the 'New Poor Law . ( replacing outdoor relief for the unemployed or poorly paid  able bodied with workhouses a la Oliver Twist.)

Lord Melbourne was Home Secretary. He was afraid of revolution (looking over the channel to France)He was not a reformer. He urged magistrates to be more energetic in suppressing dissent and the special commissions to apply the full force of the law. Many were sentenced to death or transportation although  only a few in each area were hung (acting as an example to the local populace),  many death sentences were commuted to transportation. Melbourne was a workaholic and kept excellent  records. The Home Office records for the period are a goldmine for historians with letters to him from local vicars and landowners describing the situation in the country and his replies.

Carnarvon was  somewhat more sympathetic to the plight of the rural  labourers who he said were reduced to a miserable state 

There are some very good records on individuals involved in the riots, trial reports, prison and transportation records . Many have been linked to their families  and sometimes to each other(Jill Chambers Machine Breakers series does this brilliantly   https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=jill+chambers+machine+breakers&ref=nb_sb_noss . Sadly relatively few of them have profiles  on wikitree. I found about 20.

Cobbett, ( not an Earl) was indicted but not convicted  for seditious libel for inciting and supporting the rioters Good account here  (fairly long!)

I see (from the Norfolk Chronicle, in the British Newspaper Archive) that William Aggas was convicted for a riot at Lingwood, Norfolk. I'll see if I can find out anything else about him. I have Aggas connections, but too far away and too well-off to be relations, I think.

There was a William Aggus born on 23 March 1805 and baptised in Hassingham, Norfolk, on the 31st. He seems very likely to be your man, as Hassingham is a couple of miles from Lingwood and his mother's name was Pleasance (née Frost). Father Noah Aggus. The original parish record (which I looked at on FindMyPast) will be available on FamilySearch.
+11 votes

I am most closely connected to the following participant, Henry Herbert, at 21 degrees of separation.

by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+14 votes
The closest is Charles Grey, at 19 degrees.  This is the first connection to go though one of my aunts, thanks to some recent new links there.

I don't recall ever hearing of the Swing Riots.  I suspect that having the entirety of non-US world history compressed into a single year of school in my teen years has something to do with that.
by Steve Ryan G2G6 Mach 4 (47.9k points)
I am English but had never heard of the Swing Riots either.
+15 votes
15 degrees from Charles Grey. 12th cousin 5 times removed. MRCA Alianore (Berkeley) FitzAlan (abt 1384 - 1455).

18 degrees from Henry Herbert. 7th cousin 6 times removed. MRCA John Golding (abt 1498 - 1547).

18 degrees from William Lamb, Lord Melborne. 8th cousin 8 times removed. MRCA George Douglas (1492 - 1552).

19 degrees from Mary Ann Withers.

24 degrees from William Cobbett.

23 degrees from Robert Blake.

26 degrees from David Heath.

26 degrees from James House.

27 degrees from James Lush.

29 degrees from Richard Venfield.

39 degrees from William Dove.
by Frank Blankenship G2G6 Mach 7 (77.8k points)
+13 votes
I am most closely connected to Mary Ann Withers at 20 degrees.
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
+16 votes
Like many of my fellow Americans, I was never taught about the Swing Riots in school, and knew nothing about them before now. I did Google them, however, an found it very interesting. I love beginning my day a little more knowledgeable than I was the night before! Surprisingly, I am connected to all of this week's featured profiles, anywhere from 20 degrees from Charlie Grey and Henry Herbert to a whopping 40 degrees from William Dove. Perhaps more surprisingly, I connect through all four grandparents: a Swede, a German, a Brit, and a "we're not sure (yet) what he was."
by David Randall G2G6 Pilot (174k points)
+14 votes
20 degrees from Charles Grey (12th cousins, 8x removed)
20 degrees from Henry Herbert (9th cousins, 9x removed)
21 degrees from William Lamb (12th cousins, 8x removed)
21 degrees from Mary Ann Withers
25 degrees from Robert Blake
26 degrees from William Cobbett
27 degrees from James House
28 degrees from James Lush
28 degrees from David Heath
31 degrees from Richard Venfield
39 degrees from William Dove
by Mike Wells G2G6 Mach 9 (90.6k points)
+14 votes

I am closest connected to Henry Herbert, at 19 degrees and 10th cousins 7 times removed

As for the rest, 

Charles Grey - 15th cousins 13 times removed

William Lamb - 17th cousins five times removed

David Heath - 20 degrees

Robert Blake - 21 Degrees

William Cobbett - 23 Degrees 

Mary Ann Withers - 24 Degrees

Lames Lush - 27 degrees

Richard Venfield - 29 Degrees

James House - 31 Degrees

William Dove - 39 Degrees

by Aaron Gullison G2G6 Pilot (121k points)
+13 votes

So far I have discovered that I am related to Charles Grey thru his Granddaughter's, Husbands' Great-Grandmother.  Not much of a connection, I will need to check the other rebels.


After checking this is what I came up with.   Some are linked thru my 8X Great-Grandmother, other thru my wife, surprisingly.

Charles Grey is 18 Degrees from Stephen Willing

William Lamb is 19 Degrees from Stephen Willing 

Mary Ann Withers is 19 Degrees from Stephen Willing

Henry Herbert is 19 Degrees from Stephen Willing

Robert Blake is 25 Degrees from Stephen Willing

William Cobbett is 25 Degrees from Stephen Willing

David Heath is 26 Degrees from Stephen Willing

Richard Venfield is 27 Degrees from Stephen Willing

James House is 29 Degrees from Stephen Willing

James Lush is 30 Degrees from Stephen Willing

William Dove is 41 Degrees from Stephen Willing

by Stephen Willing G2G2 (2.2k points)
edited by Stephen Willing
+11 votes
The closest is Lord Melbourne (29 degrees) and furthest away James House (40 degrees)
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
+13 votes
Charles Grey is 20 degrees from me on my dad's side thanks to his deep French roots, and my 10th cousin 5 times removed on my mom's side thanks to her deep English roots.
by Judi Stutz G2G6 Pilot (164k points)
+11 votes

I am only 14 degrees from the Swing "Rioter" James Lush. This is the closest connection I've had so far to anyone featured in the weekly lists.

Thank you Larina for making such a wonderful and extensive profile for him!

by Jim Richardson G2G6 Pilot (601k points)
+12 votes
15 degrees from Charles Grey (13th cousin, 6 times removed) and William Lamb (11th cousin, 5 times removed).

16 degrees from Henry Herbert (10th cousins, 6 times removed).
by Roger Stong G2G6 Pilot (801k points)
+9 votes
None closer than 17 degrees connection to Robert Blake
by Rosalie Neve G2G6 Pilot (147k points)
+10 votes
My closest connection is 18 degrees.- to 4 names as listed below. I am not too concerned about being related to these people. AFAIK, I do not have any of these names in my family tree.

Robynne is
18 degrees from Charles Grey,
18 degrees from Henry Herbert,
18 degrees from Mary Ann Withers,
18 degrees from Robert Blake,
20 degrees from William Lamb,
22 degrees from Richard Venfield,
23 degrees from James Lush,
23 degrees from David Heath,
27 degrees from James House
27 degrees from William Cobbett
37 degrees from William Dove,
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+12 votes

Interesting to look at our distant relations in common 

  • 15 degrees from Charles Grey, 11th cousins five times removed through  Eleanor (Poynings) Percy (1421-1484)
  • 16 degrees from Henry Herbert, 8th cousins three times removed through Henry Boteler (abt.1538-1609)
  • 20 degrees from William Cobbett, 
  • 15 degrees from William Lamb, 9th cousins 7 times removed through  Elizabeth (Drummond) Douglas (abt.1472-1514)
  • 19 degrees from James Lush, 
  • 22 degrees from David Heath, 
  • 22 degrees from Mary Ann Withers, 
  • 18 degrees from Robert Blake, 
  • 36 degrees from William Dove, 
  • 24 degrees from Richard Venfield, 
  • 29 degrees from James House and 
  • 22 degrees from Karen Stewart
by Anne Young G2G6 Mach 6 (68.4k points)
+10 votes
I'm 15 degrees from Charles Grey, and 17 degrees from Henry Herbert, William Lamb and Mary Ann Withers. I'm not related to any of them.
by Gillian Thomas G2G6 Pilot (202k points)
+11 votes

Interesting piece of history & connection to Australia - through the convict system.

Even so, my closest connection come through my anglo-Irish ancestors. I think 15 degrees is the closest I've been connected to a featured list so far. 

15 degrees from Charles Grey 13th cousins, 4 times removed & 107 common ancestors 
16 degrees from William Lamb 11th cousins 4 times removed, 136 common ancestors 
17 degrees from Henry Herbert 8th cousins, 5 times removed, 29 common ancestors
20 degrees from Robert Blake
21 degrees from Mary Ann Withers
23 degrees from William Cobbett
25 degrees from James Lush
25 degrees from David Heath 
27 degrees from Richard Venfield
28 degrees from James House 
30 degrees from William Dove

by Jeanette O'Hagan G2G6 Mach 3 (31.5k points)
+10 votes
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (166k points)
+10 votes
From 20 degrees for Earl Grey to 36 degrees for Dove. As usual none close.

The new special feature is a  different matter.  Using the category 'convicts from England to Australia' I have nearer connections than any of the weekly lists.   From 13 degrees upwards , lots less than 20. It's fascinating to see how  how just  a couple of family members  transported  to Australia  results in such a close kinship  network  with other transportees.  (Also since  many transportees are categorised in less broad   categories, this set is far from complete. )
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (404k points)
edited by Helen Ford

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