Victorian London - Districts - Streets - Cato Street

CATO STREET (now HOMER STREET), EDGEWARE ROAD. The scene of the "Cato-street Conspiracy," of Arthur Thistlewood and his associated to murder the Ministers of the Crown, as they sat at dinner at Lord Harrowby's, 39, Grosvenor-square, on the 23rd of February, 1820. The building in which the conspirators met was a stable, belonging to General Watson. One part was a chaise-house, and there was a loft over, with two rooms - accessible only by a ladder - in the larger of which they were said to have mustered, to the number of twenty-four or twenty-five. Edwards, one of the number, betrayed their intentions, and in the afternoon of the day on which the dinner was to have taken place, a party of Bow-street officers entered the stable to capture the conspirators. A desperate resistance was made, the lights were extinguished, and Smithers, one of the constables, pressing forward to seize Thistlewood, was pierced by him through the body, and immediately fell. Thistlewood escaped, but was afterwards arrested, while in bed, at No. 8 White-street, Little Moorfields. He was sent to the Tower, and was the last person committed a prisoner to that celebrated fortress. On the 1st of May, 1820, Thistlewood, Ings, Brunt, Tidd, and Davidson were hanged at the Old Bailey, and their heads cut off. Thistlewood was originally a subaltern officer in the militia, and afterwards in a regiment of the line, stationed in the West Indies. His motives are not well known; but his chief designs were against Lord Sidmouth and Lord Castleraugh.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850