Easton Massacre

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The Easton Massacre was an incident in which the British armed forces shot and killed three citizens of Easton, Portland, Dorset, during an attempt to press male members of the town into service. April 1, 1803, saw the first of several landings carried out by the frigate Eagle, commanded by George Wolfe to capture men and press them into the armed forces. One man was carried back to the Eagle but was found exempt and released.

The next day, April 2, a larger force landed and impressed two men. Holding them prisoner, the landing force continued to Easton Square where they were met by a large group of citizens who had received warning of the press gangs and had gathered to stop them. When Robert Bennett was taken and the crowd attempted a rescue, the captain fired on them. The marines under his command also opened fire, and after the shooting stopped three people had been killed. The dead were Alexander Andrews, Richard Flann and William Lano, and in addition there were two wounded, one of whom, Mary Way, later died of her wounds.

Soon after, the force returned to their ship with no additional prisoners.