Definitions for riot act
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
an English statute of 1715 making it a felony for an assembly of 12 or more persons to refuse to disperse when ordered by an authority.
Category: Western History
Idioms for Riot Act:
read someone the riot act, to reprove or warn someone sharply.
a vigorous reprimand
"I read him the riot act"
a former English law requiring mobs to disperse after a magistrate reads the law to them
An English law that stated that if 12 or more people assembled unlawfully in a public place they must disperse when read a proclamation
The Riot Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that authorised local authorities to declare any group of twelve or more people to be unlawfully assembled, and thus have to disperse or face punitive action. The Act, whose long title was "An Act for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the rioters", came into force on 1 August 1715. It was repealed for England and Wales by section 10 of, and Part III of Schedule 3 to, the Criminal Law Act 1967.
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