‘It was, however, the Saturday night that has gone down in history as the Battle of Southsea, thanks to the painting that hung in the Barleymow public house, Castle Road, depicting the fight. By eight in the evening something like three or four thousand people had gathered around the pier; at 8.30pm some stones were thrown, and police dashed into the crowd to arrest a man with an axe, Isaac Phillips. The Mayor, fearful that the rumour-ridden town was about to witness an outbreak of violence, had earlier visited the Lieutenant Governor to request military backing for the police. At the same time, entirely on his own initiative, the Police Superintendent issued some 200 truncheons to employees and public-spirited defenders of the Pier. When the Mayor read the Riot Act at 8.30pm, calling on the crowd to disperse, they cheered him and set fire to a barrel. The Mayor went straight to General Doyle’s house, and two companies of the 9th Regiment marched to the Common – some 200 men in all. Together with the police and their armed assistants, the troops stared to clear the ground. Inevitably, fighting broke out.