A crew of drunken sailors brought turmoil to the centre of Dundee in the summer of 1869.
The men, from the Hull vessel Niobe, had time to kill before their boat sailed on the evening of June 30.
Parched by the summer heat, the men sought refreshments in Commercial Street pubs.
Before long the men became rowdy and started to quarrel among themselves.
As they made their way back to King William’s Dock, one of the sailors fell into the water but was rescued after a struggle.
When the Niobe’s skipper saw his men were speechless with drink he ordered a shipping agent to find another crew. The replacements arrived and the vessel slipped into the river. Its departure did not go down well with the men left ashore.
Their anger erupted and not content with bawling, they began to interfere with every person that passed on the street. They took particular exception to one old man to whom they dished out a sound kicking.
This angered locals and soon a huge throng assembled demanding police arrest the drunks.
Constables waded in but no sooner had they pinned down one of the sailors than he was sprung by his mates. Police managed to detain one while the rest bolted for a rowing boat and headed towards the Niobe.
There was one straggler who dived into the dock. The harbourmaster ordered the dock gates to be closed and after swimming for half an hour, he eventually surrendered.
It seems mission was accomplished for the police but Dundee’s holiday crowd had other ideas.
Always champions of the underdog, the mob turned on the police, abusing them with the most outrageous slanders before pelting them with stones as they took their detainee in.
The attacks continued all the way to the police station, where the soaking sailor was deposited.
No one forming part of the mob was arrested although a particularly loquacious young man and woman were severely reproved and ordered to behave better in the future.
The arrested sailor was John Ainslie, 28, a Dundee man who was given a dry set of clothes.