- a riot in Boston (March 5, 1770) arising from the resentment of Boston colonists toward British troops quartered in the city, in which the troops fired on the mob and killed several persons.
A clash between British troops and townspeople in Boston in 1770, before the Revolutionary War. The British fired into a crowd that was threatening them, killing five, including Crispus Attucks. The soldiers had been sent to help the government maintain order and were resented even before this incident. The killings increased the colonists' inclination toward revolution.