Throughout the 18th century, Truro suffered food riots because of crop shortages.
Reports of the Truro food riots even reached the London newspapers. The London Chronicle wrote:
“There has been a great riot near Truro, amongst the tinners, from their want of work and great scarcity of corn. A party of the 38th regiment was ordered out on Wednesday last; and after some expostulation with the tinners on account of their demands, the Justices ordered the officers to fire, which (highly to their honour), they refused; and the consequence was they immediately dispersed without attempting any mischief.”
One of the biggest riots happened when the famous Methodist, John Wesley was visiting the city. He wrote in his journal on 18th August 1789 that he couldn’t reach the chapel to preach because of the street being,
“blocked up with soldiers to the east, and numberless tinners to the west, a huge multitude of whom being nearly starved, were come to beg, or demand an increase of their wages, without which they could not live.” As a result of the rioting Wesley had to give his sermon under the coinage hall, to “twice as many people as the preaching-house would have contained. How wise are all the ways of God!”
Stannary Law, governing the mining industry, was set up in 1201 with Lostwithiel as the administrative headquarters. Later in the 13th century Truro often held Stannary courts to deal with problems within the mining industry . The Stannary Laws continued until 1838. In 1305 Truro became a Coinage Town and in 1327 was granted the right to sell tin. A Coinage Hall was built in 1351 which was also used for other Court activities.