eighteenth century fireworks

I wanted to know what 'sky rockets' in eighteenth century England were. I keep coming across references to them in spies' reports of the supposed 'general risings' planned in  1798-1802 and 1812.

For example, Major Yates, stationed in Manchester, informed Lord Lowther on 4 May 1812:

“A plan according to the old system in Ireland was formed of stopping the Mail Coaches and their non-arrival was to be the signal of Revolt. For the last four nights they have been escorted by Dragoons some miles to the south of Stockport. Last Friday is supposed to have been intended for a General Rising. Sky Rockets had been observed thrown up from Stockport from some nights preceding, but that night a Blue Light of a circular Form was seen, and it is conjectured that was a signal not to rise...”
Cumbria RO, D/LONS/L1/2/131

See also 'The Politics of Sky Battles in Early Hanoverian Britain',  by Vladimir Jankovic, Journal of British Studies, 41:4 (2002)

Here's a link to a Jane Austen blog which shows a beautiful display of fireworks at Richmond House, detailing the different types of sky rockets available.


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