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Following its first grant, the Society began giving away Bibles in earnest, Bibles were given soldiers in the aftermath of the Gordon riots; many residents were frightened as much by drunken soldiers protecting their homes as the rioters themselves. Following the distribution of Bibles there was a marked improvement in the moral attitudes of the Armed Forces. By 1812, nearly 50,000 Bibles and many more New Testaments had been gratuitously dispensed to British sailors and soldiers, many testimonies had been received as to the improvements observed in the moral character of the men.