Monday, 28 November 2011

28th November 1811: 'An Address from the Framework-Knitters to the Gentlemen Hosiers of the Town of Nottingham'






GENTLEMEN,—At a time like the present, so big with Calamity and Distress, we think it right to solicit your Advice, Aid, and Direction, as we know no Reason why our Business, which is looked upon as the staple Trade, and principal Support of the Community at large, should be exposed to so many Evils, without any suitable means of defence; or if any, why not brought forward into exercise. As we have nothing in view but a reciprocal Advantage in the Trade, both for ourselves and you, and a mutual good Understanding in all our Actions, we solicit your Advice, Aid, Direction, and Support, in this time of our Calamity and Distress, and we think we have a humble Claim upon you for it. On account of the great rise of all the Necessaries of Life, a Man that has full employ, with all his industry, and a Woman, with all her care and economy, can by no means support a Family with any degree of Comfort. If this is the Case (which it really is) how deplorable must the situation of those be, that have but a small portion of Employ, and at very low Rates; but still worse, what must the situation of those be that have none at all, which is the Case with INCALCULABLE NUMBERS at this time.-Destitute of all the Comforts of Life, our only acquaintance is pinching Poverty and pining Want. We wish to live peaceably and honestly by our Labour, and to train up our Children in the paths of virtue and rectitude, but we cannot accomplish our wishes. Our Children, instead of being trained up by a regular course of Education, for social life, virtuous employments, and all the reciprocal advantages of mutual enjoyment, are scarce one remove from the Brute, are left to all the dangerous Evils attendant on an uncultivated Mind, and often fall dreadful Victims to that guilt, which Ignorance is the parent of. But, Gentlemen, we forbear, as we think it would be insulting both to your judgments and feelings, were we to attempt a description of all our Calamities, which you so well know, and which we so much experience. Our request, Gentlemen, is that you will favor us with your best Advice, respecting as Address to Parliament, for the better Regulation of our Trade, and means of defence against future Impositions. Being well assured that the most suitable means lie in the compass of your breasts, we wish to pay all deference to your superior judgments, and are now waiting for your decision, which we hope you will favor us with as soon as possible; that if it meets your views, the Business may be conducted peaceably and in good order, to our mutual Comfort and Advantage.

November 28, 1811.

As published in the Nottingham Review, 29th November 1811.

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