Saturday, 24 December 2011

24th December 1811: Clashes at Lord Middleton's Estate at Wollaton

Late on Tuesday 24th December, a group of 18 men deliberately trespassed onto the land of Lord Middleton, near Wollaton in Nottinghamshire. For Middleton and his class, the end of the year was to be no less affluent than any other year, but for thousands of people in the lands bordering his estate, an empty belly was a certainty and starvation not too distant a prospect.

The men found their way to a game nursery at Shortwood, near Trowell on his estate, and set about killing his game stock of pheasants. But 4 of Middleton's gamekeepers interrupted them and a fight ensued, at the end of which one of the gamekeepers was left unconscious and badly beaten. One of the gamekeepers had managed to escape back to Wollaton Hall and raise the alarm, and the considerable guard set out to check all of the roads in the vicinity. The assumption was that the intruders were Luddites from nearby Radford, but no-one was to be found.

The intruders had made their escape with some of the dead pheasants.

As recorded in the Nottingham Review of the 27th December 1811 and the Nottingham Journal of 28th December 1811.

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