Thursday, 12 January 2012

12th January 1812: 8 lace frames destroyed in Nottingham - an anatomy of a Luddite attack

The Nottingham Review of 17th January 1812 carried a description of an attack at Carter Gate in Nottingham which took place at 7 p.m. on the evening of Sunday 12th January:
"a number of men, supposed not less than forty, disguised in various ways, and armed with pistols, &c. proceeded to the house of Mr. Benson; and, after sentinels had been placed at all the neighbours’ doors, and the avenues lending to it, about eight entered; and some of them drove the family into the pantry, with threats of immediate death if they created the least alarm, with the exception of one woman, who was expected every hour to fall in travail, and she was, permitted to remain in the parlour; the rest proceeded into the workshop, and demolished the eight frames in about as many minutes. They escaped without detection. On their departure, the alarm was immediately given; and the civil and military authorities sought every road and by-path in the neighbourhood, but without the desired effect. It is the opinion of Mr Benson himself, that his frames, four of which were his own property, have been broken in consequence of his partly paying his workmen in goods; though this, all his journeyman declare, was done in their accommodation, and without any peculiar profit to himself: as without submitting to this lawless practice, they could not get employment..."

As reported in the Nottingham Review of 17th January 1812, and also by Conant & Baker in their report at HO 42/119. Benson's given name was Thomas.

No comments:

Post a Comment