Friday, 17 February 2012

17th February 1812: Leeds Merchants & Manufacturers meet & offer rewards for information


AT TWO GENERAL MEETINGS of the MERCHANTS and MANUFACTURERS of LEEDS and its Vicinity, (convened by general Notice,) at the Rotation-Office, in Leeds, on the Tenth and Seventeenth of February, 1812, the following Resolutions were agreed to: —

That a dictatorial and arbitrary Spirit appears to this Meeting to have gained much Ground among the Articifers and Workmen employed in various Trades Manufactures, arising from Combinations, organized and supported in a Manner and to an Extent alarming to Trade in general, and to the Security of Property, and to the peaceable Inhabitants of this Town and Neighbourhood.

That it is therefore incumbent on all Men concerned, for the public Tranquillity, the Preservation of Trade, Improvement of Manufactures, possessing Property, or in any Way connected with Workmen, to prevent, to the utmost of their Power, all unlawful Associations among them, and to counteract by all lawful Means, the mischievous Designs of such Spirit and illegal Combinations.

That we cannot sufficiently reprobate the Attempts now making, in Defiance of the Laws, by the labouring Classes, in various Parts of the Country, by their unlawful Clubs, Committees, weekly Subscriptions, by Threats of personal Injury, by Violence and Destruction of Property, to fix the Prices of Labour, to direct in this free State how Capital shall be employed, Business carried on, and especially to prevent the Use of Machinery, cherished and encouraged by the Laws and the Government, as absolutely necessary to maintain the British Manufacturers in the Pre-eminence which they have acquired, chiefly by the Invention and Application of various Mechanical Contrivances.

That as the first Step towards averting the Evils of such Combinations, a general Subscription for the Purposes of procuring Information of the Plots devised or devising by bad designing Men, of ascertaining who are such Men and their Abettors and Supporters, and for their Detection and Prosecution, be made forthwith.

That the Management of this Subscription be under the Direction of the Committee, any five of whom shall be competent to act as Occasion may require.

In Pursuance of the above Resolutions, a large Subscription has been entered into, and the Committee now met hereby offer, in Addition to other Rewards already offered, the Sum of


To any Person or Persons who will give Information of the Person or Persons, recently concerned in wilfully and maliciously setting Fire to the Dressing Shops of Messrs. Oates, Wood, and Smithson, at Oatlands, near Leeds, to be paid on Conviction of anyone or more of the Offenders, by Means of such Discovery, whether the Person giving such Information shall have been an Accomplice or not, and only excepting the Person or Persons rashly set Fire thereto.

Any Communication on the Subject of these Resolutions, made to the Town Clerk, of this Borough, will be duly attended to, and Informants liberally rewarded.

This notice appeared as an advertisement in the Leeds Mercury of 7th March 1812.

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