Wednesday, 29 February 2012

29th February 1812: Leeds Mercury editorial

We have more than once adverted to the unhappy disturbances at Nottingham, and as far as our endurance and efforts could extend, endeavoured to convince the deluded people concerned in these outrages, that they had grossly mistaken the cause of their distress which originated, not in the use of machinery, but in the decay of trade, the unhappy effect of war, and the Orders in Council; we advised them to petition not for Peace, for we considered that was hopeless, but for the removal of the Orders in Council. For this conduct we were denounced as traitors, and branded as incendiaries; but it is a conduct we do not repent of: We offer the same advice to those mistaken persons who are now disturbing the peace of this county by similar outrages. The destruction of all the machinery in the kingdom would not contribute an iota towards relieving their distress. The proceedings they have adopted are most reprehensible and destructive, they tend to destroy the very bonds of society, they introduce into the very heart of the country a species of Civil War, they put those in a state of hostility with each other, who ought to be the best friends, and ultimately tend to introduce either general anarchy or complete military despotism. We would conjure them as they value their country, their wives, their children, their own lives, to pause in this destructive career, and to abandon, before it is too late, a system which can terminate only in misery and ruin.

The editorial appeared in the Leeds Mercury of 29th February 1812.

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