Friday, 2 March 2012

2nd March 1812: Secret weavers meeting in Bolton

On Monday 2nd March 1812, another meeting of weavers took place in Bolton.

Although we do not know the location of the meeting, we know from Robert Waddington who was present, that the meeting attracted more new faces than the relatively small affair that had taken place 7 days earlier at the Gibraltar Rock:Waddington later estimated that 25 to 30 people were present. The meeting talked about the hardships the weavers were facing, chiefly a reduction in wages. The meeting echoed the experience and sentiments of the Gibraltar Rock meeting - that appeals to employers, local authorities and government had failed, and that the weavers must look to themselves for a solution.

Waddington told us that the weavers resolved to meet every evening thereafter: the aim was to make these meetings noticeable, despite the risks that this posed, in order to "frighten their masters to give them more wages".

The source of information about this meeting is a deposition given by Robert Waddington, which can be found at HO 42/128.

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