Saturday, 3 March 2012

3rd March 1812: A Stockport weaver gives evidence about plans to destroy Steam Looms

3d March 1812


I have the honor to inclose the Information of a Weaver given to Mr. Prescot, the Magistrate, in a private manner in consequence of his being sent to and assured that his name should not be made public – Mr. Prescot was led to the enquiry by respectable Gentleman calling upon him & reporting what the person has now sworn to. Mr. P. trusts that the whole subject which it involves will be taken into consideration and measures adopted accordingly — but he has pledged himself to the secrecy of the information which might otherwise affect the safety of the Informant.

I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
& humble servant

J Lloyd

[to Richard Ryder]

This Deponent maketh Oath that I know of several Weavers that has mentioned that they are determined to do away with those Steam Looms if in case they do not make them away themselves for there is 45,000 that is suffering by it besides other Trades. They are entirely worn out, they overflow the Market whether they will not. A Peace tomorrow would not make the difference unless those were put on one side And they are likely to be encreased — you are certain sure that a Workman's life is of very little value when they must work in that way. The 45,000 could all rise in one night and would do if they have not redress and I do not wonder at it for it is those very things that is the foundation of it. They have accounts from one to another and districts. The whole Country is entirely dissatisfied. A man's life is of no value – I have five Children and a Wife, the children all under 8 years of age — And I get 12 [shillings] per week which is only 9 [shillings] clear deducting winding sow &c and I work sixteen hours in the day to get that — But there are thousands that do not get 8 [shillings] per week — It will take 2 [shillings] per week Coals 1 [shilling] per week Candles. My family live upon Potatoes chiefly and we have one pint of milk per day.

Sworn before me
Charles Prescott

The letter and deposition can be found at HO 40/1/1

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