Wednesday, 30 May 2012

30th May 1812: Special Constables take arms from the public in Horbury

On Saturday 30th May 1812, the Chief Constable of the Horbury District ordered Special Constables to collect arms from members of the public who were prepared to surrender them, following a series of arms raids by Luddites in the area. The authorities were greatly alarmed, as reports were being received that every article made from lead that could be carried - principally pumps and water-spouts, were disappearing from the area, and there were rumours that someone was employed in melting them down and casting bullets.

The Constables were apparently openly mocked, 'hooted and abused' according to the Leeds Mercury, whilst they went about the task, with one man taking musket balls from his pocket and throwing them into the air, remarking "here are hailstones for you."

As reported in the Leeds Mercury of 6th June 1812.

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