Thursday, 31 May 2012

31st May 1812: Luddites conduct multiple raids for arms in Netherton

On the evening of 31st May, Luddites conducted raids for arms at several houses in and around Netherton, near Horbury. They gathered first near the Cross Keys Public House at the bottom of Horbury Hill between 11.00 and 12.00 p.m.

Several men arrived at the first house and demanded entry. When the door was answered, 2 of them entered and took the householder's gun. They called next at the home of David Stephenson, and took his gun too. At Morritt Matthews' house, despite their demands, Matthews convinced them he did not have one. As compensation, they demanded, and received one guinea.

The Luddites next called at the home of John Burgin and demanded his gun. Burgin would not answer the door and refused to yield to them, but they answered with gunfire through the door, after which he surrendered his weapon.

At William Dickenson's home, the Luddites obtained another gun, plus gunpowder and some shot. Finally, at another house, they obtained 'many' weapons.

This is based on an anonymous deposition which can be found at HO 40/1/1. There are also brief details in the Leeds Mercury of 6th June 1812.

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