Saturday, 16 June 2012

16th June 1812: Gravenor Henson travels to Ireland to lobby the Framework-knitters there to support the Bill

1812. June 16

Dr sir

I arrived here yesterday at 2 oClock from Holyhead by the Express Boat, George I had considerable difficulty during the afternoon in finding the Persons I wanted, owing to the Difference between the Pronouncing the Street I wanted and the Spelling of it, it being wrote Malpas, and pronounced Maypas, I was taken to Marlborough Strt (prod. Maybor) and Mapert Strt, and at last I was forced to be drove to Frances Street, I there found a Person that knew me, There is a general Meeting here to night which I have every Reason to think will be well attended. They labored here under some false impressions as to our object which I hope I have removed, There is a Corporation of Hosiers (Framework-knitters) in Dublin, granted by James the 2nd similar to that in London with this Difference there is a great Number of Persons in the Business who compose the Company about Twenty of whom are operative Framework-knitters, the Concerns of the Company is wholly managed by the Hosiers who are the Master, Warden, and Assistants, though there are Assistants as well as Freemen, who are not in the Trade. The Workmen of Dublin are divided in their opinion respecting the interference of this Company, I think it would be better only for the operative Workmen to Petition; as several of these Hosiers are employed in selling not making fraudulent Work, The Hands of Dublin have not and will not make fraudulent Goods

The Petition will undergo some little alterations to suit the case of Dublin, I have bought Parchment and will get it engrossed while the Sheets are signing that no time may be lost when I arrive in Town, I shall endeavor by every means in my Power to obtain a Copy of this Charter or at least a sight of it. The summonses of the Company to meet speak of an Act of the Irish Parliament, confirming their Charter I will use every effort to obtain it; The Framework-knitters here are not much benefited by this Charter as it is like the English Charter in a dormant state: The Frameworkknitters of Dublin have very good regulations among themselves, but they are most shockingly oppressed by bad English Goods 10 years since there were 700 Hands here now there is not above 200 They very much wish for this Bill, as hose are sold in Dublin, for [obscured] they have for making, the Price here [obscured] much higher than in England, I think I shall be able to leave Dublin tomorrow night if the Wind is fair, your Petition and Sheets as well as our Circular have never been received nor any Letters but those sent to Frances Street They did not know that we had presented our Petitions, they had some confused Reports but nothing for certain. Give my Respects to my Friend Large as I suppose he is in Town

I remain sir as ever
Your most obt servt
Gravener Hcnson.

[Addressed to:]
Mr R Toplis
Globe Coffee House
Fleet Street

This letter can be found in the Records of the Borough of Nottingham, vol.8, 1800-1835 (pp.151-152).

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