Saturday, 11 August 2012

11th August 1812: 300 women practice autoreduction at Knottingley, West Yorkshire

On Monday 10th August 1812, a group of women had assembled alongside the canal at Knottingley Lock, near Pontefract, to try to intercept a barge laden with corn. Either the barge did not turn up, or there was some other reason, but nothing happened.

The following morning, they turned out again at Knottingley, and were joined by 300 other women. They visited the provision shops, and demanded that flour was sold to them at the reduced price of 3 shillings per stone. The shopkeepers complied, and the woman persuaded the town cryer to announce the results of their autoreduction more widely. Soon, a large number of women came from nearby Brotherton to buy flour at the reduced price.

The direct action had knock-on effects in the locality: the bourgeoisie at nearby Ackworth hastily organised a subscription to sell flour at reduced prices, and similar measures were adopted at Pontefract.

As reported in the Leeds Mercury of 15th August 1812.

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