Monday, 21 January 2013

21st January 1913: 'Blood for Blood Says General Ludd' - a threatening message is left for Joseph Mellor at his home

On the morning of Thursday 21st January 1813, a worker or apprentice at the workshop of Joseph Mellor found an alarming message nearby.

The Tenters that Mellor kept near to his workshop had been cut, as had some of the cloth on them. Hung on the latch of a door was a piece of cloth, crudely cut into the shape of a heart, with holes cut into it. Across the shape was a series of letters written in chalk spelling 'B.F.B.S.G.L' - 'Blood for Blood Says General Ludd'.

Although Joseph had done exactly as his cousin George had urged him to do at the trial, i.e. 'tell the truth', it seems that some were unhappy with him having given any evidence at all. But Joseph felt intimidated enough to get a message to the commanding officer at Huddersfield - Lieutenant-Colonel Lang - and 3 soldiers were posted guard at his house the same day. If he hadn't done so before, by seeking such help Joseph had now firmly pitched in his lot with the military and the authorities.

This is from the Leeds Intelligencer of 25th January 1813 & a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Lang to General Acland of 21st January 1812, which can be found at HO 40/2/3.

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