Monday, 15 April 2013

15th April 1813: South Wales magistrates express concern that illegal oaths are being sworn amongst ironworkers

My Lord

From the great Depression of the Iron Trade throughout the Kingdom & the manifest loss which the Ironmasters have had & are now sustaining; has Induced those Concernd in the Trade in the Counties of Glamorgan, Monmouth &c. to give notice to their Workmen that they Intend to make a trifling reduction in their wages which it seems have hitherto been higher than in other parts of the Kingdom — Upon this being made known to the men, they have shewn that Spirit of Resistance, by private meetings Swearing or as they term it Twisting in by Anonimous Letters. & in short have been taking the same steps which so much disgraced the workmen in the Northern Counties — We the Undersigned are a magistrate for the County of Glamorgan & Two for the County of Monmouth do Strongly recommend to Government as a matter Precaution to Station a Troop of Horse at Abergavenny & another at Brecknock before the 24th Instant to take the earliest advantage to Suppress any Riots which may occur & we are Apprehensive will happen

We Conceive it would be Prudent not to Inform any one except the Commanding officers for what purpose the Two Troops are sent to Abergavenny & Brecon as it would Cause an Immediate alarm thro’ all the Country

Knowing the Anxious wish which Government always Entertain for the Peace of the Country – we humbly submit that our Representation in this Subject will meet with Attention & we particularly request your Lordships Answer as Early as possible directed to Wm Forman Esqr Merthyr near Cardiff & beg that we may be favord with the name of the Officer each Troop to whom Application must be made in case of Emergency

We have [etc]

William Foreman (Glamorganshire)
Richd Fothergill
Mattw Monkhouse (Monmouthshire)

Merthyr Tidvil
15 Apl 1813—

This letter can be found at HO 42/133.

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