Saturday, 20 April 2013

20th April 1813: Cases of machine-breaking & compensation at the Chester Lent Assizes

The Chester Lent Assizes of 1813 saw some residual matters from the outbreaks of Luddism of 12 months previously come before it.

Two men from Newton, near Hyde, were before the Court for breaking machinery: John Cooper, a 23 year-old collier was charged with destroying a blowing machine belonging to Messrs Sidebottom at Mottram-in-Longdendale, and John Smith Rigby a 22 year-old hatter, the latter charged with breaking the only shearing-frames outside of West Yorkshire at Tintwistle 12 months earlier. Their prospects were not good, not least because 3 of the manufacturers targetted in the attacks had urged the Home Secretary to bring the matters to court. However, they were acquitted & discharged by proclamation, although they both had to enter into a recognizance for £40 to appear before the court if called upon.

In addition, the Manufacturers affected by the disturbances successfully brought cases for compensation against the relevant local authorities, and the outcome was as follows (the defendants names are the Constables for the relevant parishes in the hundred of Macclesfield):

Sidebottom v Garside - £220. 9s.
Turner v Cartwright - £27. 10s.
Rhodes v Garside - £80.
Thornley v Garside - £50.
Sidebotham v Garside - £45.
Wood v Garside - £58.
Wood v Vaux - £80. 8s. 8d.
S. Malkin v Vaux - £31. 8s. 5½d.
W. Malkin v Vaux - £7. 16s. 2½d.
Mason v Cartwright - £31. 16s.
Allen v Cartwright - £5. 12s. 6d.
Jacob v Cartwright - £1030.
Clegg v Cartwright - £29.
Goodier v Cartwright - £437
Holland v Vaux - £21. 15s. 1d.
Radcliffe v Cartwright - £70.
Hindley v Cartwright - £56. 6d.
Rowland v Cartwright - £5
Orme v Vaux - £21. 5s. 1d.

This is from the Chester Chronicle of 16th, 23rd & 30th April 1813 & the Chester Courant of 4th May 1813. The letter from the Manufacturers urging the prosecution of the Newton Luddites can be found at HO 42/133.

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