Wednesday, 23 April 2014

23rd April 1814: Simon Orgill attacks the Nottingham Review's report about the raid on his factory



Not doubting but that you will give a much injured man the opportunity of defending his character against an attack made on it in a weekly publication, viz. the Nottingham Review of last week, I have presumed to solicit the admission of the following into your highly respectable paper. After having named the attack made upon me and my property, he tells his readers he was at Donington when this violent outrage was committed; he was, but why he was there is best known to himself, about this I make no enquiry. He then proceeds to narrate the particulars, which he has done with a tolerable degree of accuracy, except in one instance, where he says one machine is but slightly injured; in this he is much mistaken; the injury having been done with a broad, thin, and sharp instrument, was not so apparent. Not content with having done this, he proceeds by an hypothetical Inuendo to assign a reason why this dreadful Evil was inflicted on me, and which it is impossible to construe into any thing short of an apology for the perpetrators. He accuses me, or rather says I have been accused, of paying less wages than are paid at Nottingham. This is false; I assert, without fear of refutation, that for one kind of work I pay more by 10 per cent, than they do. He then goes on to say, that I justify myself by pleading superior speed in my machinery. I ask who has accused me, and to whom have I set up this justification; I owe obedience to none but to my country and its laws,―against them I am unconscious of having transgressed: I am accountable to no man nor set of men for the manner in which I conduct my own affairs, nor will I ever be called to an account by them. This writer proceeds to give a direct invitation to the persons now in my employment, and assures to them plenty of work elsewhere. How kind!!! It is not enough that my life must be attempted and my property destroyed, but this insidious attempt must be made to prevent me from repairing the damages; but on this score I trust he will now be satisfied.

The miscreants who have visited me with their vengeance, have added ingratitude to the black catalogue of their crimes. But perhaps they do not know it. I will tell them; and I believe I shall not be charged with vanity or Egotism when I say, that it is to me that they owe all the facilities of which the warp frames are now capable. After considerable study, and considerable expence too, I discovered the mode of applying wheels to the common horizontal warp frame; this discovery I gave up to the trade without reward, or hope of reward. For the truth of this statement I appeal to William Vickers, Broad-marsh, and to Mr. Smith, framesmith. How well I am recompensed, the Editor of the Review can tell.

Yours, most respectfully,

This letter appeared in the Nottingham Journal of 23rd April 1814, and was reprinted in the Nottingham Review of 29th April 1814.

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