Nottingham 23d May 1814.
As Secretary to the Committee lately appointed by the Hosiers of Nottingham in consequence a publick Meeting in London of Gentlemen connected with this Manufactory in order to oppose the present alarming & dangerous Combination amongst the Frameworknitters, I am Directed with the utmost diffidence & respect to suggest to your Lordship’s consideration that it has occurred to the Committee that the immediate Disbanding (if it could be accomplished without any material Inconvenience to his Majesty’s Service) of the Leicester & Nottingham & Derbyshire Regiments of Militia but particularly the Nottingham Regiment would very much tend to frustrate the System upon which the Nottingham Union Society is at present acting. They have lately compelled large Masses of the Frameworknitters working for different Hosiers to strike & give over working for them. Already the Hands of Messrs J & G Ray & Co. have/at their Suggestion or Command—It is rumoured that they are about to force the Hands of another [Hosier] thereof Beardmore & Co. to come to similar Determination—Under these circumstances the more Frameworknitters were at Home in a Situation to receive Work. the more equal would the Hosiers be to meet the Effects of this formidable Combination & the more likely would they be to find Persons ready to supply the places of those whom these Committees may be enabled to persuade to act upon this System. Every Acession of Numbers of Persons wanting Employment which can be sent home & placed in such a Situation as to be enabled to supply the Deficiencies in the regular Workmen with Drawn from their Masters by the Combination must in the Judgement of the Committee be a powerful occasion of Embarrassment to the System which the Frameworknitters are pursuing. If they go to work upon their usual Terms with their old Employers they make it difficult if not impossible for the Goods manufactured by the Frameworknitters to sell the Goods produced by their manufacturing Committee & if there is a want of Sale there must be an immediate Stop put to the Manufactory on account of the impossibility of obtaining the raw material for any other purpose that the manufacturing Goods which have an immediate Sale. If they [illegible] which might be thus added to the Population here Dependent upon the Manufactoury should join the Combination they must either find them work or a supply of money & to do other will necessarily lead to embarrass their System or exhaust their Resources—I hope your Lordship will excuse my stating these Circumstances for your Consideration. The Committee leave them with your Lordship under a persuasion that you will have the Goodness if it should be practicable to give them their Attention which they may appear to your Lordship to deserve—
I have [etc]
[To Lord Sidmouth]
This letter can be found at HO 42/139.