Monday, 16 June 2014

16th June 1814: A member of the Framework-knitters Union writes to a contact in Scotland

Nottm June 16. 1814


Having seen the letter you have sent to your Brother Timothy expressing the Disposition of the Trade of Dumfries to join their Friends in England in uniting themselves under the Union, I feel it my Duty to give you every Information on the Subject. You will see by the Articles that the intent of the Institution is to unite every branch for the support of each other in times of Distress. The Institution has been found to be very beneficial to every branch, as we have all received a small advance on our work except the Plain Silk hands, which we are now contending for; we have had 300 hands out of employ for more than 6 weeks because the Hosiers have not the honour to give a reasonable advance. The Hosiers have formed a powerful Combination against us, but this we have not cared for, we have persevered, and resolved to persevere until we accomplish the object in view which we hope is not far distant.

The Union is well established in Nottingham Derby and their Counties, and is making very rapid progress throughout Leicestershire, London, Godalming, Tewksbury and Northamptonshire have all formed themselves, and we have long wished to form an Interest in North Britain in order that the principle may be diffused throughout the North; and we are happy to find that Dumfries is anxious to set the example, and help when you have formed yourselves you will disseminate the principle through all Scotland; for depend upon it if the Trade are united and true to their own Interest, we shall be able to make our Trade as respectable as any other in the Kingdom and no longer be designated by the application of "Stracking Stockingers". According to request I have sent for Articles and 60 Deplomas, that you may form yourselves as soon as possible. I have taken the liberty to fill one of the Deplomas up for yourself in order that your Secretary may not be at a loss on that head. The Secy must place his name opposite to the number; I hope you will excuse us not writing sooner as we are now so strong, we have scarcely time to attend anything but the Turn out.

(Signed) S. Simpson

N.B. direct for me Newton’s Head, Glasshouse Lane Nottingham

This letter was intercepted by Scottish authorities, and a copy can be found at HO 42/140.

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