Thursday 4 September 2014

4th September 1814: 16 stocking frames destroyed in Old & New Basford

On Sunday 4th September, just before midnight on the 5th, around 20 Luddites undertook a series of raids in both Old and New Basford in Nottinghamshire.

At the house of Thomas Ford in Old Basford, the group demolished 5 frames. The Luddites moved on to the house of James Smith in the same town, where they destroyed 5 cotton frames.

Moving to New Basford, the Luddites went to the home of Thomas Garton, and destroyed 6 frames there. Within a week, a man had been arrested after Garton gave testimony that he recognised one of the Luddites: his name was James Towle, and he was to become one of the most notorious figures in Midlands Luddism for the next 2 years.

As reported in the Derby Mercury of 15th and Leeds Mercury of the 24th September 1814. The Leeds Mercury has the wrong date (10th September) and mentions 16 frames being destroyed in detail, contrasting with the Derby Mercury's 15 frames and much less detail (their report coming via the Nottingham Journal). Towle's arrest was mentioned in a letter from George Coldham dated 15th October 1814 (the Leeds Mercury stated that an arrest had been made by the date of publication).

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