Friday, 26 February 2016

26th February 1816: The Huddersfield solicitor John Allison informs the Home Secretary about the latest Luddite attack in the West Riding

Huddersfield 26th February 1816

My Lord

It is with extreme concern that I have to report to your Lordship, that a system of disturbance & outrage similar to that which raged in this part of the Country 4 years ago, has again made its appearance – and by the direction of Sir Josh Radcliffe Baronet, I transmit the Copy of an Examination taking this Morning before him – In addition to the facts which it discloses, I have learnt that Roberts who has used the Improved Machinery ever since the Special Commission for this County, has been frequently threatened an abused of late by persons whom he did not know, but who appeared to be Cloth Dressers – that when the attack was made upon it, as stated in the Examination, no Fire Arms were used – no Guard stood over him, or any part of his family – no Shouting or threats were used at the time, nor did the perpetrators com into the House as formerly was the case—. I beg leave also to add for your Lordship’s Information, that in my humble Opinion, there is no apparent scarcity of work in the neighbourhood to justify any such proceedings, and that provisions are very cheap; it may therefore be hoped that the present outrage may proceed more from private malice against this Individual than from any determined Spirit of Opposition to the improved Machinery; altho’ it is much to be lamented that that Spirit is merely smothered but not destroyed—. I have made most of the leading persons who have adopted these Improvements acquainted with this Movement, & have every reason to expect they will use precautionary measures, & will actually Defend their property as they ought to do — I have particular Assurances from Mr. Wm Cartwright of Rawfolds, and several others, that they will be prepared to meet all future movements, in case any shall be made & there shall be no supineness to prevent these disgraceful proceedings on the part of

My Lord,
your Lordships very obt & faithfl hble St
Jno. Allison &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/148.

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