Saturday, 21 May 2016

21st May 1816: Stockport Weavers petition to Parliament

To the Honorable the House of Commons of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled the Petition of the Cotton Weavers and the Town of Stockport and Neighbourhood

Humbly sheweth,

That there at present upwards of fifteen Thousand Individuals in the Town and Neighbourhood of Stockport to have hitherto earned their Subsistence by Cotton-Weaving.

That, according to the prices paid for Cotton Weaving in the early part of the Year 1814 a diligent weaver might earn on an Average to the Amount of Sixteen shillings and sixpence per week—

That owing to the vast Reduction which has taken place in the prices of Cotton-weaving since that period, it is out of the power of an industrious weaver to earn more than five shillings per week—that a view of these circumstances will convince your honorable house of the utter impossibility of a Cotton-Weaver by labouring at the present prices being able to procure subsistence for himself and family and of his inability to pay the common Demands of Rent, Leys and Taxes which are much greater with him than other Mechanics owing to the greater Extent of Premises required for Loom-Standing &c

That your Petitioners are not able to point out the Causes which have led to such a lamentable reduction in their wages nor do they pretend to suggest the means of removing such Causes but they rely with the strongest hope and Confidence that your honorable house when thus informed of the deplorable State of your humble Petitioners will in its wisdom and humanity adopt the speediest method of affording them Relief for which they well as in duty bound ever pray &c

Sign’d on behalf of the Cotton-Weavers of Town and neighbourhood of Stockport

[21st May]

The peition can be found at HO 42/150.

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