Monday, 9 May 2016

9th May 1816; Threshing Machine attacked at Clare, Suffolk

On Thursday 9th May, a Threshing Machine was attacked at Clare in Suffolk. Accounts of what happened vary, and it worth quoting two articles which appeared in the press to illustrate the confusion.

From the Bury & Norwich Post of  15th May 1816:
Thursday last a thrashing-machine was taken into the Market-place at Clare, and burnt by the populace.
From the (later) Suffolk Chronicle of 25th May 1816:
The statement of a threshing machine having been burnt in the market-place, at Clare, we understand, was incorrect. A part of the machine only was destroyed, in a field some distance from the town.
The incident was reported to the Home Office by a General Elwes on 23rd May 1816, stating it was the 'destruction of a Threshing Machine by fire', although he says it took place on the 8th May.

Elwes' letter can be found at HO 42/150.

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