Wednesday, 23 March 2011

'A friend to peace and good order' - 23rd March 1811

The following letter was printed in the 23rd March 1811 edition of the Nottingham Journal:
To Persons concerned in the Nottingham Manufactory
It is alarming to hear of the mischief which has been done, and is yet doing, in the villages around us, in almost every direction; and which seems likely to wear a more serious aspect. 
Surely it is the duty of those in office to give full information to the Cost of these proceedings; that it may immediately take effectual measures to check designs which may yet be only in contemplation. 
The folly of the Stocking Weavers, in destroying the Frames belonging to their masters (but many of them the property of persons no way concerned in the trade), is indeed most absurd and infamous. 
It is the most effectual way of injuring themselves; by throwing out of work for month, or years, the machines by which they gain a livelihood. 
It reminds us of children, who quarrel with their bread and butter, throw it into the dirt in a pet, and then cry because they have nothing to eat. 
It is much to be regretted, that the Hosiers should avowedly be at variance at such a crisis. 
If, instead of reproaching each other in the public prints, they would convene a GENERAL MEETING of the TRADE, and come to a decided resolution on which to act, and publish the same with the signatures of their respective names at the foot, as has been the usual custom on similar occasions, there can be no doubt when the Workmen saw these Resolutions founded upon general consent, that they would consider it vain to oppose the unanimous determination of their Employers, and quietly return to their work. 
It would otherwise be "kicking against the pricks." 
A friend to Peace and good Order. 
Nottingham, March 22, 1811.

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