Tuesday, 29 November 2011

29th November 1811: Framebreaking at Beeston, Blidworth & New Radford

The Luddites now felt bold and confident enough to launch attacks in 3 different locations on Friday 29th November.

At Beeston, 18 frames were destroyed, at Blidworth, up to 12 were broken and at New Radford, a lace frame 'of great value' was smashed1. The Leeds Mercury2 had a particularly vivid description of the attack at Beeston:
"on Saturday night a concerted and organized attack was made on the village of Beeston, by about 200 of the rioters, some of whom were armed. The sentinels chosen by the rioters had a watch-word, and when they were all at their post and the watch-word past, they proceeded to breaking the frames of obnoxious Masters. In one house that they entered they found the family at supper, but to this they paid no regard; they seized the candle which was on the table, and immediately rushed up into the room where the frames were, and destroyed them all, and then departed without speaking a word."
The Leeds Mercury3 also reported that an unspecified frames were also broken at Basford on the same evening.

1. According to the Derby Mercury of 12th December 1811, the value was £90, and is equivalent to £4,980 at 2009 prices. The offence was that the hosier "bad not conformed with the regulations of working by the the rack"
2.7th December 1811.
3. 7th December 1811. In their report, Conant & Baker report 18 frames broken at Basford, but they seem to have confused this with Beeston, which goes unmentioned. The report is at HO 42/119.

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