Monday, 5 December 2011

5th December 1811: Nottingham under Curfew


THE MAGISTRATES, effectually to prevent the People of the Town from being liable to be confounded with those who may come from the Country to commit Outrages upon the Property of its Inhabitants, feel themselves under the Necessity of commanding, that ALL PUBLICANS shall shut up their Houses, and not permit or suffer any Guests to be or remain therein after Ten o'Clock at Night. And they do further direct all Persons, within the Town, to keep within their Houses, and to enjoin upon the Individuals of their Families, their Servants, and Dependents, the keeping at home after Ten o'Clock at Night, during the present Disposition to Tumult.

The Magistrates suppose that few Persons are ignorant, that to forcibly to enter a House in the Night-time, in order to demolish a Frame, amounts to the Crime of BURGLARY; which, by Law, is punishable with DEATH. But, from recent Circumstances, which have come to their knowledge, they think it incumbent upon them thus publicly to declare, to all Persons employed in the Manufacturing of Stockings and Lace, and entrusted with the Care of the Frames or other Property of their Employers, that in case of any such Property being destroyed in their possession, all those Individuals, who shall appear to have left their Doors open, in order to admit Persons to come therein for the avowed Purpose of destroying Frames or other Property or who shall wilfully decline to call Assistance for preventing their Destruction, or who shall aid or assist the Persons demolishing the same, in their escape from the Civil Power, will be deemed Accomplices with the principal Felons, and will be proceeded against as such, with the utmost severity of the Law.



Nottingham, 5th December, 1811.

This unprecedented action by the Nottingham Town Magistrates was followed by similar actions by Magistrates in Derby and Leicestershire. Imposing opening hours on Public Houses was not brought in for over 100 years after the Luddite uprisings. This notice was published in the Nottingham Review, 6th December 1811.

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