Friday 13 January 2012

13th January 1812: 4 lace frames destroyed at New Radford - an anatomy of an attack

A detailed description of 2 Luddite raids at New Radford was published by the Nottingham Review of 17th January 1812:
"On Monday evening, about six o’clock, eight men entered the house of Mr. Noble, at New Radford, in various disguises, and armed with different instruments of destruction; and whilst one remained below to take care Of Mrs. N. the others proceeded up stairs to demolish four warp lace frames, because they were making what is called two course hole. In vain Mr. Noble informed them that he was receiving eightpence a yard more than the standard price. “It was not the price,” they said, “but the sort of net that they objected to," and he was forced out of his frame with the blow of a sword, which narrowly missed his head, and cut asunder nearly the whole of the threads across his frames. The screams of his wife (which a severe blow on the head .with the butt end of a pistol could not still) brought him down to her assistance, where he found a neighbour, who had come in at the back door to their aid; and who in conjunction with Mr. N. seized the man in the house, and attempted to disarm him; but he, finding himself in danger, called out “Ned Ludd,” when his companions rushed down stairs before they had demolished the fourth frame, to his rescue; and, in the scuffle, one of them snapped a pistol, which happily missed fire. When their companion was liberated, they found the door fast; but they cut it in pieces in a few seconds, and forced their way through a collected crowd, threatening destruction to any one who should attempt to oppose-them. The same night they went to a house on the forest-side to demolish two warp lace frames, for the reason above assigned; but on the man and his family putting up the most tender entreaties for mercy, (the frames being the product of his own diligent industry,) and giving his word to make no more of that sort of net, his frames were spared; but with the most horrid threats of vengeance if he did not keep his promise. "

As reported in the Nottingham Review of 17th January 1812. Malcolm Thomis (1970, p.179) adds that Noble paid his employees in truck, although it's not clear where this information is from.

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