Tuesday, 24 April 2012

24th April 1812: Thomas Large of the United Committee of Framework-knitters writes from Londons Large, Nottingham

[To] Thos Roper
Newtons Head

April 24, 1812


While we was writing to you the other day Mr Toplas was walking up Fleet street, near Temple bar, and was knocked down by the pole of a coach, as he was crossing the road, the horses trode upon his Breast and Leg—but we hope he will be able to attend to Business this afternoon, tho Henson has been to see how he is, and found him very very poorly, he cannot keep anything on his stomach, at present. In the mean time Henson (while I am writing this to you and to derby and Leicester and Godalming) has gone with two of the London Committee to the Hatten garden Magistrates Latham is gone to John Smith, and we are to have an interview with Mr Benson this afternoon. Mr Toplas thinks he can travel by water, we wish if you think it prudent, for you to have a general meeting of the Trade next Monday—and we will send you all the information we can by that time (Monday night) We have engaged the same Room, where the carpinter committee sat, when they brought on the late Trial on the sistem of colting. We have had an opportunity of speaking to them on the subject, they thought we possesed a fund on a permanent principle to answer any demand, at any time, and if that had been the case, would have Lent us two or three thousand pounds, (for there is £20,000 in the fund belonging that Trade) but When they understood our Trade kept no regular fund to support itself, Instead of Lending us money, Their noses underwent a Mechanical turn upwards, and each saluted the other with a significant stare, Ejaculating Lord bless us!!! what fools!!! they Richly deserve all they put! and ten times more !!! We always thought stockeners a sett of poor creatures! Fellows as wanting of spirit, as their pockets are of money, What would out Trade be, if we did not combine to gether? perhaps as poor as you are, at this day, Look at other Trades! they all combine, (the Spitalfeild weavers exepted, and what a Miserable condition are they in) see the Tailers, shoemakers, Bookbinders, Gold bearers, printers, Bricklayers, Coatmakers, Hatters Curriers, Masons, whitesmiths, none of these trades Receive Less than 30s/- a week, and from that to five guineas this is all done by combination, without it their Trades would be as bad as yours, even govt. cannot precent bad articles, if your hands are such fools to make them, these are the yours arguments made use of by persons who know nothing of our Trade - how far they are right I believe you can Judge

heris is a shopman, Romanis cheapside, has got such tales about Ned Ludd, stuck in is window, and two stocking frames at work close to the shop door a large drawer full of guineas, half guineas, and seven shilling pieces in the window, all to attract notice, and he sells the damed’ist Rubbish of Framework, goods we ever saw in our Lives, he’s got Long armed Cotton gloves, selvages, marked to sell at sixpence per pair, single press, cut up, &c, shot down at his door, And shoveled in, the same as you shovel in coals at Nottm., his window is also full of songs about the amazing cheapness of his goods considering the price of Labour &c—

His mash, he sells for silk, and single press
For What it should be made, or rather Less,
And tells the Town, that he alone has gotton
Brown stockings, made of real india cotton
But when we Eyed them, soon we did disern
His india cotton, nought but single yarn
And others silks, this Roman doth declare
Are not his weight, by half an ounce a pair
Tho—what we saw, we viewed the window round
Would take full twenty pair to weight a pound
His pantaloons, what he calls double milled
A pound a pair, with twits, and burs and filld
And cotton Gloves, Long arms and Seemly fair
Hang in his window, marked sixpence a pair
Thus is this Villain, trading in the Trash
That was the cause of many a dreadful Smash
We hear he’s Likely, soon to be in the fleet
Pray god almighty send, that we may see it
Before we Leave this Town, for well we know
Goods Like his, has filld our Trade with Woe.

you will have the goodness to smiths anser to the circular Letter, and all the things that have been wrote for before, we shall write again to morrow


Thos Large.

Mr. Fryers Tailer No 10 Leigh Street
red Lyon Square London
Give my Wife 12 shillings

This letter can be found in the Records of the Borough of Nottingham, vol.8, 1800-1835 (pp.143).

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