Tuesday, 8 May 2012

8th May 1812: The Bolton Local Militia make arrests at Great Lever

At around 2.00 a.m. on Friday 8th May 1812, the Bolton Local Militia made a series of raids at cottages near to Thomas Hulme & Co's Bleachworks at Great Lever, near Bolton for Luddite suspects.

In depositions made subsequently, many of those who were subsequently discharged attested to the manner in which they were treated - unlocked doors being broken open and knocked off their hinges, family members being seized etc. A nightwatchman at the bleachworks, James Openshaw, observed the raids. All the suspects were taken to Colonel Ralph Fletcher's home at the Hollins to be questioned. Some were discharged almost as soon as they arrived, whilst others were questioned and given Bail.

The names of those seized, and subsequently discharged, are: James Rosthun, William Birchby, James Birchby, James Rothwell, John Taylor, William Garstang & Adam Thornley.

The depositions can be found at HO 42/132. They were collected, with other evidence, by Dr Robert Taylor, a Unitarian Physician who later published a letter in March 1813 about the methods of Fletcher and his Bolton Local Militia.

No comments:

Post a Comment