Friday, 21 December 2012

21st December 1812: Stocking-frame broken in Beeston, close to where troops stationed

Although the number of incidents were low in comparison with the year before, Nottinghamshire Luddites were recovering their boldness. A raid mounted in the evening of Monday 21st December 1812 demonstrated that well.

Eight Luddites entered the home and workshop of Henry Cox, who was not at home, although a woman was present. One of the Luddites stood guard over her, whilst the remainder went upstairs to the workshop where they destroyed a 34 gauge stocking frame which belonged to a framesmith called Turner from Nottingham. For good measure, the Luddites also took away a rack and treble tackle (worth 7 shillings 6 pence), a brand new saw, 2 pairs of pliers, 1 pair of scissors, a spoke shave, a pair of point moulds (which belonged to a 30 gauge from the property of Mr Hovey), a wrench and four bobbins of silk.

The raid was particularly daring because troops were stationed 150 yards away, and the Luddites passed the New Inn on their way to Cox's house: despite the fact that 14 men were stood in around the door of the pub, none of them intervened or raised the alarm with the troops. Eventually, the alarm was raised with the authorities, but 30 minutes after the Luddites had left.

As reported in the Manchester Mercury of 5th January 1813; a letter from General Maitland to the Home Office dated 24th December 1812 has details, as does Thomis (1970, p.181).

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