Wednesday, 26 December 2012

26th December 1812: 10 stocking-frames broken by Luddites in Melbourne, Derbyshire

At midnight on Saturday 26th December 1812, Derbyshire Luddites conducted their first raid in almost a year. a 'large party' of Luddites arrived at the workshop of Thomas Mitchell as Christmas Day was passing into Boxing Day and forced open the door, which lay 30 yards from Mitchell's house. Eleven stocking-frames occupied the upper floor of Mitchell's workshop, and the Luddites destroyed ten of them - windows were broken and the remains of the frames deposited through them. Unfinished work left in the frames was cut up and destroyed.

Mitchell had heard the commotion and came to his bedroom window - Luddites outside the workshop threatened him and waved a pistol at him. They then proceeded to break into his house by destroying a window and set about destroying earthenware and a looking glass.

Three hour after the raid had commenced, the Luddites proceeded to the house of Matthew Nall, 100 yards distant and started breaking a window, but they were disturbed in some way and decided to flee.

Some time later, a hatchet marked 'WC' was found in Mitchell's workshop.

As reported in the Derby Mercury of 7th January 1813.

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