Tuesday 29 December 2015

29th December 1815: Manchester Magistrates request troops due to worries about Calico weavers

My Lord,

In the efforts recently made by the master calico printers in this neighbourhood to resist the unlawful combinations which have so long and so injuriously prevailed amongst the journeymen, we find, from respectable representations, some reason to apprehend the latter may resort to plans of intimidation, either by destroying machinery where it is employed, or by other outrages of a similar tendency. The printing establishments are chiefly in the immediate vicinity of Manchester, Bury, Burnley, Blackburne, Clitheroe, Chorley and Stockport―

It is naturally the wish of the masters to be enabled to repel with effect, any attempts of the above description, and as their works are all within the range of thirty miles from Manchester it is conceived a sufficient force (about four troops) of cavalry stationed at the barracks there, for a few weeks, would fully answer the end.

Circumstances may render it expedient due to dispatch a portion of the proposed military aid to situations where, no violent proceeding has actually taken place, but where it appears to be threatened or meditated, and we beg leave to submit the propriety of directions to the officer in command at the barracks that he may not hesitate in attending to the request of the magistrate in cases of this nature. When we are honored with your Lordship’s sentiments we can if necessary communicate the same to acting magistrates near the several establishments we have mentioned. We are informed that only one troop of horse is now left at the Manchester Barracks.

we have the honor to be, My Lord,
Your Lordship’s most faithful obdt Servts

Ralph Wright
W Evans

New Bayley Court House
Manchr 29th Decr

To the Rt Honble Lord Sidmouth

This letter can be found at HO 42/147.

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