Friday, 10 June 2016

10th June 1816: Informer's report on Nottinghamshire Luddites

Monday 10th June 1816.—

I was not with those who broke the Frames at Radford yesterday morning & do not know to a certainty who any of them are, but from the conduct and expressions of 3 or 4 men in whose Company I have been to day whose names I do not yet know but whose persons am well acquainted with I have good reason to believe were some of them. It was at the Odd Fellows (formerly the Pelican) Radford, I saw them. A man came in that they call a Constable, and one of these men has been with Badder when I have been with him. He is about 5 [feet] 5 or 6 inches high, franfreckled, longish mouth. A Blue Great Coat with large buttons upon it but no small Coat underneath. He said the man who came in, supposed to be a Constable and who went with the Landlady into a Room privately was come to Pump the Mistress. I told him they were foolish to trust her and he said in reply she was as good a Pump as old Mrs Seymour.—There was another man sat in the House whom he said they set to get his piece off by Candle light on Saturday night till ten o'Clock I think he said, at Wrights, as I understand him before his Frame was broke and I understood him that that man had a Brother whose Frame was saved.—He said they have taken two but we have got good evidence to prove one was in Narrow Marsh and the other at the Odd Fellows at the time the Frames were broke. I could not learn any of their names a man with thick lips he said acted as Waiter on Saturday night and that he supposed saved him from being apprehended. Some of them I understood got into the Water House and had some ale there and dressed in their disguises.—

Some Chaps came from Hucknall to Bulwell last Sunday but one — Three of the named Clarke, two of them brothers and the other their Father – They asked me if I thought all the wide Frames in Bulwell could be broken in one night,—where they were and how many there were – I told them I thought they could all be broke in one night but could not tell exactly where they all stood. They asked to learn where they are and told me that Arnold is quite ready and they were ready at Hucknall and were doing their Exercise every night. I said I would get to know if I could. I expect they will want me to pilot them when they are ready and have fixed to do the Job. I was at Arnold last Thursday and was with Geo. Shaw and Fell. They spoke against doing anything till the Petition had gone to Parliament, and they spoke as if the Petition was of little use but they had better try. I have not seen Badder since I was here last. I learnt that they broke the Frames yesterday morning because they gave abated prices and the woman had so many girls prentice at running.—

This report can be found at HO 42/121.

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