Saturday, 25 June 2016

25th June 1816: John Lloyd writes to the Home Office about distressed weavers in Stockport

Stockport 25 June 1816


In my last letter relating to the situation of the people in Stockport, I think I informed you that I had recommended to the Gentleman of the Town to make enquiry after Cases of distress thro’ want of employment, and to report them for relief—I have now the honor to inform you that a certain number of the Weavers delegates by the Body first made a return of the number and names of the Weavers with the number of Looms employed & unemployed, the total of which they made out to be — For Stockport

Looms employed 775 unemployed 1117 – no. of Families [illegible]         3410
For Edgeley [adg.] 208 unemployed 475 – [ditto]                 1070
For Heaton Norris 254 unemployed 241 – [ditto]                 913
also adjoining
[Total] 1237 unemployed 1833 – [ditto]                      5393

A Committee of [Gentlemen] were approved to go round the districts after them & yesterday [illegible] to report—The result was a very general distress amongst the Weavers but exaggeration had been practised—Indeed this I know for I attended the Committee & took a District myself & found the first statement extremely incorrect—The Committee have recommended to the magistrates about [110] objects for Relief—which it is intended to grant from the Poor rates, as no adequate Subscription can be raised to the purpose—but this is not all the busy & meddling part of them (few in number) want. They suggested that radical relief cou’d proceed only from the Government, & they urged the Committee to address a memorial to the Prince Regent; but of course that was not countenanced—I reminded them of the Letter answer they had received from Mr [illegible]—I expect to see a publication from the pen of a Gentleman formally in the Silk Trade who has got the cacoethes loquendi et scribendi—because I will not suffer him to harangue upon their favorite Topic of Exportation of Cotton Twist & a minimum price for wages—He addressed the note yesterday to the [meeting] of which the following is a Copy—"Preparing for Publication a Letter to John Lloyd Esqr. Detailing the Author’s Plan for the Relief of the Poor of Stockport &c and opposing the fallacy of Mr. Lloyd's representations or rather misrepresentations at the Public meeting on Thursday the 20 instant. By W. Dawson He who offers a plan for public adoption should observe it at once useful seasonable & practicable” L’Esprit de Loix—

“To prevent the idea of Collusion the Outlines of this plan are already sealed up & dated & deposited in the hands of respectable Neighbour" addressed

"To the magistrates on the Committee"

We paid the Weavers for making out the return and those who attended at the Inn where the meeting was held, appeared well pleased with the attention & solicitude of the Committee & magistrates—& they were paid for all the trouble they had taken but acquainted that they must not expect any more money whatever they took upon themselves to do—

My clerks are now extracting the names of those reported to be in extreme Distress, & the next difficulty I shall experience will be with the Overseers of the Poor, who cannot collect the rates sufficiently to answer the extra demands thus brought upon them—And I anticipate the greatest vexation from their Conduct, for their humanity is not natural and when they are not in any office they are very untoward, and aggravate the distress of the Poor.

I have [etc]

J Lloyd

P.S. We have had considerable vexation owing to a resolution amongst the Shopkeepers not to receive the plain silver Coinage – and your Letter was particularly seasonable—Things are now going on better—

This letter can be found at HO 42/151.

No comments:

Post a Comment