Monday, 31 July 2017

31st July 1817: Jeffery Lockett informs the Home Office of the outcome of Samuel Caldwell's trial

Leicester July 31.st 1817

Dear Sir


The prisoner accepted our proposal & pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with the offence of framebreaking―The words were scarcely out of his mouth before he was seized with a very violent convulsion fit which continued more than half an hour and left him in a state of insensibility. The judge will pass sentence upon him tomorrow.

My advances on account of the Treasons & in this [business] are considerable. You will oblige me if you will authorize Mr Litchfield to place some money to my acct: at Messrs Lees & Co. of Lombard St.

I am Dear Sir
Your most obed Servt

Wm Jeffery Lockett

[To Henry Hobhouse]

31st July 1817: Samuel Caldwell convicted of frame-breaking during the 'Loughborough Job' - the final Luddite trial

On Thursday 31st July 1817, at Leicester Assizes, the Luddite Samuel Caldwell (aka 'Big Sam') pleaded guilty to frame-breaking during the 'Loughborough Job' over a year earlier, and was sentenced to transportation for life.

Caldwell had stood trial with his comrades in April at the previous Assizes, but had been seized with a violent fit before the trial commenced proper. He had been held in prison since then awaiting another trial.

The Leicester Chronicle of 2nd August 1817, covered the trial thus:
Samuel Caldwell, charged with breaking Heathcote and Boden's frames, in Loughborough, having pleaded Guilty, was sentenced to transportation for life, the charge for shooting at Asher being abandoned. This is the Prisoner whose trial stood over from last Assizes, in consequence of being seized with a fit, when arrainged with the unfortunate men who have since suffered. He was similarly attacked on Thursday, after he had pleaded Guilty to Frame-breaking.
Caldwell's trial and sentence has been overlooked by most historians, but this was effectively the final Luddite trial.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

22nd July 1817: Two frames sabotaged at Wimeswold, Leicestershire

The Leicester Chronicle of Saturday 2nd August reported an act of sabotage that had taken place in Wimeswold in the early hours of Tuesday 22nd July 1817:
In the night of Mondsay se'nnight, a stocking-maker's shop at John Clarke's, of Wimeswold, near Loughborough, was broken open, and the jack-wires withdrawn from two of the frames, and taken away, besides a little injury done to some of the needles. It is supposed that this serious mischief (serious indeed to the life of the perpetrator thereof, if he should be caught,) was committed at the early hour of one o'clock in the morning, as some neighbours heard a noise thereabouts. There was another frame in the shop, but is escaped being at all meddled with. Working under price is assigned as the cause of this lamentable occurrence. We also understand, that an event of a pretty similar description has recently taken place at Castle Donington.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

19th July 1817: Pre-publication advert for Francis Raynes' expose of his anti-Luddite activities in the North of England in 1812

Francis Raynes attempts to secure remuneration for his services to the Government during 1812 had been largely fruitless, and by 1817, amidst the furore produced by the uncovering of Oliver the Spy, he had taken a decision to 'publish and be damned' (in the words of Wellington).

The advert below appeared in the Morning Chronicle of Saturday 19th July 1817:


In the press and speedily will be published,
AN APPEAL to the PUBLIC, containing an ACCOUNT of SERVICES rendered during the Disturbances in the Manufacturing Districts of the North of England, in the year 1812. With an Account of the Means adopted which eventually led to their Suppression; together with a Correspondence with Governors, the Duke of Montrose and others, on the subject of a Remuneration for those Services. By FRANCIS RAYNES, formerly Lieutenant in the 12th, of Price of Wales’s Light Dragoons, late Captain in the Stirlingshire Militia.

“Then fancy that the thing is done,
As if the power and will were one.”
“Kings might indeed their friends reward,
But Ministry find less regard.”―GAY.

London: printed for John Richardson, 91, Royal Exchange, and Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, Paternoster-row; and M. Stack, Gainsburgh.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

12th July 1817: The Treasury Solicitor authorizes payment of the legal bills for the final Luddite trials

[Lincoln’s] Inn
12th July 1817.

Sir.

The King agt: Towle & ors
Same agt: Savage & ors.

I have the honor to inclose the Bills of Costs charges and Expences incurred in these Prosecutions by Messrs: Ward Lockett & Balguy of Derby amounting in the first Case to Seven hundred and ninety two Pounds fifteen Shillings & nine Pence and in the latter Case to Fourteen Hundred and Seventy five Pounds and nine Pence together with Abstracts thereof―These Accounts have been examined in the usual manner, and deductions made of those charges which are not ordinarily allowed, but the principal part of those deductions arising from an Extra charge for a managing Clerk in the course of this business, which considering the nature & Extent of these prosecutions & the various places, at which the business was going on at the same time, may not be deemed unreasonable or improper to be allowed. I should submit that with the deduction of fifteen Shillings from the first Bill and Six Pounds one Shilling from the Second, the remainder which will then amount to Two thousand two hundred and Sixty one Pounds x x x x x x v and six Pence may be allowed and paid to Messrs: Ward Lockett & Balguy in full discharge of these Bills―

I am
Sir
Your very faithfull
and obedient Servant

H. C. Litchfield

[To] H. Hobhouse Esqr
&c &c &c

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

11th July 1817: The 'Destroying Stocking Frames Act, 1817'

An Act to repeal an Act, passed in the Fifty fourth Year of His present Majesty, for the Punishment of Persons destroying Stocking or Lace Frames, and Articles in such Frames, and to make, until the First Day of August One thousand eight hundred and twenty, other Provisions in lieu thereof.

[11th July 1817.] 

WHEREAS an Act was passed in the Fifty Second Year of His present Majesty's Reign, intituled An Act for the more exemplary Punishment of Persons destroying or injuring any Stocking or Lace Frames, or other Machines or Engines used in the Framework Knitted Manufactory, or any Articles and Goods in such Frames or Machines; to continue in force until the First Day of March One thousand eight hundred and fourteen: And Whereas an Act passed in the Fifty fourth Year of the Reign of His present Majesty, intituled An Act to repeal an Act of the Fifty Second Year of His present Majesty, for the Punishment of Persons destroying Stocking or Lace Frames, or any Articles in such Frames, and to make other Provisions instead thereof: And Whereas it is expedient that the said last recited Act of the Fifty fourth Year aforesaid should be repealed, and other Provisions made instead thereof: Be it therefore enacted by The King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this Act the said last recited Act of the Fifty fourth Year aforesaid shall be repealed, and the same is hereby repealed, save and except as to so much of the said last recited Act as repeals the said recited Act of the Fifty second Year aforesaid, and also save and except as to any thing done before the passing of this Act, with respect to which the said Act shall remain and be in full Force and Effect as if this Act had not been made.

II. And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act, if any Person or Persons shall by Day or by Night enter by force into any House, Shop or Place, with an Intent to cut or destroy or any Framework Knitted Pieces, Stockings, Lace or other Articles or Goods, being in the Frame, or upon any Machine or Engine thereto annexed, or therewith to be used or prepared for that Purpose, or with an Intent to break or destroy any Frame, Machine, Engine, Tool, Instrument or Utensil used in and for the working and making of any such Framework Knitted Pieces, Stockings, Lace or other Articles or Goods in the Hosiery or Framework Knitted Manufactory, or shall wilfully and maliciously, and without having the Consent or Authority of the Owner, destroy or cut, with an Intent to destroy or render useless, any Framework Knitted Pieces, Stockings, Lace or other Articles or Goods, being in the Frame or upon any Machine or Engine as aforesaid, or prepared for that Purpose, or shall wilfully and maliciously, and without having the Consent or Authority of the Owner, break, destroy or damage, with an Intent to destroy or render useless, any Frame, Machine, Engine, Tool, Instrument or Utensil used in and for the working and making of any such Framework Knitted Pieces, Stockings, Lace or other Articles or Goods in the Hosiery or Framework Knitted Stockings, or Framework Lace Manufactory; or shall wilfully and maliciously, and without having the Consent or Authority of the Owner, break or destroy any Machinery contained in any Mill or Mills used or any way employed in preparing or spinning of Wool or Cotton, or other Materials, for the Use of the Stocking or Lace Manufactory, every Offender being thereof lawfully convicted shall be adjudged guilty of Felony, and shall suffer Death as in cases of Felony without Benefit of Clergy. 

III. And be it further enacted, That this Act shall continue and be in force until the First Day of August, which will be in the Year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty.