Monday 31 July 2017

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 1st 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.

1 comment:

  1. Samuel Caldwell is my ancestor on my father's side. After the trial he was deported to Australia where I have been able to trace some links.