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An Atlas of Industrial Protest in Britain 1750–1990 by Andrew Charlesworth, David Gilbert, Adrian Randall, Humphrey

By Andrew Charlesworth, David Gilbert, Adrian Randall, Humphrey Southall, Chris Wrigley (auth.)

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Additional resources for An Atlas of Industrial Protest in Britain 1750–1990

Example text

During winter of 1811, there had been discussions at Stockport between weavers, manufacturers and magistrates concerning the level of wages and the effects of steam looms on employment but these had come to nothing. Failure to obtain redress of their grievances at local level led to two delegates from the weavers being sent to London to present their case to the Secretary of State. This too produced no satisfaction. By February 1812, rumours of impending attacks on weaving factories were circulating.

The Westhoughton incident marked the beginning of the end of the industrial disturbances. The mill's destruction had resulted from a misjudgement on the Lancashire Luddism 45 part of the authorities. Better coordination of the forces of law and order thereafter made such attacks harder since, as in Yorkshire, the largest mills were now carefully protected and the military very much in evidence. Divisions arose in the secret committees centred on Manchester. Direct action had produced no concessions on wages or on power looms.

In early November, however, frame breaking recommenced in earnest, initially in the district to the northwest of Nottingham, but thereafter major destruction occurred atSutton-in-Ashfield,a centre of the trade to the north of Nottingham. Another pause followed in which the protestors waited to see if the hosiers would make concessions. This matched their methods in individual villages where offending hosiers were visited, given time to 'put their own house in order', failing which more of their frames were broken.

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