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Assembly to destroy machinery, 18th January 1812

January 18, 2012

On Wednesday night, information upon oath was given to the Magistrates of this Borough, of a conspiracy to destroy the Machinery of certain Mills in this town and neighbourhood, employed in the dressing of Cloth, for this purpose the members of this confederacy was to assemble in a certain place to be agreed upon, and from thence to divide themselves into strong parties, and proceed to the work of destruction, provided with the proper implements for effecting their purpose. The Magistrates upon receiving this information immediately assembled at the Town Clerk’s Office, and having arranged their plans, proceeded in person immediately to carry them into effect.

Near the Bridge, a number of persons were found assembled, many of them with their faces blacked who dispersed on the appearance of the Magistrates, seeking their safety in flight, one of these persons of the name of James Shaw, was taken into custody by a Magistrate, and on the following day he was examined before the Magistrates at the Rotation office, and committed to York Castle, under what is called the Black Act charged with disguising his person, and having in his possession several offensive weapons, we believe a hammer and chisel; he was escorted to the Castle by a party of the Scot’s Greys stationed in this town.

Source: Leeds Mercury, 18 January 1812, p.3.

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