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Riots in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, 1st February 1812

February 1, 2012

(From the Review of Friday last)*

In recording the depredations of the frame breakers, we have been led to hope each succeeding week would terminate these ever-to-be-lamented transactions. In this, however, we have been mistaken; for each succeeding week has hitherto been accompanied by succeeding crimes, and our present records present a scene not less lamentable than the one given in our last; and prove that neither the vigilance of police-officers, the terror of the military, not even the impending penalties of the law, are sufficient to suppress this spirit of revolt. It is with pleasure we state, that one reputable house in this town [Nottingham] have publicly announced that they have taken off all the frame rent, and are giving the full prices. This conduct, if followed by other manufacturers, will, we trust, soon restore peace and harmony in the town and neighbourhood.

On Saturday night one frame was broken in this town; and the following evening four were destroyed at New Radford, one of which was supposed to be the completest silk frame in existence; and, we understand, was then employed in making an order of stockings for the Prince Regent. On this case we are desired by the holder of these frames to state that he had worked in the finest of these frames for twenty years; during which time he has continued to receive the same price, and marked the stockings with the proper marks. On the same night two or three frames were broken at Ruddington, nine of the warp lace kind at Lemby, all of great value, and all employed in making the two-course-hole net. At the last mentioned place the people had an expectation that a visit would be paid them, and a number had agreed to watch for the approach of these nocturnal visitors, which they did till midnight, at which time, imagining all the danger was over, they dispersed, and went to their respective homes. This was no sooner done, than the frame-breakers made their appearance: fourteen of them entered the house of Mr Shipley, and in ten minutes completed their work. The damage is estimated at 200 l. and upwards. On the same night, seven plain cotton frames at Colmanhay, in the parish of Ilkiston; and, if our information be correct, eleven of the latter description were destroyed at Swanwick: the two latter towns are in Derbyshire.

At ten o’clock this morning we received the disagreeable intelligence, that 22 frames were last night broken at Lenton. About 50 men entered the village, armed in various ways; and while the mischief was going on, every pass in the village was guarded. One man, who was passing with a loaf of bread, was stopped by them, and compelled to stand sentry himself, with a bar of iron in his hand, with an order to give the alarm if anyone approached, or otherwise to have his brains blown out. The man who ran to Nottingham to inform the soldiers, had a narrow escape; one of the frame-breakers running after him, vociferating the most horrid vengeance if he caught him. The man escaped, and so did the depredators. The names of the persons at whose houses the frames are broken are as follows: – Five at G.Ball’s, four of which, he has informed us, were his own property, and were working at full price; eight at Thos. Selby’s; one at Wm. Selby’s, and pulled the jack-wires out of another; two at Jos. Shepherd’s; one at – Taylor’s; one at John Barnes’s; one at Ann Taylor’s; and two at Wm. Burton’s. After they had done, they fired three pistols. What adds to the audacity of this affair is that Lenton is only about a quarter of a mile from the barracks, and one from Nottingham.

Source: Leeds Mercury, 1 February 1812, p.3.

*Note: Here the Mercury – certain that its Yorkshire readers would take a keen interest in Midlands frame breaking – is reprinting an item that had appeared in an another newspaper, possibly Nottingham Review and General Advertiser for the Midland Counties, which began publication in 1808. It was standard practice for newspapers to “cut and paste” material from each other.

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