The Risings of the Luddites, Chartists and Plugdrawers (1888) by Frank Peel

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THe RISINGS OF THE LUDDITES§,

CHARTISTS & PLUGDRAWERS.

By FRANK PEEL,

Author of *‘ Old Cleckheaton,” ‘‘ Sketches of Heckmondwike,” ‘Old Liversedge,” &c.

SECOND EDITION.

Fling out the red banner! its fierce front under, Come, gather ye, gather ye, champions of right! :

And roll round the world with the voice of God’s thunder ;

The wrongs we’ve to-reckon—oppressors to smite !” GERALD MASSEY,

HECKMONDWIKE:

SENIOR AND Co., PRINTERS, ‘‘ HERALD ” OFFICE, CHEAPSIDE,

1888.

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ive #ecra a Te 7*

INTERIOR OF JOHN WOOD'S OLD CLOTH CROPPING SHOP.

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THE RISINGS OF THE LUDDITES.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

In issuing the Second Edition of the Risings of the Luddites, perhaps a few explanatory words touching the origin of the book may got be inopportune. The Heckmondwike Antiquarian Society hav- ing recommended its members to work up local history as muoh as possible, I thought something new might be said about the Luddites, and therefore chapse it as one of my themes. In collecting matetial for this subject from the few people I could find in the locality who were old enough to know anything about it from personal experienee, I was struck with the fact that as my informants were all very near the end of their pilgrimage much information respecting the Luddite movement would soon be lost for ever, unless someone took the pains to collect and preserve it. I determined therefore to extend the area of my operations considerably, and eventually saw personally almost everyone then living who were likely to be able to add to my stock of knowledge -respecting the Luddites and their doings. The information thus collected was published in the Heckmondwike. Herald, and eventually, owing to the great and con-

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THE RISINGS OF THE LUDDITES.

tinued demand, revised and put into book form. An impression was struck off which it was thought would be large enough to supply demands from all quarters, but the sale in this immediste locality was so unexpectedly large that the book scarcely got beyond Spen Valley. This rapid sale was owing doubtless to the fact that the narrative was of great local interest, rather than to any literary merit it possessed. This edition being speedily out of print and the demand still con- tinuing, it was after some years deemed desir- able to comply with the many urgent requests fora second. Although the present issue is much larger than the first the great bulk has been sold while it was still in the printer’s hands. The book is much larger than when first issued—double the size in fact—much information .since accumulated being now added, also the chapters on the risings of the Chartists and Plugdrawers.

In my search for additional information I was scarcely astonished to find that nearly all the old people I interviewed ten years before had passed away. One of the principal of my informants, a bright eyed garrulous old lady of four score and upwards still lives, but the old veteran to whom I was most indebted has years since gone over to the majority. This interesting old man who nad stood as a strip-

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THE RISINGS OF THE LUDDITES.

ling in the Luddite ranks, and hai often joined in their wild defiant songs as they plied the sounding sheers, called himself an ‘‘old rebel,” and not without cause, for he had been mixed up with every movement against constituted authority that had sprung up in the West- Riding during his life-time. His Luddite hero was John Baines, the Halifax leader, and as he repeated to me with wonderful fire and . energy the impassioned speech made by that staunch old democrat at the St. Crispin Inn, I was much impressed by the proof of his re- tentive memory, and also by the feeling and enthusiasm he threw into the recital. It would hardly be fitting to close without acknowledging my indebtedness to my anti- quarian friend, Mr. J. J. Stead, for supplying the two excellent illustrations with which this edition is embellished, and also for much other’ useful assistance.

Heckmondwike, August 10th, 1888.

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CONTENTS.

. CHAPTER I, John Wood’s Workshop .. ee II, The Oath oe CuHaprTer ITI, Bad Times oe ee CHaprter IV. Spread of the Movement CHAPTER V. The gathering at the Shears Inn, Liversedge CuHaptTer VI. Luddite Meeting at the “ St, Crispin,” Halifax

CuHapter VII. A Raid for Arms we

VIII, Lord Byron’s defence of the Luddites

CHAPTER IX, Preparing for Action ee

CHAPTER X. The Attack on Cartwright’s Mill

CHAPTER XI. The Wounded Luddites at the Star Inn, Liversedge

CHAPTER XII, The Two Deserters ee

CHapTerR XIII.

Flight of the

CHAPTER XIV, Attempt to Shoot Cartwright

CHAPTER XV. A Traitor’s Punishment...

CHAPTER XVI,

A Deed of Blood

CHaPpTerR XVII, Flight of the Assassins ..

PAGE

16

22

31

40

. §2

61

7O

79

88

97

106

114

I2t

130

138

147

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Cuarrer XVIII,

The Murderers Alarmed .. oe ee ee ee 154 CHAPTER XIX, Assassination of the Prime Minister .. ee oe es 162 Cuarprer XX, Apprehension of Baines the Halifax Luddite Leader we es ‘CHAPTER XXI, Arrest of Horsfall’s Murderers ee se ee ee 381" CHAPTER XXII, A Narrow Escape ee oe oe oe a 189 Cuarter XXIII. Trial of Horsfall’s Murderers ee ee ee ee 197 ; CHAPTER XXIV. Trial of Horsfall’s Murderers oe oe oe es 212 CHAPTER XXV. Execution of Mellor, Thorpe, and Smith ee oe oe 224 Cuaprer Trial of the Halifax Luddites ee ee ee we 232 CHarTeR XXVII, Trial of the Rawfold Rioters ee ee tae os 242 CuarpTer XXVIII. Trial of the Rawfold Rioters ee ee oe ee 250 @HarpTreR XXIX, Defence of the Rawfold Rioters oe ee ee ee 259 CHAPTER XXX, ‘ The Sentences .. ~ ge oe ee oe ee 266 CHAPTER XXXI. Execution of the Luddites ee oe 274 CHapTeR XXXII. After the Bloody Assize .. ee oe 280 CHapTeR XXXIII. The Nottingham Captain .. ee os os wo 287 CHAPTER XXXIV, Oliver the Spy .. ee oe os 296 CHAPTER Patetloo oe oe oe ee oe. es 307 CHapTer XXXVI. The Risings at Grange Moor - oe ee 313 Cuarrer XXXVII. Chartist Risings ee ee we ve es 320 CHaprer XXXVIII. Chartist Risings oe ee eo ee es 329 CHARTER XXXIX, _ The Plug Riots oe ee ee ee ee 338

CHAPTER XL. Last Struggles of Chartism oe ee oo o- 348

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Gh Risings of the

CHARTISTS AND PLUGDRAWERS.

CHAPTER I.

John Wood’s workshop — the head-quarters of the Yorkshire Luddites.

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. Shakespeare.

The year 1811 came to an end like too many of its predecessors amid awful scenes of carn- age and confusion. The demonof war which had ravaged for half a generation some of the fairest countries in the world still stalked on unchecked, claiming its hecatomb of human victims, and blasting and destroying every fair thing in his path. A lurid comet, which had blazed nightly in the heavens in shape like a flaming sword was truly a fitting symbol of the ruthless weapon which throughout the course of that gloomy twelve months had cut down its ghastly harvest. Not that the re- cord of that year was much blacker than that of many which preceded it, but the misery and wretchedness which inevitably follow in the footsteps of a long war had begun to culminate, and the hard pinch of poverty was now felt in many @ dwelling where it had hitherto been a stranger. In addition to the bloody struggles abroad in which we had so long been engaged riots and uprisings were threatened in several

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\

important commercial centres in the north, and the soldiers who were wanted to fight our battles abroad had to be retained to keep down sedition and rebellion at home. About three years before the date we have named, an energetic manufacturer, named William Cartwright, had commenced to finish cloth by machinery at a mill driven by water power at Rawfolds, near Cleckheaton, and had excited by that course great resentment amongst the workmen engaged in that branch of business, who had testified their animosity by refusing to work at the new machines, and by covertly injuring them when they had the opportunity. Cartwright was, however, a man of iron resolution, and threats and opposition seemed only to strengthen his determination. His was the only place in this locality at which the hated machines had been introduced, the old method of finishing by hand, or cropping as it was called, being carried on at all the other shops in the locality. These cropping shops were chiefly places of small pretensions, at which three or four men were employed, but there was a much larger one at the top of Aquilla or Quilley Lane, at Hightown, Liver- sedge, opposite where the Board School now stands, carried on by Mr. John Jackson, a brother of Mr. Abraham Jackson, the currier, where the old system was still adhered to. Mr. Jackson’s foreman was an old, trusty ser- vant, of the name of William Fearnsides, a thoroughly reliable man, whose whole energies were devoted to business. Before the advent of Mr. Cartwright’s new frames, work was plentiful at Mr. Jackson’s shop, and the men received good wages, but, as the machinery began to be used, the little masters who ad- hered to hand cropping found it more and more difficult to carry on business at a profit, the result being that the men gradually lost

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their employment, and many of the workshops were, after a struggle, closed altogether. The men watched the gradual decay of their in- dustry in sullen despair at first, but the news of the turbulent demonstrations at Notting- ham, where the lace makers had risen against a trame of another character which threat- ened to destroy their trade, had stirred them strongly, and the more violent spirits among the local cloth finishers began to urge that similar measures should be taken against the cropping frames introduced by the Yorkshire manufacturers. The wild idea seems to have been first broached at Huddersfield, but those who were out of work spread the seeds of dis- affection all round the distcict, and the men at Jackson’s shop were soon following the lead of their fellow workmen at Longroyd Bridge. The finishing shop of Mr. John Wood, situate at Longroyd Bridge, near Huddersfield, may be regarded as the head-quarters of the ring- leaders of the Luddite disturbances in this part of the West Riding. The building still stands on the water side, not far from the highway, and is now used as a place for depositing lumber. Here worked several of the daring and turbulent spirits who directed and parti- cipated in niost of the midnight expeditious undertaken for the purpose of destroying the hated machines, and many a wild scheme has been planned beneath its old weather-beaten rocf. Mr. Wood, the master of the cropping shop, declared afterwards, when it was proved that some of these nefarious plots had origin- ated at his place, that he was ‘ unaware of any conspiring amongst his men,’ but it is difficult to belicve that he did not know that this was the general rendezvous of the dis- affected, as men from other shops and dele- gates from the surrounding towns were continually in consultation with bis workmen,

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especially with his stepson, George Mellor. It is impossible, in fact, to believe that Wood did not know or suspect something, for the simple reason that there seems to have been no parti- cular care taken to conceal the aims and objects of the reckless band. But the most marvel- lous thing about the Luddite movement is the manner in which the secrets of the body were kept, especially when we take into considera- the fact that schemes for the destruction of the machinery and also for the destruction of some of the masters who had rendered themselves obnoxious by their outspoken condemnation of the lawless conduct of the men, were discussed in the presence of those who were not even members of the secret society whose doings spread such fear throughout the whole district. It would almost seem sometimes as if the plotters neglected to take the commonest pre- cautions, but they doubtless were well aware that many who did not actually join them, sympathised with the movement to some ex- tent, hoping, unlikely though it seemed, that it would tend in some way towards the aneli- oration of their own hard lot ; and with regard to their members, the leaders were well aware that fear of the consequences which would follow the breaking of the terrible oath they all took was sufficient to deter them from breathing a syllable of their secrets. It is a Saturday afternoon, about the middle of March, 1812. Mr. Wood’s men have stop- - ped work for the day, and are now gathered round a young man who is reading aloud from a newspaper. The whole of the group are listening intently, for it is an account of the daring proceedings of the Nottingham frame- breakers. The sheet which the youth is read- ing is the Leeds Mercury, which at that day was exactly the size of the newspxpers sold at the present time at a halfpenny each. It was

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published at 64d. per copy, but the sale being limited and the carriage comparatively heavy, it was generally sold ‘out of Leeds at 7d. A copy was subscribed for at most of the work- shops and was rea aloud for the benefit of all. The day on which it was issued was looked upon by the workpeople as the great day of the week—the day on which they stretched beyond their petty surroundings and learned something of the events that were transpiring in the great world without, and a considerable portion of each succeeding Saturday, and prob- ably Sunday also, was often spent in discussing the exciting intelligence with which the columns of the newspapers were crowded at this event- ful period. The young man, whose pale cheek flushes as he reads of the marchings and counter marchings of the Yeomanry, and the doings of the triumphant Luddites, is evidently not one of Wood’s workmen. His dress is different, and his appearance is altogether brighter and more intelligent. In other respects too he contrasts greatly with his audience. There, close in front of him, is a young man with square jaws, and resolute, determined ap- pearance, who is strongly moved by the news ; his eyes shoot forth a lurid fire, and the veins stand out on his temples like whip-cord, under the strong excitement which seems to agitate every fibre of his body, as he listens to the thrilling account of daring deeds and _hair- breadth escapes. This is George Mellor, a man of iron will and reckless daring, who dominated strongly over his fellow workmen and forced thein into the commision of deeds which they would have shrunk from if left to themselves. Near him is a fellow workman, Thomas Smith, a man of much feebler type of character, the chief expression of whose face is one of sullen obstinacy. This person works

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THE RISINGS OF THE LUDDITES. 15

plainly that he lacked firmness and resolution. Unfortunately he had fallen into evil company. His feeble will melted like wax before the fiery determination of Mellor, and he was swept along in defiance of .his own better judgment. The opinions of the celebrated theorist, Robert Owen, were about this time making some noise in the country, and Booth had read the writings of that amiable enthusiast, till he had thoroughly imbibed the notion that the whole framework of society was out of joint. and that the nations and governments of the earth required a thorough remodelling. He had endeavoured to make a convert of Mellor, with indifferent success. The process of Owen was too slow for that fiery enthusiast, and he refused to trouble himself to grasp his far-reaching theories. His method in arguing with Booth was to carry the war into the enemy’s country, and it is not difficult to understand how an amiable young man possessed with ideas of this kind should fall an easy prey to a resolute and unscrupu- lous individual like Mellor. But the reading is now finished, and a stormy discussion follows, if a discussion it can be called when all are nearly of one opinion. Perhaps if we follow it we shall discover still more of the chief characteristics of the speakers, their opinions, and the motives that urge them on.

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CHAPTER IJ.—THE Oartua.

Persuasion hung upon thy lip: And sly insinuation's softer arts In ambush lay about thy flowing tongue. lai ir. Nay, but weigh well what you presume te swear; Oaths are of dreadful weight! and if they are false, Draw down damnation.—Savage.

Mellor is the speaker, and, like the rest, uses the broad Yorkshire dialect, which, how- ever, we shall take the liberty of refining a little, in order that it may be read with more ease. During the reading of the exciting narrative just brought to a conclusion, he has been interjecting fierce comments, and now the account is ended, he gives vent to his pent-up feelings. ‘‘ Hurrah! that’s right,” he cried ina hoarse voice, ‘‘the Nottingham lambs are shewing them specials and clodhopping soldiers a bit of real good sport. O, but I wish I was he added with a sudden accession of energy, ‘‘T wish I was there. It would be glorious to dash them cursed frames into a thousand pieces !” ‘‘ Aye,” growled Thorpe, surlily, ‘‘ but wish- ing’s all nowt. It strikes me we’ve had rather too much of that.” “Thou’rt right, Will,” answered Mellor, savagely, ‘“‘but what can two or three do? What are we doing here? Look at Booth, for instance—he’ll come here and talk about the evils under which we working men groan, by the hour together, and air all his new fangled notions that he’s picked up through Socialists ;

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he knows very well that machinery is destroy- ing us and nowt but the workhouse will be left for us soon, and yet he’s never got farther than talk. Join us, lad, join us, thou’st talked long enough, it’s tine for action now. Isn’t ma- chinery increasing on all hands, and aren’t working men half starving and seeking in vain for work? It’s true these machines aren’t taking Booth’s trade out of his fingers, or he’d happen see things in a different light.”’ ‘Come, now, George,” said a phlegmatic individual at the back, who up to this time had stood with his arms crossed, calmly listening and puffing the smoke at regular intervals from his short black pipe, ‘‘ Come, now, let’s have fair play. Its hardly the. thing to set at Booth like that. He’s never pretended to be one of us.” Booth listened to the interposition of the last speaker with apparent indifference, but Mellor’s fiery appeal had moved him deeply, and his colour came and went rapidly during its delivery. He paused for a little before speaking but at last broke silence : —

quite agree with you, my friends, as some of you well know, respecting the harm you suffer from machinery, but it might be man’s chief blessing instead of his curse if society were differently constituted. We and other countries are already so placed by it that a very large number of people are thrown idle greatly against their will and they must be supported or starve. We know this is so, but are we therefore to conclude that machinery is in itself an evil? You are all aware that crop- ping by hand as you now practice it is by no means easy work; nay, we all know that it is very painful for learners to handle the shears until the wrist has become hoofed. Now look at one of these machines. Observe how smoothly and how beautifully it works! How

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perfectly it does for the workman the most arduous part of his task. By its aid, as we well know, your task has become chiefly oneof care and watchfulness. To say that a machine that can do this for you is in ifself an evil is manifestly absurd. Under proper conditions it would be to you an almost unmixed blessing, but unfortunately the favourable conditions do not exist. Society, in the true sense of the word, implies a number of individuals united for the purpose of promoting their physical, intellectual, and moral improvement, in- dividually and collectively, and if all our capital and labour—if the capitalists and the millions of unemployed would abandon large towns and cities for communities of moderate size, and were all employed as economically as such a union would occasion, in agriculture, making and working machinery for the common benefit of the whole, these islands in the course of a few years would present an entirely dif- ferent aspect, and poverty and starvation be-

come utterly unknown.” “Tf! if! if!” almost yelled Mellor, ‘‘

the use of such sermons as thine to starving men? It’s a reckon, of ‘live horse and thou’st have grass.’ If men would only do as thou says, it would be better, we all kuow. But they wont. It’s all for themselves with the masters. What do they care if a thousand or two of us are pined to death if they can make brass a bit faster ?”’ ‘‘ Hold!” cried Booth, ‘‘ No man can feel for the poor, starving workmen more than I do, but I fear the course adopted by the Luddites to remedy it is not the right one. To confess the truth, I am in a strait. I am afraid your plan will never succeed, and I don’t see much chance of reorganising society on a better and sounder basis at present, working men being as a rule almost totally uneducated.”

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‘Feel for them that’s starving,” shouted Benjamin Walker, another of Wood’s work- men and one of the most violent in the band, ‘‘ thou’rt either a liar or a coward. How can thou feel for them when thou will’nt lift up thy little finger to help ’em. Thou should have gone with me yesterday to Tom Sykes’s, and thou would have seen something that would have knocked all thy grand notions out of thee. Tom, as you all know, has been without work aboon a month, and I found that his wife, a poor, delicate craytur, was just dead —pined to t’death, they say—and I believe she was. WhenI got to this house he was just opening the door and ordering a parson out, and he called out after him ‘I want none of thy sympathy; if it hadn’t been for such as thee, she’d have been alive still.’ And there she lay on tle the bed, poor thing, skin and bone, nowt else.”

‘‘Tam no coward, Walker, and again I say I do feel, from the bottom of my heart, for you, and for poor Sykes most of all. It is hard for people to starve to death in their own houses in a christian land, but would it not be better to lay these things before the masters and to reason with them, rather than to infuriato them by destroying their machines and—”’

**Reason with them,’’ impatiently inter- rupted Thorpe, ‘‘ reason with the stones I say, for their hearts are as hard as flint. the use of talking about reasoning with a man when his interest pulls all the other way ? They’ll have these machines if we all clam to t’death. The only chap that can reason with them is ‘ Enoch ;’ that chap is the best reasoner I know of, when he breaks them into a hun- dred pieces—they understand that !”

‘Tf there was any trade in the country,” resumed Booth, in a sad tone, ‘I should say to you, seek a livelihood by some other means ;

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but this cruel war has drained the very lite- blood of the nation, and I know not what to advise or what to ‘“‘ Say thou’lt join us,” replied Mellor, ‘‘for thou sees with all thy reasoning, as thou calls it, thou can’t find us a wavy out.” will join you,” says Booth, with sudden resolution, ‘‘ my head tells me you are wrong, but my heart is too strong for it. Perhaps the masters, seeing you are driven to desperation, will after all be compelled to take your circum- stances into consideration.”’ A murmur of satisfaction arose from all sides as Booth finished speaking, and several step- ped forward and shook him heartily by the hand. For many reasons he was a great ac- quisition to the Luddite ranks, and they were glad he had at last thrown aside his scruples and consented to join them. ‘Then,’’ said Mellor, ‘tas thou hast decided to join our cause at last and hast avowed thy- self a Luddite at heart, I will now administer the oath of our society and enrol thee a mem- ber.”’ Booth, though still evidently ill at ease, had gone too far to withdraw, and he therefore consented. Immediately there was a stir amongst the little group. Two or three stal- wart men planted themselves firmly against the door to prevent anyone from entering, and the rest ranged themselves in an irregular circle round Booth. Mellor, with a New Testament in his hand, then stepped into the middle of the ring and proceeded to adninister the terrible

OATH OF THE FRATERNITY.

Standing in the front of Booth and taking his hand, he said :— ‘What is thy name ?” ‘* John Booth.”

‘‘Art thou willing to become a member of

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our society and submit without demur or ques- tion to the commands of General Ludd ?” “T am.” ‘“Then say after me :—I, John Booth, of my own voluntary will, do declare and solemnly swear that I never will reveal to any person or persons under the canopy of heaven the names of the persons who comprise this secret com- mittee, their proceedings, meetings, places of anode, dress, features, complexion, or anything else that might lead toa discovery of the same, either by word, deed, or sign, uncer the penalty of being sent out of the world by the first brother who shall meet me, and my name and character blotted out of existence and never to be remembered but with contempt and abhorrence. And I further do swear to use my best. endeavours to punish by death any traitor or traitors, should any rise up among us, wherever I can find hin: or them, and though he should fly to the verge of nature I will pursue him with unceasing vengeance. So help me God and bless me, to keep this, ny oath, inviolate.”

Booth’s voice sounded weak and tremulous in contrast with Mellor’s deep, gruff bass, and he hesitated painfully once or twice, but it was impossible to retrace his steps, and when he at last reached the end, he with pallid lips kissed the book which Mellor held towards him. At the conclusion of the ceremony Booth was handed a copy of the oath in writing, and he was requested by Mellor to commit it to memory, in order that he might be in a posi- tion to administer it to others.

Such was the oath adininistered to every member of this dangerous society, and it was nearly in every instance strictly observed by those who took it. Even when in prison or at the point of death this oath seemed to close the mouths of all who had taken it.

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CHAPTER III.—Bap Times.

When beef and mutton and other meat. Were almost us dear as money to eat; And farmers reaped golden harvests of wheat, At the Lord knows what per quarter.— Hood.

What made the quartern loaf and Luddites rise ? James Smith

It has been thought by some that the Lud- dite risings were confined to Yorkshire, but many of our readers will be aware that risings of a similar character at Nottingham ‘preceded the lawless doings which took place in the West Riding ; the discontent here being fanned into flame by the apparent success which at- tended the risings in the capital of the lace trade, the two being in fact closely connected. In order that our readers may be acquainted with the widespread character of the Luddite conspiracy, we have thought it better to devote one or two chapters to a general account of the risings and their cause. Though these may perhaps not be so interesting as those in which we shall deal with the disturbances in the West Riding, they are still necessary to a proper understanding of the origin and pro- gress of the movement. The witty author of ‘‘ Rejected Addresses ” asks, in one of his poems, ‘‘ What made the quartern loaf and Luddites rise?” We pur- pose trying to answer that question first. If any of our readers suppose that the Luddites were all cloth finishers or croppers who had been goaded to fury by the rapid introduction of machinery, which threatened to dcprive them of the means of earning a livelihood, they will find, on investigation, that they are

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mistaken. That the leaders of the movement in the West Riding were chiefly men of that stamp is doubtless quite correct; and that their prime object was the destruction of the obnoxious machines is also true; but there were connected with the risings, numbers of weavers, tailors, shoemakers, and representa- tives of almost every handicraft, who being, in most instances, on the brink of starvation, entered the conspiracy in sheer desperation. The condition of the operative class in this country at the time these risings took place was indeed simply frightful; and if we are to answer satisfactorily the question at the head of this chapter, it will be necessary to enlarge on this point, in order that our readers may understand clearly the cause of the discontent so universally prevalent in the manufacturing districts, and be able to judge if the wholesale condemnation which has been poured upon the heads of these ignorant and misguided men was, in all cases, fully deserved.

Great events were occurring at the time of the Luddite risings. George III had again succumbed to his mental malady, and his son acted as Regent of the kingdom. Napoleon was at the zenith of his power. A son had been born to him, who was crowned ‘“ King of Rome” in his cradle. The struggles between Wellington and the French Marshals in Spain and Portugal were getting more and more desperate. The weary war which the aris- tocracy of England undertook, to crush French Liberalism and to force a king upon the French nation which that high-spirited people would not have, seemed as far from its con- clusion as ever. To crush Napoleon we had not only sent our own armies, but we had also in our pay all the hordes of the despots of Europe. Truly it was and humilia- ting spectacle. The hard-earned money

;

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wrung from our own working people, till they rose in their misery, and even threatened king and government with destruction, went to be divided among a host of despots and slaves. The commercial difficulties of Britain were such as might have filled the most sanguine with dismay. Closed ports on the Continent, and defective harvests at home, had caused grain to rise rapidly, until 1812, the year when Cartwright’s mill was attacked, the average price of wheat was 155 shillings—a ‘price which it had never attainec before, which it has never reached since, and in all human probability will never reach again. Bonaparte had issued his famous Milan degree, by which britain and its islands were declared in a state of blockade, and also its colonies and depen- dencies in every part of the globe. The mer- cantile crisis, so often dreaded as the forerunner of national bankruptcy, had arrived, and such was the alarming state of commercial and manufacturing interests that parliament inter- posed by decreeing a loan of six millions to tide over the difficulty. Our foreign trade during the whole of the century had never been so low, and our home trade had dwindled into the narrowest limits, the starving popula- tion being scarcely able to purchase enough to keep soul and body together of the damaged flour at eight shillings per stone, which ran from the oven as they tried in vain to bake it. Encouraged by the high prices of grain, farmers and landlords speculated largely and gained considerable sums, but the commercial part of the community suffered dreadfully, and a more alarming account of bankruptcies was never known, their number amounting in one year to no less than 2,341, of which twenty- six were banking-houses. In the great towns of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Not- tiaghamshire, the poor were seeking for work,

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or failing to obtain it, were parading through the streets in gaunt famine-stricken crowds, headed by men with bloody loaves mounted on spears, crying in plaintive, wailing chorus for bread. Goaded to desperation, all sense of loyalty was driven far from them, and they stood at every street corner with lips firmly set, and with frowning faces discussing wild, treasonable schemes. The world had dealt hardly with them, and they blindly sought to revenge themselves. They were too ignorant to understand that if they were miserable and starving, their masters were waging a great and glorious war. They knew only that their children were crying pitifully for bread—the fire had died out on their hearths, and the fire of hope was extinguished in their hearts. Inhumanity had driven out all better feelings, and need we wonder that they had become a prey to glib advocates of revolution and the dark whisperings of vengeance on their rulers. When trade was prosperous with them, their fare had been poor enough. White bread, which is plentiful now on every working man’s table, was only seen on Sundays, and then it was carefully portioned out. Oatcake was then the “staff of life,” and oatmeal porridge an article of constant and universal consuinption once a day at least, often twice, and not un- frequently three times. Butchers’ meat was a luxury in which they could seldom indulge, and then only to a very limited extent. Manufacturers everywhere were availing themselves of the many wonderful inventions that were being brought out for cheapening labour, and as the new machinery threw thousands out of employment when extensively introduced, the poor, misguided wretches, who could not understand how that could be a benefit which deprived them of the means of earning a livelihood and reduced them to

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beggary, met in secret conclaves, and resolved in their ignorance to destroy them. Had they been better instructed, they would have known that it was their duty to lie down in the nearest ditch and die. The schoolmaster was not abroad in those days, or they might have read how the British soldiers climbed up the bloody walls of Badajoz and impaled themselves upon the gleaming spikes at the top, until their bodies were piled high enough up to cover the cruel blades and their comrades could safely creep over them to victory. They had not prebably read of this, or they might have learned from it that it was their duty to lie down quietly and suffer themselves to be crushed out of existence by the advancing and unpitying wheels of the Juggernaut of trade in order that the march of progress might not be delayed or obstructed. Had these deluded men studied Malthus, they would have at once discovered that they were indeed altogether in the wrong in seeking to cumber the earth with their presence, when they were clearly not wanted ; for the great political economist plainly told them that ‘‘a man who is born into a world already possessed, or if society does not want his labour, has no claim or right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At nature’s mighty feast there is no cover for him!’’ These men, however, clearly knew nothing of political economy, and had probably never heard of Malthus, much less read his famous pamphlet, and being able and willing to work, and seeing plenty around them, they could not understand that it was their duty to perish of starvation. Therefore, as we have already said, they re- solved to destroy the machines which took away their daily bread, and before the move- ment could be suppressed more than a thou- sand lace and stocking frames were destroyed in

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Nottingham alone, and a large number of crop-

ping machines in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Up to the time when the cropping machines were invented, cloth was finished by a method that was at once very slow and very costly. The instrument used was a very primitive one and the whole process plainly behind the age; when, therefore, the new machines were in- troduced, manufacturers at once 'realised the great gain in time and the great saving of money they would secure by adopting them, and the croppers speedily began to realise also that unless the introduction of the thrice ac- cursed piece of mechanism, which did the work so -deftly, could be prevented, their oc- cupation, like Othello’s, was gone. It has been said that the croppers might have turned their attention to some other method of ob- taining a livelihood, but as we have shown, trade was almost non-existent, and every oc- cupation seemed to be greatly over-stocked with hands. Every town and village was crowded with paupers, able-bodied men most of them, who would have gladly earned their living honourably had they had the oppor- tunity. In Nottingham alone no fewer than 15,350 individuals, or nearly half the popula- tion, were at one time relieved from the poor rates, and though matters were not quiet so bad in Yorkshire, it is well known that our streets were filled with half starved workmen, wander- ing about in enforced idleness. That matters were bad enough in the West Riding will be evident when we state that in many towns there were exacted in that black year four poor rates of three shillings in the pound each. It was stated in a Parliamentary return that out of a population of 200,000, in the manu- facturing districts, no less than 50,000 did not receive more than twopence half-penny per day each for food.

I

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The croppers had the reputation at this time of being a wild and reckless body of men ; and the desperate deeds of which some of them were afterwards found guilty seem to show that the accusation had, at any rate, a good foundation of truth. It applied at least to some of the men employed at the finishing mill of Mr. John Wood, of Longroyd Bridge, which workshop seems to have been the chief centre of the conspiracy in this neighbour- hood, though meetings of an important charac- ter took place, as we shall see, at Liversedge and at the St. Crispin Inn, a public house at Halifax, in and around which towns were a considerable number of members of the secret organisation, which had been for some months engaged in breaking stocking and lace ma- chines at Nottingham. Their first object was to destroy all the obnoxious machinery, but they had also other purposes in view, such as the coercion, and, if necessary, the destruction of such masters as made themselves obnoxious to the society, either by persisting in intro- ducing the machinery into their works, or by encouraging and supporting those who did.. Condemning as they did the bloody war that brought them so much misery, they had also some crude notions about upsetting the Govern- ment itselt, when their organisation had spread itself throughou’ the land and they had col- lected sufficient arins and perfected themselves in military exercises. In order to carry cut these aims, every member of the society was required to bind himself by their terrible oath not to divulge any of the secrets of the con- spirators, and to aid in carrying out the objects of the association in every possible way. The system of machine took its rise, as we have stated, in Nottinghamshire, towards the end of 1811, and was directed against the stocking and lace frames or ma-

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chines which had been lately introduced and are now most common, neither stockings nor common lace being produced in any other manner, except on the domestic hearth by the few who kept up the good old practice of knitting. From Nottinghamshire, Luddism spread into Yorkshire, where the excesses soon rivalled those of the Midland district, cul- Iinating in the murder in open day of Mr. Wm. Horsfall, of Marsden, a manufacturer who had often expressed himself violently against the action of the workpeople. The ire of the hand-croppers in this district was directed against a machine termed a “ frame ”’ —the shear frame—as was that of the stock- ingers and lacemen of Nottinghamshire. The shear frame was one by means of which the two hand shears could be worked at one and the same time iustead of one by the hand cropper. And with this advantage too that while the pair of cropping shears were work- ing across the length-:of the two pieces, fixed and prepared on the shear boards, the man or boy in attendance had only to stand and watch the operation until the cut was completed. Then he had to run the shears off the cloth to their resting place on the shear board, unhook the cropped portion of the pieces, pull forward the other portions, hook them to the shear boards, ‘‘ raise the nap” ready for the shears to cut it down to a certain height for finished cloth, and then run in the two shears aguin into the position necessary for them to perform the operation of cutting. ‘This, it is not diffi- cult to see, was much easier for the man than if he worked the shears himself py means of the nog, a most laborious and painful operation, especially so, indeed, until the hoof on the right wrist had been formed, by which any cropper of moderate age could be identified, arising from holding the shears and their

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action to and fro when impelled by the nog. In fact the shear frarne served mainly for the relief of the workmen, performing for them a most arduous portion of the work. Still it was a machine and as such was doomed to des- truction. Many of these machines used in this neigh- bourhood about 1811 and 1812 were constructed by two enterprising and industrious men named Enoch and James Taylor, who had begun life as ordinary blacksmiths, but being of an ingenious turn of mind had gradually developed into machine makers. Their re- sidence was at Marsden and their workshop stood on what it is now the site of the town’s school. The great hammer used by the Lud- dites in breaking the frames was always called ‘‘EKroch,” after the leading partner in the firm chiefly engaged in their manufacture in this locality, the saying being common, ‘‘Enoch has made them and Enoch shall smash them.”

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CHAPTER IV. SPREAD OF THE MOVEMENT.

Civil dissension is a viperous worm That knaws the bowels of ths Commonwealth. Shakespeare,

The llth of March, 1811, is a notable day in the history of Nottinghamshire. On that day commenced a series of riots which, ex- tending over a period of five years, are perhaps unequalled for the skill and secrecy with which they were managed, and the amount of wanton mischief they inflicted. Trade had been for some time in a very unsatisfactory condition, and as a natural result wages had been con- siderably reduced. Ag it was evident to the authorities that mischief was brewing, it was decided to employ a large number of the dis- tressed workpeople in sweeping the streets. But this did not prevent the catastrophe, for on the llth of March they struck work, and flocking to the market-place, were there joined by a large number from the adjoining country, and being harangued by several fiery orators, they suddenly resolved to revenge themselves on the masters who had reduced their wages. The local authorities, who had been uneasy at the aspect of affairs for some time, summoned the military to their aid at once, and the tur- bulent population was overawed and prevented from rioting in the town; when darkness set in, however, the mob proceeded to the neigh- bouring village of Arnold, and destoyed up- wards of sixtyframes. During the succeeding

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three wecks above two hundred more stocking frames were broken up by bands who seemed to divide and attack many different points at the same time. These bands it was after- wards discovered were united in a society and were bound by an oath not to divulge anything connected with its secret operaticrs. The names they assumed were ‘: Ludds,”’ ‘‘ Ludders,” and ‘ Luddites,’ and they are said to have derived them from a youth named Ludlam, a reckless character, who, when his father, a frame-work knitter, told him one day to ‘‘ square his needless,” squared them effec- tually by taking up his hammer and beating them into a heap. Whether this youth actually directed the operations of the desperate bands that prowled nightly is not positively known, as the secrets of the society were wonderfully well kept, but it is not at all improbable, as the proceedings were evidently planned be- forehand, and it was also plain that the various bodies acted in concert. They were all dis- guisec when engaged in the work of destruc- tion, and were armed, some in a primitive fashion, with clubs, sticks, &c., and others with swords, guns, and pistols. A number also wielded huge hatchets and blacksmith’s hammers for the purpose of making a way into the places where the frames were kept and breaking them quickly to pieces, while their armed companions kept watch at the door. On the work of the night being success- fully accomplished, the party divided and again reunited at a distance, when the leader called over his men, who answered, not to names but numbers, aud everyone then re- moved his disguise and went home. The success which at the outset almost invariably attended the movements of the Luddites caused them to be much talked about. They seemed almost ubiquitous, and as the autho-

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rities could gain little or no information respecting them, many of the more daring of the working men ventured to join them, and for a long’ time they carried on their destruc- tive attacks with impunity. The frames, however, as we have already stated, were not the sole cause of the disturbances; in most cases discontent being heightened or caused by the dearness of provisions, especially flour. In consequence of the resistance afterwards made to the outrages of the rioters, in the course of which one of them was killed, they became still more exasperated and violent, till the magistrates thought it necessary to require the assistance of a considerable armed force, which was promptly assembled, consisting at first of local militia and volunteer yeomanry chiefly, to whom were afterwards added about four hundred special constables. The rioters were then dispersed and the disturbances for a time suppressed. Before the end of November, 1811, however, the outrages were renewed; they became more serious, were more systematically conducted, and at length the disturbances extended to several villages, where the rioters destroyed the frames, and began at the same to collect or exact contributions for their subsistence, which caused their numbers to increase rapidly, many joining them being on the brink of starvation. Early in December the outrages |had in some- degree extended into Derbyshire and Leices- tershire, where many frames were broken. A considerable force of cavalry and infantry was then sent to Nottingham, and the commanding officer of the district was ordered to repair thither. In Jannary, 1812, two of the most experienced police magistrates were also despatched to Nottingham, for the purpose of assisting the local authorities to restore tran- quility.

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The systematic combination,however, with which the outrages were conducted, the terror which they inspired, and the disposition of many of the working classes to favour rather than oppose them, made it very difficult to discover the offenders, to apprehend them if discovered, or to obtain evidence to convict those who were apprehended of the crimes with which they were charged. Some, how- ever, were afterwards proceeded against at the Nottingham Spring Assizes, and seven persons were convicted of different offences and sentenced to transportation, In the meantime, acts were passed for establishing police in the disturbed district to patrol the streets. The discontent which had thus first appear- ed about Nottingham and had in some degree extended into Derbyshire and Leicestershire, had also been communicated to other parts of the country. Subscriptions for persons arrested poured in, and anonymous threatening letters became more and more common. At Stock- port, shortly after, attempts were made to set on fire two different manufactories, and the spirit of disorder rapidly spread through the neighbourhood. Inflammatory placards, in- viting the people to a general rising, were disseminated ; illegal oaths were administered, riots were produced in various places, houses were plundered by persons in disguise, and a report was industriously circulated that a general rising would take place on the Ist of May, or early in that month. The spirit of riot and disturbance mani- fested itself violently at Eccles, Ashton- under-Lyne. and Middleton. At the latter place the manufactory of Mr. Burton was attacked, and although the rioters were then repulsed and five of their number killed by the military force assembled to protect the works,

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a second attack was made two days after- wards, and Mr. Burton's house was burnt before military assistance could be brought to the spot. When troops arrived they were fired upon by the rioters, and before the latter could be dispersed several of them were killed and wounded. There were also scenes of great violence at Stockport. The house of Mr. Goodwin was set on fire, and his steam looms were destroyed. Crowds of men training for military exercise were continually being surprised on the heaths and moors. Disturbances also took place in Manchester, but here the cause assigned was solely the high price of provision3. The people of that city were alarmed by the sudden appearance in the streets of thousands of half- starved looking men from the surrounding places, but on a large military force being paraded, the suspicious looking {persons grad- ually disappeared. Nocturnal meetings were, however, frequent, and arms were seized con- tinually. The manuer in which the disaffected carried on their proceedings demonstrated in an extraordinary degree concert, secresy, and organisation. ‘Their signals were well con- trived, and attempts to lay hold of offenders were generally defeated. The.same spirit of disaffection appeared at Bolton-le-Moors. A meeting of delegates was held there, at which it was decided that a manu- factory at West Haughton should be destroyed, but finding their purpose was known to the authorities, it was apparently abandoned, until the watch being relaxed they accomplished their object. It was kuown the attack would be made and intelligence was sent to the authorities, but the military force sent to the spot arrived too late ; the rioters had dispersed, and the soldiers therefore returned to their quarters. The mob taking advantage of their

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absence, returned and assailed another manu- factory, set it on fire, and again dispersed before could be brought back. Disturbances also broke out in Carlisle and in Yorkshire. At Huddersfield and in the neighbourhood risings took place early in February, 1812, the shearing machines being destroyed in large numbers. The son of an old cropper who still resides at Crossland Moor, in the house where he was born seventy- three years ago, told us that he had often heard his father relate how his fellow work- men at Nab Croft, which is just at hand, boasted how many machines ‘* Enoch” —as the large hammer was called by them—had destroyed during the night. It was customary, he said, for powerful men to cut through the doors with hatchets, and on an entrance being gained, the machines were broken up in an incredible short space of time. Great quanti- ties of fire-arms were seized in the neighbour- hood by men with blackened faces, and midnight drills were common. A large num- ber of machines belonging to Mr. Vickerman were destroyed in March, and soon after, the destruction of Bradley Mills was threatened and afterwards attempted, but the guard on the spot deteated the atten:pt. The authorities at Leeds had been much alarmed by information that attacks were intended to be made on places in the town and neighbourhood, which induced the magis- trates to desire a strong military force and to appoint a great number of the respectable inhabitants special constables, by which the peace of the town was in a great measure preserved. Early, however, in the morning of March 24th, 1812, the mills of Messrs. Thomp- son, of Rawden, were attacked by a large body of armed. men, who proceeded with great regularity and caution. Firstseizing the watch-

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man at the mill and placing guards at every adjacent cottage, threatening death to anyone who should attempt to givean alarm, and then forcibly entering the mill, they completely destroyed the machinery, On the very night following, notwithstanding the precautions adopted, the buildings belonging to the Messrs. Dickenson, in Leeds, were forcibly entered and the whole of the goods there, consisting chiefly of cloths, were cut to pieces. Many other firms in Leeds were threatened with similar treatment. The proceedings at this place are represented to have had for their object the destruction of all goods prepared otherwise than by manual labour. At Horbury, near Wakefield, valuable mills were attacked on the 9thof April, by an armed body, consisting of 300 men, and the machinery and considerable property were destroyed. The men who committed the outrage were seen on the road between the two towns imarching in regular order, preceded by a mounted party with drawn swords and fol- lowed by a similar body of men as a rear guard. They were stated in the official report presented to parliament to belong to Hudders- field, Dewsbury, -Heckmondwike, Mirfield, Morley, Birstall, and Gomersal. The magis- trates were unable to give protection by put- ting the Watch and Ward Act into force, and the working classes, or ‘‘ the lower orders ” as they are called in this report, are represented as being generally either abettors or participa- ters in the outrages committed, or, as being so intimidated that they dared not interfere. At Sheffield, the store house of arms of the local militia was surprised, some of the arms were broken, and others taken away by the mob. Depredations continued almost nightly in this locality, and it was stated in the report that in the districts between Huddersfield and

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Birstall the arms of all the peaceable inhabi- tants had been swept away by bands of armed men. Respecting the offenders no information could be gained, and it is said that amongst a hundred depositions taken by the magistrates of the facts of robberies committed, the thief was only pointed out in one case. During the latter part of the period we have named, that is the commencement of 1812, the districts watered by the Spen and the Calder were especially unsettled, and the patrols passing Huddersfield and Leeds found the people in ill-affected villages up at midnight, and heard the firing of small arms at short distances from them through the whole night, proceeding from small parties who were practising drill. Of the brutality of mobs the history of every land furnishes melancholy proofs. A Spanish anto-de-fa—a Parisian execution—the British puvishment of the pillory—an Irish rising and a Scotch riot of past times generally exceeded in barbsrity the acts of still earlier times. But there ure differences in mobs; a metro- politan one being generally less brutal than a provincial one. In capitals persons seem to have a definite purpose, and they only take means to effect that purpose ; but in provincial riots there is often a general disposition to violence and brutality, tending rather to gene- ral aggression than to any particular object that can be perceived. The Luddite mohs were, as we have already pointed out, made up partly of men who did not suffer from the introduction of machinery -——men, who being uneducated and brutal, had a love for brutality and excess; who found it nore pleasant to seize by violence than gain by industry and whofinally proceeded to:perpetrate the most dreadful crimes. Considering what material the local Luddite mobs was composed

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of, we are naturally surprised to find that there _ was less of brutal excess exhibited in York- shire than in other counties. We cannot enter into detail respecting the outrages in the ad- joining counties, which we have named generally in this chapter, or we might adduce cases in the Luddite risings involving a much greater degree of ferocity than any exhibited in Yorkshire. I It is a remarkable fact that throughout all the cases which Luddism involved we find none in which the mob had been incited to any violence beyond that necessary for the comple- tion of their purpose; that is to say murder was unaccompanied by cruelty; robbery was unattended by violence, and the destruction of property was not conjoined with the ill-usage of persons. This is a peculiarity attendant upon the Yorkshire riots which no other county possesses.

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CHAPTER V.

THE GATHERING AT THE SHEARS INN, LIVERSEDGE.

‘‘Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not? Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow

We alluded in the first chapter to Mr. Cartwright’s Mill at Rawfolds, Liversedge, and to Mr. John Jackson’s cropping shop at the top of Quilley Lane, in the same township. These cropping shops, which were chiefly places of small pretensions, were pretty nu- merous in the Spen Valley and in the inter- vening districts, up to Leeds on one side and Halifax and Huddersfield on the other, about 1810-11, when Cartwright began to experiment in finishing cloth by machinery at his water power mill at Rawfolds. These experiments excited much alarm amongst neighbouring finishers, and much resentment amongst the workmen engaged in that branch of business, who saw that if Mr. Cartwright succeeded in his effort to introduce his machines their trade would be seriously affected. The foreman at Mr. Jackson’s workshop just referred to, at the top of Quilley Lane, was an old trusty ser- vant of the name of William Fearnsides, a thoroughly reliable man, whose whole energies were devoted to the business. Before the ad- vent of Mr. Cartwright’s new frames work was plentiful at Mr. Jackson’s shop, and the men could earn good wages, but as frames came more and more into use the little masters who adhered to hand cropping found it increas-

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ingly difficult to carry on business at a profit, and the result was that the men gradually lost their employment, and the workshops were one after another closed altogether. The men watched the gracual decay of their industry in sullen despair at first, but the news of tur- bulent demonstrations at Nottingham, where the lace makers had risen against a frame of another character which threatened their in- dustry, had stirred them strongly, and the more violent spirits among the local croppers began to urge that similar measures should be taken against the finishing frames introduced by some of the Yorkshire manufacturers. The wild idea seems to have been first broached at Longroyd Bridge, but those who were out of work spread the seeds of disaffection all round the district, and the men at shop were soon following the lead of the Hud- dersfield malcontents. William Hall, a native of Parkin Hoyle, or Park-end-hole, as the locality ought to be called, had learnt his trade at Jackson’s, at Hightown, and had continued to work there as journeyman for a time after his apprenticeship had expired, but when trade began to fall off, Fearnsides, the foreman, had been compelled to dismiss him. Mr. Jackson never liked to part with men who had been trained at his shop, and he told Hall that he would try to take him on again if trade revived at all. Instead of mending, however, it got worse and worse, - and so far from finding work for old hands the foreman was obliged to dismiss other workmen whom he held in much higher esteem than Hall, who had always been a very unmanage- able young man, and had given great trouble to Fearnsides during his apprenticeship, Hall, after wandering about loosely for some months in the hope that he would be reinstated in his old position, began to realise that the prospect

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grew more and more discouraging, he therefore sought work elsewhere, and eventually suc- ceeded in gaining employment at John Wood’s workshop, at Longroyd Bridge, near Hudders- field, but, as he still hoped he might get back to Jackson’s he did not remove thither, but came to spend his sundays in Liversedge. Coming thus in contact with many of his old shopmates he fed the flame of discontent by the wild reports he brought home of the doings at Huddersfield. During the period of his enforced idleness after he had been dis- missed from Jackson’s workshop, Hall had had all the strong feelings of his sullen and passionate nature aroused by the sight of the poverty and destitution which had been brought upon his fellow craftsmen and neigh- bours, and now that he had found himself thrown into connection with many still more violent spirits at Longroyd Bridge his strong and vindictive feelings increased in intensity. Every week when he returned home he brought exciting reports of what he called the “ stir- rings ” at Huddersfield and.elsewhere, and the discontented croppers of Liversedge assembled in large numbers at the Shears Inn, the general meeting place of the craft, every Sat- urday night to listen to his highly coloured recitals of the doings of the workmen in other places. To those whom he knew could be trusted, Hall whispered the secret that the men at Huddersfield were banding themselves together to destroy ‘‘ the cursed machines,” and that he had become a member of the or- ganisation formed to accomplish that object. To Hall’s hungry and desperate companions violent measures seemed the only likely ones to succeed in stopping the rapid increase of the hated machinery, and they became eager to eprol themselves in the secret society which promised such a summary and speedy redress

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of their wrongs, it was therefore eventually arranged that Hall should ask some one belonging to the organisation to come over with him and meet the Liversedge croppers to explain to them its objects and methods of working more fully. The Shears Inn, at Hightown, which bore and still bears on its sign-board a representa- tion of the implement used by the croppers in their trade, was, as we have already stated, a house generally resorted to by men engaged in that business. A few of the craft patronised ‘little Hammond,” of the White Hart, a Crofton man, who had formerly belonged to the cropper’s craft; and a few, James White- head, the jolly host of the Cross Keys ; but the popular gathering place was the Shears. That they were good customers tor the landlord’s ale when they had money in their pockets may be guessed from one of the wildest Yorkshire legends extant, which we will give as briefly as possible, as it shows what opinions were entertained of the crpppers by contemporaries before the obnoxious frames were invented, and when they were able to dictate very often their own terms to their masters when the latter had urgent orders on hand. We give it in the words of a most reliable authority :— ‘‘ The tradition is, that in consequence of their dissipated aud wicked ways all the croppers at their departure:from this world went to a cer- tain place which, to describe it negatively, was neither purgatory nor Paradise, and that in the course of time they became so numerous in that particularly warm region, and withal so very, very unruly, that the devil was at his wits’ end what to do with them and had no pleasure of hislife in their company. Get rid of them he could not. There they were, and in spite of all remonstrances declared they would not depart nor yet mend their manners.

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One day, while pondering on his difficult posi- tion, a brilliant idea occurred to his Satanic majesty. He knew the fondness of the crop- pers when on earth for ale, whether good or bad, so he went to the door of the infernal regions and bawled out ‘Ale! ale! ale!’ with all his might. The effect was magical. At the joyful sound all the croppers were seized instantaneously with a burning thirst, and they rushed out to a man, helter skelter. No were they all out than Satan slipped quickly in, bringing the door to and locking it after him, shouting through the keyhole to the astonished and deluded croppers outside, ‘ Now curse you, I’ve got you out and I'll keep you out. I'll take care no more croppers ever come in here!’ And that is given as the reason why no more croppers entered the infernal regions.” The Shears Inn was at the beginning of the century one of the most substantial buildings in the locality im which it stands, most of the surrounding property being ordinary cottages, although there were a few good houses, of which Abraham Jackson’s, the currier, wasone. Mr. Jackson was then in a pretty large way of business, and occupied besides the buildings round his homestead the old house across the road, known as Noah’s Ark, as a leather ware- house. The interior arrangement of the Shears Inn was, at the period of which we are writing, different to what it 1s at the present time. The bar was then at the back, at the right hand side of the passage, the other back room on a line with it being the kitchen, and over both the front rooms was the club room. It was in this large room that the meeting of the croppers was held at which the delegates from Hnddersfield were present, and which took place in February, 1812. Although it was still winter, according to the calendar,

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the morning had been sultry, and soon after midday the firmament became obscured by black clouds which rolled up steadily from the south, and an almost phenomenal darkness, which was long remembered. set in, continuing for some hours, and was followed by a heavy thunderstorm. Notwithstanding the warring elements the gathering of croppers that night at the Shears was large, and comprised mem- bers of the craft from Cleckheaton, Heck- mondwike, Gomers3al, Birstall, Mirfield, and more distant places. Had James Lister, the landlord, been aware of the real object of the meeting he would certainly have placed his veto upon it; for, although he naturally sym- pathised with the men who had been such excellent customers in the sufferings they were enduring, owing to the introduction of ma- chinery, he prided himself on being above all things a law-abiding citizen, and, a sheriff’s officer, considered himself a sort of Government functionary, and as such respon- sible in some degree for the good conduct of his neighbours. As we have said before, how- ever, the house had always being the chief resort of the croppers, and Lister was not aware that the meeting was other than a trade gathering of the fraternity to take into con- sideration the critical state of affairs. . William MHall, true to his promise, had brought with him two of his fellow workmen from Longroyd Bridge ; John Walker, a young man, who true specimen of the old rol- licking race of croppers, and Thomas Brook, a solid taciturn man, who was in almost every respect the antipodes of his companion, for while Walker was jovially fraternising with everybody around him, Brook sat stolidly apart, puffing his long pipe and replying only in monosyllables to the questions or observa- tions of the men around him. The old oak-

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cased clock in the corner had long ago struck the hour on its clear sounding bell, and a rough looking man had risen to ask if it was not time to begin the meeting, when John Walker, who had been for some time imbibing more of Lister’s strong ale than was good for him, rose from his seat and extending his arms as if he would shake hands with every one present, cried out in cheery tones: — ah’m pleased to see you all. You muster weel, an’ am sure by the luke on you there’s some true grit in Liversedge. Me an’ my mate are pleased to beamong you. Ah can promise you ‘at we Huddersfield chaps will stand by you shoulder to shoulder till these cursed machines at’s robbing us of our trade are sent flying in a thousand shivers an’ them ‘sts made ’em are sent after them. You’ve a chap here lads ’at wants straightening up an’ wer’re ready to help you todo it. We hev his marrow over yonder, but General Ludd is bahn to heva word with him varry shortly. Well lads, ah’m no talker; ah mean business. My mate ahl happen say a few words to you in a bit, but afore ah sit dahn ah’ll sing you one of ahr Ludd ditties.” Taking a hearty swig at his mug of ale, Walker then struck up in true ballad patterer’s

style— THE CROPPER’S SONG. Come, cropper lads of high renown, Who love to drink good ale that’s brown, And strike each haughty tyrant down, With hatchet, pike, and gun! Oh, the cropper lads for me, The gallant lads for me, Who with lusty stroke The shear frames broke, The cropper lads for me!

What though the specials still advance, And soldiers nightly round us prance; The cropper lads still lead the dance, With hatchet, pike, and gun!

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Oh, the cropper lads for me, The gallant lads for me, Who with lusty stroke The shear frames broke, The cropper lads for me!

And night by night when all is still And the moon is hid behind the hill, We forward march to Jo our will With hatchet, pike, and gun! Oh, the cropper lads for me, The gallant lads for me. Who with lusty stroke The shear frames broke, The cropper lads for me!

Great Enoch still shall lead the van Stop him who dare! stop him who can! Press forward every gallant man With hatchet, pike, and gun! Oh, the cropper lads for me, The gallant lads for me, Who with lusty stroke The shear frames broke, The cropper lads for me!

Long before Walker had come to the end of his song the rolicking chorus was eagerly caught up by his delighted audience, and when the end was reached the refrain was twice repeated with extraordinary vigour, many of the men beating time on the long table with their sticks and pewter mugs. If the object of the singer was to inspire the somewhat down- cast and dejected group with some of his own enthusiasm, he succeeded admirably, as was evident from the flashing eyes turned towards him from all parts of the room as he sat down, and the excitement continued during the whole of the meeting. Before the hearty plaudits had died away. Brooke, the other delegate, put down his pipe, rose slowly and deliberately to his feet and waited with calm self-possession till the meet-

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ing had quieted down sufficiently to listen to him. In appearance he was, as we have said, very different to Walker. No smile lighted up his sombre, strongly marked features as in language which showed more education and re- finement, he told his hearers how the Luddite movement had extended to the Huddersfield district and the progress which had been made in the destruction of frames in that locality. ‘* We are playing a hazardous, nay a desperate game, we know full well,’’ he exclaimed, and his dark eyes lighted up as heraised his voice and struck his clenched fist on the table, ‘‘ We are playing a desperate game I say, but have we not been driven to it? Oppression makes wise men mad, and we refuse to die like dogs without making one bold stroke for the lives of our wives and our little ones, who are star- ving before our eyes. The masters show us no mercy, no pity. They will not give us a kind word, or throw us a crust of bread. We are clearly in the way, and they would fain thrust us and our misery out of their sight. But we claim a right to live in the land of our birth, and we refuse to be driven out of the country. Curse the machines!” he cried with savage energy, ‘‘and curse the men who make them! It cannot be right that we should suffer as we are suffering. It cannot be right that men who are able and willing to work should be thrust out with bitter taunts and scoffs to starve, or that our little ones should pine and wither away before our eyes. We must band ourselves together to sweep the hated frames from the face of the earth. It was @ mistake to allow Cartwright to set up those he is working in the valley yonder. You see the result. The other masters cannot compete with the machinery, and all other shops are gradually shutting up. I will tell you something that should interest you. We

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have heard from our friends at Marsden that two more waggon loads of these frames are coming to Cartwright’s place next week. Now is your time men! If you do not want the bread filching from your mouths resolve now that that accursed load shall never cross Hartshead Moor !” Loud cheers mingled with fierce cries greeted Brooke as he sat down, which had not died away when a tall, dark man rose at the other end of the room. He had a short curt man- ner with him, and his speech was very brief and to the point. ‘‘ Friends,’ said he, in slow determined _ tones, ‘‘Tll make one to stop any more frames coming here. I think we have too many al- ready.’ The speaker’s name was John Hirst. He was one of Jackson’s men, and though he was no lover of violent methods the danger which seemed to beset his craft and the fiery appeal of Grooke had stirred even his sluggish nature, and he was eager to take any steps to prevent himself and his comrades from the utter ruin which seemed to him to be certain if the new invention was allowed to spread in this locality. Wam, thou’lt go with me,” added Hirst, in his short way appealing to a stout, easy looking personage.on the other side of the table, who had joined enthusiastically in cheer- ing every utterance of the delegates. ‘‘T will, Jack, I’m sure,” was the hearty response of the person appealed to, whose real name was Robert Whitwam. He wasalsoone of Jackson’s workmen, and resided in a little cottage on Clickem Hill. And I'll make a third’ cried Jonas Crow- ther, a determined looking man, with black bushy eyebrows and heavy jaws; ‘“‘and ah reckon my neighbour, Naylor, will keep me company,” he added.

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Naylor, who was a man of less courageous stamp, was evidently taken aback by this sudden appeal and did not answer for atime, but he also at last fell in with the invitation, though not without some evident misgivings. So far the volunteers were all Jackson’s men, but representatives from other workshops including Cartwright’s, speedily volunteered, and the number eventually included a majority of those present, but the names we have given are all that have been handed down. Walker, who had greeted every accession to the Lud- dite ranks with loud expressions of gratifica- tion, promised that he and their townsman, William Hall, would also join them with some ‘*‘ Huddersfield chaps,” who would ‘bring Enoch ” and show them “ how to go on.” A solemn oath of secrecy was then adminis- tered to all present, and their names were taken down as they left the room by the vigi- lent watchmen who had kept guard at the door. * xe XK

The advice given by Brooke was carried out. The drivers of the waggons bringing Cartwright’s machines were met, as he sug- gested, on Hartshead Moor, and the frames were broken to pieces. It was not known that there was any organisation of Luddites in Liversedge and the machines were sent, as several had been sent to Cartwright’s mill before, simply in charge of the waggoners. They ought to have arrived before night, but the roads being very bad the progress of the vehicles had been much hindered, and darkness was closing in when they reached the Moor where the band was lying in ambush. The drivers, who were seized by a strong body of masked men, made no resistance, seeing it would be hopeless to do so, and suffered them- selves to be blindfolded and bound till the work of destruction was finished.

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CHAPTER VI.

MEETING oF LUDDITES aT THE ‘“ St. CRISPIN,” Hatirax.

Fling out the red banner ! Its fierce front under ; Come, gather ye, gather ye, Champions of right! And roll round the world With the voice of God's thunder : The wrongs we've to reckon— Oppressors to smite.—Gerald Massey. Shortly after the events recorded in the first chapter transpired at the cropping shop of Mr. John Wood, there suddenly appeared at that establishment a man who, walking quickly ‘up to the outer door of the building, and open- ingtit without speaking to the rest of the men, passed into the room where Mellor worked. Mellor happened to be alone at the moment, and a few words were exchanged between him and his visitor,in alow tone. Ina few seconds the latter again turned on his heel, made his’ way swiftly outof the building, and speedily disappeared in the distance. This mysterious individual was the messenger of the Halifax Luddites, and his business was to announce that a delegate from Nottingham would be passing through the town in a day or two, and would meet the leading members or delegates of the various societies in the neighbourhood, at the St. Crispin Inn, on particular business. The ‘‘Saint Crispin,” an ancient hostelry which stood not far from the venerable Parish Church, at Halifax, took its name we need

hardly say from the patron saint of the shoe-

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makers, and was frequented by many members of the notable craft. The old building was pulled down in 1844, and a new one erected on the site, the title now being “ The old Crispin.” The customers, at the time of which we are writing, were mostly men of ademocratic sort ; it was in fact known as the resort of a class who were generally called by the ‘‘ Church ard King men” of the time. ‘‘Tom Painers,” a name under which it was customary at that day to group all who, professing progressive opinions, did not believe with Pope that ‘‘ Whatever is, is right.’’ There seems to have existed at this inn at the time of the Luddite movement a democratic or republican club, of which John Baines, an intelligent hatter, and two or three of his sons who were shoemakers, were members. It has been noticed often that men who work together in groups, at some occupation which allows of quiet talk and dis- cussion, are generally more intelligent and better informed than others who do not follow their avocations under such favourable cir- cumstances, and the number of able men who have commenced life under the auspices of St. Crispin and have afterwards creditably occu- pied some of the highest positions in the political, literary, and scientific worlds, is a proof of this. The members of the club just alluded to naturally sympathised to some ex- tent with the Luddite movement, knowing well the half-starved condition of the working- men generally, and though many held aloof from participating actively in the movement, there were some, and amongst them the Baines family, who actually joined the Luddites, and did their best to strengthen and help on their cause. On the night appointed for the meeting, the St. Crispin ‘looked pretty much as usual. It was a well-accustomed house, and the inner

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doora were swinging to and fro in the usual fashion. <A close observer who happened to be inside might have noticed that many of the visitors that evening did not enter the ordinary rooms to the left or the right, but went forward up the narrow staircase to the room above. But meetings were common in the club-room, and if any one had seen the men ascending the stairs he would not have supposed, unless he knew something of their antecedents, that there was anything unusual or suspicious about them, as they dropped in generally one by one at irregular intervals. Trade disputes were common then as now, and the uninitiated observer would naturally conclude there was some meeting there that night of a trade character. Had his curiosity led him to endea- vour tp join the gathering overhead, he would soon, however, have been checked in hiscourse. In the little dark room at the back, the door of which opened at the foot of the stairs, there was seated a roughly dressed working-man, who apparently was enjoying « solitary glass and pipe, but his eye never wandered far from the open door, and as each new comer passed it, rapid signals were exchanged between him and the watcher. On reaching the club-room door another sentinel was just visible in the flickering light of a small candle, sitting in the small box partitioned off from the adjoining apartment. As a member of the fraternity passes the little open window, a peculiar grasp of the hand is given, some muttered words are heard, the reply comes as quietly, and he passes in. Entering the room with him we find there are about thirty persons present. They are grouped round a long table at the the rcom and preparations are evidently being made to commence a meeting. Glan- cing round at the company, we are struck first with the fact that they are nearly all young

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men. There are not more than half-a-dozen in the room that we should guess to be over thirty. One gray-haired man there is and only one, and they fittingly chose him to preside over them. This is old John Baines, the veteran republican, to whom we have already alluded as being connected with the demo- cratic club held at the St. Crispin. His thin locks and deeply wrinkled face prove him to be not far from three score years and ten, but his eye is still bright and clear as he glances slowly round the little gathering. He is con- versing with a pale, rather intelligent looking man on his right, the delegate from Notting- ham, and as he holds his hand to his ear to catch the replies we observe that ‘‘ old John,” as he is familiarly called, is a little deaf, but his natural force seems otherwise unabated. On the other side of the chairman are two other men to whom the reader has been already introduced. The first, with the gloomy, deter- mined-looking face, he will recognise as George Mellor, and the other as his brother cropper, Thorpe. After scanning thoughtfully for some minutes the strangely mingled group of black- smiths fresh from the forge, half-desperate looking croppers, and pale, meagre-faced weavers, the president thus broke the silence: ‘‘ Ag the motives that induced me to join the Luddite movement are probably different from those which actuate most of you, I should like to have the privilege of saying a few words to the delegates assembled before our friend Weightman, from Nottingham, gives his report from that town and neighbourhood. I have been looking round the table, and think I am safe in sayiug that my age is more than double that of anyone in this room. I am glad tosee s0 Many young men present, and hope their enthusiasm may carry them right to the end of this movement.”’

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‘‘Hear, hear,” exclaimed the Nottingham delegate, in a clear ringing voice. ‘‘T say right to the end of this movement,” repeated the president—‘‘ and that end, what is it? Is it the destruction of the cursed machines that are robbing your children of their bread? Well, that is one great object, but, my friends, is that the end 2” ‘* Down with the bloody aristocrats‘” cried a fair-haired man at the foot of the table, his light grey eyes sparkling with enthusiasm. ‘‘Amen!” responded Baines, fervently, and his raised voice became tremulous with excite- ment. ‘I too say down with the bloody aristocrats! Oh that the long suffering peo- ple of England would rise in their strength and crush their oppressors in the dust! The vampires have fattened too long on our heart’s blood. Let the people now rise in their ma- jesty and rid themselves for ever of the vile brood who have flung upon them the sole taxation of the country and reduced them to the condition of galley slaves in the land of their birth. They have filched from us our natural inheritance, and by usurping the House of Commons, have got the purse strings of the nation into their hands also. They have pro- voked wars and lived and fattened upon them. They have sent us to fight anybody and every- body, to crush French liberalism and to main- tain despotism all over Europe. They swarm over everything and cover it with their slime —over the state, over the House of Lords, and over the house, over the army and navy, over everything. All the offices in the land are held by them and their friends ; salaries and pensions are showered upon them from the national treasury, and still like the horse- leech they stretch forth the greedy, ravenous maw, and cry “Give! give!’ For thirty years I have struggled to rouse the people

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against the evil and, as some of you here know, have suffered much for my opinions in body and estate. I am now nearing the end of my pilgrimage, but I will die as I have lived ; my last days shall be devoted to the people's cause. I hail your rising against your oppres- sors and hope it may go on till there is not a tyrant to conquer. I have waited loxg for the dawn of the coming day, and it may be, old as I am, I shall yet see the glorious triumph of democracy.”’ The effect of the president’s passionate harangue on the rough group around him was startling. Several rose from their seats as the appeal grew warmer, while some who were foremost pressed the horny hand of the old veteran as he resumed his seat. A brief in- terval of silence followed, and then the impetuous George Mellor sprang to his feet. ‘We'll reckon with the aristocrats in London in due time,” he said * but, friends, is there not some work nearer home to be done first? I know of no aristocrats fwho are big- ger tyrants than our own masters, and I’m for squaring with them the first.” ‘‘ Our friend is right,” said the Nottingham delegate, and he is also wrong. Right in his longing tu strike down the tyrant who would rob him of his daily bread and turn him out to starve in order that the gains may be poured with redoubled speed into his bursting coffers ; but wrong in thinking he is his greatest. oppressor. What means war which is carrying away the very flower of the country to die and rot in a foreign land? For what are we fighting and what is to be the end of the conflict? Look at our closed ports, our decaying commerce, our starving workpeople! Now that we are aware of our strength and have proved ourselves able to crush cur local tyrants, let us not forget} we have other foes

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also. Let us go down to the root. Through- out Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, and Cheshire, our movement is everywhere

powerful. We have thousands of weapons.

collected, and we have strony arms to use them. Our council is in daily communication with the societies in all the centres of disaffec- tion, and they urge a general rising in May. We must crush our tyrants at home, but re- meinber also those who have ruined your commerce and destroyed the peace of your hones by this bloody war. Since John West- ley was shot at Arnold, the feelings against the masters, aud their frames has redoubled in intensity and bitterness, and our inen are inspired with desperate courage. The cavalry and the specials do their best to put us down or capture us, but we learn their secrets. The people everywhere sympathise with us, and we visit with swift and sure vengeance all whe show themselves prominently in the ranks of the enemy. Many in our hody advocate the policy of shooting such of the masters as are engaged in hunting and harrying us, but some hardly like the idea of murdering them in cold blood, and I must confess there is something revolting to the feelings of an Englishinan about it.” ‘* Let them do what’s right then,” broke in Mellor, with his usual impetuosity, ‘if we're to stick at such squeamish nonsense av that, there will be rowt done. If they shoot at us, why should’nt we shoot at them? two in this neighbourhood that will have to be taken underhand, and at once. I mean Cart- wright, of Rawfolds, and Horsfall, of Marsden. Most of yon know how these two brag, day after day, at Huddersfield market and at home, and threaten what they'll do with the Lud- dites if they come near ‘their places. We've sent a warning to both, and the only reply

ad

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made by Cartwright is to get soldiers statione 1 in small detachments all over Liversedge and Heckmondwike, and our friends there tell us he still continues his bravado, and is talking about defending his mili. Now, I think it’s time he had a lesson.” this suggestion there was at once a uni- versal murmur of assent, and Weightman strengthened them in their resolution by say- ing that it was ‘best to tackle such trouble- some men as Cartwright at ‘* What is to hinder us from attacking Raw- folds Mill next?” asked Mellor. ‘‘ We’ve done very little round there, and we are middling strong in that neighbourhood.” ‘‘ There’s just one thing to hinder us,’ said a delegate on the left of the president, ‘“ and that’s all I know of.” ‘* And what’s that, Job ?”’ enquired Mellor. ‘‘ not so many guns and pistols as I should like,” replied the man addressed. ‘If we’re bahn to go at a mill with soldiers inside to defend it, we want something besides a few malls and hatchets. I am. sorry to say me and my mates have not been doing much lately. Hartley's poorly again.” ‘‘Is he poorly or he’s shewing fea- ther a bit ?” asked another gruffly. ‘‘Nay, he’s a true pluck’d ’un is Hartley,” replied Hey, ‘‘ but he’s a lot of bairns, six or seven I think, and his wifeis a poor delicate thing. Since they found it out that he’s joined the Luddites they are sadly again it, altho’ they’re half starved. However, we'll see it to-night, Hill. But to give us time some more guns, I think it would be better to put Cartwright’s affair off a bit.”’ ‘‘ I think we ought to take Horsfall under- hand the first,” said Thorpe, ‘“‘ I am just about sickened with the reports of his brag and

em

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threats browt into our shop. Cartwright isn’t hawf as bad as Several other Huddersfield delegates sup- ported Thorpe’s suggestion, and a division seemed to be threatened as the discussion grew warmer. ‘‘ Come,” said Weightman at last, ‘‘ don’t let us get into a squabble on that small matter. Spin up a shilling—heads Cartwright, tails Horsfall !” The suggestion was adopted and ‘ heads” won, so it was settled that Cartwright should be first ‘ tackled.” The next question was the date when the attack should be made, and various times were named and objected to for reasons given. ‘* Well,” said Mellor, ‘“‘ would Saturday, the llth of April do? We shouldn’t be later than that. I shall never rest till the mill is in ruins. If we defer it till then that will give Job and the other searching parties more time, and I don’t think it would be right to put it off any ‘As the man you speak of is setting you at defiance, sooner you deal with him the better,”’ observed Weightman. ‘We have inspired such a wholesome dread of us at Nottingham, amongst all classes, that the threat of General Ludd is almost invariably Our mo- tions have been so rapid and our information respecting the possession of arms so accurate that few now dare to speak of us defiantly. As usual rumour magnifies our deeds, and we are credited with much that we never do; but the authorities, I can assure you, are very much dissatisfied with the result of their efforts to put us down. Many who do sympathise with us taunt them with the little progress they make in crushing us. With regard to the proposed general rising, it will be as well to get together weapons of all kinds as soon

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as possible, and report to us their number and kind.” A gencral conversation followed, and all agreed that Saturday the 11th of April would be the best day. Mellor at once arranged the 1octhod of attack. The time of meeting was to be eleven o'clock at night, and the place, a field at Cooper Bridge, not far from the obelisk called the ‘* Dumb Messengers were chosen to carry the decision of the delegates to all the organisations not represented, and after other matters of detail had been agreed upon the gathering was brought to a close.

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CHAPTER VII. A Ramp ror ARMs. That some mighty grief

O'er hangs thy soul thy every look proclaims ; Why then refuse it words ?— Mason.

‘True courage but from opposition grows ; And what are fifty, what a thousand slaves, Matched to the sinew of a single arm ‘That strikes for right ?— Brooke. After the termination of the proceedings at the “Saint Crispin,” as stated in the last chapter, the Luddites left the inn in the same stealthy manner in which they had entered it. The dark, moonless night was in their favour, but still they did not venture to leave the house ina body. They knew that the authorities had been warned that illegal meetings were held in some part of the town, and were in consequence just at that time more than usually watchful, they therefore dropped out singly or in twos and threes, so that uo one—even if watching the place—would have suspected anything unusual. As their homes were in many cases widely apart they were soon scat- tered over all parts of the town, or having cleared the more populous quarters, were trudging along the dark, quiet roacs that led into the country beyond. Leaving the rest of the delegates to their own devices, we will follow two who are walking steadily on along the highway and anon through greeu lanes and fields, until, after a journey extending over about an hour, they suddenly pause at a very poor looking cottage which stands a little from

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themainroad. All appears and around the little house, and it seems as if the inmates have retired to rest. After looking at the windows for a short time, one of the two tra- vellers taps gently at the door. There is no response, and, after listening for a moment, he knocks smartly with his knuckles. Still all remains quiet in the interior for a brief space ; then there is a slight shuffling of feet, and by and by, a cloth which stops up one of the broken panes being removed, a woman ina weak, frightened voice asks, there ?” the door and thou'lt see,” replies one of the men. gruffly. ‘‘What do you want?” asked the woman timidly. want thy husband—open the door or we'll break it down.”’ ‘William cannot come,” said the woman, ‘‘ he is poorly to-night.”’ ‘* Open the door,” replied the man savagely, “if you don’t want it sending through in shivers.”’ Open it, Mary,” said some one inside. A sob and a faint cry follow, then the door is opened with evident reluctance, and the two men, one of them with an ugly oath on his lips, burst into the room. The place seems almost dark as they enter, but they can detect the dim outline of a figure bending over a few red cinders in the grate. They see that it isa nan, and that he is trying to light a diminu- tive piece of candle. In a minute or two he places it upon the little round table at his elbow. It casts only a feeble, flickering light, but it suffices to show that the surroundings are wretched in the extreme. On one side is an old carved oak chest which looks as if it had served the purposes of two or three gene- rations. This is the only article of furniture

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on that sideof thehouse. There had evidently been pictures suspended on the white-washed walls, but there arenone now. right of the fire-place is a bed, and these, with the table we have named, six or seven old stools and chairs, and a few kitchen utensils, com- plete the furniture, if we except a sort of table of home manufacture which stands under the window, on which are a tailor's goose and a pair of shears, which show what is the occu- pation of the pale, serious-looking occupant of the cottage, who having placed the candle on the table, sinks into his chair again with a look of mingled despair and defiance, but utters no sound. The two intruders gazed at him also without speaking for a few seconds, but they soon recovered themselves. ‘‘ How is it thou hast not been at the meeting to-night, Hartley ?” asked the milder looking of the two, in quiet tones. ‘* Because he was too poorly to go anywhere,”’ replied the woman instantly, ‘‘and if he’d been well he would have gone to no meetings of yours if I could have hindered him.” ‘- Silence!’ grow'ed the other man, fiercely. ‘* Silence thys self, John Hill,” said the tailor, breaking his strange silence, this my house or thine ?”’ ‘Well, I’ve no objection to thee calling it thine,”’ replied Hill, glancing contemptucusly around at the squalid furniture. The unfeeling taunt seemed to agitate poor Hartley strongly, and he made a hasty move- ment towards Hill, but Hey interposed by placing his hand firmly on his shoulder, and the woman also rushed between the two. ‘* Hill,” said Job Hey, sternly, ‘‘no more of this. Is this a time for brawling amongst those who should stand shoulder to shculder? Hartley,” he continued in soothing tones, ‘‘be quiet. Wecame to say that we have orders

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from the delegate meeting to-night to collect as many arms as we can, and An at- tack on a mill at Rawfolds has been decided upon. This order requires our instant atten- tion. Icommand you on the oath we have all taken to prepare to go with us.” A mournful sound burst from the woman at this appeal, and she began to wring her hands in deep anguish. Her looked at her, and as he looked the hard defiant expression in his face gradually disappeared and it beamed with tender svmpathy. is not fit to go anywhere,” sobbed the woman, ‘‘he is so weak and poorly. He has not tasted food this day. We had but one small loaf this morning, and he would not touch a morsel of it. God knows what is to become of us. Our poor children have all gone supper- less to bed, crying for food and we had none to give them. ‘‘ And yet,” replied Hey, ‘‘ you would prevent your huspand from trying to remedy this. We live in a land of plenty, and you would pine yourself and all your little ones to death. Do you care so little for them that you can sit and see them droop and die before your very eyes ? Here you’ve been working and struggling to keep body and soul together, while all around you see scores revelling in luxury who never lift their little fingers to do any thing. While they have lived in grand mansions, well honsed and well clad, you "have been forced to exist in this poor miserable hut. And now that you have sold nearly all your furniture to keep the wolf from the door, what is there before you but the workhouse ‘Nothing. nothing,’ wailed the woman, ‘‘but even that is better than the prison cell. William don’t go.” But the strangely silent man had risen to his

feet and was preparing to accompany the two

messengers.

ee roe ae

wee et eee eee ee

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‘* Mary,” said he, in a low tone, ‘‘ let me go But his agonised wife had swooned in her chair and was happily unconscious. Seeing this, he opened the chamber door and called his eldest daughter. The poor girl huddled on her scanty clothing and came down. As she entered the room below even the uncouth visitors she found there were evidently struck by her rare beauty. Her hair, black as a raven’s wing, hung in dishevelled masses down her shapely shoulders, contrasting strongly with her pallid face, and as she stood at the foot of the stairs, with eyes dilated by fear, she looked like a startled, timorous fawn. Glancing rapidly at the rough visitors she at once took in the situation, for none of the secrets of that sad household were unknown ta her. Her dress was shabby enough and her whole appearance spoke of deep poverty, but there gleamed through all these 3ad surroundings a beauty which was so re- markable that even the rough visitors were struck dumb and almost forgot their errand. Crossing the floor to where her father was standing she whispered in his ear. Without speaking he kissed her fondly, and, pointing to her mother, disengaged himself from her cling- ing hands and strode rapidly after his friends. On the niorning of the following day the neighbourhood for “miles around was startled by tales of the visits of a band of Luddites to some score of detached or solitary houses in the valley, from which they had carried away 2 great number of guns, pistols, and other weapons. se se se The attack on Cartwright’s tuill at Rawfolds having been resolved upon, the Luddite leaders immediately bestirred themselves to make it a success. Disguised bands like that of Hill,

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Hey, and Hartley, stripped the district of arms, and active measures were taken to se- cure a good stock of ammunition also. Mes- sengers were despatched to the societies in all the surrounding towns, and _ considerable detachments of men were promised from Hud- dersfield, Leeds, and Halifax. Although the members of the fraternity were not so numer. ous in proportion to the population in Heck- mondwike, Cleckheaton, Birstall, Gomersal, and Liversedge as in some of the towns we have named, still there existed a large sprink- ling in unsuspected corners, and these were also warned to hold themselves in readiness. Midnight drills were common, and belated travellers who had to pass near wild moors and unfrequented places told how they had heard the word of command and the measured tramp of many feet, or had seen what their imagina- tion converted into thousands of armed men practising military manceuvres and accustom- ing themselves to act together. The who had rendered himself so ob- noxious to the leaders of the Luddite frater- nity, and for whose punishment all these preparations were being made, was not alto- gether unaware of what was in store for him. . Mr. Cartwright had had many opportunities of knowing that he was a marked man, and that the Luddites had sworn to compass his truction, he therefore set about to prepare himself to meet the coming storm. Hitherto the master manufacturers and owners of frames had proved themselves very adverse to the prosecution of the offenders, even if dis- covered, being manifestly afraid of putting themselves into prominent opposition to a society whose knowledge and strength they no doubt often over rated. They were, in fact, so thoroughly cowed by the bold acts of the Luddites and by their dreadful threats that

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they hardly dared to lift up their hands to defend their property, and shrunk from giving evidence against any who might be appre- hended even in the very act of destruction. Such beirg the case, it was hardly likely that many prosecutions would, if left in the manu- facturers’ hands, be carried into effect; it was therefore deemed by the Government abso- lutely necessary for the public good that the course of justice should be opened by taking the indictments out of the hands of the nomi- nal prosecutors, and accordingly the whole of the cases were conducted by the counsel for the crown. Still it cannot be said that any vindictiveness was shown by the Government at this stage. On the. contrary great laxity characterised these prosecutions. At the Not- tingham Assizes, which were held just before the attack we are about to describe took place, thirteen persons were committed for offences connected with the disturbed state of the country, but none of them were capitally convicted ; and in many cases where they were found guilty of felonies, the punishment awarded fell far short of that which the law authorised. Whether the Luddites in this locality were encouraged by the mildness of the punishments which their confederates received at Nottingham, or by doctrines which were broached at the time casting doubt on the moral guilt of destroying machinery, or from any other cause, certain it is that immediately after the Assizes were over and the visit of the Nottingham delegate to this district had taken’ place, cases of outrage became moreand morecommon. The discipline of the disaffected was also manifestly improved anda system of exacting subscriptions was established here after the model of Notting- ham. Mr. Cartwight had often referred in public

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to what he considered the pusillanimous conduct of the masters, and had openly announced his intention to defendhis prcperty to the best of his ability if it should be at- tacked. Nor did he rest here, but endea- voured to instil some of his own resolute spirit into the hearts of his brother manufacturers. The Luddites, as we have already stated, had been accustomed to carry all before them, and it is not difficult to see how a stumbling block like Mr. Cartwright came to be feared and hated by them. In fact they soon began to re- gard itas an immediate necessity that he should be made an example of if the prestige of the - secret societies was to be maintained. I ‘*T shall never rest until he is punished, his machines broken to pieces, and his mill levelled to the ground,” passionately exclaimed Mellor at one of the meetings, and as we have already seen he soon took steps to put this project into practical shape. It does not appear that Mr. Cartwright was regarded as a tyrannical master; on the con- trary he was generally liked by his workmen, and had it not been for his rash manner of expressing himself and his well known char- acter for acting up to his determination, his mill might possibly have escaped, as no vio- lence of that kind had taken place in this immediate neighbourhood previous to the at- tack on his property. He had, however, provoked the Luddites beyond endurance, and they fully resolved to punish him. How they carried that resolve into execution must be detailed in another chapter. From what we have already said, the reader will be well aware that the times of which we are writing were times of severe trial to the masters as well as the men. Only a few years before the Luddites arose, the paternal legis- lators, which had foolishly shackled trade until it was almost impossible to carry it on,

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were engaged in the consideration of a bill to repeal certain restrictive provisions which they and their fathers had made law. There were regulations and orders in various Acts of Par- liament relating to the length, breadth, and weight of woollen cloths ; the tentering, strain- ing, viewing, searching, and sealing by officers appointed for that purpose; the boiling of wool with certain ingredients ; the prohibition of the use of lamb’s wool; the use of gig mills, and the number of looms, &c. These strange devices by which trade was then crip- pled are now fortunately unknown, but while they existed they must have cost the clothier ‘more, by limiting his operations in tbe field of industry, than any damage done by the Lud- ities.

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CHAPTER VIIL.

Lorp Byron’s SPEECH.

I could atale unfold whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul.—Shakespeare.

While Luddism was thus spreading in this district the: excesses in Nottinghamshire en- gaged the attention of Parliament. A bill was introduced by the ministers of the day—the stern and rigid Percival administration — to render frame breaking a capital crime, punishable with death. Against that bill, Lord Byron, the celebrated poet, made his first speech in the House of Lords. His lordship only spoke three times in that assembly and then left the gilded chamber in disgust, never to return to it. At this time he had become famous, for his celebrated poem ‘ Childe Harold”? had been issued shortly before he stood forth so nobly in defence of his starving countrymen. The order of the day for the second reading of this sanguinary bill being read, Lord Byron rose and addressed the assembly as follows ,— My Lords,—The subject now submitted to your Lordships for the first time, though new to the House is by no means new to the coun- try. I believe it had occupied the serious thoughts of all descriptions of persons long before its introduction to the legislature whose interference could alone be of real service. AS & person in some degree connected with the suffering county, though a stranger not only to the House in general but almost every individual whose attentions I presume to

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solicit, I must claim some portion of your lordships’ indulgence whilst I offer a few ob- servations on a question on which I confess myself deeply interested. To enterinto any detail of the riots would be superfluous; the House is already aware that riot and actual bloodshed has been perpe- trated, and that the proprietors of the frames obnoxious to the rioters and all persons con- nected with them have been liable to insult and violence. During the short time I recently passed in Nottingham, not twelve hours elapsed without some fresh act of violence ; and on the day I left the county I was informed that forty frames had been broken the preceding evening, as usual, without resistance and with- out detection. Such was then the state of the county, and such I have reason to believe it to be at this moment. But whilst these outrages must be admitted to exist to an alarming extent, it cannot be denied that they have arisen from circumstances of the most unparalleled dis- tress; the perseverance of these miserable men in their proceedings tends to prove that nothing but absolute want could have driven a large and once honest and industrious body of the people into the commission of excesses so hazardous to themselves, their families, and the community. At the time to which I allude, the town and county were burdened with large detachments of the military; the police was in motion and also the magistrates, yet all the movements, civil and military, had led to—nothing. Not a single instance had occurred of the apprehension of any real de- linquent taken in the act, against whom there existed lega! evidence sufficient for conviction. But the police, however useless, were by no means idle; several notorious delinquents had been detected ; men, liable to conviction, on

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the clearest evidence of the capital crime of poverty; men who had been nefariously guilty of lawfully begetting several children, whom, thanks to the times! they were unable to maintain. Considerable injury has been done to the proprietors of the improved frames. The machines were to them an advantage, in- asmuch as they superseded the necessity of employing a number of workmen, who were left in consequence to starve. By the adoption of one species of frame in particular, one man performed the work of many, and the super- fluous labourers were thrown out of employ- ment. Yet it is:to be observed that the work thus executed was inferior in quality; not marketable at home, and merely hurried over with a view to exportation. It was called, in the cantjof thejtrade, by the name of ‘ Spider work.’ The rejected worknien, in the blind- ness of their ignorance, instead of rejoicing at these improvements in arts so beneficial to mankind, conceived themselves to be sacrificed to improvements in mechanism. In the foolishness of their hearts they imagined that the maintenance and well doing of the industrious poor were objects of greater con- sequence than the enrichment of a few individuals by any inprovement in the imple- ments of trade, which threw the workmen out of employment and rendered the labourer unworthy of his hire. And it must be con- fessed that although the adoption of the enlarged machinery in that state of our com- merce which the country once boasted, might have been beneficial to the master without being detrimental to the servant; yet, in the present situation of our manufactures, rotting in warehouses, without a prospect of exporta- tion, with the demand for work and workmen equally diminished, frames of this description tend materially to aggravate the distress and

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discontent of the aggravated sufferers. But the real cause of the distress and consequent _ disturbances lies deeper. When we are told that these men are leagued together not only for the destruction of their own comfort, but of the very means of subsistence, can we forget that it is the bitter policy, the destructive warfare of the last eighteen years, which has destroyed their comfort, your comfort, all men’s comfort? That policy, which, origina- ting with ‘ great statesmen now no more,’ has survived the dead to become a curse on the living, unto the third and fourth generation ! These men never destroyed their frames till they become useless—worse than useless, till they were become actual impediments to their exertions in obtaining their daily bread. Can you, then, wonder that in times like these, when bankruptcy, convicted fraud, and im- puted felony, are found in a station not far beneath your lordships’, the lowest, though once most useful portion of the people, should forget their duty in their distresses, and be- come only less guilty than one of their repre- sentatives? But while the exalted offender can find means to baffle the law, new capital punishments must be devised, new snares of death must be spread for the wretched me- chanic who is famished into guilt. These men were willing to dig, but the spade was in other hands; they were not ashamed to beg, but there was none to relieve them; their own means of subsistence were cut off, all other employments preoccupied ; and their excesses, however to be deplored and condemned, can hardly be a subject of surprise. It has been stated that the persons in the temporary pos- sessions of the frames connive at their destruc- tion ; if this be proved upon enquiry, it were necessary that such material accessories to the crime should be principals in the punishment.

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But I did hope that any measure proposed by his Majesty’s government, for your lordships’ decision, would have had conciliation for its basis; or, if that were hopeless, that some previous inquiry, some deliberation would have been deemed requisite; not that we should have been called at once without examination, and without cause, to pass sen- tences by wholesale, and sign death warrants blindfold. But, admitting that these men had no cause of complaint; that the grievances of them and their employerz were alike groundless; that they deserved the worst ; what inefficiency, what imbecility has been evinced in the method chosen to reduce them ? Why were the military called out to be madea mockery of, if they were to be called out at all? As far as the difference of the seasons would permit, they merely parodied the sum- mer campaign of Major Sturgeon ; and, indeed, the whole proceedings, civil and military, seem to be of the model of those of the mayor and corporation of Garratt. Such marchings and countermarchings! From Nottingham to Bull- well, from Bullwell to Banford, from Banford to Mansfield ! And when at length detachments arrived at their destination, in all ‘ the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war,’ they came just in time to witness what had been done, and ascertain the escape of perpetrators, to collect the fragments of broken frames, and return to their quarters amidst the derision of old women and the hootings of children. Now, though in a free country it were to be wished that our military should not be formid- able, at least to ourselves, I cannot see the policy of placing them in situations where they can only ve made ridiculous. As the sword is the worst arguinent that can Tle used, so it should be the last. In this instance it has been the worst, but providentially has rested

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yet in the scabbard. The present measure will indeed pluck it from the sheath; yet, had proper meetings been held in the earlier stages of the riots: had the grievances of the men and their masters (for they also had their grievances) been fairly weighed and justly examined, I do think that means might have been devised to restore these workmen to their avocations, and tranquility to the county. At present the county suffers from a double in- fliction of «n idie military and a starving population. In what state of apathy have we been plunged so long that now for the first time the House had been officially apprised of the disturbances? All this has been tran- sacting within 130 miles of London; and yet we, ‘ good, easy men, have deemed our great- ness was a-ripening,’ and have sat down to enjoy our triumphs in the midst of domestic calamity. But all the cities you have taken, all the armies that have retreated before your leaders, are but paltry subjects of self-congra- tulation if your land divides against itself, and your dragoons and executioners must be let loose against your fellow citizens. You call these men a mob, desperate, dangerous, and ignorant ; and seem to think that the only way to quiet the ‘ Bellua Multnrum Capitum ’ is to lop off a few of their superfluous heads. But even a mob may be better reduced to reason by a mixture of conciliation and firmness thar by additional irritation and redoubled penalties. Are we aware of our obligation to the mob? It is the mob that labour in our fields, serve in our houses—that man your navy and recruit your army—that have enabled you to defy all the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair. You may call the people a mob, but do not for- get that a 1acb too often speaks the sentiments of the people. And here I must remark, with

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what alacrity you are accustomed to fly to the rescue of your distressed allies, leaving the distressed of your own country to the care of Providence, or the parisk. When the Portu- guese suffered under the retreat of the French, every arm was stretched out, every hand was opened; from the rich man’s largess to the widow’s mite, all was bestowed, to enable them to rebuild their villages and restore their granaries. And at this moment, when thou- sands of misguided but unfortunate fellow- countrymen are struggling with the hardships of extremes and hunger, as your charity began abroad it should end at home. <A much less sum, a tithe of the bounty bestowed on Portu- ' gal, even if these men (which I cannot admit without enquiry) could not have been restored to their employment, would have rendered unnecessary the tender mercies of the bayonet and the gibbet. But doubtless our friends have too many foreign claims to admit a pros- pect of domestic relief; though never did such objects demand it. Ihave traversed the seat of war in the Peninsula; I have been in some of the most oppressed provinces of Turkey; but never under the most despotic of infidel governments, did I behold such squalid -wretchedness as I have seen since my return into the very heart of a christian country. And what are your remedies? After months of inaction, and months of action worse than inactivity, at length comes forth the grand specific, the never-failing nostrum of all state physicians, from the days of Draco to the pre- sent. After feeling the pulse and shaking the head over the patient, you prescribed the usual course of warm water and bleeding—the warm water of your mawkish police, and lances of military—these convulsions must end in death, the sure consummation of these prescriptions of all political Sangrados. Setting aside the

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palpable injustice and the certain inefficiency of the bill, are there not capital punishments sufficient in your statutes? Is there not blood enough upon your penal code, that more must be poured forth to ascend to Heaven, and tes- tify, against you? How will you carry the bill into effect? Can you commit a whole country to their own prisons? Will you erect a gibbet in every field and hang up men like scarecrows ? Or, will you proceed (as you must to bring this measure into effect) by decimation ? Place the county under martial law? Depopulate and lay waste all around you, and restore Sher- wood Forest as an acceptable gift to the crown, in the former condition of a royal chase and an asylum for outlaws? Are these the reme- dies for a starving and desperate pcpulace ? Will the famished wretches who have braved your bayonets be appalled by your gibbets? When death isa relief, and the only relief it appears you will afford him, will he be dra- gooned into tranquility ? Will that which could not be effected by your grenadiers, be accomplished by your executioners? If you proceed by the forms of law where is your evi- dence? ‘Those who refused to impeach their accomplices, when transportation only was the punishment, will hardly be tempted to witness against them when death is the penalty. When a proposal in made to emancipate or re- lieve, you hesitate, you deliberate for years, you tenporise and tamper with the minds of men ; but a death bill must be passed off hand, without a thought of the consequences! Sure I am, from what I have heard, and from what I have seen, that to pass the bill under all the existing circurrstances, without enquiry, with- out deliberation, would only be to add injustice to irritation, and barbarity to neglect. The framers of such a bill must be content to in- herit the honours of that Athenian lawgiver

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whose edicts were said to be written, not in ink, but in blood. But suppose it passed; suppose one of the men, as I have seen them— meagre with famine, sullen with despair, care- less of a lifé which your lordships are perbaps about to value at something less than the price of a stocking frame—suppose this man, sur- rounded by the children for whom he is unable to procure bread, at the hazard of his exist- ence, about to betorn from a family which he has lately supported in peaceful industry, and which it is not his fault that he can no longer so support—suppose this man, and there are ten thousand such from whom you may select your victim, dragged into court, to be tried for this new offence, by this new law; and there are two things wanted to convictand condemn him; and these are, in my opinion—twelve butchers for a jury, and Jefferies for a The effect of this impassioned harangue on the noble lords who listened to it was, we may well believe, sufficiently startling, and the political opinions of Lord Byron almost caused as much sensation for a time as his wonderful poem,

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CHAPTER IX.

PREPARING FOR ACTION.

They stand erect; their slouch becomes a walk ; aAhey step right onward, martial is their air, Their form and movement.—Cowper.

Put on The dauntiess spirit of resolution.—Shakespeare.

Saturday, the eleventh of April, the day fixed upon for the attack on Mr. Cartwright’s mill, arrived, and some of the restless spirits at John Wood's workshop waited impatiently for the shades of evening to close in. Dicken- son, the mysterious messenger of the fraternity, had visited all the centres of disaffection to warn them to be in readiness, and to convey powder and ammunition to such as required them. He had visited John Wood’s workshop early in the morning of that day, and having supplied their wants, had passed on to other places. He arrived at Jackson’s shop just as the men were leaving their work for dinner ; at any rate he was then first seen by Fearn- sides, the vigilant foreman who, knowing the dangerous spirit that was abroad amongst the man, would certainly have tried to prevent Dickenson from having an interview with them if he had come into the cropping shop, as he was well aware that the course entered upoa by some of his men would certainly end in trouble. John Hirst, Bob Wam, Crowther, and some others did not return to their work that day. They were engaged with Dickenson in the upper room at the Shears, where he

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submitted the details of the scheme for the attack on Cartwright’s mill. It was finally arranged that the Liversedge contingent should meet the Huddersfield men near the Dumb Steeple, and that John Hirst and Samuel Hartley should act as guides from this gather- ing place to the mill. Hirst was well ac- quainted with every turn of the road, and Hartley’s services it was thought would be valuable when the mill was reached in point- ing ont the most vulnerable places for the attack. As the hour fixed upon for the general gathering drew near various bands began to make their way towards the meeting place, which, as we have already stated, was a field belonging to Sir George Armytage, at Cooper Bridge, near the ‘Dumb Steeple.” The officers of the Luddities had been very busy all the previous week looking up their men and conveying to them arms of various kinds. Notwithstanding the vigilance of the searching parties they were not however able to supply the whole of their members, they were all warned nevertheless to attend the general rendezvous. It was arranged that the party should start . on their destructive mission before midnight, and the men left their homes singly or in little groups at various times, so as not to arouse suspicion. Soon after ten o’clock some of the more eager spirits were on the ground, and before the hour expired the number had in- creased to about fifty. They were armed in very motley fashion: some bore guns, others pistols, while many carried only hedge stakes or stout bludgeons of various kinds, and not a few held on their shoulders huge hammers, mauls, and murderous looking hatchets of vari- ous sizes. They were nearly all disguised, some having their faces simply blackened and

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others wearing masks to conceal their features effectually. Many of them were dressed in carter’s smock frocks, others had their coats turned inside out, some had put their checked shirts over their clothes, anda few had actuall dressed themselves partly in women’s apparel. By the time eleven o’clock arrived all the leading men were in the field and amongst them George Mellor, James Haigh, John Walker, William Thorpe, and the young neophyte, John Booth. In another half-hour their number had augmented to about a hun- dred, and as the hand of the clock stole upwards towards midnight some fifty more joined them and then the leaders held a con- sultation about starting, The last arrivals. were the men from Liversedge, Heckmond- wike, Gomersal, Birstall, and Cleckheaton, under the leadership of John Hirst. Some of the Liversedge men had been for meeting the advancing party at Hightown, bnt it was finally decided that it would be safest to have only one gathering place, namely, the Dumb Steeple. They were still some fifty short of the expected number, but they must start if the work was to be done that night, as they had arranged to meet the Leeds contingent near the scene of action at half-an-hour after midnight. The men, too, were weary of wait- ing, and it was therefore decided that instant preparations should be made for the march. The stragglers are called together by a low whistle, and Mellor’s deep voice is heard as he puts them in order. They form ina long lane, down which the various leaders walk, calling over their rolls, not by names but by numbers. This being done, they are next formed into companies. The men with guns are called to march first, and Mellor assumes the command of this detachment. Next follows the pistol company, headed by Thorpe. A hatchet com-

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pany comes after, and the rear is brought up by the men wiclding huge hammers, and by those who carry cnly bludgeons or are without weapons of any kind. They are rapidly put through a short drill end then formed into marching order, John Hirst, of Liversedge, and Samuel Hartley, of Rawfolds, who was or had been in Cartwright’s employ, being told off as guides. It is now approaching mid- night and they have some three miles to walk, so no time must be lost. Before giving the word to start, George Mellor stands in front of the men and endeavours to fire their courage. ‘We are all ready now, men,” he said, in a deep clear voice. ‘‘ You are all aware that we go to-night to wreak vengeance on the braggart Cartwright, of Rawfolds, who has so long taunted us and set us at defiance. We know that he has been keeping guard over his cursed machines for some weeks and that he has soldiers in small detachments all round the adjoining villages. He has boasted again and again how he would defend his mill, and from what we can learn of him it seems likely he will. Nevertheless we are able to deal with him; we are well armed and when we are joined by the Leeds brethren we shall be sufficiently strong to handle him and the soldiers also. Now, lads, show us you know what to do!” . Instantly the first company placed their guns to their shoulders as if about to fire, the next company held out their pistols as if animated by a similar intention, and the rest uplifted significantly their great hammers and hatchets, ‘** Right, men !” cried Mellor, ‘‘ now march.” The motley multitude, headed by their guides, marched steadily forward—all but two, William Hall, of Parkin Hoyle, Liversedge, and George Rigg, who are ordered to go last to drive stragglers up and see that none go back.

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As these two were bringing up the rear they thought they saw some one mount the wall and drop quietly over into the highway but they were not certain, and as the were now marching out of the field, they followed, after stopping a brief period to satisfy their doubts. Stepping briskly onward they pass along the park wall side, over the corner of the moor, and through the upper part of High- town. All the houses are in darkness, the watch and ward will allow no one to have a light in their dwellings after ten o’clock. As the heavy tread of the men falls on the hard road, many of the sleepers in the houses are awakened, and rushing to their windows peep stealthily forth and see the black compact masses, with the barrels of their guns and the dreadful! looking hatchets and hammers gleam- ing dimly in the starlight, and then creep back to ‘lay their head on ‘sleepless pillows, their teeth chattering with fear. They have heard many frightful tales of the doings of the dreaded Luddites and now they are passing their very doors. No one wonders respecting their destination. They all know that Mr. Cartwright has long been threatened and the avengers have come at last to carry out their threats. The affrighted imaginations of the startled watchers magnify the hundreds of the mysterious body into thousandsas they wheel to the left at the hoarse word of command, near the White Hart Inn to pass down the narrow lane to the mill in the hollow The distance is but short and the listeners strain their ears to catch the first sounds ef the con- flict. Rawfolds mill is before the men at last, and they gaze with keen interest at the dark ob- ject in the valley which can just be distin- guished. A halt is called, and a hurried consultation takes placc amongst the leaders.

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‘‘Where is the Leeds detachment?” is the question they ask of one another, but no one is prepared with an answer. Scouts are sent forward in the direction in which they are expected, but there are no signs of the Leeds men. They listen long and intently ere they return, but they can detect no sound of march- ing. Everything seems perfectly still, the silence ‘is almost oppressive. An impatient oath bursts from the lips of the headstrong Mellor. A brief conference follows; hot, pas- sionate words are spoken in suppressed tones, and the impetuous leader of the first division has his way as usual. They will not wait for the Leeds men. They are numerous and well armed, so they will begin the attack, and their expected comrades will hurry to their assist- ance, anxious to share in the honour of the victory. Poor, misguided men! aid was not faraway; it was so near indeed that the men could soon after hear distinctly the heavy thud of the hammers and hatchets and see the blaze of musketry in the valley below as the attack was made, but instead of rushing forward to the aid of their brethren, they stood still to listen, and as they heard volley answering volley their craven hearts failed them, and they turned and marched home again! But we are anticipa- ting. The old historical mill at Rawfolds, which has been looked upon with interest by thou- sands, was pulled down soon after the Luddite attack, either wholly or partially, and rebuilt much in the same style as before. That erec- tion also now exists no longer, having unfor- tunately been destroyed by fire a few years ago. The plain and substantial, though by no means handsome looking building will, however, be clearly remembered by all who have seen it. At the period of the Luddite

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riots it belonged to the grandfather of the family who worked it up to the time of its destruction, and it was at that time leased to Mr. William Cartwright as a finishing cloth mill, It was turned by water power, and had a large dam on one side extending the whole length of the building, and which came within two or three feet of the wall. The dam stones were then much higher than they are at the present day, the water being kept at a depth of three yards or,more, and fish were then very plentiful in the dam and the stream, trout especially. As we have already stated, Mr. Cartwright had been expecting the attack on the mill for weeks and was tully prepared for it. His defiance of the Luddites was not mere braggadocio as some of them supposed; he meant all he said. He was determined fully to defend his property and had fortified the mill, which was in itself a strong building, and strengthened it in every possible way. The ground floor and also the room above it were flagged. The flags in the second floor were of a large size, and he had rings and pulleys fixed to them, so that he could raise them to fire into the room below if the rioters should suc- ceed in getting possession of it. When the flags were thus raised, he could while shelter- ing behind them, also command the front of the mill by firing obliquely through the win- dows. The correspondent of the Leeds Mercury, writing at the time of the attack and who saw the mill as it stood, says, ‘‘ The assailants have much reason to rejoice that they did not suc- ceed in entering the building, for we speak from our own observation when we say that had they effected an entrance the deaths of vast numbers of them, from a raking fire which they could neither have returned nor control- led, would have been inevitable.” To prevent any one reaching the room above, rollers with

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spikes sixteen to eighteen inches in length were fixed in the staircase, so that the attack- ing party would be confined to the ground floor, where as we have already shewn, they they could be picked off by those above at their leisure. Evenif this chevaux de frise had been surmounted the assailants might still have been held in check, for a huge carboy of vitriol stood at the head of the stairs ready to be poured upon the heads of any who should attempt to ascend. Choosing four of his workmen in whom he could confide, he com- pleted his garrison by adding five soldiers, and also had two watchers at the gates to give warning of any danger. These last, however, it will be seen proved of no use, and had it not been for a large dog which he kept inside the mill, the rioters would have taken the little garrison by surprise. The doors were made unusually strong by means of huge iron studs and stout bars, ‘and an alarm bell was fixed upon the building to call to his assistance the soldiers who where billetted at nearly all the public houses within a circle of two miles. The watch and ward, and also parties of soldiers patrolled the district every evening, but Hirst and Hartley had ascertained when the coast was likely to be clear. As the agents of the Luddites were often found tampering with the soldiers, they were constantly being changed, and the Queen’s Bays, some Hussars, and a regiment from Stirling were in Liversedge in succession during the time the disturbances continued. The head- quarters was at Huddersfield, their commander being Major Gordon. The Scotch regiment were hardy soldiers, and were in the habit of bathiag in the water near the mill even in winter when it was necessary to break the ice for the purpose. As has before been said, they were quartered in many of the public houses

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within a radius of two miles, but the main body was placed in a building near Haigh House, in Hightown, which had been built for @ cropping shop but was empty. There was also a good number quartered in the old building at Millbridge which stands close to the causeway. Up till within the last few years the names of some of the officers were scratched on one of the window panes, but the windows have now been altered. At Heckmondwike the chief billetting places seem to have been the Woolpack Inn, the Brown Cow, now the Commercial, and the George and Dragon, now the George.

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CHAPTER X.

THE ATTACK ON CARTWRIGHT’S MILL.

And such a yell was there, Of suaden and portentous birth, Asif men fought carth And fiends in upper air.—Sir Walter Scott.

We left the rioters about sixty paces from the mill, resolved to make the attack at once and not wait the arrival of the Leeds detach- ment. Mr. Cartwright had, on this eventful evening, stationed his two watchmen at the mill gates, as usual, and retired to rest in the counting-house about twenty minutes past midnight, four of his workpeople and five soldiers, which completed his little garrison, taking possession at the same time of the beds ranged down the side of the mill, behind the huge flags which were raised by means of pul- leys, as described in the last chapter. All the defences having been, as usual, carefully inspected, the men had piled their arms and placed their ammunition in readiness and were

“goon fast asleep. Mr. Cartwright himself was

just about to drop off into unconsciousness when he was aroused by the low growling of the dog in the room beneath. He first thought as he raised himself on his elbow to listen was that the alarm was a false one, aS he naturally expected that his watchmen outside would have been the first to apprise him of approaching danger. The low growling of the dog speedily however changed to furious bark- ing, and, listening still more intently, he

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. Ne BET

RAWFOLDS MILL.

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could hear above the monotonons booming of the neighbouring waterfall a confused mur- mur. Springing hastily from his bed, he found his suspicions confirmed and immediately rousing his companions, they at once prepared for the defence. The Luddites were well aware that two sentries were posted outside the gates, and had sent forward the two guides, John Hirst and Samuel Hartley, who knew the place well to seize them. The men executed their mis- sion with great skill and dexterity. Stealing very carefully forward, they pounced suddenly upon the careless watchers and silenced them ‘before they had the opportunity of giving any alarm whatever, ‘and then by a low whistle announced their success to their comrades, who at once marched up to the ponderous mill gates. After examining them for an instant, Mellor gave the order. ‘‘ Hatchetmen, advance!” — The ranks opened and the stalwart band bearing huge hatchets and great hammers on their shoulders advanced to the front.

‘¢ Now, cried Mellor, ‘“‘clear the road !” Instantly at the word ‘of command the weapons, wielded as they are by powerful arms, come down upon the gates with terrific force. Soon the heavy woodwork flies in splinters, and anon, with a fearful crash, like the felling of great trees, the first barricade drops prostrate and the rioters pour rapidly and steadily over it into the mill yard. A few paces and they look up at the great mill. Its long rows of windows glitter in the starlight, but all is dark inside, and there are no signs of its defenders. It stands all black and still, and nothing is heard but the furious barking of the dog which has now changed to a frantie howl. But though there are no signs of the existence of the little garrison, they are onthe

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alert. They have not had much time to put on their clothing, but they are ready behind their stout barricade of stone flags. Their muskets, which command the whole front of the mill, are ready pointed through the loop holes and they are waiting for the order to fire. They can hear the trampling of many feet, a confused hum of voices, and then with a sud- : den and tremendous crash hundreds of great stones come bounding through the long lines of windows and it seems as if every atom of glass and woodwork are swept away. Then follows a terrific yell from the desperate multi- tude—a yell loud enough and wild enough to strike terror into the boldest heart. The echoes of that savage cry have not died away before. the rioters fire a volley through the empty windows. The signal is now given to the de- fenders of the mill; the hitherto silent build- ing wakes up, and a steady peal of musketry echoes sharply through the valley. The rioters are half mad with rage ; they have never been so set at defiance before. ‘* Hatchetmen to the front!” shouts Mellor, hoarsely. They march in steady phalanx to the mill door. It is studded with great nails set so closely that it seems asif the hatchetmen were hewing at solid iron. The edges of their weapons are turned, they can make no impres- sion on the solid mass, and they fall back to allow the hammer-men to take their places. Down come the great hammers once more with thundering noise, and the heavy boom almost drowns the sound of the alarm bell on the top of the mill, which one of Cartwright’s men is now ringing loudly. In their wild fury the hammer-men strike not only the door but the stone door posts. The sparks fly at every blow, but there are no signs as yet of the staunch door yielding to their frantic efforts.

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Mellor and the other leaders are rushing about like wild men, encouraging the rioters who fire volley after volley through the yawning win- dows. Sheets of flame light up the interior of the mill at regular intervals, and the frequent groans and cries which issue from the seething surrounding the walls testify to the accuracy of the ain). Mellor notes that the volleys come obliquely through the floor above, and .that his enemies are safe behind their covers. They must try to take them in the rear, ‘To the back, lads,” he cries. The defiant voice of Cartwright is heard in reply: ‘‘Come round, we’ll meet Some went round to the back, but the proximity of the mill dam deterred tlem from proceeding far, as they were afraid of falling in 1n the darkness; one of them indeed, the delegate from Huddersfield, who spoke at the ‘‘ Shears Thomas Brook, did slip into the mill goit, and was rescued with some difficulty, losing his hatin the water. Baffled here, the crowd came surging once more to the front.

Again Mellor cries, ‘‘To the counting house.”

‘Welcome! We shall have you there,” rings out the defiant voice once more, and the pealing musketry flashed fiercely from the counting-house front as soon as the rioters made their assault there. Mellor, now half wild with rage, again rushes to the mill door. He sees clearly he can never reach his enemies by firing from without, and he is therefore frantic to get into the building before the cavalry come to the rescue. The door has suffered from the tremendous pounding, and Mellor encourages the desperate giant who is now striking at it so wildly to redouble his efforts. ‘‘ Bung up, my lads,” he cries. ‘‘ In with you! Kill every one of them!”

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The clanging alarm bell on the roof of the mill excites him to madness. ‘‘ Fire at the bell!’ he shouts, and a dozen voices echo the order. ‘Shoot away the bell!” ‘“ D——n that bell! Get it lads!” Suddenly the bell ceases, and the rioters again send up a triumphant yell. But it is only the rope that is broken. The defenders _ of the mill must continue the ringing or the troops will not be aware of their danger; two of the little garrison are therefore sent on to the roof to ring and fire alternately. Cart- wright has his attention called to one of the soldiers under his command and immediately changes his own position. All the rest seem to be steadily loading and firing with the regu- larity of clockwork, but this man is idly play- ing with his weapon. Cartwright, who is now next to him, asks if his gun is out of order. sullenly responds the man, without altering his position, “Then why don’t you fire ?” asked Cartwright. ‘* Because I might hit some of my brothers,” replied the miserable traitor, still idly hand- ling his gun. The intrepid Cartwright gazed silently at the man for an instant, his proud lip curling with contempt. He made no reply, but the traitor was conscious that that fiery eye took in his slightest movement, and he knew well that if he ventured to attempt to betray the garrison his life would be forfeited. The man had been tampered with by the Luddites, but he fouud himself utterly unable to afford them any active assistance whatever. The baffled rioters exhibit signs of discour- agement at the stout resistance offered, and they fire with less regularity. The garrison, however, show no likelihood of yielding, they fire as steadily as ever, and the alarm bell still keeps up its deafening clang. Mellor rushes

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about as if he were stark mad. - Standing besides the hammer-men, he sees that a panel is broken at last, and a hole is made in the door about the size of a man’s head. “The door is open!” he yells. The men crowd around it but they soon discover that the locks and bars still hold as fast as ever. One of the garrison in the mill, a soldier itis said, sees the hole in the door opposite, and taking steady aim, fires through it. A sharp cry follows, and poor Booth, the foolish young man who had so lately joined the Luddites, falls help- lessly on his face. Again there is a flash and a report, and Jonathan Dean,who is plying the hammer, is struck, and the implement falls from his wounded hand. Affairs are getting critical, the rioters seem to be baffled at every turn. ‘‘Enoch” has done wonders; it has cleared away many obstacles, but it fails this time, and the strong men who have wielded it until they can hardly raise it from the ground from sheer exhaustion lean against the mill-side in despair. The firing has now gone on for nearly thirty minutes, the bell ;jhas been heard for miles around, and the flashes of musketry have been seen from Heckmondwike Top, and yet, strange to say, {he military have not yet arrived to assist the little garrison. John Walker, one of the most desperate of the Luddites, the man who sang the rollicking ditty at the Shears Inn, has managed to hang by one of the dismantled windows while he takes aim. He is seen from the interior, and a ball is sent whistling through his hat. Once morejhe catches hold of the stone, and thrusting his pistol through the window, fires at where the flash came from. ‘‘T was determined to do it,” he said after- wards, ‘‘ though my hand was shot off, and hand and pistol had gone into the mill.” The Luddite leaders are now despairing.

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The steady fire from the mill still continues at regular intervals, the door still resists the ponderous hammers, and the bell still keeps up its clamour. The soldiers must surely be on their way by this time, and the rioters begix to realize the bitter truth that their attack has failed and failed utterly. Their stock of amunition is nearly exhausted, and the firing from their side has consequently nearly ceased. Mellor saw that all was lost, and counselled the men to cease firing. Most of the rioters finding that all was over, sullenly withdrew. Proceeding to the spot where the wounded men lay in the bloody dust, writhing in agony, Mellor discussed briefly with those around the feasability of taking them away with them. They would gladly do it, but it is plainly impossible. They come to the decision to leave their disabled comrades behind very reluctantly, but they can do no other. The military must be on their way by this time, and even if they were disposed to try the issue with Mellor boasted at the outset, it was not possible now, as they had used up all their amunition, and were practically an unarmed mob. Stooping down to the poor fellows, Mellor briefly explains the dilemma, and exhorting them to remember their oath, he turns away with tears of rage and pity in his eyes. Mellor was the last to leave the spot. He had come to wreak his vengeance on the man who had defied the dreaded fraternity to which he belonged, and he had been defeated utterly. With his black heart full of impotent rage and fury, he stood alone in front of the mill, and with an oath, fired the last shot into the building, and then rapidly retreated from the spot. He found the rest of the rioters at a short distance awaiting him; a hurried dis- cussion was held, and the party then divided,

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the greatest number retreating in the direction of Huddersfield. As the Luddites had up to this time been accustomed to carry all before them their de- feat at Rawfolds was quite unexpected and fell upon them with crushing effect. This was especially the case with the Liversedge con- tingent, who now began to realise that they would be in special danger of detection as the military and the constables: would speedily ke searching every corner of the township and apprehending all who had shown themselves to be in sympathy with the rioters. Hall fled from the scene before the attack, which he saw to be hopeless, had entirely ceased, and keeping to the fields he was able to reach his lonely home without meeting with a single person, and his saturnine friend, John Hirst, who waded through the beck and struck a bee- line for his house at Hightown, was equally fortunate. Crowther, who had taken a pro- minent postion in the attack, was almost wild with alarm at the perilous position in which he found himself, and not knowing where to fly for shelter ran in a purposeless manner along the sides of hedge-rows until he found © himself entering Cleckheaton. While hesita- ting whether to run through the village or not his eye fell upon a large building then in course of erection upon the site now occupied by the Central Chapel, and he suddenly resolved to hide in one of the flues until the search had slackened and then to take such further means of escape as miyht best commend themselves to him after careful consideration. Next day was Sunday, so he knew there would be no workmen there, but he was not free from alarm nevertheless. Groups of men strolled into the building at intervals and as they stood there they discussed the alarming events of the night and referred to the strict search that was

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being made for himself. The day seemed to Crowther the longest he had known in his life but the welcome shades of evening fell at last, and half dead with hunger and cold he de- scended and made the best of his way to Leeds, where he remained in concealment for several weeks at the house of a relative.

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CHAPTER XI.

THe WounDED LUDDITES AT THE Star Inn, ROBERTTOWN.

Confess to thee, Sir Priest! Nay, I'll confess to God.— Bowles.

‘Tis in my memory locked, And I, myself, shall keep the key of it. Shakespeare.

As the Luddites separated after their hum- iliating failure at Cartwright’s mill, they were advised by their leaders to endeavour to reach their homes as quietly and as speedily as possible. Mellor, though evidently deeply chagrined at his unexpected defeat, exhorted his friends to be of good courage, {and raising his clenched fist in the direction of the mill, swore he would yet be avenged on Cartwright, and vowed not only to destroy the machines but the men who owned them. When the gallant defenders of the mill heard the retreating footsteps of the last of the fierce band that had assaulted it so desperately, they naturally congratulated one another on the success of their efforts. Not that they had at any time felt doubtful about the result, for their position was so strong that it was, as we have shown, practically impregnable. Nevertheless the Luddites had earned them- selves such a name for desperate and unheard of deeds, that the little garrison was naturally glad that the long expected struggle wasat last over and that they had covered with unnuis-

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takeable defeat the formidable fraternity that had hitherto been regarded with such abject terror. Now that their victory was assured, their first step was to secure the soldier who had so strangely and so basely refused to do his duty. All seemed still outside the mill, and its defenders could hear nothing except the faint cries of the wotnded whom the rioters had not been able to carry away, but Mr. Cart- wright, although he was willing under certain conditions to render them assistance, was anxious that the soldiers or some one who might be attracted by the bell should arrive and see the actual situation before he opened the doors. The Rev. Hammond Roberson, a neighbour- ing clergyraan, would probably have been first on the spot but for what we may perhaps call a singular accident. It was well known, as we have before said, that the Luddites had fully resolved to attack Rawfolds mill, and Mr. Roberson, who seems to have been wishful to take part in the affray offered a reward to the first who should apprise him when the rioters arrived. A man at Littletown,who was aroused by the alarm bell and who heard from the firing that the conflict was actually going on, hurriedly dressed himself and ran towards Heald’s Hall to apprise the doughty parson. At first the course seemed clear ; there was no one stirring in the dark streets, and the anxi- ous messenger heard only the echo of his own feet as he ran, but as he passed the bottom of Listing Lane and dropped into a quick walk in rising the hill, he thought he detected the sound of another footfall in the distance. He stood still to listen and then could hear it dis- tinctly though the runner was evidently some distance away. The thought instantly crossed his mind—What if it were a Luddite who had noticed him leaving his house and suspecting

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his errand, had followed to wreak his ven- geance upon him? The thought was too much for him; he durst go no further; he would hide behind the adjoining wall and make sure. He did so, and <s he crouched in the darkness the second runner came nearer and nearer. As he slackened speed a little in coming up the hill, and gradually drew near to the hiding place, the heart of the first man beat quickly, but no pause was made; the second man, who ever he was, or what his errand again began and to the chagrin of the first mes- senger, sped onward to the hall and won the prize. _Mr. Cartwright was a thoroughly self-reliant man, and seldom felt the necessity ot consult- ing any one respecting the wisdom or otherwise of any course}he proposed to take, but there is no doubt that his resolves with respect to the Luddites were at any rate supported and strengthened by his intercourse with Mr. Roberson. A few of our readers may have some recollection of this notable gentle- man. In the memory of most he seems to be inseparably connected with a large cocked hat and a grey mare with a long flowing tail. Before coming to Yorkshire he was rector of Caston, in Norfolk, and for many years was accustomed to visit his old flock occasionally, riding, when he did so, all the way on his grey mare. Miss Bronte, who it will be remembered makes this strong-minded parson, under the name of Helaton,. one of her heroes in “ Shir- ley,” states that she only saw this remarkable “man once, and was much struck by his stern, martial air. She describes him: as standing straight as a ramrod, looking keen as a kite, and having far more the appearance of a mili- tary officer than that.of a minister of the gospel. It is perhaps not difficult to under- stand how a man holding such strong views as

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Mr. Roberson held should come to be regarded in the unsettled times by one class of the community with such detestation for his high- handed procedure that it was thought neces- sary for the military to patrol round his house for his protection. Miss Bronte was perhaps right in thinking that the martial divine would have been decidedly more at home at the head of acavalry regiment than in a pulpit; but with all his sternness Mr. Roberson undoubt- edly possessed many excellent qualities, and was certainly held in high regard by many of his parishioners. Coming as he did from a people who are more docile and subservient, the sturdy independence of the rougher men of the West Riding would naturally irritate his proud spirit. The difference between the people who would listen to his admonitions with heads uncovered and those who doffed their caps to no man, recognizing no right of either squire or parson to question or meddle with them, was no doubt painfully evident to him, and in endeavouring to check the un- bridled turbulence of such men as these, he would no doubt be sure he was doing his duty. While the Rev. Hammond Roberson was preparing to go to the assistance of his friend Cartwright, and perhaps to call to his aid the strangely lagging military, a neighbour of his who had also taken great interest in the re- pression of the Luddite movement, was hurrying to Rawfolds, attracted by the ringing of the alarm bell. This was Mr. Cockhill, a gentleman of some means, who carried on an extensive business as a dyer at Littletown. On arriving at Rawfolds Mr. Cockhill speedily made himself known to the garrison, and the coast being apparently clear, the sorely battered mill door was opened, and procuring lights, the defenders sallied forth to reconnoitre and to render assistance to the wounded men whose

i mg en ee ——

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cries had been heard after the departure of the rioters. The next person to make his appearance was Mr. Alec. Dixon, the manager of some chemical works near the mill. Dixon had watched the progress of the attack from his own house, which was close at hand, but did not think it prudent to venture out. Just as he joined the party another person was seen entering the mill gates. The new comer was found to be a well-known bon vivant named Billy Clough, who was carrying out his usual plan of not going home till morning, when he was alarmed and effectually sobered by meet- ing scores of Luddites running in all directions. He was welcomed by Mr. Cartwright, who knew him well, and joined in the search round the building. While they were thus engaged Mr. Roberson, who was armed with a long sword, and a number of otlers arrived and assisted. The mill, with its battered door and door posts, and its wrecked windows presented % ruinous appearance, and the yard was strewn with broken glass, brick-bats, and debris of various kinds. There were also powder horns, masks, muskets, pickaxes, hammers and other weapons, some of which were broken in the mad attack, while others had been dropped by the baffled rioters, who, finding that their efforts had proved abortive, were anxious to rid themselves of all that would hinder their flight or betray them if they should be cap- tured. There were other sights, however, which met the gaze not far from the door, and soon monopolized all their attention, for there the light fell upon the prostrate form of a young man who was writhing in agony and who implored them piteously to kill him and put him out of his misery. Not far from him was another also lying prostrate, who asked them feebly for help as they turned the light on his pale face. Dixon at once bent down to assist

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the poor fellow nearest him, but Cartwright forbade him to do anything towards mitigating his misery until he had confessed who were the leaders in the attack. Noreply came from the wounded man except a moan. The low pitiful cry went to Dixon’s heart, and he ran into his house and fetched some wine and water with which he moistened the parched lips of the pain-stricken wretch, in spite of Cartwright’s cruel words. While this was going on, the other wounded man asked that his head might be raised. Cartwright, in reply, promised him if he would confess he should be taken to his house and everything done to curehim. Again there was no reply. Mr. Roberson looked onin grim silence, but Billy Clough could not resist the cries of the poor choking man; he brought a stone and placed it under his head, amidst the approving cries of a considerable number who had gathered round by this time. Cartwright noted the indignant murmurs of the little crowd and deemed it prudent to show more feeling for the men whose lives were ebbing away, and they were therefore now, by his orders, very carefully carried iuto the building, where they were made as comfortable as possible until the medical men arrived. It was soon ascertained that one of them was Samuel Hartley, of Halifax, a cropper, who had formerly been one of Mr. Cartwright’s workmen. Hartley was a fine looking young man about twenty-four years of age, and was a private in the Halifax local militia, of which body Mr. Cartwright was captain. The other sufferer proved to be poor, foolish John Booth, the clergyman’s son, who had so recently been drawn into the meshes of the Luddites in John Wood’s work- shop, as recorded in a former chaper. Hartley had received a shot in the left breast while making a blow at the door. From the agony

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he suffered in breathing it seemed as if the shot had passed through his lungs, and it was evident that his end wasnear. Booth’s wound was in one of his legs, which had been struck in such a peculiar way that it was almost shattered to atoms. From both the wounded men the blood flowed copiously, and by the time the medical men arrived and bandaged them roughly, they were suffering considerably from exhaustion.

The wounded men were conveyed to the old I

Yew Tree Inn in the first instance, but the crowd began to gather in such numbers that the authorities had them taken to the Star Inn, at Roberttown. It is said by some that they were conveyed there because the people had begun to exhibit so much sympathy for the deluded men that the military were ill at ease and were anxious to get them to as great a distance as possible from the spot. What- ever may have been the reason, it is an un- doubted fact that the two wounded men were carried as we have stated to the house of Tommy Sheard, the Star Inn, Roberttown, much to that good man’s chagrin. Tommy Sheard prided himself on keeping one of the quietest and most orderly houses in the district, and was consequently much annoyed when the melancholy procession stopped at his door. The news of the removal soon spread and thousands assembled in front of the inn, the horse soldiers being compelled to ride up and down to keep back the excited crowd that surrounded the house. Amongst those who attended the two wounded men at the inn was the Rev. Hammond Roberson. Tradition says that he and others strove hard to persuade them to confess who were their accomplices and where their arms were secreted, but that he met with no success whatever. It is said too that the men were treated very cruelly, and

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it seems beyond question that aqua fortis was used for some purpose. An old dame who lived at the Star Inn, as servant at the time, states that two beddings were destroyed by it and that Mrs. Sheard, on learning what was being done, went into the room and interfered, saying she would have no more of it. The question is—What was the aqua fortis used for? The old people say to torture the poor fellows to make them confess! But it seems altogether incredible that such barbarism couid have been practised by medical men and in the presence too of a ministerof the gospel. We would rather believe that it was used as a styptic to stop the bleeding from the wounds. Our forefathers it is well known were in the habit of resorting to extraordinary expedients, and it was no unusual thing to apply an iron heated to a white heat to cauterise wounds when other means failed. It was-decided$by the medical men to be necessary that Booth’s leg should be amputated, but owing to the great loss of blood before the surgeons arrived, spasms came on during the operation and the poor fellow gradually sank and died about six o’clock in the morning. As we have just stated, Mr. Roberson had been from the first anxious to prevail upon the two men to impli- cate their aecomplices. Hartley appears to have maintained absolute silence to the end when questioned ; Booth repeatedly regretted that he had in a weak moment joined the Luddites, but would say no more. As, how- ever, he lay at the point of death he signalled to Mr. Roberson, who instantly went to his

side. ‘‘Can you keep a secret?” gasped the dying man. ‘I can,” eagerly replied the ex- pectant clergyman. ‘‘Socan I,’ replied poor

Booth, and soon after calmly expired. The bullet that proved fatal to Hartley was discovered to have passed through his body

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and was found lodged beneath the skin of the left shoulder, from whence it was extracted, with a portion of bone. He lingered till about three o’clock on Monday morning, when he fell into an unconscious state and died soon after. An inquest was held on tho bodies of

the two young men, but the proceedings were

very short, the jury speedily bringing in the verdict, « Justifiable homicide,’* — the only ossible decision under the circumstances. artley’s body was removed to Halifax for interment on the Wednesday following, with considerable parade. The news of the Lud- dite attack had spread widely, and the coffin was met at the entrance of the town by a multitude of people. A great many who fell into the procession wore mourning, and the members of the St. Crispin Democratic Club, amongst whom were old John Baines and his sons, wore round their arms badges of white crape. At Huddersfield the excitement was so great that the authorities were very uneasy, they therefore caused Booth’s body to be secretly brought from the Star Inn during the night and it was interred as early as six in the morning of Thursday, April 16th. It had been arranged that the funeral should take place

about noon, and thousands came in the early

part of the day to see or take part in the pro- cession, but the hasty proceedings were over hours before they arrived.

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CHAPTER XII.

Tue Two DESERTERS.

Fear sometimes adds wings to the heels. Montaigne. I feel my sinews slacken, with the fright, And a cold sweat trills 3own O’er all my limbs, As if I were dissolving into water,—Dryden.

It may be remembered that when the Lud- dites were leaving their rendezvous in the field near the Dumb Steeple, George Rigg, who with William: Hall, of Liversedge, had been ordered by Mellor to bring up the rear and make sure that none left the ranks, thought he saw some one mount the wall just as the procession was moving, and drop quietly into the highway. He could not recognize the lithe figure as it appeared and disappeared like a flash of lightning, but he was persuaded that it was one of the Luddites who was deserting at the last moment, and he communicated his sus. picions to his companion Hall, who instantly ran to the wall side and listened intently, but; as he could hear nothing, he was inclined to think that his companion had been mistaken. They, however, had not much time for investi- gation as they could now hear the measured tramp of their companions on the hard road. ‘*T am pretty positive I saw a man of slight figure vault suddenly over this wall,” said Rigg. ‘Well, I think you are mistaken,” replied Hall.” I was as near the wall] as you were, Rigg, and I saw nothing. However, he con-

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tinued, ‘tle men are on the march and unless we follow closely Mellor will perhaps think we have deserted. Let us push on, Rigg.” The last detachment was leaving the field, and Walker and Rigg had to walk quickly to come up with them as they reached the high- way. Falling in the rear of the stalwart men beariny the great hammers and hatchets, they marched silently onwards towards their des- tination. Rigg’s sharp eyes had not deceived him. A youth, named Rayner, who resided in the neighbourhood of Brighouse, and who, like Hartley, had been foolish enough to join the Luddites on a sudden impulse, had taken the opportunity of the slight confusion in the field when the men were separating into companies, to effect his escape in the darkness. Finding himself near a recess in the wall he laid him- self down beneath its shadow till the start took place. He had come in the company of a neighbour, who was evidently suspicious of his loyalty to the cause, for he had called for him at his home, and had never lost sight of him for an instant after until the order to separate into divisions came. Rayner then slipped from his side and stretched himself near the wall, in- tending to remain behind until the coast was clear, but, seeing some one approaching towards the spot, he rose to his feet, just touched the wall with his hand, and bounded lightly over. Crouching low, he ran the gutter until he had reached the Dumb Steep’e, when darting like an arrow across the road he was at once lost in the plantation. Here he remained fcr a minute or two ti'l the measured tramp of his late confederates died away in the distance, and then stepped carefully back into the high- way. Rayner was the champion athlete of his native village, and had proved at numerous festivals his great fleetness of foot. These

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qualities were now to stand him in good stead for what proved to him a race for life. But- toning his coat tightly. round his light figure, he started off at great speed along the high- way, which fortunately for him was frozen as hard as iron. Desperation lent him strength, and he bounded along the silent road like a deer. Bye and bye he came to where the road made a sweep, when, to save time, he again sprang lightly over the wall and ran in a direct . course across the fields. He was approaching his native village now, and he knew every inch of the ground as he bounded over helge and ditch, never stopping for breath till he neared the entrance to the village street. Fearful now of being seen running he changed to a rapid walk. He swept quickly past a solitary farmhouse or two, and anon little groups of cottages, which grew more numerous as the centre of the village was reached, until the church at last stood before him. He had up to -this time met no living thing in his rapid flight, but as he passed the churchyard gate he heard the heavy foot of the sexton near the entrance. Tostantly changing his quick walk into a care- less saunter he passed the old man as he turned the lock in the gate and bid him “ good night.” ‘** Good night,” responded the sexton, and - then turning his horn lantern on his com- panion, he added, ‘‘Oh, Rayner, is that thee ? Goed night, lad. I have just teen into church to see all was right before I turned in for the night. Old Skelton has been mending the clock.” Just then there was a hoarse whir in the tower overhead and the clock began to strike the hour. It was evident that Skelton had not completed his work satisfactorily for the ham- mer fell at intervals. The sexton counted the strokes. ‘“Why Rayner,” he exclaimed as the last

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stroke boomed out with startling distinctness, ‘it has struck thirteen !” ‘*So I counted,” replied Rayner, ‘‘ Old Skel- ton will have to come again, John.” “T think so,” yawned the sexton as he turned down the street, ‘‘ good night, lad.” Resuming his quick step once more Rayner disappeared down a by lane and entering a little cottage he quietly passed into the upper room and was soon resting his tired limbs on

‘ his Sleep, he could not, till the

grey morning broke, the rush of tumultous thoughts banishing for hours all slumber from his eyelids as he tossed his burning and aching head on his pillow. Rayner’s aged grand- mother, who was the sole occupant of the cottage besides himself, had not noticed his absence, and when he came down weary and languid in the morning her purblind eyes did not detect anything amiss. As Rayner ate his humble morning meal and reviewed the events of the past eventful ten or twelve hours, he felt thankful that he had obeyed his sudden impulse.-to fly, and thankful also that he had; met no- one till he nearly reached his home. The few words he had passed with the villag2 sexton he hardly thought} cf in his review,*}but he had good reason to remember them afterwards. Break- feast finished, he passed into the village street to find little excited groups discussing the rumours of another Luddite raid, of which the particulars as yet were only meagre. Nor was young Rayner the only deserter from the Luddite staudard on the eventful night when Cartwright’s mill was attacked. The man, Naylor, who it will be remembered joined the Luddites so reluctantly on the direct appeal of his neighbour, Crowther, at the meeting at the Shears, at Hightown, also failed to muster at the rendezvous, although his

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neighbour had done his best to keep him loyal to his oath. Knowing Naylor’s wavering char- acter, and suspecting his remorse and regret for his hasty resolve on the eventful night at the Shears Inn, he had kept a keen eye upon him, and had endeavoured to force him to commit himself to the movement irrevocably. Brook, of Longroyd Bridge, who early discovered the wavering character of his disciple, also visited him frequently and did his best to interest him in the doings at Huddersfield, where the move- ment was continually gaining strength. Naylor durst not absent himself from the gathering place of the Liversedge men on that eventful Saturday evening, but as they passed near the fold end which led up to his home a sudden fear seized upon him, and he stole away in the darkness and hid beneath the bed in his own house till, as time passed on, he found that he had apparently not been missed. His absence indeed was not detected till Mellor went through his roll call, and in the excitement of the return journey he was forgotten altogether. As the next hour or two wore away Naylor walked in and out of his house like an unquiet spirit, one moment regretting that he had not joined his companions, and the next feeling glad that he had managed to escape them. His gratification at his good fortune was tem- pered, however, by a tear of the after conse- quences. He remembered the fearful oath which condemned him to certain death at the hands of his late confederates, and was ready then to reproach hiniself with his folly in deserting them and thus ‘rendering himself hable to their vengeance. As the thought of this fearful alternative grew stronger upon him he decided it would be better to rejoin their ranks on their return, and he once more wan- dered to the fold end to hear if there was any signs of their approach. As he stood gazing

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wistfully into the darkness, and listening in- tently for the sound of approaching a sudden flash of light was seen in the valley below, and then flash after flash followed in quick succession. The struggle then had com- menced—would it not be better for him to join the fray and thus save himself from the traitor’s death that awaited him? His doom at the hands of his incensed confederates he now be- gan to look upon as certain, and cursing his folly in not accompanying them, he determined to endeavour to retrieve what he now thought had been a mistake by descending into the valley and joining in the fray. Just then a hand was suddenly laid upon Naylor’s shoulder, and turning round he found himself confronted by Mrs. Fearnsides, his foreman’s wife, who had unseen been watching his movements for some time. She saw the critical moment had arrived, and divined what was passing in the man’s mind. “ Naylor,” said she, in a low but determined tone, ‘‘ get to bed, this instant !” Naylor, who was startled and overawed, turned silently into his house and obeyed his mistress’s bidding. She was a woman of great energy of character, and her perceptions having been quickened by what her husband had told her respecting the ferment amongst Jackson’s workmen, she had observed their proceedings narrowly. As Mrs. turned from watching Naylor enter his house she took a parting glance down jthe valley in which the corflict was raging. She could hear the heavy thud of the hammers on the stout mill door, and could see momentarily the buildings as they were lit up at intervals by the quick discharges of musketry. Naylor’s wife, who, appears to have peen a foolish, gossiping woman, was late that evening with her household duties. Her hus-

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band, who had no confidence in her ability to keep a secret, told her none,.but she could see by his excited and uneasy manner that some- thing important was transpiring in which he was deeply concerned, and she _ therefore dallied with her work in the hope that she would get a clue to the mystery. When her husbaid had come into the house and retired to rest she saw there was little chance of her curiosity being gratified, so she prepared to retire also. Just, however, as she was about to leave the lower room she heard stealthy footsteps, and a minute afterwards a gentle tap on the door. Opening it she saw standing on the threshold Thomas Brook, the Hudders- field cropper, whom she well knew as having often held consultations with her husband. He had fallen as we have stated in % previous chapter into the goit during the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and had lost his hat. When the retreat was made Brooke fled with the rest. As he ran he thought of the certainty of de- tection if he were met on the highway without hat, and he determined to call at his friend Naylor’s as he passed and borrow one. He quickly made known his wishes to Naylor’s wife, and she snatched up the hat her husband had just taken off and handed it to him. Brooke promised to return it and then quickly disappeared in the darkness. Could the un- fortunate man have foreseen what this trans- action would have led to he would certainly have risked the journey home bareheaded. The hat he had lost in the mill goit was found floating on the water next day, and as it be- came known from Mrs. Naylor's gossip that one of the retreating Luddites had borrowed a hat at her house in Hightown, the authorities were soon on the trail, and the result was the apprehen- sion of Brooke a day or two after. Naylor’s hat was, it seems taken to John Wood’s work-

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shop by Brooke, who requested Wm. Hall to

take it back to Hightown. This became known to the authorities and led to Brooke’s appre- hension as just stated. Mrs. Naylor had hardly recovered from the fright into which Brooke’s appearance had thrown her when she again heard a measured tread approaching her door. This she knew was the watch and ward, and she sat cowering over the dying embers of the fire hoping they would march past as usual, They saw, how- ever, the reflection of the fire through the windows and stopped at the door. One of the constables knew that Naylor was suspected to be a Luddite and he asked his wife where he was. She replied he was in bed, but this answer not satisfying them, she lighted a candle and asked them to go upstairs and see for themselves. They found Naylor there appar- ently asleep, and seeing nothing of a suspicious character they ordered Mrs. Naylor to put out the light, and left to continue their pursuit of the fugitives.

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CHAPTER XITI.

Fuieat or THE Luppitres. Locan REMINISCENS.

In haste he fled and so did they Each and his fear a several way.— Butler.

What is my offence? Where is the evidence that does accuse me? Shakespeare,

When it was seen that the attack on Cart- wright’s mill was an utter failurethe Luddites were not slow to avail themselves of the advice of their leader to disperse as quickly as pos- sible. Many of them threw down their hammers or guns as impediments to their flight and fled precipitately, wading'through the beck to save time. Avoiding the highways for fear of meeting the military or the special con- stables, they spread over the fields in the direction of Mirfield, Hightown, and Robert- town, keeping as widely apart as possible. Many of them were wounded besides those who I were left so reluctantly on the ground near the mill, as was proved by evidence given after, and marks of blood were found next morning on the roads leading to Huddersfield for a distance of four miles. George Mellor, Thomas Brook, Joseph Drake, Benjamin Walker, and James Haigh took the direction of Hightown. Brook, who was bruised, and whose clothes were wet from falling into the goit, and James Haigh, who was in great pain from a wound in his shoulder by a musket ball, often lagged behind, but fear of capture urged them on- wards, and theysped through the darkness as well as they were able. After calling at Mrs.

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Naylor’s for a hat, as already stated, they went onwards to Clifton, where they were obliged to slacken their speed from sheer exhaustion. Finding themselves unable to proceed, they, notwithstanding the risk of detection, deter- pined to knock at the door of one of the solitary cottages and ask for some refresh- ment. The inmate, a widow, was alarmed by the untimely knocking at her door, and was naturally afraid to open it, knowing that there were many desperate characters abroad, but Mellor was in no mood to waste time-in parley- ing with her, and se alarmed her with his oaths and threats that at last she supplied their wants. Not daring to unbar the door, she handed them some muffins and water through a broken pane, for which they paid her a few pence, and then once more resumed their journey. The whole of the party appear to have reached their homes or places of hiding in safety ; but Haigh suffered so much from his wounded shoulder that he found it necessary I to seek surgical assistance, and applied next day to Mr. Richard Tattersall, who lived at an out of the way place about four miles from Hudderafield. The surgeon asked him how he came by the wound, and Haigh replied that he had received it by falling down a quarry. He went again on the Tuesday to the quiet sur- gery to have his wound dressed, but finding the day after that many arrests were being made in and around Huddersfield, he began to ‘feel alarmed, and slipped away in the night with his master, aman of the name of Ardon, who was anxious to shield him if possible. Ardon took him to the house of a relative named Culpan, who lived at Penistone Green, fourteen miles from Huddersfield, in a lonely house. They reached there between twelve and one at night and roused Culpan and his

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wife, who were in bed. Haigh appeared to be much exhausted by his journey, and was al- lowed to rest in Culpan’s bed. After resting there a few hours, they started before daylight for Ardon’s mother’s, who lived at Willow Bridge. Finding that the authorities were on his track, Haigh soon atter removed to Wrag- by, and from Wragby to his brother-in-law’s, at Methley, where he was apprehended on the 23rd of April. In tracking the misguided Luddites and endeavouring to pierce the mystery that sur- rounded that strange organisation, the govern- ' ment made extensive use of hired spies, and there is no doubt that the contemptible mis- creants who thus sold themselves to the authorities to hunt down their fellow creatures were often the instigators of the very crimes they afterwards laid to the charge of their poor deluded victims. Many of our readers will remember very well how this was shown to have been done by ‘‘the spy, Oliver,” at Thornhill Lees, a few years later, and there is abundant evidence to prove that the govern- ment were simply doing then what they had done before in a more extensive way durivg the Luddite troubles. We may give one remarkable case which took place in this im- mediate locality as an point. James Starkey, a honest, simple hearted carpet weaver, who resided at Millbridge, in one of the brick houses which a few years ago stood on the site of Messrs. Cook’s handsome new mill, was accosted one day near his own house by a couple of these government spies. After some conversation, the two miscreants whisper- ed in a very confidential manner that they were Luddites, their errand being to try to find out the best way of destroying Cartwright’s mill, and artfully led Starkey to give his opinion on the subject.

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‘‘ Well,” replied the unsuspecting man, “I think it would beeasy. The best way, I should say, would be to take a barrel of gunpowder up the goit, and firing it by means of a train, blow the whole concern up !” The contemptible plotters no doubt rejoiced to hear the outspoken opinion. They had gained their point, and soon after left their victim, having taken care to ascertain his name and residence. amazement of Starkey, a, troop of horse soldiers stopped at his door in the night and demanded admittance in the King’s name. The poor man had been warned by a friend just before, that he had been con- versing with spies who had betrayed him, and he had therefore some suspicions of the mean- ing of the appearance of the soldiers at his door, but instead of yielding himself prisoner quietly, Starkey unfortunately complicated matters by refusing to come out, and threat- ening what he would do to the first man that entered his house or touched his person. A volley fired in the air warned the bewildered man that it was useless to contend against fate, and he came out and was conveyed to prison to await his trial, Although we shall be anticipating, we may as well state here that Starkey had a very narrow escape of being hanged. Mr. Wadsworth, a solicitor, and the Rev. Hammond Roberson, who both knew him as a neighbour, and were well aware that he had had nothing to do with the Luddites in any way. whatever, interested themselves strongly in his favour, and got the trial post- poned three times at great cost, until fortu- nately the judges were tired of hanging at the bloody assize that followed, and Starkey was liberated along with a great many others by the proclamation of the king, on bail to enter and try his traverse at the next assizes. He was summoned at the Lent assizes in 1813, but

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did not appear; one of his bail, however, came into court and said the defendant had been informed by Mr. Alison that it would be un- necessary for him to attend. Mr. Parke said defendant had been ill-advised. It was his duty to appear personally in court to answer this indictment, as it was impossible that he could know what course might have been adopted respecting him; but it was not his intention to insist upon lis appearance. If the defendant had been tried at the late assizes he (Mr. Parke) should have thought it his duty to have laid evidence before his lordship on the subject. But in consequence of the present tranquil state of the country — the result of those severe but necessary examples which were made on a late occasion — he had deter- mined to lay no more evidence before the court, but to consent to the acquittal of the prisoner; and he hoped this would be consi- sidered as a further proof that the government’s desire was to do nothing oppressive to any of his Majesty’s subjects, aud show that their only anxiety had been to restore tranquility and good order. Mr. Justice Le Blanc said there had probably been some mistake in this business. The defendant ought certainly to have appeared in court, but as the counsel for the crown had dispensed with his appearance, and had offered no evidence, they must find him “ not guilty.” The jury, of course, ac- quitted the defendant. James Starkey’s narrow escape had, as might be expected, a grert effect upon him, and he became a very serious character. Joining himself to the Wesleyans, he remained an active and esteemed member of the body at Heckmondwike to the end of his useful life. Another man, a native of Huddersfield, who had almost as narrow an escape, was in the habit of calling to see James Starkey in after

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life, when the Luddite movement had been finally put down. This man, who was really a member of the Luddite fraternity, had enlisted in the militia and was ordered to be at York on a certain day. It had been arranged that some frames should be destroyed on the even- ing before the day in question, and the militia man took part in the business. He was seen and recognised while at the destructive work, and realising his danger he resolved to make a bold stroke to save his imperilled life. Having a friend in the neighbourhood who had a fleet horse, he borrowed it and made for York at great speed. He had some relations on the way who also kept horses, and dismount- ing from his tired steed at their door, he obtained a fresh one and rode on. Hearrived at York early in the morning and walking at once to the quarters, he represented himself as having arrived on the previous evening. The man who had seen him with the Luddites gave information, and swore positively to the fact of his having taken part in the frame breaking, but the jury regarded it as impossible that he could have been there at the time stated and at York a few hours later, and consequently acquitted him. Although the military were very industrious in this neighbourhood, it does not appear that any great number of apprehensions took place. The 10th King’s Bays, the 15th Hussars, and the Scots Greys seem to have been alternately billeted ip the town, at quite inadequate rates, impoverishing the Jandlords, irritating the dis- contented and half-starved portion of the population, and contaminating the whole neighbourhood. After evening parade they they were told off into parties to patrol the the main roads. As their movements were well known and the clank of their swords and the tramp of their horses’ feet were to be heard

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at considerable distances in the stillness of night, it was easy for anyone to avoid them, and the Luddites were doubtless often obliged to them for the distinct manner mm which they announced their approach. Practical jokes were, of course, sometimes played off upon them, which appear to have greatly irritated them. Jonathan Ovenden, a blanket weaver, who resided in one of the houses on Cawley Hill, determined to play the soldiers a prank, and with the aid of one or two cronies loaded a cannon, such as boys have on Guy Fawkes’s day, and fired it in the evening when all was quiet. The soldiers in the town below took the alarm and were soon afterwards riding up the hill at great speed with drawn swords, pre- senting such a martial aspect that Jonathan, seriously alarmed by the result of his escapade, hid his cannon in an ashpit and ensconced him- self in a neighbouring hay mow. On arriving at the top of the hill the soldiers made careful search in and around all the houses, but as they could find nothing they were obliged to trot their horses down the hill again, chagrined and disappointed at their failure. It is also handed down amongst the traditions of this stirring period that Stephen Greenald, of Healey, then a youth sowing his wild oats, once caused serious perturbation of mind to Mr. Robert Dex, and consequences of a still more direful nature to a doughty soldier who was keeping watch with him over some crop- ping machines in the mill now occupied by Messrs. John Burnley & Sons (or rather in what existed then of the mill). Passing down the road a night or two after the attack on Cart- wright’s mill, Greenald threw a stone through the window. ‘‘The Philistines are upon us,’ cried Dex, and summoned his martial companion to the defence, but found, alas, that he had fainted With terror.

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CHAPTER XIV. ATTEMPT TO SHOOT CARTWRIGHT.

Wecry for bread, your answer is cold steel ; God help the starving poor !—Kendrew.

His horse’s clanging hoof spurning the solid ground, Asif ’ware of lurking danger.— Willis. Although the check which the Luddites received at Cartwright’s mill seemed to depress the members of the fraternity and check the practice of frame breaking for a short time, there were no signs that the movement was put down or that the men were likely to return peaceably to their avocations and accept their defeat quietly. Throughout the country the half-starved populace rose time after time in rebellion and the military were greatly harassed in attempting to control them. A tumult took place at Sheffield on the Tuesday after the attack on Cartwright’s mill. A great advance had taken place in the price of potatoes, and an unreasoning multitude assembled in the Market-place and attacked the potato dealers. In the struggle which ensued bushels of the article were scattered about the streets and and large quantities were carried away in carts, &c. Two or three sacks of corn were also purloined, and large quantities of butter and fish speedily disappeared from the stalls. After two hours the magistrates prevailed upon the rioters to disperse, but unfortunately in one division of them a cry was set up, “ To the volunteer depot for arms ;” and thousands

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. swarmed in that direction, but luckily the arms were got away; the disappointed rioters in their rage, however, broke the drums, &c., and did much damage before they were dispersed by the hussars. On the day following, a riot broke outat Barnsley, caused chiefly by the high price of provisions, especially potatoes and flour, and the royal volunteers and Wakefield yeoman cavalry had to be sent for to put down the tumult. At Stockport riots also took place, while at Middleton, a few miles from Manchester, four Luddites who were attacking a mill were killed by Mr. E. Burton and a guard of sixteen men, who, encovraged by the example of Cartwright, had determined to defend it. Throughout the whole of this immediate locality, great alarm and uneasiness prevailed, and the military and magistrates were kept unceasingly at work. The Rev. Hammond Roberson, the martial parson referred to in a previous chapter, was very busy, but the re- sult of his labours to discover lurking Luddites was on the whole of a very unsatisfactory char- acter. The Huddersfield authorities were well aware that the great bulk of the men who had attacked the mill at Rawfolds came from their town, and they were busy all the week hunt- ing supposed culprits. Very few, however, were convicted, as little or no evidence could be obtained, and matters generally wore a very unsatisfactory aspect. Numbers of crop- pers disappeared from the town; some enlisted for soldiers and were never seen again at their old haunts ; while others who had gone away, returned after the disturbances were finally over. Wounded men who had received their injuries at the famous attack on the mill were kept carefully concealed until they had re- covered from their hurts. Three were seen in the little plantation near Lower Blacup farm

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on the morning after the conflict, laid helpless on the ground, unable to proceed, but when the anthorities reached the place they had been spirited away, and no one was able to trace them further. The inference is that some of their friends in the adjoining town of Cleck- heaton had conveyed them away. As we have before said, the authorities found themselves baffled at every turn, owing to the unmistak- able sympathy of the general body of the people with the desperate wretches, who in many cases were positively starving. , Anyone who has studied the history of this country will be well aware what great effects have been produced by ballads in which the uncultured minstrels of the time enshrined the records of the notable deeds of some great leader, or of Some popular movement, and there are evidences that the Luddite rebellion was not destitute of poets who celebrated in rough but vigorous rhyme the progress of the triumph- ant croppers in their crusades against the machines that robbed their children of their food; or appealed solemnly to the God of heaven to smite with swift veageance the op-. pressors who despised the cries of the poor and needy and ground them down to very dust. Most of these ballads are triumphant pceans on the glorious deeds of the “cropper lads,” like that sung by Walker, at the Shears Inn, Hightown, but some are full of expressions of bitter hatred of Cartwright, who, under a thinly disguised cognomen, is likened to a bloodhound delighting in hunting to death those who opposed his arbitrary will. No doubt these rude home-spun, songs which are now remembered only in disjointed fragments by the few old peeple who have a personal knowledge of those unhappy times, have often been chanted to the music of the sounding ‘‘ shears,’’ and have fired the heart and stirred

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the sluggish blood of many of the dreaded fraternity whose deeds at one time daunted the bravest. In collecting materials for this history we were fortunate enough to fall in with an intelligent, bright-eyed old lady, who, though she was nearly four score, still retained all] her faculties unimpaired. She was just one of those garrulous, sharp witted people, full of old world tales and folk-lore, which it delights the hearts of antiquaries to converse with. She knew a great deal about the Luddites, and gave us snatches of ballads which were uni- versally sung amongst them in those troubled times. Here is a specimen verse of one com- posed after the destruction of the mill between Horbury and Ossett, referred to in a former chapter, in which many from Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Mirfield, Birstall, and the district round took part :—

Come, all ye croppers stout and bold, Let your faith grow stronger still ; Oh, the cropper lads in the county of York Broke the shears at Foster’s mill. The wind it blew, The sparks they flew, Which alarmed the town full soon : And out of bed poor people did creep And ran by the light of the moon; Around and around they all did stand, And solemnly did swear, Neither bucket, nor kit, nor any such thing Should be Of assistance there.

We will give a specimen verse of another, of a less jubilant character, composed after the failure of the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and then introduce our readers once more to the. head-quarters of the Yorkshire Luddites :—

How gleomy and dark is the day When men have to fight for their bread ; Some judgment will sure clear the way, And the poor shall to triumph be led.

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Come listen to this, my sad story, Of woe be to valour most brave, While some have escap’d up to glory, The tyrant hangs over the grave.

Although the authorities were not quite satisfied about some of the croppers at John Wood’s workshop, they had not been able to find any positive evidence of wrong doing on their part. Most of them had showed them- selves openly in Huddersfield on the morning after the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and had done their utmost to ward off suspicion by attending strictly to their work on the week following. We must now ask our readers to accompany us again to this famous finishing shop. Most of the men who were present at the initiation of poor John Booth into the Luddite brother- hood, a few short weeks before, are present now. Instead, however, of being dressed in the croppers’ working garb, they have all their best clothes on. Some are attired in black— rather rusty in most instances it is true—and all have bands of crape round their hats. They have all been into the town to attend the funeral of Bootli, whose body, as we stated in & previous chapter, it had been publicly an- nounced would be interred about noon. When they entered the busy main streets they en- countered many who, like themselves, had come to join in the melancholy procession, and learned to their mortificatien that the alarmed authorities had caused the body to be interred some hours before. If there existed in George Mellor’s dark, flinty heart a particle of feeling, it had been entirely monopolised by his dead friend, Booth, and when he ascertained that he had been deprived of the melancholy satis- faction of following Booth’s dead body to the grave, his whole frame quivered with passion, and his alarmed comrades, afraid of what he

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might divulge i in his wild outburst, persuaded him to return with them to the workshop. Arrived there, his long suppressed emotion found vent and he raged about the room like an imprisoned tiger. His companions listened for some time in gloomy silence to his wild curses, but his fellow workman, Smith, at length attempted to pacify him. ‘“Come, Mellor,” said he, ‘‘if we cannot storm and curse as heartily as thee, we all feel the loss of poor Booth as well as thou does. If cursing could do any good I should say curse on and would do my best to help thee, but it will not, and I think. it behoves us to consider the living as well as the dead.” ‘Curse the villain, Cartwright! I will yet have his heart’s blood,’ yelled Mellor, feroci- ously, his lurid eyes flashing fire. ‘‘ said he, and his voice suddenly changed toa low tone, ‘‘ have you heard he is coming here on Saturday ?”’ ‘‘ Coming where ?” asked Thorpe, in a start- led tone. ‘‘ Coming to Huddersfield to be a witness at the trial of the soldier who is te be brought before a court martial on !that day, because he would not fire at us out of the mill. Iam told by one of my friends at the barracks that the trial will begin at two o’clock. Now Cart- wright puts up at the ‘ Plough,’ can’t some of us go there, and poison, stab, or shoot the villain ?” ‘‘Poison him you can’t,” replied Thorpe. ‘‘ Joe Drake, who sweethearts the barmaid, says he neither tastes nor sups anything at the -Plough.’ The grim-looking old blood- hound pays for his dinner and his glass, but he finds someone else to eat and drink for him. Since the Ludds three tened his life he suspects everybody, and will neither bite nor sup any- thing at the inn. He seldom leaves the town

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now later than four o’clock in the afternoon, and then when in a lonely place tears away at the greatest speed of his horse.” ‘* Well, now, look here,” said Mellor, after a long pause, during which he stood with knitted brow and bent head, “let some of us go to BradleyWood and wait his coming. If we plant ourselves on each side of the road we can surely hit him. Come, now, we'll draw lots who takes the job.” About a dozen*men stood round and drew lots silently, but upon whom the lots fell is not positively known. Suffice it to say that when the day came the two “avengers,” as they were called, were at their posts. On Saturday, April 18th, the day appointed for the trial of the disobedient soldier, Mr. Cartwright arrived at the Plough Inn, Hud- dersfield, a little before two o’clock, and leaving his horse in care of the ostler, walked to the building where the court martial was to be held. He was warmly welcomed by the officers, who had conceived a great admiration for him ou account of his brilliant defence of his mill. The military had been much haras- sed for some time back by the rapid movements of the Luddites, and also by Phe cowardly conduct of the masters. The very name of Luddites seemed to strike terror into the hearts of the master cloth finishers, and instead of attempting a defence, their only plan seemed to be to summon the military. As the Lud- dites had generally completed their work of destruction before the soldiers could get to the epee the poor men had often to wince under e jeers and laughter which followed them as they trotted back to their quarters. Here at last, however, was a millowner who was re- solved to hold his own, who had taught the rioters a lesson they were not likely to forget, and the officers naturally received him with

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great demonstrations of respect. The trial of the soldier occupied but a very short time. His offence was so grave that no defence could be offered, and when Mr. Cart: wright had given his evidence the case was complete, as the soldier neither denied, nor attempted to defend his breach of discipline. The officers had been put to great trouble and inconvenience by the persistent attempts of the Luddites to corrupt their men, and now they had at last caught an unmistakable traitor, and his punishment they determined should be heavy. Dead silence pervaded the court as the presiding officer rose and after enlarging on the enormity of the crime com- mitted, concluded by announcing that the court adjudged the traitor 500 lashes. An involun- tary exclamation burst from the lips of the man at the fearful sentence, and even Mr. Cartwright craved the merciful consideration of the court on behalf of the prisoner. The only reply of the president to Mr. Cartwright was a courteous bow, and the proceedings were closed. Within two hours of his arrival at the ‘* Plough Inn,” Mr. Cartwright was again on horseback, cantering through the streets to- wards home. The horse ambled gently along until the outskirts of the town was reached and the houses grew fewer and fewer,’and then the gentle trot became a rapid gallop. Hehad only proceeded about a mile from Huddersfield when the clatter of the horse’s heels were heard by the two “‘ avengers’? who were lying in wait in a thick coppice. On he came ata great speed, when suddenly a pistol was dis- charged and a ball went whizzing over the horse’s hind quarters. The dash of the rider had spoiled the intended assassin’s aim. Cart- wright struck his spurs deep into his good horse, which wheeled suddenly and again

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started at a famous speed. Just as the horse swerved another pistol was discharged from the opposite side of the road but this too mis- sed its aim, and the startled horse bearing its rider madly onward was speedily out of sight. The ‘“‘avengers’’ were thwarted; their prey had once more escaped, and hiding their pistols among the tree roots, they ran off in different directions towards Huddersfield. Cartwright’s bravery was beyond all question, but he felt

- gick at heart as he drew the rein at his own

door. If he were thus to be made a target in open day, within a few miles of his own house, life would not be worth living.

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CHAPTER XV.

PUNISHMENT OF A TRaITOR.—MR. HoRSFALL, oF MASRDEN.

A universal horror Strack through my eyes and chilled my very heart.

Rowe. I do defy him. and I spit at him; Call him a slanderous coward and Villain ; Which to maintain, I would allow him odds ; And meet him were I ty’d to run on foot, Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps. Shakespeare.

On the Tuesday following the events recorded in the last chapter, a procession of a striking character passed along the road which had been the scene of the audacious attempt on the life of Cartwright. On the morning of that day a troop of cavalry escorted to Raw- folds the miserable delinquent who had been condemned by the court martial to receive his punishment at the sceneof his crime. The decision of the court with respect to the place where the sentence was to be carried out was not made known to Mr. Cartwright, and he was much pained when he found out that the soldier was to be whipped near his mill. The appearance of the military with the prisoner in their midst attracted hundreds of people, who formed in a ring when the place was reached, and the trees around were black with those who had _ climbed them to witness the novel spectacle. As_ the man appointed to inflict the punishment

- «a

Zz

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produced the instrument of torture, and the soldier was bound and his back laid bare, the onlookers watched the preparations with evi- dent concern. And now all is ready for the infliction of the fearful chastisement. Step- ping forward and measuring the distuuce for an instant the man raises the whip, it whistles swiftly through the air and descends on the white back of the soldier on which a broad red line appears, while underneath the muscles quiver visibly. Again and again the whip is raised and descends, and bye and bye the onlookers are shocked to observe that the skin is broken, the blood begins to trickle slowly down, and the sight soon becomes sickening. The women in the crowd, for there are many present, turn their eyes from the sight, and even stout-hearted men cannot forbear to ex- press their pity for the poor wretch, who, with pale face and firmly compressed lips, suffers the dreadful torture. There is a movement at the outskirts of the crowd and a laneisformed, _ down which Mr. Cartwright passes. closely guarded by soldiers, who clear the road for him. Many make way sullenly, gazing upon the stern man with dark and threatening brows and muttering fiercely. Their thought plainly is that ‘‘ the bloodhound,” as they now almost ‘Invariably call him, has come to gloat on the sufferings of the victim, but to their astonish- ment, when he reaches the place where the officer is standing, he asks that the bloody scourge may now rest and that the remainder of the sentence may not be carried out. The officer in command listens to him respectfully and then, without answering, signals after a brief pause to the man who wields the cat to goon. Again the whip descends, and at every stroke the skin seems to be stripped from the shoulders to the loins. Only twenty lashes have been given as yet; two hundred and

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eighty more are required to complete the sen- tence. It is plain that the man will never live to receive them. The criesof the women wax louder; the ominous muttering of the men grows fiercer. The doctor examines the suf- ferer and feels his pulse. The surging crowd gather nearer to hear his report, but the stolid functionary simply steps back to his place saying nothing, and the signal to proceed again is given. Five strokes more are inflicted and the crowd surges wildly, angry exclamations filling the air. Again Cartwright stands before the officer and pleads, passionately this time, for the remission of the remainder of the sen- tence. He is listened to as before respectfully, and is this time answered. He urges his re- quest with greater vehemence, and at last he prevails. The signal to stay the punishment 18 given, and the sufferer, who seems dazed and almost unconscious of what is passing around him, is unbound.

Cartwright’s successful pleading on behalf of the soldier restored him a little to popular favour, which he had almost wholly lost by his unnecessarily harsh behaviour towards the two men whe were shot down at the recent attack on his mill, but the current of feeling still ran strongly against him, and he was ob liged to take great precautions to shield him- eof from the vengeance of the Luddites. Only a short time after this, thirteen pairs of shears belonging to him which he had sent to Huddersfield to grind were, to his intense mortification, broken to pieces, and he was given to see repeatedly that it would be dan- gerous to relax any of the precautions he was taking. As we have repeatedly shown there were many, amongst the middle and trading classes even, who sympathised with the class below them, knowing well their half-starved condition. ‘Although they did not defend the

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lawless proceedings of the mobs, they looked upon their rash deeds as the acts of desperate men, who, finding themselves unable to obtain employment, or in danger, if the introduction of machinery was not stopped, of losing the little work they might have, were ready to embark in any enterprise however wild that promised an alleviation of their cheerless lot. The feeling of the crowd in favour of the soldier who would not fire on those he called ‘his brothers” was unmistakable. Men driven mad by starvation ought not, they thonght, to be shot down like dogs, and it was no doubt a feeling of this kind that induced Mr. Abraham Jackson, of Hightown, a man remarkable for kind heartedness, to slip dex- terously into the suffering soldier’s hand a guinea as he stood near him when his punish- men was Over. A little later in the day the feeling we have just referred to was again manifested as one of the soldiers who had formed the little gar- rison was fighting the battle over again, and telling to a little group how he had fired through the hole in the mill door and hit the swarming Luddites. So far from calling forth the admiration of his hearers the as- tonished boaster found himself looked upon with something akin to disgust: by the listeners, who seemed to regard him almost as a mur- derer. The notable door was, of course, removed when the mill was restored, and lay in the mill yard a long time. Eventually it was taken to the graveyard of the old White Chapel at Cleckheaton, where it was used to protect the coffin of one of the Blakelock family from the desecrating hands of the ‘* Resurrectionists,” or ‘‘ Body snatchers,” who - were then in the habit of robbing the graves to supply the doctors with subjects for dissec- tion. The horror which was felt throughout

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the country at the practices of these men will be remembered by the elder portion of our readers, who will doubtless be familiar with many a frightful tale of their proceedings. The money made by these degraded men was fabulous. A leading Resurrectionist once re- ceived £144 for one evening’s work, and at his death left £6,000 to his family. The door that had withstood the attacks of ‘“‘ Enoch” may, however, be trusted for the protection of the body which now lies beneath it. Next to Mr. Cartwright the; most hearty opponent of the ‘Luddities was Mr. William Horsfall, of Marsden, brother to Mr. Abraham Horsfall, of the Wells, Huddersfield—a well known family of the period. This Mr. Hors- fall was an excitable, impetuous I man, violent in manner, but kind and forgiving to his own workpeople, by whom he was respected and beloved. He was well known to be an implac- able enemy to the Luddites, who, as may well be imagined, returned his hatred with interest. Mr. Horsfall never talked of the dreaded fraternity with bated breath, like most of his neighbours, but spoke defiantly about them at all times and in all places. He had been heard, indeed, in one of his fits of passion to express his desire to ride up to the saddle girths in Luddite blood! Exasperated by the successes of the rioters in demolishing frames, he grew so violent in his hatred of the Ludds that it culminated in a positive craze, and the children to teaze him would run out in front of his horse and cry ‘I’m General Ludd!” ‘* I’m General Ludd!" on which he would imme- diately fall into a violent passion and pursue the frightened urchins hotly with the horse- whip. Such being the character of Mr. Horsfall it can scarcely be wondered at that his mill should be marked out for destruction at the meeting held at the Crispin Inn, Hali-

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fax, as narrated in a former chapter, indeed as we have said it was only decided to attack Cartwright’s first by the tossing of a shilling. At Horsfall’s mill at the upper end of the road and on an elevation about level with the pre- sent dam, cannon were planted behind a wall pierced with openings three feet ten inches wide. Through these apertures the cannon could be pointed so as to command the entire frontage of the mill and be fired upon an approachingenemy. This somewhat primitive battery still exists, but the artillery has been removed long since. The apertures just re- ferred to have been walled up, but their out- lines are still plainly to be traced. In addition to these means of defence the workmen em- ployed at the mills were armed and kept watch and ward all through the night as at Cart- wright’s. In the noble defence of Rawfolds mill Mr. Horsfall had taken the warmest interest. He congratulated his friend on his pluck and determination at their first meeting at Hud- derstield after the event, and loudly expressed with great beat his own determination to defend to the utmost his machines, if it should prove necessary. Not content with this loud avowal of his resolution, Horsfall did his best to infuse some of his own daring spirit into the people with whom he came into contact. Mr. Woodcock, late of the Marsh Iron Works, near Cleckheaton, states that his grandfather, Mr. Jonathan Brook, of Longroyd, was a manufacturer of cropping machines, and that about this time he received a letter, signed ‘‘ Captain Blunderbuss,”’ sta- ting that ‘“‘ifhe made more such machines, Ned Ludd would tire his premises and lay his works in ashes.” On receipt of this Mr. Brook decided to abandon the trade and to issue hand-bills announcing it. On going to

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the printing office he was met by a cropper (the family always thought it was George Mellor) to whom Mr. Brook stated his errand, when the cropper said, ‘‘If you assure me this is true you need go no further.” The resolu- tion of Mr. Brook and the conversation related above became known in Huddersfield in a few days. Mr. Horsfall called at the foundry soon after, when Mr. Brook, on meeting him, held out his hand as usual. said Mr. Hors- fall, drawing back, ‘I understand you dare not make any more cloth-dressing machines. I won’t shake hands with a From what we have stated our readers will be able to realise clearly the sort of man Mr. Horsfall was, and will easily comprehend how he came to be and hated by the Lud-

dite fraternity. Up to the time of the attack -

on Cartwright’s mill the star of the frame breakers appears to have been in the ascen- dent. Everywhere they were feared and dreaded, and by their rapid movements and daring actions they struck terror into every heart, but now the spell was broken. Cart- wright, with his small garrison, had defeated them utterly, and now under the remonstrances and inspiriting advice of Mr. Horsfall the masters were beginning to talk of organised resistance to the rioters and were showing a bolder front to the enemy. The Luddite leaders were fully alive tothe fact that their movement had yeceived a seri- ous check, ard that something niust be done to restore its lost prestige and to teacli the masters a salutary lesson. The mysterious messenger of the Luddites had been about pretty frequently since the affray a Cartwright's mill, and a number of meetings had been held, bet the activity of the autho- rities had frightened the timid, and the musters were not so large as formerly. Be-

NT ee

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sides this, the perils from which so many were hardly sure they had escaped daunted their hearts, and their talk was of a more cautious sort than of old. Mellor was getting tired of all this doubt and uncertainty and resolved upon a blow which should strike terror into the hearts of his enemies. The failure of the attack on Cartwright’s mill and the loss of his friend Booth had almost driven him frantic, and he raved at the Luddite meetings like one ‘possessed. These violent outbursts had only the effect of scaring effectually the more timid, who knowing their movements were watched, were afraid lest Mellor’s rash language and rash proceedings would place all their lives in jeopardy. In our next chapter we must again introduce our readers into the councils of the Luddite leaders.

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CHAPTER XVI.

A DEED oF BLOOD.

Is thére a crime Beneath the roof of heaven that stains the soul With more infernal hue than foul Assassination }—Cibber. We have said that if there existed a particle of feeling in the dark, flinty heart of George Mellor it was certainly monopolised by his dead friend Booth. After the decease of that poor misguided young man he seemed alto- gether to lose his balance. He grew perceptibly day by day more bitter against the masters who had adopted the new machinery, and his subtle brain was always planning and schem- ing for their injury or destruction. Naturally gloomy and reserved in disposition, and given to fits of violent passion, he grew more gloomy and desperate still. Booth had exercised a restraining and beneficent influence over him, and now he was dead, Mellor’s whole thoughts appeared to be engrossed with what he deemed the wrongs of his class, and the whole subject of his conversation with his fellow workmen was how to avenge them. His outward ap- pearance was a true index of the fierce and tumultuous passions that reigned within his soul. He had grown careless and slovenly of late, his cheeks had become pale, his brow careworn), and his lurid, bloodshot eyes were now habitually fixed upon the ground. The man was sinking, gradually perhaps, but

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surely ; the hot insatiate craving for revenge which filled his bosom seemed to shrivel him body and soul. It is the afternoon of Tuesday, the 28th of April, 1812, seventeen days after the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and the scene is John Wood's workshop. Mellor, who had been exceedingly violent in his language i in talking to his fellow workmen during the dinner hour, has been continuing his invectives in conversation with his companion Smith during the labours in the afternoon, when so excited did he beceme that he eventually worked himself into a positive frenzy, and, as his manner was when strongly moved, paced backwards and forwards in the ‘room with rapid and uneven strides, stopping now and then to give vent to his feelings in threats and curses. Some of the men have been repeating to him Mr. Horsfall’s latest words of contempt and defiance of the Lud- dites. They are keen and biting like most utterances from that quarter, and, as might be expected, their effect on Mellor is great. All his pent up evil passions are let loose, and he positively roars with fury. By and by he be- comes quieter and gradually sinks into one of his moody fits. His busy brain is at work and he soon after propounds a dreadful scheme of revenge on the daring manufacturer, in which he allots his fellow workman a part. Smith stands aghast at first, but frightened by the vehemence of Mellor, consents in the end to stand by him and aid him in the execution of his foul plot. Having secured the adherence of Smith, Mellor next went into the adjoining room, where he found Benjamin Walker, Wil- liam Hall, of Liversedge, William Walker, and Walker’s father, all Wood’s workmen, and William. Thorpe, who worked at Fisher’s shop across the way. ‘‘Now lads,” said Mellor, abruptly, ‘‘ I’ve

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made up my mind. We must give up this frame breaking—it’snouse. Since that cursed attack on Cartwright’s place we’ve just been jeered and laughed at. MHorsfall is crowing louder than ever, as you all know, and unless you're prepared to make an example of him we may just as well shut up. Now, lads, there’s only one way. Smith and I have set- tled it. We’re going to shoot Horsfall to-day, and we want thee, Thorpe, and thee, Walker,” (nedding his head towards the two men) “ to help us. Two could not hit Cartwright the other day, let’s see if four can down Horsfall.” For there was no reply to this atrocious proposal; the harsh voice of Thorpe, however, soon broke the silence. ‘‘T’ll make one, George,” he said, in his usual low, sullen tone; “it’s true, as thou says, we are only jeered and laughed at now. It’s about time we let some of them see that the Ludds are not a pack cf scared old wo- men. 99 ‘‘ Now, then,’ said Mellor, turning to Walker, must make up thy mind. Ben, whilst T am away atmy ‘drinking.’ It's bard if poor Booth and Hartley are to be shot down like wild animals and we are never to have our re- venge for the murder of our brethren. Then raising his voice and striking his clenched fist on the frame over which Walker was bending with a half scared !ook on his face, he added in a vehement shout, ‘‘I’m de- termined to do for Horsfall this day!’ Then turning on his heel, he left the building. Benjamin Walker went to his ‘“ drinking” also soon after, and was absent about half-an- hour. When he returned he found Mellor in his room and with him Varley, Hall, Smith, and Thorpe. Mellor was loading a large pistol of peculiar construction, and William Hall was watching him. The pistol had an iron handle,

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was curiously ornamented with screws at the sides, and had a formidable-looking barrel nearly half a yard long. It was of foreign manufacture, and had been brought from Russia by Mellor, who had been in that coun- try. Hall seemed to be watching the loading operation with much interest. Mellor puta considerable quantity of fine powder into it, then a ball, and afterwards two others flattened and cut partly into slugs. The charge appeared to be a heavy one, but to the astonishment of Hall, Mellor then put in a fourth ball and rammed the whole well down. ‘* You surely don’t mean to fire that, George, exclaimed the astonished Hall, ‘‘ why, man, it will burst.” ‘‘T do mean to fire it,” replied Mellor, emphatically, ‘‘I mean to give Horsfall this! Will you go with us ?” ‘‘ No,” stammered Hall, ‘‘ I don’t like to go.” Mellor turned from him as if in disgust. ‘Here, Walker,” said he, handing him a pis- tol, ‘‘thatis yours. It is loaded with double ball like mine. It will be strange if we can’t some of us hit the sneering villain !” Walker hesitated an instant and then took the pistol, but with evident unwillingness. Examining the weapon he found it was primed and loaded nearly to the top. While this was going on in one part of the room, the grimly, taciturn Thorpe was stand- ing at a window, chopping a bullet in pieces for slugs. Having accomplished his purpose, he too loaded his pistol, and then stood ready for action. ‘“Now you, Walker and Smith, can start, and Thorpe and I will follow by another said Mellor. ‘‘If we were all to go together we should attract attention may be. You go up the road, and we will meet you at Ratcliffe’s plantation. When you get there climb over

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the yall and wait; you will most likely be there first.” Walker and Smith, in obedience to the order, left the shop and proceeded up the highway to the appointed rendezvous ; and Mellor, putting on a bottle-yreen top coat, concealed the pistol beneath it, and signalling to Thorpe, left the building in his company. As Smith and Walker proceeded up the highway past the Warren House Inn, Walker, who had gone thus far in absolute silence, suldenly stopped when above the houses, and lenning against the wall, said, ‘I will not do this deed, Smith.” ‘‘ Well,” replied Smith, ‘I don’t much like the job myself, but it will never do to turn back now. Letus go on and try to persuade Mellor and Thorpe to give it up.”’ Walker hesitated a few minutes before de- ciding and thought the matter carefully over. To return and have to answer to the impetuous, headstrong Mellor for deserting him would never do. Walker knew well the man with whom he had to deal, and shrank from the contest. There was the chance that he might be persuaded to give up his mad scheme when they met in the wood, as suggested by Smith, and he therefore decided to go on to the ap- pointed place of meeting. If the reader sup- poses from the hesitancy displayed by Walker that he was any better than the rest of the villains leagued to carry out this foul plot, he is woefully mistaken. Mellor, with all his faults, had a good share of brute courage, but Walker was not only a great coward but a contemptible sneak. Smith and Walker had been in Ratcliffe'’s plantation about ten minutes when Mellor and Thorpe leapt the wall a skort distance from where they were standing. Walker seeing them urged Smith to go to them at once and

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try to persuade them to give up the scheme ; Smith accordingly went. Both Mellor and Thorpe treated the suggestion with utter con- tempt. Mellor stormed in his usual fashion. Now look here, Smith,” said he, “if either of you attempt to leave the plantation before the deed is done, I will shoot him whichever it is. Stand where Walker is, and Thorpe and I will be at the corner. If we miss Horsfall then you two be ready to fire. I will whistle when we see him coming.” Smith left them and went to the spot where Walker was waiting, about twenty yards away, and Mellor removing a stone out of the wall at the corner, so as to be able to command a view of the road without being seen, got his pistol in readiness and stood on the look-out for his victim. Anyone viewing the little plantation now would scarcely think there was sufficient - covering to screen anyone, but it would un- doubtedly be much thicker wooded at that time. It stands ,in a corner where four roads meet, and any one taking up the position oc- cupied by Mellor and Thorpe will see that it commands the highway up which the doomed horseman was to come. At present there are some houses close at hand, but these are evi- dently modern erections, and the same maybe said of the houses below, down to the old buildings just above the Warren House Inn. The road at the point where Mr. Ratcliffe’s plantation is would doubtless be rather lonely at the time of the Luddite disturbances, but after all it was a thoroughfare much frequented, and there was always on market days an inter- mittent stream ot people coming towards the town or returning homewards—farmers in gigs, labourers with carts, little clothiers with their samples on their shoulders, or cottagers with their market baskets and bundles. At about half-past five o’clock on this even-

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ing Mr. Horsfall had mounted at the door of the George Hotel, Huddersfield, rash and de- fiant as usual, and ridden off on his homeward journey. A few minutes after he was out of sight, his friend, a Mr. Eastwood, of Slaith- waite, who had often remonstrated with him on the imprudence of his foolish and defiant talk respecting the Luddites, called at the George to propose for protection and compan- ionship to ride home with him. On hearing he had gone Eastwood cantered quickly after him, hoping to be able to overtake him. About a quarter to six o’clock Mr. Horsfall pulled up his horse at the Warren House Inn, at Cros- land Moor, kept by Joseph Armitage. Finding there were two of his old workpeople there, John Sykes and Joseph Sykes, who had taken up the trade of cloth hawkers, he treated each of them with a glass of liquor in a friendly way. He did not alight fromhis horse, but drank a glass of rum and water on the saddle, and then rode on. At the time he left the Warren House Inn door, a man named Parr was riding about a hundred and fifty yards behind him, and had him in full view on the rising ground up which they were going. Mr. Horsfall, who very seldom rode fast, is pro- ceeding steadily on his journey. He nears the little plantation where the assassins are wait- ing for him, and when he comes nearly abreast of it Mr. Parr sees four men in dark coloured clothes stooping about under the boughs. All at once there comes a crack as of a gun and a puff of smoke. Mr. Horsfall’s horse jibs round and Mr. Parr see him fall with his face on its neck. Two other shots are then fired. Parr spurs his horse and rides swiftly to the spot. By a great effort the wounded man raises himself painfully up by the horse’s mane and calls out ‘“ Murder!’’ As the cry reaches his ear Mr. Parr sees a man in a bottle green

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topcoat spring on to the of the wall with one hand and both feet as if intending to attack Horsfall. Parr is now quite near and calls out to the murderer ‘‘ What! are you not contented yet ?”’ and rode up to the wounded man, who was already dripping with blood, upon which the assassin who it would appear had not seen Parr before, dropped back over the wall and disappeared. Horsfall said to the farmer, for such he was, who came so providentially to his assistance, ‘‘Good man, you are a stranger to me, but pray ride back to Mr. Horsfail’s house and get assistance. I am shot!” Parr, supporting him in his arms—for he grew sick and faint and was falling—said, ‘Are you Mr. Horsfall, of Marsden ?” “Tam,” he groaned, and the blood spurted from his side as he fell off his horse. Parr then drew him to the side of the road, and a clothier, named Bannister, who had come up directly after Mr. Parr, supported him in his arms until two boys, who came up with a cart, removed the dying man to the Warren House Inn. The murder was also witnessed by a labourer in a field near the spot, but he was seized with terror and flec. As poor Horsfall was carried down the road he bled profusely from the wound. Two children who were gathering dung on the road had run past the Warren House Inn, calling out ‘‘ Mr. Horsfall is and the landlord and the two hawkers ran to the spot and reached it in time to assist in his removal, An old cropper, who has lived close to the inn all his life, told us that he well re- membered the wounded man being brought to the door in the cart, and saw the blood run down his clothes to the ground as they carried him in. The old hostelry exists no longer as @ separate building ; a co-operative store has

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been built in front of it, and the room into which Mr. Horsfall was borne now forms a portion of the stores. The old cropper went with us into the building and showed us the room into which he remembered Mr. Horsfall being taken, but it is of course much altered, nothing but the outer walls remaining as they were at that time.

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CHAPTER XVII.

DeatH oF HorsFALL. FLIGHT OF THE ASSASSINS.

It is hard To feel the hand of death arrest one’s steps ;} Throw a chill blight o’er all one s budding hopes And hur! on2’s soul untimely to the shades. Kirk White.

From the body of one guilty deed A thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed. Wordsworth. Poor Horsfall was laid upon a bed in the best room of the Warren House Inn and a messenger despatched for medical assistance. In compliance with the request he made as he fell wounded from his horse, Mr. Parr had ridden rapidly off to acquaint the brother of the unfortunate man with the tragic event that had happened. Dr. Houghton did not arrive till between eight and nine o’clock and found that another medical practitioner had been summoned and had done his best for the doomed wan. The patient was lying on the bed with his clothes off. He was pale, sick and much exhausted from the great loss of blood ; his pulse being so weak and tremulous that it could scarcely be felt. On examining him Mr. Houghton found that he had two serious wounds on the upper portion of his left thigh, and five others on different parts of his person. Two balls were extracted and some restoratives administered, after which the patient seemed to rally, but no well founded hope was held of

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his recovery. It was almost certain that the femoral artery was seriously injured, a ball having passed from his left to his right side from whence it was abstracted. About four o’clock on Wednesday he appeared to be bet- ter and was more cheerful. Turning to Mr. Houghton, he said, ‘‘What is your opinion, doctor ?” The doctor had just heard the fervent wishes of Mr. Horsfall’s brother for his recovery, but he could not encourage any hope. ‘‘ Indeed, Mr. Horsfall,” he replied, ‘‘I con- sider you in a dangerous state.” These are awful times, doctor,” sighed the poor victim. Mr. Scott, a magistrate, was summoned, to whom Mr. Horsfall made a declaration, after which his strength gradually failed him, and he died about thirty-six hours from the time of being shot. The crowd who had surrounded the building, discussing all kinds of wild rumours of the aims and intentions of the desperate Luddites, heard of Mr. Horsfal)’s death with dismay, and hastened home with pale faces to spread the news tha’ the man who had so often defied the Ludds lay cold and still at the Warren House. The lost prestige of the Luddites was for the moment restored. Their deeds were again the theme of every tongue. Turn we now to the four assassins. The shots were no sooner fired and the result seen than they all fled in terror from the spot. As Mellor reached the place where Smith and Walker were standing, he cried you for chicken-hearted cowards that you are! You should have fired how- ever it had been.” Then after a pause, he cried with exultaut voice as they ran across the wood, ‘‘ The vil- lain, Horsfall, is done for however. I am

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pleased our plot has succeeded this time.” His companions, however, did not share in his brutal joy; terror and remorse seemed to have laid fast hold of them already as they fled across the intervening fields towards a dense wood at hand. Thorpe handed his pis- tol to Walker, probably wishing to be relieved of it. The latter took it mechanically, noticed that the barrel was still warm and the pan open, proving that it had been fired; then in a fit of terror he threw it from him. Mellor, who was the most collected of the four, knew that if the weapon was left there it would be likely to lead to their being traced and appre- hended, he therefore stopped to pick it up, grumbling fiercely at Walker for his reckless- ness. A labourer in the field they were cros- sing saw them running. He was ignorant of the tragic event that had transpired in the highway beyond, but the speed of the runners attracted his attention. As they climbed over the wall into Dungeon Wood, Mellor's overcoat tlew back and the huge pistol he carried be- cane visible. The ploughman caught sight of the formidable weapon, and said to himself, ‘‘ There go the Ludds; we shall have mischief to-night.”’ On arriving at Dungeon Wood, Smith and Walker hid their pistols in some ant-hills and the four separated. Before parting, Mellor gave Walker two shillings, as the latter had no money, and ordered him and Smith to go towards Honley and they would take another direction. Walker and Smith went as request- ed to Honley, and entering a public-house at the lower end of the town called for beer. Opposite where they were sitting was adrunken collier,who had evidently been carousing pretty deeply. Soon after some pale, frightened men came in from Huddersfield market and brought word that Mr. Horsfall had been shot and was

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lying half dead at the Warren House. Upon that being said, Smith, who excelled in whist ling, began to whistle a merry tune, and the tipsy collier, pleased with the performance, got up and tried todance. Thiscircumstance, so trivial in itself, was the means of fixing the events of the evening in the memories of all who witnessed the scene in the public-house. After drinking some eight or nine pints of ale at the inn, Walker and Smith left and made their way home, which they did not reack till near ten o’clock. After the four confederates had separated in Dungeon Wood, Mellor and Thorpe made for the house of Joseph Mellor, a cloth dresser, who was a cousin of George’s. Entering the workshop, Mellor took off his topcoat and then asked Thomas Durrance, one of his cousin's apprentices, to go with him upstairs. Durrance accompanied as requested, and when the upper room was reached Mellor produced two pistols, and they hid them beneath some flocks. Mel- lor told Durrance that he need not say any- thing about them, but the latter did not like to comply with the :.equest, and as soon as Mellor had left the house he showed the weapons to his fellow apprentices, Joseph Holdham and Francis Vickerman. After Mellor had disposed of the pistols he came down into the workshop again and passed into the house, accompanied by Thorpe, where he found his cousin’s wife, whom he asked if her husband was within. She replied that he was not. He had gone to Huddersfield market, but she expected him back soon. Mellor then asked her if they wanted a workman, if so his friend wanted work, but she replied they had no occasion for one. He then requested her to lend him a handkerchief. He next wished her to allow the gentleman who was with him to wash himself, and ske accordingly allowed Thorpe

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todo so. After stopping talking about a quar- ter of an hour, Mellor rose to go, but before leaving asked her to lend him an overcoat. She told him her husband’s overcoat was in the shop, and he might take it. They then went into the shop, saying that if they did not meet her husband they might probably call again that night about ten o’clock, and after Mellor had changed his bottle-green overcoat for his cousin Joseph’s drab one, both men left the house and proceeded towards Huddersfield. When the news of the assassination of Mr. Horsfall reached Marsden there was a great deal of excitement, but the authorities, undis- mayed, prepared for all emergencies and redoubled their precautions. The head-quar- ters of the cavalry were at the house of Mr. Robert Taylor. It was at that time the principal mn in the village and known as the Red Lion, the landlord’s name being John Race. The large room, which still extends over the entire building and which is now applied to a far different purpose, was con- verted into barracks for the cavalry, their horses being kept in the adjoining stables. At Ottiwells, where a portion of the infantry was constantly on guard, prompt measures against a probable attack was made. Watch and ward was maintained by the soldiers and the local constabulary, a surveillance was kept over all suspected individuals, and no lights were permitted in any dwelling after nine o’clock in the evening. It was naturally an- ticipated Woodbottom mill and its proprietors would be the next objects of vengeance, and preparations were made to meet the danger. For months past Enoch and James Taylor, who first made the obnoxious machines as nar- rated in a former chapter, had slept in the mill in consequence of their lives being threatened, and their own dwellings being unsafe, and they

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formed part of the mill garrison at night. Their future partner, Arthur Hirst, was the woollen engineer at the mill, and he laboured vigorously to convert the factory into a forti- fied place, becoming for the time quite a mili- tary engineer. The windows of the first story were barricaded, and the doors coated inside with sheet iron. All communication between the first and upper stories could be cut off, and the defenders inside were able, as at Cart- wright’s mill, to fire upon an attacking force, from the upper stories while sheltered them- selves. A trap door on a floor over the water wheel was so ingeniously planned by Arthur Hirst that if the rioters had gained an entrance, they would, on touching the flooriug, have dropped through it into the wheel race below. The murder of Mr. Horsfall produced, as might be expected, great sensation and alarm, and the immediate effect of that dastardly crime was to rouse in the spirits of most a determined resolution to put down the dis- graceful outbreaks of the Luddites. Foremost in these exertions was Mr. Radcliffe, the owner of the plantation from which the fatal shot was fired, who was afterwards made a baronet for his bold and fearless conduct at this critical period. Under his supervision and arrange- ment a vigorous body of police was formed, and the Luddites soon began to discover that they could not carry on their destructive plans with impunity. So closely were they watched indeed that they found it dangerous to meet as before, and their meetings being thus iuterfered with, their organisation, once so dreaded and and so formidable, seemed, to love allits power of cohesion, and the members found them- selves as it were scattered and unable to act together as formerly. The cold blooded murder of Mr. Horsfall appeared in fact to destroy all the public sympathy which existed

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for them at the beginning of the movement, and everybody seemed anxious now to root out the society which had planned and executed the foulcrime. The public admiration of Mr. Cartwright now rapidly revived and extended, and a subscription was entered into for him amounting to three thousand pounds, which was presented to him and his family. The committee of the associated masters and manufacturers also passed a cordial vote of thanks to Mr. Cartwright for his intrepid de- fence, and presented fifty guineas to the men who had so nobly assisted him. The members of the firm of Messrs. Abraham and John Horsfall took the death of their son and nephew greatly to heart, and they appeared from that time to imbibe a dislike to Marsden. Singularly;enough, though Luddism, as we have pointed out, fell rapidly after that sad event into disrepute, the use of the obnoxious ma- chinery was discontinued at Ottiwells, and cropping by hand resumed. In a few years afterwards their mill property in Marsden was disposed of, Bankbottom mills passing into the hands of Messrs. Norris, Sykes, and Priestley, and Ottiwells to Messrs. Abraham and William Kinder. It is related that after his son’s death Mr. Abraham Horsfall never again entered the mi'l at Ottiwells, and when riding past on his way to Bankbottom he invariably averted his face from the mill as if the very sight was hateful or painful to him.

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CHAPTER XVIII.

THE ASSASSINS ALARMED.

Sworn on every slight pretence Till Till Perjuries are common as bad pence. ; le thousands, careless of the amning sin, Kies the book’s outside who ne’er look within. Cowper.

T’'ll make assurance doubly sure And take a bond of Fate.—Shakespeare.

In perusing the account of the assassination of Mr. Horsfall the reader will doubtless be impressed by the singular daring and the dis- regard of the commonest precautions which characterised throughout the proceedings of the four murderers. That the foul deed should be discussed in the open shop might be deemed sufficiently dangerous even if all the men had been sworn members of the brotherhood, but it is well known that some of those who were present when the hot-blooded Mellor avowed his determination to shoot Horsfall had not joined the Luddites, though there 1s no doubt they sympathised strongly with the move- ment. When George Mellor came into the room where Benjamin Walker was working, and after bluntiy avowing his murderous in- tention, asked him to accompany them, Walker’s father was present. and yet, strange to say, he does not appear to have offered a single word of objection to the proposal that his son should participate in the murder. Doubtless the knowledge they all possessed of

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the desperate character of the Luddite leaders would moke Walker and the others afraid of _ calling down upon their heads the swift ven- geance they were well aware would await the traitor who should obstruct the movement, but even this is scarcely sufficient to account for the strange silence on the part of Walker. One would have thought that, seeing he was afraid to imperil his own safety by joining the lawless band, he would have felt sufficient. solicitude respecting his son’s welfare to have taken advantage of the time when the latter was absent from the workshop at his “ drink- to warn him of the tremendous danger which must attend the execution of the foul plot laid before him by Mellor. The father does not, however, appear to have given a word of warning to his son, and though he was present afterwards when the latter con- sented to take the heavily loaded pistol from the impetuous leader’s hands, he is not reported to have offered a single word of remonstrance. The fact seems to be that the chief character- istic of the elder Walker was great cowardice, which was also indeed, as we have already stated, the leading point in bis son’s character. They were both quite capable of doing villain- ous deeds, but were afraid to put themselves into positions of danger. We have shown how this craven fear for the safety of his own neck was overpowered in the case of the younger Walker by a dread of the vengeance of the desperate villain, Mellor, in the planta- tion from which the deadly shot was fired, but if the strangely callous father had only risked consequences and advised his sun to reject the foul proposal, Mellor, disgusted with his want of spirit, might have passed him by con- temptuously, as he did William Hall. When Walker returned home from Honley om that fatal night he told his mother what

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had transpired at the little plantation on Cros- land Moor a few hours previously, and though she would be somewhat comforted to learn that her son had not actually committed the deed of blood, her feelings, we are sure, would be sufficiently distressing. The news of the murder reached John Wood’s workshop about an hour after it had been committed, Mrs. Hartley, a widow who lived near, running in with the startling intel- ligence. Mellor and Smith appear to have returned to their work that evening, though not at the time stated by John Bower, one of Wood’s apprentices. It was a very busy day, and George Mellor and Thomas Smith, Benja- min Walker, and others, he states, were work- ing till late. This lad Bower, Thomas Smith, George Mellor, and William Hall slept in Mr. Wood's house; Mellor and Hall sleeping in one bed, and Bower and Smith in the other. Mellor told Hallas they were going to bed that the heavily loaded pistol had jumped as the latter warned him it would and had hurt his finger. The conversation was carried or in whispers, the presence of the youth who shared Smith’s bed preventing them from speaking out. The great theme of conversation next morn- ing both within and without the workshop was the tragic deed of the previous evening. The Warren House Inn was only a short distance above, and a constant succession of callers kept Wood's men informed respecting the con- dition of Horsfall until, to the scarcely dis- guised joy of the croppers, word came at last that he was dead. The authorities, spurred on to renewed exertions by this startling atrocity, were everywhere making enquiries and causing suspicious persons to be appre- hended. It was rumoured too that a large reward was offered to any one not actually the

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perpetrator of the deed who would give such information as would lead to the conviction of the assassins. When Thorpe heard this talked of at Fisher’s, he grew very uneasy, and went to the neighbouring workshop to consult with his friend Mellor. ‘‘George,”’ said he, ‘‘hast thou heard the news ?”’ ‘‘T have heard more news lately than I have wanted to hear,’ replied Mellor, gloomily, ‘‘ what is there fresh now ?”’ ‘‘ They say that a heavy reward is offered— thousands of pounds our chaps report—for the conviction of the men that shot Horsfall. Now I've just been wondering this morning if all the men in your shop that know or suspect anything are to be trusted.” Mellor’s brow darkened and his face grew livid with passion. ‘If I thought there was one man who would whisper a single word he either knows or sus- pects, this day would be his last,” he thundered out. ‘‘Come, George,” said the phlegmatic Thorpe, looking upon his companion with an expression of disgust on his stolid face, ‘“ I did’nt come to hear thy ravings and threats ; I came to make sure there were no traitors to fear. What does young Bower know ?”’ ‘‘Nothing, I think,” answered Mellor, sul- lenly. ‘* He might overhear something, however, if the men are not cautious. What about Ben Walker ?” ‘‘ a sneak,’ replied Mellor, “ but he’s in at it, so we’re safe there. I hardlylike his wanting to creep out of the job at the last moment, hut he’d never much pluck. It was a mistake to ask him ?” ‘‘ But he did not fire, thou sees, so he might save his neck by splitting on us perhaps.”’

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‘“‘ The first word of that sort from him would be the last he would ever utter in this world,” replied Mellor in loud tones, his feeling again getting the mastery of him. Checking him- self he enquired But what makes thee talk like this, Bill? Thou’rt the last man I should ever expect to show the white feather. ‘“T’m no white feather chap, George,” re- plied Thorpe, ‘‘but I’ve thought since the affair happened that we might have gone a better way about it. If we two had just quietly laid our heads together we coud have done for Horsfall, and then all the shop would not have known about it. When thou came storming into the room on the day the job was done I was taken unawares; but then thou blabbed out all the business before anybody could speak.” Well, I had been stung beyond endurance by Horsfall’s taunts, which were told me by the men, and I am not sucha cold blooded animal as thee,’’ retorted Mellor. Thorpe’s dark brow grew darker, his heavy jaws were clenched savagely, and his eyes flashed with fury, when fortunately Mellor’s fellow workman, Smith, who was returning from his morning meal entered the room. He had heard the taunt of the fiery Mellor as he entered and seeing the effect it had upon Thorpe he realised the fact at once that the two confederates in many a dark deed were quarelling seriously. As, like the rest, was always afraid of what Mellor might do or say when he was carried away by his fearful out- bursts of temper, he hastened to throw oil upon the troubled waters. ‘‘ Come, Thorpe,” he said quietly, ‘‘ I thought thou had more sense. Let us hear what it is all about.”’ Thorpe recognised instantly the folly of

Lo

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quarrelling, and calming himself, told Smith the ground of his disquietude. Smith glanced round the room uneasily when he heard what had given rise to the dispute, and when Thorpe had concluded, asked pointedly, ‘** Does thou suspect anybody, Will ?” ‘‘ No,” replied Thorpe, ‘but it is as well to take proper precautions I think.”’ ‘‘ And I agree with thee,” said Smith, “I think we might insist on all the men taking an oath not to divulge what they know.” Well,” put in Mellor, who, having had a little time for reflection, began to see the folly of neglecting precautions, ‘‘ I agree with that. We'll make every man in the place who knows anything about the matter take an oath of secrecy. Thee go into the new shop, Thorpe, and start with Sowden; bring him into the press room, end I will see about the rest.” Thorpe left tho room as requested, and went into the new shop where Sowden worked. ‘‘ Here, Sowden,” he said, standing in the door way, ‘‘I want thee.”’ The man addressed left his work and went into the adjoining room. Thorpe closed the door and then turned towards the astonished workman. ‘¢ Sowden,’’ he commenced, thou knows all about Horsfall’s affair.” ‘‘T know what thee and the rest have told me,” replied Sowden. I must have thee swear to keep Horsfall’s murder in all its circumstances a strict secret,” continued Thorpe. ‘‘T can keep the secret without being sworn,” said Sowden. ‘* Well, may be thou can, but I intend thee to be sworn,’’ answered Thorpe, firmly. ‘‘ Now look here, Thorpe,” replied Sowden, doggedly, do not belong to the Ludds be- cause I do not agree with them in all things,

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but you need not be afraid I shall peach. I never took an oath in my lifeand I don’t mean to begin now. Besides the oath you would administer is an illegal one, and you are well aware I should be liabls to seven years’ trans- portation if I took it.” ‘‘Oh yes! its all very nice,” sneered Tho ‘“‘for such chaps as thee to stand on one side and say I don't agree with the Ludds, leaving others to do all the work and risk their lives. I have already said thou shall take this oath and thou shall, or I will shoot thee dead where thou stands?” Thorpe produced a loaded pistol, which he always carried, and planted himself in front of Sowden. Lifting the trigger he fixed his eye on his prisoner, and raising his voice said, ‘* Now, will you take the oath ?” “Ty will,” responded Sowden, who saw it was vain to contend further with the desperate . man before him. ‘*‘ Repeat after me then,” cried Thorpe, and Sowden repeated after him the following oath :—‘‘I, Joseph Sowden, do hereby declare and solemnly swear I never will divulge to any person or persons under the canopy of heaven the names of the persons concerned in shoot- ing HorsfalJ, nor do anything nor cause any- thing to be done which might lead to the discovery of the same, either by word, deed, or sign, on penalty of being sent out of the world. So help me God to keep this my oath inviolable.”’ ‘‘ Now kiss this book,” added Thorpe, hold- ing a Bible to Sowden’s lips. Sowden placed the book to his face as if kissing it, but did not actually do so. ‘‘Now I have not done with you yet,” said Thorpe, still presenting the pistol. ‘‘ As you have given me some trouble I will make you administer the oath yourself to every man

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that is brought into the press shop !” Sowden had nothing wherewith to defend himself. He knew he was in the hands of a desperate, unscrupulous man, who would not hesitate to carry out his threats. He saw therefore that it was useless to resist. ‘‘ Now, sit commanded Thorpe, “on the press table; take this book and read the oath written on the paper at the back to all who are brought before you; say nothing to any but what I said when I administered the oath just now, and remember that I stand be- side you and that my pistol is handy in my pocket here.”’ Having thus spoken, Thorpe drew the bolt back in the door, and Mellor entered, accom- panied by Benjamin Walker. The latter looked astonished to see Sowden there taking the leading part in the proceedings, but he took the oath with a cool and indifferent air, offering no cbservation, and then gave place to bis fellow workmen who were brought one by one into the room by Mellor.

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CHAPTER XIX.

MURDER OF THE PRIME MINISTER.

For murder though it have no tongne Will speak with most miraculous organ. Shakespeare.

The daring of Mr. Horsfall in open day spurred on the Huddersfield autho- ritives to make still greater efforts to discover the Luddites, who, they were well aware, were very numerous in the town and neighbourhood, but they found their task more difficult than ever as the old fear of the vengeance of the dreaded fraternity had resumed its sway over the minds of the people since the murder, and many who might have put the officers of the law on the scent were fain to bury their in- formation or suspicions deep in their own hearts On the evening of Monday, the 27th of April, the military authorities received an anonymous letter informing them of the hid- ing places of three wounded men who, it was thought had been concerned in the attack on Cartwright’s mill. Steps, which eventually proved successful, were made to effect their apprehension after nightfall, and the prisoners were conveyed to Huddersfield barracks for safety. The captures were cleverly and quietly effected, but the news soon spread amongst the Luddites, and in the dead of the night the stables adjoining the room where the prisoners were confined were found to be

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on fire. It was thought the object of the in- cendiaries was to distract the attention of the cuard, and if this ruse had proved successful an attack on the temporary prison was to have been made. The sentries, however, had been too well trained to leave their posts, and the men within the building having been roused from their slumbers the fire was speedily ex- tinguished and the purposes of the Luddites defeated. When morning dawned the pri- soners were escorted under a strong guard to the Court-house, where in due time they were brought up for trial. The constables had been doing their best in the meantime to ferret out some evidence against thein, but, a3 usual, they failed, and the prisoners were eventually dis- charged. Notwithstanding the military were harassed by night watches, and patrols were continually marching through the suspected districts, great robberies of arms took place during the month at Almondbury, Wooldale, Melton, Nether- thong, Marsden and Honley. The Ludds mustered in gangs of twenty or more and stripped those localities of guns, pistols, swords, and all other weapons, little or no 1esistance being offered. Major Gordan and his troop, finding they could not hinder the raids, per- ambulated through the places which had been thus visited and seized all the arms they could possibly find to prevent the rioters from get- ting them also. While on one of those expedi- tions, William Sykes, a Melton shopkeeper, who, thirsting probably for notoriety, repre- sented himself as one of General Ludd’s men, and said he had been engaged in seizing arms for the fraternity, was taken into custody and committed to York. At Nottingham the disturbances continued much the same as before, the Luddites show- ing no signs of discontinuing their lawless

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movements. On the 12th of May the rioters were thrown into a delirium of joy by the arrival of the startJing intelligence that Spencer Percival, the hated Prime Minister, who had forced through the House of Commons the sanguinary measure making it death to destroy a frame, had been shot the day before as he entered St. Stephen’s. on the news becoming known a tumultuous crowd assembled in the market-place and paraded the town with drums beating and flags flying in triumph. The account of the Luddite excesses would be incomplete were we not to introduce into the narrative the particulars of this assassina- tion, an event which produced in the two Houses (assembled at the time) the utmost consternation and also throughout the country at large, as the news spread abroad according to the means available in those days of not over-rapid communication. The bloody deed - ‘was perpetrated on the afternoon of the llth of May,1812; and as the. fight at Rawfolds mill had taken place on the llth of the pre- ceding month and the murder of Mr. William Horsfall on the 16th, and as up to the time of the shooting of Mr. Percival no clue had been to lead to the discovery of the actors in either the Rawfolds mill fight, or the assas- sination on Crosland Moor, it was but natural to conclude, at the first, that the shooting in the lobby of the House of Commons was part and parcel of the tactics of the Luddite con- spirators ; and almost universal was the alarm and dread as to what would happen next, or whose turn it might be to fall by the hands of the assassins. This fear pervaded the minds of both Ministers and Parliament, as is evi- denced by the speech of the Lord Chancellor (Eldon) in the House of Lords on the day fol- lowing the murder of Mr. Perceval; a speech

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indicative of the utmost alarm, as to what might follow in the then ‘state of the coun- try.” This alarm, however, gradually gave way as it became more and more apparent that John Bellingham, the man who shot Mr. Per- ceval, had acted in the matter entirely on his own account, and had no accomplices what- ever. The Luddites were thus cleared of all participation in the shocking deed, which had at first been attributed to them; and one re- sult was that sonie further coercive legislation, intended to put down the Luddite disturbancs, was abandoned. The account we subjoin, which is the most complete we have met with, was written by the famous ‘‘ master of the English the lato William Cobbett. He was, at the period in question, serving out a sentence of two years’ imprisonment in Newgate (with the additional punishment of having to pay a fine of £1000 to the king), for having expressed indignation at the flogging of English militia- men under a guard of Hanoverian bayonets— a sentence of extreme judicial savagery, ard for a cause which now would be hailed as an act of patriotism. The account was, as the reader will see, in the form of a letter, which we now proceed to give. ‘My Dear Friend,—In your last letter re- ceived by me in this place, you requested me to write an account of myself and family, and also to give you a true description of the situa- tion of ‘Old England, the beloved and ven- erated country of our forefathers.’ First, then, I have the pleasure to tell you that, thongh I have been in jail npwards of twenty- one months, I have never been ill a single moment; that I never had even a headache, and that I feel myself as strong as at any period of my life. What my|wife has suffered, I shall leave you and the kind families at

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Bursledon and Bibery, who know her, to guess. This much for my private concerns, which may, I hope, also suffice as an answer to our old and kind friend, B. Story, from whom, to my indescribable satisfaction, I received a letter no longer ago than Saturday last. With respect to public matters, I shall begin by telling you, the Prime Minister of the Prince Regent, Spencer Perceval, the man during whose administration I was sent (for you know what) to this jail, was shot dead by the hand of an Englishman, named John Bellingham. The affair I should not have written much about, because in spite of all the falsehoods which the hired newspapers of London have and will publish upon the subject, the people will get at the truth; but I am anxious that the truth should be known all the world over,

‘and particularly in the American States,

whence, even from the banks of the Missis- sippi, my own writings, issuing from this jail, have returned to me through the channel of the American press. This fact, by making it obvious to me that I am writing for the use of America as well as for that of England, points out to me that it is my duty to give only a true account of the trial and execution of John Bellingham, but also that I should give it in such a way as may make the whole affair plain to persons who were never in London, and to whom many circumstances must, without ex- planation, remain wholly incomprehensible. My intention, therefore, is to present to you, in the first place, with a regular narrative of the facts from the time of the pistol being fired to the moment of the death of the man who fired 1t, uninterrupted by any commentary of my own, and shall inform you of what has been done by Parliament in consequence of thatevent. By way of introduction you should be told that, owing to a scarcity of work for

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our manufacturers (arising from laws of France and America), added to a dearth of provisions, there have for many months existed great dis- turbances in the counties of York, Lancaster, Chester, Leicester, Stafford, and Nottingham. A considerable regular army is assembled in that part of England for the purpose of op- posing and putting down the people who have risen; and a law has been passed inflicting the punishment of death in certain cases, where the punishment before was transportation. To give you some idea of the sufferings of the poor people, it will be quite sufficient for me to state these facts ; that the weekly wages of a working man does not, upon an average throughout England, exceed 15s.; that the price of a bushel of wheat is, upon an average, 18s.; that the price of a bushel of potatoes has been for some time past, upon an average, 8s. 6d. To you, who know what food a man and his wife and three or four children require ; to you, who have a heart to feel for every fel- low creature; to you, at whose home the traveller, be he who or what he might, never needed even to ask for victuals and drink ; to you I need say no more in order to show you the extent of the distress of the labouring people in general; but, I ought to add, that in the manufacturing counties a want of work has co-operated with scarcity of the late har- vest, and that both together have rendered the situation of the people truly deplorable. There is another great cause of national poverty and misery, namely, the taxes, caused by the fearful war, which are now become enormous; but this is a cause which is always operating. The extraordinary causes are those. that I have just mentioned. In consequence of these distresses, numerous petitions have been presented. to Parliament, but as I said before, the only law passed respecting the dis-

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turbances, or the cause of them, is a law to punish with death the crime of frame break- ing, which was formerly punished with trans- portation. Another law is brought into the House of Commons for making it death to take or administer unlawful oaths, upon the alleged ground that the disturbers of the peace are combined together by an oath. The Act had been introduced, read a first time, and was, I believe, to have been read a second time on the evening of the day when the Prime Minister was killed. Such was the state of the country, when on Monday the llth of this present month of May, 1812, and at five o’clock in the afternoon, Spencer Perceval, who had formerly been Attorney General, and who was now be- come First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Prime Minister of the Regent, and who held besides two sinecure offices, was shot just as he was about to enter that House of Commons where he long carried everything before him, and where all opposi- tion to him appeared in vain. The place and manner of his death were as follows :—There is to the house where the members meet (which was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. Stephen) a sort of ante-chamber or outer-room, which -for what reason I know not, is called the Lobby. During the time the House is sitting there are always a great number of persons in this lobby. Attendants of one sort or other ; persons who want to speak with members ; persons who have petitions or private Bills before the House ; in short, anybody of toler- ably decent appearance, whom business or curiosity may bring there, and for whose accommodation there are a fire-place and some benches. Amongst those thus met on the day before mentioned was John Bellingham, who, upon the Minister entering at the Lobby door, went up to him with a pistol and shot him in

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the heart, ir consequence of which he stumb- led forward towards the door of the house, fell and expired in a few minutes, with a faint exclamation of ‘Oh, I’m murdered! I’m mur- dered!’ Bellingham, the moment he had shot off his pistol, went and sat down very calmly upon one of the benches. Such was the sur- prise, the confusion, and consternation amongst all present, that he might easily have gone out at the lobby door and escaped for a time at least; but, as afterwards appeared, this was not at all his design; therefore, when the con- sternation was enough abated for some one to ask, who and where was the murderer, he answered, ‘I am the man that killed Mr. Perceval,’ whereupon he was seized and searched, and another pistol, loaded, was found in his pocket. When the knowledge of the event was communicated to them, great in- deed was the alarm and confusion. Belling- ham was dragged into the House of Commons, whither he was followed by the people in the lobby; so that the house was filled with strangers, reporters, messengers, and persons of all descriptions, mingled pell mell with the members, and it was some time before any- thing like order was restored. The alarm in the House of Lords appears to have been greater. All forms were cast aside, and con- fusion seemed to reign in their stead. The Lord Chancellor himself made a motion for instantly shutting the doors, in order to prevent further mischief being perpetrated. In the meantime the Duke of Oumberland had been and sec nthe dead body, and he now de- clared the fact. Thechief Judge (Lord Ellen- borough), who had been sitting in the Court of King’s Bench, and who, upon hearing what had happened, had quitted the court (all under the same roof) and hurried into the House or Chamber of the Lords, rose and moved that

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some evidence might be taken at the bar, whereon to ground a regular proceeding of some sort. This was at last agreed to, and after evidence had been produced and taken down in great haste proving that Mr. Perceval had been killed in the lobby of the Commons, the Lords, upon the motion of the Earl of Radnor, passed hastily a resolution for addres- sing the Regent upon the subject, requesting him to issue a Proclamation for the speedy prosecution of the offender or offenders in the case. This motion being passed, the House immediately adjourned. Bellingham was brought to trial at the Old Bailey and convicted of the murder, and before nine o’clock in the morning of the Monday following was hanged and his body in the hands of the surgcons for dissection. When the operation was performed the doctors found his heart still faintly beating. The whole of this dismal tragedy was enacted within one short week.”

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CHAPTER XX.

THE APPREHENSION OF BAINES, THE HALIFAX LuppDITE LEADER. But far too numerous is the herd of such

Who think too little and who talk too much. Dryden. A prison is a house of care— A place where none can thrive ; A touchstone true to try a friend ; A grave for one alive. Sometimes a place of right, Sometimes a place of wrong; Sometimes a place for rogues and thieves,

And honest men among. Inscription on Edinburgh Tolbooth.

The magistrates and military were more successful in Nottingham, Cheshire, and Lan- cashire, in arresting Luddites than were the authorities in this locality. Special commis- sions for the trial of the rioters were opened at Lancaster on the 23rd of May, and at Chester on the 25th. Great excitement prevailed throughout both counties and an organised attack to rescue the prisoners was talked of in Cheshire. In consequence of these rumours the alarmed authorities concen- trated upwards of a thousand picked troops in Cheshire Castle yard, by whom the ap- proaches to the court were carefully guarded during the whole of the sittings. Many of the rioters were imprisoned for long periods; a number were transported beyond the seas; two were hanged at Chester, and eight at

Lancaster.

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The talk about a general rising still con- tinued, and during the whole of June raids for arms took place almost nightly throughout parts of ths West Riding, especially in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, Wakefield, Horbury, Ossett, and Dewsbury, and large bodies of men were seen almost nightly in the Yorkshire clothing districts, performing mili- tary exercises in secluded places. Soothill was a favourite rendezvous, and Cawley Wood, at Heckmondwike, was also frequently visited by the disaffected in this immediate locality. The whole of the towns and villages around those centres were denuded of arms of every kind by the men, the robberies often taking place as they returned from the drills, which were generally held after midnight on Satur- days. Great numbers of leaden vessels, also sheet lead, lead pipes, &c., were stolen to melt down for bullets. On the 23rd of June, James Oldroyd, of Dewsbury, was denounced as a Luddite, one who had been at the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and he was apprehended the same day by a troop of the King’s Bays. He was conveyed to Huddersfield for examination and commit- ted for trial at the assizes, which were opened at York on the 18th of July. Although the Government spy swore positively against him he was fortunately able to prove an alibi to the satisfaction of the Jury, and was consequently liberated. In this respect Oldroyd fared much better than old John Baines, of Halifax, presi- dent of the Democratic Club, to whose case we must now refer. From what we have already said about Baines, and trom the address he gave at the meeting when the attack on Cartwright’s mill was resolved upon, our readers will be well aware that although he was a imnember of the Luddite fraternity he had very different ideas

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respecting the aims and objects of the organ- isation than were entertained by such men as Mellor and Thorpe. Assassination found no advocate or defender in the old democrat, Baines. His aim was not to shoot the masters, but to rouse the people en masse to assert their rights as citizens to a share in the government ; to overthow what he called the ‘bloody rule of kings and aristocrats,” and este blish demo- cracy in its place. Like the great bulk of his class he was not sufficiently enlightened to appreciate the value of machinery, in fact he regarded it as wholly a curse, and rejoiced to hear of the destruction of that which he thought wascalculated to still further diminish the scanty earnings of the poor; but in joining the men who had done so much to prevent its general introduction he had no idea that their aim was to confine themselves to merely local conflicts. As we have alreadv seen, he had strongly supported the scheme of a general rising as advocated by the Nottingham dele- gate, Weightman, and had regarded the break- ing of machinery and the attacks on the mills simply as preliminaries to the general move- ment which was to result in what he called “the enfranchisement of the long-suffering, trodden-down people.” He had always urged on the raids for arms that were at this time more prevalent than ever, in order that when the signal was given the people might be ready for the struggle. Conceiving the time to be. very near, he had also endeavoured to extend the organisation, but in enrolling new members he had not exercised sufficient care in adminis- tering the oath. So imprudent had he become of late, indeed, that the suspicions of the local magistrates were directed tewards the St. Crispin Democratic Club and its president, but they had not been able to obtain any positive information. The failure of the local magis-

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trates being reported to Government, which, since the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and especially since the assassination of Horsfall, had been spurring on the authorities in the disaffected districts and requiring frequent reports, it was decided at head-quarters that other steps should be taken to break up the mysterious organisation which was evidently taking such deep root and extending so rapidly. For this purpose two spies were sent to Halifax from Manchester by the famous detective Nadin to endeavour to entrap the leaders. One of these spies was an Irishman named M'Donald, who, before he took up the disre- putable profession, was a weaver. It need hardly be said that he was a low fellow who had lost all self-respect; for none but such would consent to make a living by hunting down their fellow creatures for blood money. M’Donald appears to have been worse than the average of his abominable class, for when the time came for him to give evidence against his victim, he was found to be in prison himself, and had actually to be brought up by corpus to give evidence, and yet the state- ments of a vile wretch like that, supportec partly by that of another spy, a man of the name of Gossling, a broken down fustain cut- ter, were accepted as trustworthy, and the evidence of respectable tradesmen in defence, was entirely passed over and ignored. The two spies, having received their instruc- tions, left Manchester early on the morning of the 8th of July, 1812, and arrived at Halifax about noon. They were dressed in their ordinary working clothes and passed themselves off as men in search of employment. They made direct to the St. Crispin Inn, where they partook of some refreshments and then wert out to seek lodgings. On returning to the public house in the evening, they found there a man

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whose name they afterwards discovered to be Charles Milnes, and they immediately led him Into conversation. This Milnes, who was a cardmaker, was very intimate with John Baines, 4nd was in fact # Luddite, though he does not appear to have taken any part in frame breaking. He was an off-hand, careless talker, and M’Donald soon saw that he was just the man he wanted. The two spies were extremely frank and friendly, and Milnes soon became quite confidential. They said that work in Manchester was very bad and they thought they would come and try if they could get a job at Halifax, where, they had been told, work was more plentiful and provi- sions cheaper. ‘Whoever has told you that,’ replied Milnes, ‘“‘has told you more than they can prove, think. Trade is bad enough at Hali- fax, and as for cheap provisions I and a good many more would like to know where they are. In all the towns round here the rich sub- scribe pretty liberally to help the poor to get flour and potatoes or they would ‘** You seem to have plenty of soldiers in the town, however. I and my mate have been out seeking lodgings and we were both struck with the number we saw idling about the streets.”’ ‘‘ Yes,” said the unsuspecting Milnes, ‘‘ we are not short of them whatever we are short of besides. I suppose they are looking after the Luddites, but they cannot find them. Since Cartwright’s mill was attacked and Hors- fall shot they look as sharp as weasels, but it is no use.” ‘“We have heard something about those affairs at Manchester, but we are told the Ludds lead them some wild goose chases. Fun of that sort would just suit me and my mate here.” . Milnes chuckled merrily. He liked to pass

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trates being reported to Government, which,

‘since the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and

especially since the assassination of Horsfall, had been ~evurring on the authorities in the disaffected districts and requiring frequent reports, 1t was decided at head-quarters that other steps should be taken to break up the mysterious organisation which was evidently

taking such deep root and extending so rapidly. For this purpose two spies were sent to Halifax from Manchester by the famous detective Nadin to endeavour to entrap the leaders. One of these spies was an Irishman named M'Donald, who, before he took up the disre- putable profession, was a weaver. it need hardly be said that he was a low fellow who had lost all self-respect; for none but sich would consent to make a living by hunting down their fellow creatures for blood money. M’Donald appears to have been worse than the average of his abominable class, for when the time came for him to give evidence against his victim, he was found to be in prison himself, and had actually to be brought up by habeas corpus to give evidence, and yet the state- ments of a vile wretch like that, supported partly by that of another spy, a man of the name of Gossling, a broken down fustain cut- ter, were accepted as trustworthy, and the evidence of respectable tradesmen in defence, was entirely passed over and ignored. The two spies, having received their instruc- tions, left Manchester early on the morning of the 8th of July, 1812, and arrived at Halifax about noon. They were dressed in their erdinary working clothes and passed themselves off as men in search of employment. They made direct to the St. Crispin Inn, where they partook of some refreshments and then wert out to seek lodgings. On returning to the public house in the evening, they found there a man

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heartily, ‘‘ nay I know no generals.” ‘But didn’t he command at Cartwright’s affair ?” enquired Gossling, were told at Manchester that they had a commander who was called General Ludd.” - ‘Well they might call him so,” said foolish Milnes, ‘but that was not the real name. I happen to know that much.” The conversation continued, and Milnes, as he imbibed glass after glass of the potent compounds, grew more and more communica- tive, and at last M’Donald hinted that he and his mate should like to enter the fraternity, and they would be as active as any one if they were ‘ twisted in.” Well, now, look here,” said Milnes, in low tones, “if you really mean that, I think I know an old man not very far from here who will perhaps do it if I introduce you.” Well, I am willing,” said M’Donald, ‘“ what say you, mate ?” ‘‘ Well,” replied the person addressed, ina hesitating voice, ‘‘I don’t know as much about them as you seem to do, but I will join if you o.”’ ‘We must wait till dark,’ said Milnes. ‘The magistrates are on the look out, and it would not do tobe seen entering Baines’s house, as he told us at our last meeting that he is certain it is carefully watched.” ‘Tf that’s the case,” said Gossling, with well-feigned alarm. ‘I think I'll not join to- night. There’s no hurry, let us consider about it a bit.” ‘‘T shall consider no more,” said M’Donald, ‘J will go with you, friend,” Goss- ling as if in disgust he seated himself beside Milnes, who shook him heartily by the hand. ‘‘ All right, brother,” cried Milnes, ‘‘I think its dark enough ; we'll go now.” “ Well, I'll just take a turn round, perhaps

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trates being reported to Government, which,

the attack on Cartwright’s mill, and

especially since the assassination of Horsfall, had been “sourring on the authorities in the disaffected districts and requiring frequent reports, 1 was decided at head-quarters that other steps should be taken to break up the mysterious organisation which was evidently

taking such deep root and extending so rapidly. For this purpose two spies were sent to Halifax from Manchester by the famous detective Nadin to endeavour to entrap the leaders. One of these spies was an Irishman named M'Donald, who, before he took up the disre- putable profession, was a weaver. it need hardly be said that he was a low fellow who had lost all self-respect; for none but sich would consent to make a living by hunting down their fellow creatures for blood money. M’Donald appears to have been worse than the average of his abominable class, for when the time came for him to give evidence against his victim, he was found to be in prison himself, and had actually to be brought up by habeas corpus to give evidence, and yet the state- ments of a vile wretch like that, supported partly by that of another spy, a man of the name of Gossling, a broken down fustain cut- ter, were accepted as trustworthy, and the evidence of respectable tradesmen in defence, was entirely passed over and ignored. The two spies, having received their instruc- tions, left Manchester early on the morning of the 8th of July, 1812, and arrived at Halifax about noon. They were dressed in their ordinary working clothes and passed themselves off as men in search of employment. They made direct to the St. Crispin Inn, where they partook of some refreshments and then wert out to seek lodgings. On returning to the public house in the evening, they found there a man

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once declined the offer, and they then all left the house except the elder Baines and the lad who held the door. Johnu Baines, the younger, Charles Milnes, Blakeborough, and Duckworth walked with M’Donald to the door of the St. Crispin, where he stated Duckworth left them. Gosaling, the other spy, soon after joined them, and they sat drinking for sometime. Calling Gossling by his assumed name, which does not appear to have been handed down, M’Donald told him he had got ‘twisted in,” and the remainder confirmed it, Charles Milnes adding that he had introduced him. ‘They continued drinking till between twelve and one, when they all accompanied M’Donald and Gossling to the door of their lodgings. M’Donald and his brother spy were naturally well pleased with their speedy success, but they did not think it advisable torouse suspicion by leaving Halifax suddenly, besides they were hopeful that others might be drawn into their net. With this view M’Donald called several times at Baines’s workshop and engaged him in conversation, observing carefully who came and went. He does not appear to have had any further success. The old man tried to discuss political questions with him, but as M’Donald was so ignorant that he did not know the difference in the meaning of the two words ‘‘aristocrat’? and he would doubtless find that he had not got a very pro- mising pupil. Observing that M’Donald often referred to his being ‘‘twisted in,” Baines warned him against talking about it, and said it was rumoured that there were two Bow Street spies in the town. “Two Bow Street officers in the town!” exclaimed M’Donald. ‘‘ Have they been seen by any of the brethren ?” yet, but they are on the look out for the rascals,’ replied Baines.

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M’Donald looked hard at the speaker, and Baines afterwards remembered the look. It puzzled him then, but he soon after began to understand it. The spies had heard a great deal about the sure vengeance that followed traitors in the Luddite ranks. It was evident, M’Donald thought, that they suspected that spies were ° in the town. Perhaps they suspected them! That night the two rascals disappeared. A few days after, the shop of old Baines was surrounded by soldiers and he was com- mitted to prison to await his trial. His two sons, Charles Milnes, William Blakeborough, and George Duckworth shared his fate.

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CHAPTER XXI.

THE ARREST OF HarTLEY AND OF THE ; MURDERERS OF HORSFALL.

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased ? Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow ; Raze out the written troubles of the brain ; And with some sweet oblivious antidote, Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff, Which weighs upon the heart }—Shakespeare,

Pity—it is a pity to recall to feeling The wretch too happy to escape to death By the compassionate trance, poor nature’s last Resource against the tyranny of pain.—-Byron.

We must now introduce our readers once more into the poverty-stricken home of William Hartley, who, as we stated in a former chap- ter, had joined the Luddites in a fit of desper- ation, hoping it might lead to some good. That his condition could not be made worse he was well assured, for his wife and young family were, at the time he made the rash venture which he afterwards bitterly regretted, actually starving in the miserable house they called home. After the Luddites in this dis- trict had adopted the Nottingham system of levying subscriptions for the support of their poorest members, Hartley was relieved by an occasional donation, but the doles were but small and were given out at long intervals. The fact was that Hartley was not in favour with the dispensers of these gratuities. He exhibited very little enthusiasm in the cause in which he had so rashly embarked; he did

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not attend the meetings with any degree of regularity, and was therfore naturally regarded with suspicion by the reckless leaders of the I band, who would fain have made an example of him had they not been deterred by some of the more feeling members who knew and pitied the offending brother. The excuse set up for Hartley had always been his poor health, and the plea was a true one. Naturally he was not hardy, and hunger and privation had re- duced his strength and rendered him incapable of almost any exertion. Work he had little or none, and as he seldom went abroad he was accustomed to sit brooding all day long over his melancholy lot. His wife, too, naturally delicate, had been weak and ailing for some time, and was now confined altogether to bed. Hartley knew well that what she chiefly re- quired was plenty of nourishing food, but he could hardly procure for her a dry crust, and he was daily tortured by witnessing her and her little ones slowly pining away before his eyes. During the early summer months he had secured occasionally a few days’ field work from the farmers around, and now that golden August had come and the grain was ripe for the sickle he hoped again to be able to add a little to the scanty earnings of the family. The day had been hot and sultry, and a heavy thunderstorm had passed over the hills. As darkness came on the rain had gradually abated, but the thunder rolled in grand and majestic peals, and ever and anon the rugged scenery around the poor little homestead of the Hartleys was vividly lighted up. The clock of the distant church had boomed out the midnight hour in slow and solemn strokes, but a light proceeding from an oil lamp still glimmered faintly through the holes of a print quilt which had been stretched across the

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window of Hartley’s house. Hours before the watch and ward had passed, and a soldier had struck the door with the flat side of his sword, and cried ‘‘Why burns the light within?” Hartley had explained the reason, and ex- tinguished the lamp, but he was obliged to relight it to procure something for his suffering wife, and it still remained burning. The interior of the cottage presented much the same picture of wretchedness as when we described it before. The plaster had dropped from the walls in perhaps still larger patches, and notwithstanding it was summer the floor. seemed black and wet with damp. The poor, tattered, shut-up bed was let down, and in it was Hartley’s wife. She had had a bad day and looked emaciated and sickly. On the other side of the fireplace sat Hartley, gazing steadfastly into the grate, speaking but seldom and then very briefly in reply to some question or observation of his wife, who seemed to make efforts from time to time to rouse him from his stupor. She had urged him a few minutes before to put out the light and retire to bed, but he had made no attempt to comply with the request. There had been a meeting of Ludds on the moors, a mile or so away, and he had not been there. He had not named the gathering to his poor, sick wife, for fear of agitating her, and he had been hoping all the evening that she might drop asleep, and then he could steal out unobserved, and be spared the sight of her agonised looks and of the big tears rolling down her wasted cheeks. His frequent absence from the drills had been strongly commented upon by the commander,

- and when his number was called out and there

was as usual no response, his loyalty to the cause was called in question, and the fearful enquiry was solemnly made, “Is it safe that he should remain alive ?”

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A general cry in the affirmative went up from the ranks, and silence then prevailed for a brief period. ‘‘Number seventeen to the front,” called out the leader, and Hill stepped forward and stood before him. ‘You command a party told off to collect arms to-night ?” said the leader. ‘‘T do,” he replied. ‘‘ See that Hartley goes with you. If he is not there report.” Hill, after saluting his commander, resumed his place in the ranks, and the drill commenced. The men are formed into columns ; they march and retreat, break rank and re-gather, until the chief, satisfied with their movements, calls them once more to form in a compact mass in front of him, and then proceeds to address them in a wild harangue which stirs the blood of the men. In response to his rousing appeal ‘they lifé up their guns and pikes, and the air is filed with murmurs of approbation. When it is concluded they grasp their arms firmly, separate in silence, and wend their way with scowling brows to their homes. About a quarter of an hour after the drill was over, Hartley was startled out of his stupor by a stealthy knock at his door. His sick wife, who had heard the sound too often not to know its meaning, was strongly agitated and a faint cry which betokened agony and terror escaped her lips as some half-dozen men filed into the little room. John Hill, the first that entered, appeared not to see the occupant of the bed. His eyes were fixed upon Hartley, who, pale and impassive as usual, had not raised his stony gaze from the fireleas grate, Hill walked rapidly across the floor and putting his hand firmly upon the shoulder of the strangely silent man, hissed in his ear. ‘‘The roll as been ca'led to-night and

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another black cross stands opposite thy name. Beware! or thy doom is certain.” Then unfolding a paper on which was a rough representation of a death’s head resting on cross bones, he held it suspended before Hartley, who gazed at it fixedly, but his lips uttered no sound. Suddenly the silence was broken by a piercing cry and every eye was at- tracted by a painful spectacle. The sick woman had raised herself on her elbowand was gazing wildly at the dreadful symbols, the perspira- tion standing like great beads on her forehead. Hartley started to his feet and the lawless gang involuntarily gathered round the bed. Suddenly a pale frightened girl appeared on thescene crying piteeusly, Mother !’’ and kissing her wildly, bathed her temples in cold water. The rough men, feeling this was no place for them, silently made toward the door, and Hartley, after satisfying himself that the feeble pulse did beat, followed them. ‘“ Bring thy arms with thee,’’ whispered Hill in his ear, ‘‘ we have work to do to-night.” Hartley seemed as though he did not hear him and walked moodily on speaking to no one. Proceeding to a lonely house they demanded admittance. There being no response, Hill, who was armed with a gun, proceeded to strike the door savagely, with the butt end, crying at the same time: ‘‘'Your arms, your arms! My master, General Ludd, has sent me for your arms.” The alarmed master of the house sent an apprentice down stairs to give them up. The lad seems to have had some_ suspicions respecting the identity of some of the men who were in the kitchen, and may possibly have caught sight of Hartley, who, as we have said before, was unarmed and took no active part in the outrage. Joseph Carter of Greet-

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land, a worthless fellow, was also present, and finding afterwards that he was suspected and in danger of apprehension, turned king’s evi- dence and basely betrayed his comrades. When the officers of justice came to arrest Hartley his wife was violently agitated at the sight of the poor man surrounded by his weep- ing children, and with a tremulous cry she fell back in what was supposed to be a swoon. Restoratives were administered but it was found that the weary troubled heart had ceased to beat and had laid down its heavy burden for ever. While the misguided father was carried to a felon’s cell the stricken mother lay cold and still in the wretched hovel they had called their home. Several other minor offenders were cap- tured about this time, but the murderers of Mr. Horsfall were still at large. [Although the secret was well known to many of the Luddite confederates it was securely kept for several months. In this particular no secret regarding the assassination of an Irish landlord could have Feen better kept, notwithstanding the large reward offered, and the great and increasing efforts made by constables, military, and magistrates, to worm it out. Many had come to the conclusion that the assassins would never be discovered, when a paragraph appeared in the Leeds Mercury of October 24th, 1812, which caused great excitement through- out the country. It ran as follows :—‘‘ A man has been taken up and examined hy that indefatigable magistrate, Joseph Ratcliffe, Esq., and has given the most complete and satisfac- tory evidence of the murder of Mr. Horsfall. The villains accused have been frequently examined before but have always been dis- charged for want of sufficient evidence. The man charged behaved with the greatest

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effrontery till he saw the informer, when he changed colcur and gasped for breath. When he came out of the room after hearing the informer’s evidence, he exclaimed, ‘‘ Damn that fellow, he has done me.” It appears that this man and another have been the chiefs in all the disgraceful transactions that have occurred in this part of the country, especially at Rawfolds. This will lead to many more apprehensions.”’ The informer was Benjamin Walker, one of the four engaged in the murder. He had been taken into custody along with Mellor a short time before, but no evidence could be brought against them of a serious character, and they were both discharged. Soon after Walker heard Sowden readin the newspaper that a reward of £2,000 would be paid to anyone not actually the murderer who would give such information as would lead to the convic- tion of the guilty parties, and resolving to secure the money and save his neck by con- fessing and turning informer against his old companions, he sent his mother to Mr. Ratcliffe, the magistrate, to make the offer. Upon the information given, George Mellor, William Thorpe, and Thomas Smith were apprehended. The reader will have no difficulty in discover- ing that Mellor was the person referred to in the paragraph just quoted from the Mercury, and it was he and Thorpe that were discovered to be the ringleaders of the Luddites in this district. William Hall, of Parkin Hoyle, Liversedge, also turned informer, but he had to leave the village soon after the trials, as he did not consider his life to be safe. Of course the informers, by turning King’s evidence, saved their own lives and secured the reward. Walker returned to Longroyd Bridge, and worked in the district for many years after- wards, but was generally disliked and avoided ;

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the finger of scorn was pointed at him daily, and he was by many regarded with much the same feelings of detestation as the Irish regard one of their countrymen who turns informer. A fortnight after the apprehension of Mellor, Thorpe, and Smith, William Hall gave infor- mation to the authorities that led to the capture of Mark Hill, John Brook, Charles Cockroft, George Brooke, James Brook, John Walker, Joshua Schofield, John Hirst, and Charles Thornton. These were charged with having been concerned in the attack on Cart- wright’s mill at Rawfold’s. Other arrests followed in rapid succession, and before the close of the year sixty-four persons charged with offences connected with disturbances in the West-Riding were apprehended and lodged in York Castle. The capture of tbe leaders cowed the Luddites, but acts of violence were still perpetrated at intervals. On the last day of the year, Joseph Mellor, an important witness in Horsfall’s case, was fired at as he was crossing his own yard, but the contents of the pistol lodged in the wall. It was well-known that he was subpoened to give evidence at the trial which took place on the 6th January, 1813—six days afterwards—and the intended assassins were no doubt anxious to remove one of the most important witnesses out of the way.

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CHAPTER XXII. A ESCAPE.

‘‘ Escape for thy life ; look not behind thee, neither stay thou on all the plain.”—Gen., c xix, v, 17. The traitors in the Luddite ranks had by their revelations put the constables once more on the scent, and the magistrates having se- cured the assistance of several sharp London detectives during the closing month of the year, a very large number of suspected persons were soon hauled up before the local tribunals. In very many cases the charges were trivial and could not be substantiated, but still many were committed on the evidence adduced, and before the year closed about a hundred prisoners were lodged in York Castle. As almost every village and town in the clothing district fur- nished its contingent the excitement grew more and more intense and large crowds gathered almost every day before the coach- ing houses to watch -the constables bring their prisoners to take their seats on the out- side of the vehicles. When Mellor was brought heavily handcuffed to be conveyed to York to take his trial, a very large crowd assembled and the constables and military mustered in great force to prevent a rescue; but the old sympathy with the Luddites had largely died out since Horsfall’s murder, and when the daring leader of the once dreaded band raised his menacled hands as the coach started and called for a cheer, there was hardly a response. As Mellor noted this evidence of the great

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change which had taken place in the public feeling, his heart sank within him and the air of bravado faded away from his face. One of the most active of all the local magistrates was Mr. Ratcliffe, of Hudders- field, whose whole time was taken up at the close of the year in trying to lay bare the threads of the great conspiracy which had struck so much dismay into the hearts of the West Riding manufacturers. Amongst those who were brought up before this active and intelligent magistrate, was the young man, Rayner, whose race for life from the Luddite gathering at Cooper Bridge we have recorded in a previous chapter. During the examina- tion of poor Hartley, it transpired that he and young Rayner had joined the Luddite ranks together, both being drawn in by a designing man of the name of Joseph Carter, who, when the hour of danger came, turned informer. At the time when.the two neighbours became the prey of this glib, designing villain, they were both on the brink of starvation, owing to the dearness of provisions and the bad state of trade. Hartley and Rayner had taken the oath together, and both bitterly regretted the step almost the moment they had taken it. In happier days Rayner had been a constant visitor at the house of Hartley, whose cottage was only about ten minutes’ walk over the fields, and a strong attachment had sprung up between him and the beautiful daughter of the poverty stricken tailor. Burdened, however, as Rayner was with the maintenance of his aged grandmother, and scarcely able by means of the little work he could get to keep the wolf from the door of his humble cottage, he could only worship Mary at a distance, and regard her as a bright constellation which was altogether out of his reach. After his escape from the gathering at Cooper Bridge,

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Rayner resolved that come what would he would sever his connection with the Luddite party finally, and acting up to his resolution he refused to hold any communication with the men who would;fain have drawn him once more into their toils. Had Luddism held the position it did previous to the attack on Cartwright’s mill this course would have been perilous, but after that time the discipline of the organisation grew more lax, many of the leaders winking at irregularities they dared not punish. This became more especially the case after the murder of Horsfall, which tragic event deprived the movement of almost all popular sympathy. After that time the fraternity found themselves obliged to act with extreme caution for fear that they should excite the suspicion of the many emissaries of justice that seemed to encompass them on every side. Such being the case both Rayner and Hartley, who took a similar course, es- caped the dagger and bullet of the avengers. When, however, Carter turned informer, Hart- ley waa at once arrested, and Rayner, as we have said, soon after shared his fate. On being brought before Mr. Ratcliffe, the informer swore that Rayner had gone in his company to the meeting place, and that he lost sight of him just before they left the field to attack the mill; whereupon Rayner ques- tioned the traitor as to the time he last saw him at the meeting at Cooper Bridge. Carter, who gave his evidence truthfully enough, was enabled to answer the question with accuracy, as Mellor, inhis closing address had announced the exact time when saying that they ought at once to start. Mr. Ratcliffe was quite satisfied that this answer was correct after enquiring into all the circumstances, and making a note of it he waited for the further development of the prisoner’s defence. Rayner, who knew

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that upon the incident of his race for life rested his only chance of safety, had secured the attendance of the village sexton, to whom it will be remembered he spoke on that event- ful night, and when the old man was placed in the witness box, he stated how he had seen Rayner come sauntering slowly past the church, and how he had held a brief conversa- tion with him as he stood at the gate. ‘‘Can you tell me exactly what time it was when you spoke to this young man as you have just stated ?” asked Mr. Ratcliffe. ‘‘T answered the sexton, ‘' because the clock struck as we were speaking.”’ Well,” said the magistrate, ‘‘ supposing it did, that wovld be a common occurrence enough.” ‘‘ Certainly,’’ answered the sexton, but something happened then that was very un- common, for the clock struck thirteen}!”’ Mr. Ratcliffe looked keenly atithe prisoner, as he exclaimed, ‘‘ Struck thirteen! Becareful, my man, and remember your oath. Are you prepared to prove that your church clock ever struck thir- teen, and if it did that it was on this particular time ?” ‘‘ That can be proved,” firmly responded the witness ‘“‘by the testimony of at least four persons who are present in the court, to two of whom I spoke the same night respecting it, and by two others living near the church who afterwards unasked named the curious inci- dent to me.” “You do right to call it a curious incident,” replied Mr. Ratcliffe, with a half sneer, do not often strike thirteen.” ‘* They do not,” firmly answered the sexton, ‘but our clock had been out of order—the striking part at any rate—and Skelton, of Brighouse, had been trying to put it right so

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long as he could see to work. I went the last thing as I always do when anyone had been in the church to see that all was rignt before I retired to peu. It was near midnight when I left my house, and when I was locking tne gates Rayner came sauntering slowly up the street. We exchanged a few words as neigh- bours, and as woe were speaking the clock began to strike.” * And how came you to count the strikes ?’’ enquired the magistrate. in a somewhat softened tone as the belief that the old man was speaking the truth grew upon him.” ‘‘ Because, as I told you, the clock had been out of order, and had struck irregularly for some days, and I counted the strokes to see if Skelton had leftit right. ‘‘Humph!’ exclaimed Mr. Ratcliffe, as he fell back in his chair, ‘‘ call the clock mender.”’ Skelton came forward into the box, and proved from his books that the sexton was right as to the date on which the clock was first seen. He added that he had not been able to complete the work satisfactorily on the Saturday, and that he went again on the Mon- day to finish. The witnesses who had noticed that the clock had struck thirteen added their testimony, and then the magistrate after studying his notes, and reflecting for a time adjourned the case. The defence was undountedly strong, but what they had proved seemed to Mr. Ratcliffe almost incredible. Carter, the informer, had stated that when he first missed Rayner, Mellor announced the time as twenty minutes to twelve, and several others of the Luddite leaders had looked at their watches and con- firmed that, the reason being that they had agreed to meet the Leeds contingent to join them in the attack on the mill, and thcy saw it was time to start. He took it, therefore, for

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a settled fact that it was that time when Rayner must have left the field, if he was ever there as the informer asserted. Mr. Ratcliffe knew the district well, and supposing Rayner had run home he would have to cover at least four miles in about eighteen or nine- teen minutes at the most. That the sexton and other witnesses spoke the truth was beyond question in his mind, and on the other side, there was the unsupported testimony of the informer Carter. To credit Carter, he would also have to believe that a man could run four miles in twenty minutes at the out- side. He regarded the fact as utterly impos- sible, and on that ground Rayner was next day set at liberty. Had Mr. Ratcliffe enquired a little into Rayner’s antecedants, he might perhaps have hesitated a little longer. He was, a8 we have already said, a trained runner, and the champion in the village races for miles around. From statements made after- wards it seems that the times given and the distance were correct. Rayner had covered the four miles in nineteen minutes.

When Rayner arrived once more at his native village, he could not rest many hours without longing to visit the abode of his friend Hartley, who, he knew had also been taken into custody. He had also been told how Hartley’s poor delicate wife had succumbed beneath her load of trouble, and be wondered much what had become of the doubly bereaved family. As he journeyed through the quiet fields sounds of music were borne on the wind from all points of the compass, and he wes reminded that it was Christmas day, and as he plodded on through the yielding snow his heart was the seat of many tumultuous emotions. Although he could not help feeling thankful that he himself had escaped the toils of the informers, all the joy died out of his heart as

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he thought of his poor friend Hartley in his prison cell, and of the sorrow that would be felt by his much loved Mary, who he knew almost idolized her unfortunate father. The shades of evening were drawing in when he walked quickly down the narrow Tene which opened out from the fields, and he soon stood in front of the little cottage which had contained his greatest treasure in life. All without seemed silent and deserted, and when he knocked at the doorno one responded. Peering through the sorely patched window he saw that there was no one within, and his heart ached as he gazed at the bare walls, the damp floor, and the shabby dilapidated furni- ture which remained in what had been a pleasant and a happy home. By and bye, a labourer passed the top of the lane, and from him Rayner ascertained that the sorely stricken family had been taken into their houses by the kind hearted neighbours, whose hearts ached to witness the sorrow of the seven children as their poor mother’s remains were placed in a pauper’s grave a day or two after Hartley’s apprehension. Though Mary rejoiced for an instant to see her lover once more at liberty, her satisfaction was short lived, and she wept bitterly as she told how her poor father, stunned and bewildered by his misfortunes, had been dragged from the bedside of his dead wife and lodged in a felon’s cell. His examination before the local magistrates was very brief, the evidence was so overwhelming, and he was in less than a hour committed to take his trial at York along with Mellor, Thorpe, and others. The great wish of Mary’s heart now was to see her father once more, and she eagerly discussed with her lover the feasibility of a journey to York for that purpose. Rayner thought sadly of his own deep poverty, but

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determined that the yearning wish of the poor girl should if possible be gratified. All the way home the lover pondered how to carry out his project. There were no railways in those days, but coaches ran pretty frequently to the city. Rayner, however, never thought of these. Mary had said that she would gladly walk the whole distance, and to Rayner such a task would be a very light one. At last an idea struck him. He would call and see his old friend the sexton, and see if he could help him. Old John received the troubled young man with a warm greeting. Since he had been fortunate enough by his evidence to save Rayner from a prison cell he had looked upon him almost in the light of a son, and when he heard his tale he at once proceeded to an old oak kist, and opening one of the tiny drawers brought forth two gold coins, his whole store, and Rayner received them with tears of thank- fulness in his eyes. He had gathered from the newspapers that the court would open at York on Wednesday, the sixth of January, and he determined to start on the Monday morning, and take two days for the journey so that Mary might not be too much fatigued. He remembered that he had an uncle who lived on the road, and stopping there for the night, they next day, by the aid of a few friendly lifts into passing vehicles arrived in sight of their destina- tion on the evening of the second day, and Mary gazed with wonder at the great walls that enclosed the city, and at the grey old minster, whose massive towers excited her awe and admiration. After lodgings had been secured, Rayner sought out the castle, and making known who he was and his errand he was promised admittance to the court if he presented himself early in the morning.

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CHAPTER XXIIL

TRIAL OF HoRSFALL’S MURDERERS.

‘“‘Man’'s crimes are his worst enemies, following Like shadows till they drive his steps into The pit he dug,”—Cieon.

Although Rayner and his companion were at the Castle door before daylight on the morning after they arrived at York they found a considerable number waiting, and when the great doors were at last swung back nearly one-half of the available space in the Court was at oncs occupied. The trials naturally excited immense interest both in the city and throughout Yorkshire, and hours before the Judges arrived the Court was so densly packed that the counsel and officers, though they arrived in good time, found it difficult to reach their seats. The govenor, who recognized Rayner and his companion in the dim lhght, conducted them to one of the seats set apart where they could have a good view of all the proceedings. There was something in the aspect of the court in the dim, uncertain light from the swinging lamps which was calculated to chill the soul of the bravest, and poor Mary’s teeth chattered with fear as she glanced timidly at her surroundings. There on the right were the great chairs where the Judges who held her father’s life in their hands would shortly take their places, and on the left was the dock where he would stand to be gazed at by the pitiless crowd of sightseers. As the day broke the slanting rays of the cold wintry sun struggled in at the high windows,

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lighting up for an instant the gorgeous blazonry of the Royal court of arms above the judg- ment seat and then faded slowly away to be followed by heavy flakes of snow. Rayner felt the thin figure quivering besides him, and noticing her awe struck face jhe tried to divert her attention by pointing out the coun- sel who were to prosecute on behalf of the Crown, and calling her special attention to the barrister who was to defend the Luddites— Henry (afterwards Lcrd) Brougham—of whose eloquence he had heard great things. As he spoke the echoes of the clear blast of a trum- pet swept through the court and instantly all voices were hushed. The Judges had arrived and soon after they took their seats on the bench and the business of the day began. At nine o’clock the court was duly opened by the cryer, and George Mellor, of Longroyd Bridge, and William Thorpe and Thomas Smith, of Huddersfield, were placed at the bar, the judges being Mr. Baron Thompson and Mr. Justice Le Blanc. The youth of the three prisoners excited attention at once, and their appearance was the next theme of com- ment. Mellor was pale, but his iron will was plainly manifested by his calm and almost de- fiant demeanour. Smith looked the most affected by his position. Thorpe was, as usual, stolid and impassive. They were all pretty well dressed and presented a very respectable appearance. The counsel for the Crown were Messrs. Park, Topping, Holdroyd, and Richard- son; attorneys, Messrs. Hobhouse, London ; Alison, Huddersfield, and Lloyd, Stockport. The leading counsellors for the prisoners were Henry (afterwards Lord) Brougham and Messrs. - Hallock and Williams. Attorney, Mr. Black- urn. Mr. Richardson opened the proceedings, and Mr. Park gave the address tothe jury. After

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stating in detail the evidence he was prepared to place before the court, he concluded by say- ing ‘It seems that nothing can be clearer than the mass of evidence I have gone through, and when it is laid before you it will be im- possible for you to arrive at any but one conclusion, that the prisoners at the bar are guilty of the crime laid to their charge. One cannot but lament that three young men, the eldest of which is not more than twenty-three years of age, should have brought themselves into this situation. But there is also pity due to the country, to those individuals who have. suffered in their persons or their properties from the attacks of lawless violence. You have a most important duty to perform. If, after hearing the evidence, you have any rea- sonable doubt upon the case, for God’s sake acquit the prisoners. But if from the chain of evidence I shall lay before you, and by which the finger of Providence has pointed out these men, and furnished as strong proofs of their guilt as if you had seen them commit the murder with your own bodily eyes, you will discharge your duty to God, to your country, and to your own conscience, by finding the prisoners guilty, and guilt must speedily be followed by punishment against the crime of murder, on which the Almighty has himself, pronounced the penalty of death. He who sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, and God has declared that the land can be purged of the guilt of blood only by the death of him who shed it.” The first witness called was Joseph Armi- tage, of Crossland Moor, publican, who was ‘examined by Mr. Topping, and deposed as follows ,—‘* I keep the Warren public-house, and have known for many years the late Mr. Horsfall, who lived at Marsden, and was a merchant and manufacturer; I saw him on

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Tuesday, the 28th of April, in the morning, on his way to Huddersfield, which market he was in the habit of attending. I saw him in the afternoon about a quarter before six; he stop- ped at my house and took a glass of rum and water. John Sykes and Joseph Sykes, haw- kers of cloth, were there and he treated each of them with a glass; hestopped about twenty minutes and then went away. There is a plantation on the way to Marsden, about a quarter of a mile distant on the Marsden road. About half-past six some children came down the road and said, ‘“‘ Mr. Horsfall is shot ;” both the Sykeses and wyself went to the place, and found him sat upon the road about thirty yards below the plantation nearer my house. Joseph Bannister was with him. Mr. Horsfall was brought down to my house, and stayed there till the day but one following.” Cross-examined by Mr. Hullock:j said he looked at the clock, and said he knew it was a quarter to six when Mr. Horsfall ‘came, he did not alight, cannot exactly say how long he continued at his door; the ground to the plantation is rising ;; Mr. Horsfall{seldom{rode fast. Henry Parr, examined by Mr. Holroyd, said, ‘‘ I was going home froin Huddersfield to Marsden, on Tuesday, the 28thjof April; I cannot say what time it was when I left Hud- dersfield; when I came near the Warren House, I heard the report of fire arms, it was a very large crack, and seemed to come from the nearest corner of Mr. Radcliffe's planta- tion; I saw the smoke, and saw four persons in the plantation, from which I was about 150 yards. Idid not know the persons, but they were all dressed in dark coloured clothes. After the report, the horse of a person riding before me turned round, and the rider, whom I afterwards found to be Mr. Horsfall, fell

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with his face upon the horse’s chine ; he raised himself up by the mane and called out ‘* Murder,” and as soon as he called out mur- der, one of the four men got upon the wall with one hand and both feet, and Icalled out to him and said, ‘What art thou not content yet?’ I then rode up to Mr. Horsfall at a gallop as hard asI could, and the men ran out at the back side of the plantation the furthest from the road; when I came up to Mr. Hors- fall he was sat upright on his horse, and said, ‘‘Good man, Iam shot.’ There was a mark of biood on the upper part of his breeches ; he fell sick and was going to fall off, I took hold of his arm and held him up; the blood gushed out of his side several inches; he said ‘ Good man, you are a stranger to me and I to you— go to Mr. Horsfall’s ;’ he then fell on the horse, both his feet were fast in the stirrups and I loosed them out and lifted him to the ground ; two boys, both sons of Abraham Willie, were gathering dung on the road, and I called them and then galloped down to Mr. Horsfall’s brother’s house.” Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: He has lived in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield five years ; he does not know the young men at the bar; his attention was drawn to the place where he heard the report ; he saw four men together at the corner of the plantation near- est Huddersfield; the plantation is only about thirty yards over. Re-examined : Before Mr. Horsfal) got op- posite the plantation, the four men were walking abont the plantation; he saw them before he heard the crack; when he got up to the plantation one of them stooped under a beugh and fired a piece, the other three were standing behind him. Joseph Bannister, of Holdroyd, clother, said, ‘TIT was riding from Huddersfield at nearly

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half-past six in the evening of the 28th of April, and another person on the same horse with me; saw Henry Parr returning from Hudderafield ; we rode up ard saw Mr. Hors- fall lying on the road very bloody and took him to the Warren House.”’ Rowland Houghton, of Huddersfield, sur- geon, said, ‘‘ I was about seven o’clock, and went to the Warren House as soon as pos- sible. I got to the Warren House between eight and nine, and found Mr. Horsfall lying on a bed with his clothes off; he was sich, pale, and. much exhausted, and his pulse could scarcely be felt it was so weak and tremulous. I found two wounds on the upper part of the left thigh, about three inches asunder ; another on the lower part of the belly on the left side ; another on the lower part of the scrotum, and two more on the right thigh, and a slight bruise, not.a wound, on the lower part of the beliy ; the ball had been extracted from the right thigh ; and I extracted one imusket ball from the outside of the right thigh, near the hip joint, gave the ball to Mr. Horsfall’s brother, the Rev. Abraham Horsfall. On Wed- nesday afternoon from four to five o’clock, Mr. Horsfall appeared in a more cheerful state, but I had never any well-founded hopes of his recovery—lI had little hopes, as I apprehended the temporal artery was wounded, but his con- tinuing so long gave me some The Rev. Abraham Horsfall produced one bullet which he received from Mr. Houghton, who on being re-callfed, said he believed that to be the bullet that he gave to Mr. Horsfall. no doubt but the wound which he de- scribed was the cause of Mr. Horsfall’s death ; not the smallest. He was present with the magistrate, Mr. Scott, when Mr. Horsfallmade some declaration on the subject. Witness then conceived him to be adying man. Mr. Wil--

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Ham Horsfall said, ‘‘ What is your opinion, Doctor ?” and he replied, Indeed, Mr. Hors- fall, I consider you in a very dangerous state.” The deceased answered, ‘ These are awful times, Doctor.”’ Mr. John Horsfall produced:a bullet which he saw extracted from the thigh of his brother. Mr. Houghton, cross-examined by Mr. Broughan, said, this slug was extracted by two persons ; his own assistant and a surgeon. Mr. Houghton corrected himself, and said it was the femoral artery, not the temporal thathe supposed to be injured. ‘Benjamin Walker” rang clearly through the court, and there was a ‘rustle and a mur- mur as every one bent forward to look at the Luddite informer as he stumbled awkwardly into the witness box. He was trying desper- ately to put on an air of unconcern as he at last stood confronting the prisoners, but he trembled visibly as Mellor’s lurid glance fell upon him. In reply to questions, he ‘said, “I have worked at John Wood’s near two years, at Longroyd Bridge, about a quarter of a mile from Huddersfield; Mellor and Smith worked also at Wood’s in April last. Thorpe worked at Mr. Fisher’s, a shop about three hundred, yards from Mr. Wood’s—I was not acquainted with ‘Thorpe; I remember. the report respect- ing the attack on Mr. Cartwright’s mill; it happened before the shooting of Mr. Horsfall, and was conversed about in the works of Wood; when they conversed aboutit, Thorpe was one of the party, and the men killed at Cartwright’s were talked about by them. They said it was a hard mattcr. Mellor said the method of breaking the shears must be given up, and instead of it, the masters must be shot at. That was most [heard said; they said they had lost two men, and they must kill the masters. I donot rememtcr what day Mr.

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Horsfall was shot, but I was that day at Wood's; Smith and Mellor worked in one room, and I worked in another; I remember being with Mellor between four and five in the afternoon, and there was William Hall and my father and William Walker. He asked me if I would go with him to shoot Mr. Horsfall? After that he went to his drinking, and was absent about half-an-hour ; on my return, I found Mellor in the shop, and there was my father, Varley, and Hall. He gave me a loaded pistol, and said I must go with him and shoot Mr. Horsfall; he told me it was loaded with double ball; and it was primed and loaded nearly up to the top; he ordered me to go to Mr. Ratcliffe's plantation ; I think both Smith and Thorpe were present; Smith and I went together ; Mellor was dressed in a drab coloured jacket when he wasin the shop, but when he came to the plantation, he wore a bottle green top coat; Thorpe had a dark top coat ; Smith and I wore clcse-bodied bottle green coats; Smithand I went up the highway past the Warren House ; Smith had a pistol with him, which he told me he had bought of a person of the name of Mills, at Throw ; it was without a cock when he bought - it, but on the way to the plantation I saw it had got a cock; he told me it was loaded. We had been at the plantation about ten minutes when Mellor and Thorpe came, and they came past Daniel Batty’s on the foot road; Smith went to Mellor and ‘Thorpe, but I did not go. I told Smith as I was going I would not do this deed; but Smith said let us go forward, and counsel them to turn back, it was a pity to go. On Smith’s return from Mellor and Thorpe, he said they told him if we offered to leave them they would shoot us. I saw Mellor’s pistol in the wood after the job had happened; we were about twenty yards

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from Mellor and Thorpe when Smith went to him. I had not seen Mellor’s pistol the day we went to the plantation, but I had seen it before ; the barrel of it was nearly half-a- yard long; he said he brought it from Russia, and that he had sold it to Richard Hartley ; Smith and I received orders from Mellor and Thorpe to stand twenty yards from them; Mellor and Thorpe stood in the corner of the plantation nearest the Warren House; Smith and I were ordered to fire if Mellor and Thorpe missed him ; they were to whistle when Mr. Horsfall was coming. One of them (I think Mellor,) on the approach of Horsfall, said— ‘‘Heiscoming.” The plantation is surrounded by a walla yard and a quarter high; Smith and I got up when we heard he was coming. I do not know what Mellor and Thorpe did, I could not see them for the wood; we heard pistols go off, and Smith and I fled back into the wood, and were joined directly by Mellor and Thorpe ; ; I then saw Mellor’s pistol, and Thorpe gave me his, saying he would not carry it any further. Mellor damned Smith and myself, and said he should have shot how- ever i? had been. On receiving Thorpe’s pistol, I observed that the cock was gone down, and the barrel was warm. I never saw Mr. Horsfall. We all went over the fields to Dungeon Wood ; I saw three or four men coming up, as we crossed the road from Huddersfield ; we went off as fast as we could run, we were so ‘ flaid over th’ job.’ I threwdown Thorpe's pistol, and Mellor took it up. ‘ Both Smith and myself hid our pistols in a mole-hill. On seperating, Mellor gave me two shillings, because I had no money onme. ‘They ordered us to go towards Honley, which is two miles from the Dungeon Wood, and we went thither. Mellor gave me some powder in a horn, which horn I hid near the Dungeon Wood, after I had

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hid the pistol. The public-house we went to ig at the bottom of Honley ; wefound a collier drinking, nearly drunk, and making a deal of game. A man came in from the market and said Mr. Horsfall had got shot; on that, Smith struck up whistling, and the collier danced to it. We left the public-house in Honley between eight and nine o’clock. Smith and [ had seven or eight pints of ale, and when we got home it was nearly tenat night. We were all four together on the following day. Mellor sent for me into the shop on the following day, by a pérson of the name of Sowden, about nine @’clock in the morning, and I was ordered to be sworn to keep the counsel. Thorpe pro- duced a Bible, ‘and Mellor ordered him to take the book, and swear, and told me my father, my brother William, and Varley had been. sworn. I took hold of it, and an oath had been read to me from the Bible, but I do not know what chapter it was; I do not recollect a word he used; Thorpe ordered me to kiss the book, which I did, and returned the book to Thorpe. I had no conversation with them about the wall; Mellor’s finger was tied up, and he told me he had hurt it with firing; Thorpe’s face was bloody when he was in the Dungeon Wood, and he said he had hurt itin the planta- tion. Mellor told me next morning that they had been at Joe Mellor’s near the bottom of Dungeon Wood. — Cross-examined by Mr. Hullock: Does not recollect the words used when the oath was adininistered, but does recollect that he has sworn to-day to speak the truth. Witness is twenty-four years of age; he came from Man- chester on Saturday, and had been at the castle at Chester ten weeks. Was at Little- wood’s, the adjutant, at- Huddersfield. It was about six o’clock when the misfortune hap- pened, and he returned from his drinking about

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five; Hall, Varley, his father, and his brother were in the shop when Mellor came in, and the first thing that Mellor asked him, was to go with him to shoot Mr. Horsfall; and, after taking time while he cut two boards of cloth, to consider it, he said he would. This was before he went to his drinking; on his return. had a pistol for him, which he delivered to him in the presence of all the persons men- tioned above. They all heard. the conversa- tion, and Thorpe was,in the shop at the same time. He ordered Smith and me to go off together. This was Huddersfield market-day, a deal of people passed them on the road. It was a distanceof twenty yards or more, when Smith left him to go to Mellor and Thorpe, but he could not see{them, because they were higher up the wood. A person coming up the road from the Warren House, he thinks, could not see him and Smith, because they were laid down near the wall. The height of the wall might be a yard-and-a-half. They were never all four together in the nook (corner) of the plantation. Mellor and Thorpe complained of their not shooting, because they were not as ill as they were; Mellor told him after that he would not have minded if he, like Smith and witness, had not shot. Smithand witness were at Honley about He first told this story to his mother that night when he went home; told both his father and mother how they had gone on. His mother went to Mr. Radcliffe about a week before he went to Chester, which is about ten weeksago. Itwill be either eleven or twelve weeks on Wednesday since they first went to Mr. Radcliffe. The witness had been taken up before he turned informer. Mellor and he were taken together. Had never before opened his mouth to any person, except his own family; his mother went to tell Mr. Radcliffe, by: his direction.

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He could notread. He heard a reward of £2,000 was offered for giving the information. Never heard of any reward but from Sowden, who said it was in the newspaper. He heard of this reward before he went to Mr. Radcliffe. Saw Maria Dransfield, and requested her to go to desire Mrs. Hartley to go to Mr. Rad- cliffe, and to swear that she was the first to come into the yard to tell him, because he thought she would be a safeness to him, as he had told;the Justice so, but in truth, he never saw Mrs. Hartley at all or the evening Mr. Horsfall was shot. Had some conversation with a person the evening Mr. Horsfall was shot, and he knew nothing of it, but that was not true. He thought Mrs. Hartley would come up and say they were allat Wood’s. Re-examined by Mr. Topping—said he had never ridden from the Warren House to the plantation. Mellor was at work on the night of the murder, and employed in pressing. Before he was taken up Sowden had read the newspaper,tin fhe works that mentioned the reward. The informer seemed glad to gef down when told to do so, and to slink back into the back seat again. And now there was another murmur and rustling as the cryer called for William Hall, also one of John work- men, who had turned traitor. William Hall said ‘ I worked’at the time of the murder at Johu I was applied to by Mellor on that day, between four and five o’clock in the afternoon, for the Russian pistol which I had bought of a man on Mirfield Moor, near Thomas Sheard’s, the Star Inn; the pistol had an iron end, with screws at the side, and a barrel about a foot long; I had heard from Mellorjjthat he had brought the pistol out of Russia, and sold it to Richard Hartley. Mellor is the son-in-law of John

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Wood ; I lent him it. Saw George Mellor load it; he put nearly two pipe-heads full of fine powder into it and then a ball and some slugs which he beat out with a hammer from balls; . and put two or three in, and then put in a ball at the top, and rammed them all down. I asked him if he meant to fire that, as I knew the pistol would jump when he fired it. He said he meant to give Mr. Horsfall that. He asked me to go with him, but I said I did not like to go; he had a bottle green top coat, under which he put the pistol. He saw Thorpe that afternoon, with a pistol in John Wood’s shop, and saw Thorpe braying some slugs in the shop window, to put in his pistol ; both Thorpe and Mellor said they meant to shoot Horsfall that day. Smith and Walker were present, and when Mellor asked witness to go with them, Walker said they would go. The morning following a Bible was produced in Wood’s shop; witness went in, and saw Thorpe and Sowden sit at the press-table, and Mellor and some other persons were present, but cannot recollect exactly who they were. The Bible was on the press-table; when he went in, a paper was on the table, which said, if ever we revealed any thing concerning that thing, we were to be shot by the first brother. Sowden gave him the Bible into his hand, and he kissed it. Mellor complained on the Tues- day night, when they were gcing to bed, and said he had ‘hurt his finger by the firing of the pistol, and did not know whether it would be right again or not. Witness slept with Mellor, and Smith the same room. They heard of the murder about seven o’clock in the shop where Mellor works; the information was given by old Widow Hartley. Mellor told him that he and Thorpe had called at his cousin’s, at Dungeon-end, and left the pistols in some flocks, and said Joseph Mellor’s apprentices

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were in the shop, and he told them they must give them to their master when he came home. He said they came through Lockwood to Hud- dersfield, and there parted. Smith came home at ten o’clock or after; he said he and Walker had been at Honley. Saw Mellor give Smith a guinea or a pound note on the Monday after the murder. It was three weeks before wit- ness got his pistol again, and it was then de- livered to him by Varley. Mellor told him there were some men come from Leeds that wanted arms, and asked witness if he would let his go, and after some hesitation he con- sented. Mellor asked him, one Saturday night after the murder, which was two or three days before he was taken up, and when he was ex- pecting being apprehended, Mellor wanted him to take the coat Thorpe wore when Hors- fall was shot, as he was likest Thorpe, to go before Mr. Ratcliffe, the magistrate, when they were called on; he was to go in Thorpe’s place, and say he was going with Mellor to his cousin’s, and it was he for whom he wanted work ; he consented that night, but bethought himself after that the witness might swear to him instead of Thorpe. He had heard Mellor talk of going to America. He went with Smith the Sunday morning after Mr. Horsfall was shot, to seek the pistol. They hunted all up and down amongst the ant-hills, but did not then find it; Smith shewed him the pistol two or three weeks after, and told him he had found it. Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: Mellor had lived for a long time with his step father, Mr. John Wood, who is in an extensive line of business. Witness knew what was to be done with the pistol when it was borrowed. He was Mellor’s bed-fellow. Knew the last wit- ness was taken before Mr. Ratcliffe; witness had been examined on a charge of shear break-

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ing, but was not examined for Walker. Does not recollect meeting either James Harper or Joseph Rushworth, and saying to them, he had cleared Walker by showing that he was not at the place when the murder happened. Did not see Benjamin Walker sworn, he met him coming in as he was going out of the place where the oatk was administered. When he was sworn what was réad was not out of the Bible, but from a paper. At the conclusion ef this evidence the court adjourned for a short time for refreshments, and Rayner and Mary, who had listened spell- bound to the evidence, discussed the probabili- ties of the prisoners being condemned. Al- though Rayner had not been intimately con- nected with the Luddite leaders he had of course seen them at the few meetings he at- tended, and though he had no sympathy with them in their crimes, he felt a feeling of dis- gust and loathing as Benjamin Walker and William Hall entered the witness box to swear away the lives of nren who were at any rate no worse than themselves.

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CHAPTER XXIV.

CoNTINUATION OF THE TRIAL OF HORSFALL’S

MURDERERS.

Crime Has in the moment of its perpetration Its own avenging angel—dark misgiving, An ominous sinking of the inmost heart.

Coleridge. On the court resuming, the next witness

called for the prosecution was Joseph Sowden, a cloth dresser, who was examined by Mr. Richardson, and deposed as follows :—I lived at the Yews on the 28th of April: between half-past four and five I saw Mellor and Thorpe come into the new shop at John Wood's, with each a pistol in his hand. All the the shopmates were in, but one who was at Huddersfield. There were Benjamin Wa'ker, John Walker, and his son William, Varley and William Hall. I heard George Mellor order Benjamin Walker to go home, and fetch top coats and a pistol. He went out, but I was not in when Ido not recollect seeing Smith that day, and did not learn whether the pistols were loaded or not; they were of the horse pistol kind, and one of them was a brass mounted and brass guard pistol, three inches longer than I did not see any of the prisoners till after Mr. Horsfall’s death. I saw nothing in their dress but what was common. Isaw Mellor on the evening of the murder about half-past seven. I had then heard what had happened to Mr. ‘

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Horsfall. The following day, the three prisoners and Benjamin Walker, jointly and separately represented to me the circumstances of the murder, substantially the same as you have heard to-day. Hither next morning or the morning following, Thorpe came into the new shop and said ‘‘ Sowden I want thee, and must have thee sworn to keep Horsfall’s mur- der in all its circumstances a secret.” I objected, and said I never took an oath in my life, much more an illegal oath, and the con- sequences would be seven years’ transportation. He said, if I did not he would shoot me dead ; I knew that he wovld carry out his threat, as he never went without loaded pistols about him. I submitted, and he administered the oath, the substance of which was to keep the murder of Horsfall a secret in all its circum- stances, on pain of death, and being finally put out of existence by the first brother I should meet. After that he made use of the same threatening language, and swore by his Maker, ‘*‘ Now thou shall administer it to the others, or I’ll shoot thee dead.’”’ I did under the same influence of the same terror, admin- ister it to Thomas Smith, Benjamin Walker, John and William Walker, W. Varley, and Joseph Hall. Mellor brought the men into the shop, to receive the oath. Cross-examined by Mr. Brougham: One of the two pistols had a brass endas well as brass mountings. Heheard Benjamin Walker sent to fetch great coats and a pistol, but witness did not know for what purpose they were intended ; saw none of them that night after the murder but Mellor, and he never spoke to him that night. He heard it the following day, when they came to him and told him all the circumstances. He next swore him to keep it a secret. Told them tcking the illegal oath was punishable with seven years’ trans-

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portation. He received the oath, but did not call it taking it, because it was not voluntary ; he did not kiss the Bible, he only put it to his face. He read the paper to Walker amongst others. He was not secretary to any associa- tion whatever, nor did he ever make a tour to gee other societies. John Walker, worked in the shop of Wood: his son William Walker had always lived at home. Martha Mellor, the wife of Joseph Mellor, a cloth dresser, cousin to George Mellor, one of the prisoners at the bar, said, ‘‘ We live at Dungeon Bottom, about two hundred yards from Dungeon Wood. I heard first of the firing at Mr. Horsfall that night between eight and nine o’clock; our family consisted then of only one child and four apprentice boys, and a servant girl. One of the apprentices, Joseph Holdham, left our employment on account of misbehaviour, about a week after George Mellor was committed to York. I saw Mellor in the afternoon of the day of the mur- der, about a quarter past six o’clock; there was a gentleman with him, whom I have not seen since. They came from the workshop into the house. George asked if my husband wasin. I told him he was atthe market. He then asked me if we wanted a man to work. I told him we had no occasion. He asked me to lend him a handkerchief, and I lent him a black silk one. He asked me if I would allow that gentleman to wash himself. He had light coloured stockings, light coloured waistcoat and light coloured breeches. He had not then a great coat on, he had put it off. The other person had a great coat—George asked to borrow a coat, and I told him my master’s coat was in the shop. They stopped about a quarter-of-an-hour. Cross-examined by Mr. Hullock: Did not know where the apprentice was that ran away ;

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he stopped with his father a few days. Fixed the time by the return of her husband, which was near seven o’clock. Mellor has always borne a good character since she knew him, which was about two years. Thomas Durrance, apprentice of Joseph Mellor: Is about 17 years old, was with Mellor in April last. Does not know George Mellor, but thinks he saw him at his master’s house, in the shop, on the night of the murder. There was a man with him; thinks Thorpe was with him. They had dark coloured coats when they came into the shop, he thinks top- coats. George Mellor took off his topcoat, and had then an under-coat, the topcoat he put on the brushing stone. Witness went upstairs with George, the other man did not go; when he got upstairs he gave hii two pistols, about a foot long, they both put them under the flocks, which are the refuse of the cloth ; this was a room wherethey work, there was not many flocks but sufficient to hide the pistols. Did not observe in what state the pistols were ; did not know whether the trigger was up. Mellor said he need not say anything about them, but witness told his master when he came home. Soon after they had hid the pistols, the persons left off work. Kinder, Joseph Holdham, and Francis Vickerman were his fellow apprentices, he did not observe whether the pistols were discharged or not. His master and he hid them in the barn, and put straw upon them. He saw Mellor before Justice Radcliffe, and saw him afterwards, when Mellor told him to mind and speak the truth about what he had said and what he had seen. Mellor gave him five shillings and told him to give half to his fellow apprentice, Kinder, and not to say anything about the pistols. Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: Had

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never seen Mellor before that afternoon, and he was with him only a short time. Judge: “What time did you and your master take the pistols into the barn ?” Durrance: “In about two hours after they were put in the flocks.” - Judge: ‘‘ What time did your master return home after those people were in your shop ?”’ Durrance: ‘In an hour-and-a-half.” John Kinder, apprentice to Joseph Mellor, upwards of 18 years of age, says:—He had not known Mellor a year, and did not know him right when Mr. Horsfall was shot; told Durrance he thought it was George Mellor ; met him coming down from the flock room that evening; he went into the room and Durrance showed him two pistols which he took from under the flocks. Does not know whether they were loaded, but thinks he blew through one of the touch holes and found 1 empty, he observed that it was not primed. He had half-a-crown from Durrance. Mr. Joseph Mellor, cloth dresser, cousin to George Mellor :—Remembers the time when Mr. Horsfall was shot; witness left Hudders- field that evening at six and got home about seven o’clock. Durrance showed him two pistols that night; had not then heard that Horsfall was shot, but had seen a bustle among the military. Durrance and he went to hide the pistols in the laith under some straw. They did this for fear they should be found on his premises ; one of the pistols had a larger bore than the other. He had heard Mellor say he had brought a pistol from Russia. One of them was without ramrod. He found on his return home a dark topcoat on the brushiag stone with two cartridge balls in the pockets, he also found another dark green topcoat next morning; neither of these coats belouged to him. James Varley came on the Sunday after

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and he told him where the pistols were.” Judge: ‘‘ Was there any coat of yours missing which you had left at home ?” Mellor: ‘‘ Yes, a light drab topcoat.”’ Mr. Staveley, the gaoler at the Castle pro- duced a dark bottle green coat, which he said he took from Mellor soon after he came into the castle; and Joseph Mellor, being again called and asked to look at that coat, said it was like the coat he found on the brushing stone, but he could not swear to it. Abraham Willie, a workman to Mr. Radcliffe, was in a building attending his horses that evening in the first close beyond the plantation. He did not see any man in the wood, but saw four persons run down the plantation towards Dungeon Wood. They were within fifty yards of him. They all wore dark coloured clothes. They were out of sight when they got a field off. He heard that Mr. Horsfall was _ shot about three or four minutes after, from two of his boys who were getting dung on the road. Edward Hartley was coming from Lockwood the evening Horsfall was shot: was near the spot and heard a report of a gun, and he saw soon after four men run out of Mr. Radcliffe’s field, and jump over a wall in the direction of Dungeon Wood, they were all dressed in dark clothes ; he saw the brass end of a pistol from under the coat of one of them ; witness made an observation about seeing the pistol to a per- son who was with him, which he supposes must have been heard, as the man who held it immediately covered it with his top-coat. Mary, the wife of Robert Robinson, publican, at Honley, heard of Mr. Horsfall’s murder the day it happened. Two young men came to their house that night and had something to drink. She remembers a collier was present, and one of the young men whistled very much and well, and the collier danced. The news of

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the murder was brought in soon after the young men entered, and she thought they leoked down when they heard of it. They came between seven and eight and went away about nine. Her husband asked them where they came from, and they said from Longroyd Bridge. The case for the prosecution being now finished, Mr. Justice Le Blanc looked at the prisoners an instant in silence, and then said ‘This is the time, prisoners, to make your defence. Would you George Mellor, William Thorpe, and Thomas Smith, wish to say any- thing for yourselves ?”’ Prisoners: We leave it to our Counsel.

THe DEFENCE.

William Hanson, the first witness called on behalf of the prisoners, said that he was at Huddersfield on the 28th of April, saw Mellor about a quarter of a mile from Huddersfield, going to Longroyd Bridge, about a quarter be- fore seven. John Womersley, is a clock and watch maker, saw Mellor the evening Mr. Horsfall was shot, at a quarter after six in Huddersfield, at the corner of Cloth Hall Street, had a note In his pocket for him, he owing him seven shillings for work done ; went with him to Mr. Tavenor’s, the White Hart, near the Cloth Hall, and stopped in the house about twenty minutes, where he drank with the prisoner, Mellor, and left him there with one William Battersby. Witness then went to the Brown Cow, another public-house, and he had no sooner got in than the news arrived that Mr. Horsfali was shot, and the soldiers were going. Cross-examined by Mr. Park : Had just time to go to the Brown Cow after he had left the prisoner at Tavenor’s, it was about twenty minutes to seven o’clock, the prisoner paid him

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the seven shillings and he could produce the note; had no particular acquaintance with him, but had done work for his father for many years. Longroyd Bridge to Huddersfield is about a quarter of a mile. Re-examine1: Crosland Moor is more than twice as far from Huddersfield as Longroyd Bridge. William Battersby, the next witness, lived then at Taylor Hill; was at Huddersfield on the 28th of April; and recollects that evening by being at Tavenor’s, saw George Mellor and Jonathan Womersley, and drank with them ; they had two pints of ale, and Jonathan Womersley left him in company with George Mellor, they were at this inn half-an-hour. At the end of that time they heard of Mr. Horsfall being shot for the first time. They came out and he parted with Mellor at the door. John Thorpe, lives at Castle Street, Huddersfield; has known Mellor sixteen or seventeen years; saw Mellor in Huddersfield, near the George Inn, on the evening Horsfall was shot, at ten minutes before six, witness had a watch he wanted to sell him, and stopped with him two or three minutes ; he asked him if he would buy his watch, and pro- duced it, when it appeared to be the time men- tioned. Cross-examined by Mr. Topping : Does not know what street in Huddersfield the George Inn isin; says it wanted just ten minutes to six by his watch ; Mellor examined the inside, and asked him the price of the watch ; witness valuec it at £3 13s., but he did not buy it. Jonathan Battersby, a shoemaker, remem- bers the evening Mr. Horsfall was shot; he saw Mr. Horsfall that evening in his father’s yard; he was on horseback, and went in the direction homeward ; it was between five and

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six o’clock; he went into his own house, stopped till he got his tea, and then put on his coat aud went up the street, this was about twenty minutes after he had seen Mr. Horsfall ride up. He saw Mellor in the New Street, and conversed with him a minute or two. It was not quite six o’clock when we parted with the prisoner at the bar, he then weat home, and heard of the shooting of Mr. Horsfall as soon as he got home. George Armitage, blacksmith, living at Lockwocd, knows where Joseph Mellor lives, his house is between the Dungeon and Had- dersfield, saw George Mellor *come past between five and six o’clock, they go to their drinking sometimes at five, and sometimes at half-past. That evening he had been detained by a job till after five o’clock ; had conversa- tion with the prisoner ; observed that he was coming from the bar, and going towards Huddersfield. He said he was coming from Joseph Mellor’s. Cross-examined by Mr. Park: Mellor said he had been at Joseph Mellor’s, with a man that wanted work. . Joseph Armitage, saw Mr. Horsfall at his shop door, going towards Huddersfield from Lockwood Bar, saw bis brother talking with George Mellor at drinking time, between five and six o’clock. Charles Ratcliffe, cloth dresser, of Hudders- field, was at Mr. Fisher’s, of Longroyd Bridge, on the afternoon of the day of Mr Horsfall’s murder, seeking work; was in the raising shop at half-past five ; knows Thorpe, and saw him raising a blue coat piece in that room; he conversed with him for a quarter-of-an-hour or upwards; left him there, and there was a young woman fetchiny water in a can, out of the raising shop. He returned to Hudders- field, where he arrived twenty minutes after

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six, by the Cloth Hall clock; about half-an- hour after he heard of Mr. Horsfall being shot at. Cross-examined by Mr. Topping : He was in search of work, did not see Mr. Fisher ; was the only man he saw or conversed with there. . Frances Midwood, of Longroyd Bridge, keeps her father’s house, and says that on the 28th of April, as their usual practice is, they drank tea about half-past four o'clock. The next day was their washing day, and they got water from Mr. Fisher’s shop. About five o’cleck, just after tea, she went with a can to fetch water from that shop. The first time she went there was nobody in the shop; it requires about ten minutes to go, and she returned immediately, and then saw William Thorpe. He asked her if she was fetching water, and she said ‘ Yes.”” Went the third time, some other person was with him. She continued fetching water for some time. Saw W. Thorpe every time she went for water except the first. One of the times she saw Abraham Pilling, a shoemaker, who was bring- ing her a pair of new shoes. He followed her into the shop and she left him with Thorpe. Cross-examined by Mr. Park: She does know how long it takes to go from Joseph Mellor’s to Fisher’s, nor does she recollect when she was first asked at what hour they drank tea on the 29th of April; it was not within these few days. When she was asked it was in the presence of Mr. Blackburn, the prisoner’s attorney. A person fetched her to Mr. Blackburn’s but that person did not put the question to her ; she first told them soon after the prisoners came to York, but she cannot recollect the exact time. Abraham Pilling, shoemaker, made the last witness’s shoes and delivered them on the

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night the murder was committed; he took them from Huddersfield to her father’s, and he saw her crossing the road with a can in her hand. He followed her to the door which goes into the raising house ; found Fanny Midwood and William Thorpe there, she was lading water out of a cistern with acan. He waited till she had done. It was a quarter to six when he set off home, and his house is a mile from Longroyd Bridge. She asked the price of the shoes, and went and fetched a guinea note belonging to Ingham’s bank. He con- tinued in the place and had some discourse with Thorpe. He stopped in the place about half- an-hour, when he set out for the Marsh, which is nearly another mile on the Lindley Road, but when he came out of the raising shop and had just got into the lane, he was told that Mr. Horsfall was shot. John Bower, a boy, about seventeen, apprentice to Mr. Wood, of Longroyd Bridge, examined by Mr., Williams said, — Mellor superintends the work for Mr. Wood; recollects the day Mr. Horsfall was shot at ; saw Mellor that day in the afternoon ; they were pressing. The press was to harden, and Mellor assisted at hardening the press; there were Thomas Smith, Benjamin Walker, James Vauiey, and John Walker ; it was near seven o’clock; 1s quite sure Benjamin Walker and Smith were present at the hardcning of the press; Smith, the prisoner, was an apprentice. William Hall and he slept in the same room. William Hall says: Widow Hartley brought the news about seven o’clock, it was a particu- larly busy day, and they did not go to till six o’clock, and soon after they heard that Mr. Horsfall was shot. William Hirst, of Longroyd Bridge, has lodged at Mr. Wood’s soime years. Jemem- bers Benjamin Walker; remembers the time

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when Mr. Horsfall wa3z shot, there was noise enough about that ; when he first heard of it, he said to Benjamin Walker, “ Horsfall is. shot!” and Walker replied, ‘“‘ That is too good news to be true.’’ It was objected by the Counsel of the Crown, that what Walker said was not evidence and ought not to be received, and in that objection his Lordship concurred. William Hirst, in continuation, said he had been at Huddersfield that day, and left it about twenty minutes before seven o’clock. Cross-examined by Mr. Topping : He jwas no relation to any of the prisoners; his son is a merchant in Huddersfield, and employs Mr. Wood as well as many other people. On being asked what he meant by saying that there was noise enough about the murder of Mr. Horsfall, he said all he meant was, that it was a very bad thing, and produced a great outcry. Joseph Rushworth, the last witness called, said he lived at the bottom of Cowcliffe, that he knows William Hall, who has been exam- ined here to-day, remembers being before Mr. Ratcliffe on the 12th of October; Hall was coming to Mr. Radc'iffe’s when he saw him, but had no conversation with him after he had been before the Magistrate.

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CHAPTER XXV.

EXECUTION OF MELLOR, THORPE, AND SMITH.

** Let no one trust the first false step Of guilt, it hangs upon a precipice Whose steep descent in sure perdition ends. Young. The witnesses now having all been examined, Mr. Justice Le Blanc proceeded to sum up and in doing so recapitulated the whole of the evi- dence. He went through that for the defence with special minuteness and pointed out the conflicting made with respect to the time the various witnesses asserted they saw the prisoners, concluding his long address as follows :—“‘ This, gentleman, is the evidence produced on the part of the prisoners; evi- dence of different persons coming in at different times, for the purpose of shewing that, at points of time on that evening which they fix, they saw either all the prisoners, or some of them, in situations not consistent with the time allotted by the account given by the other witnesses for this transaction. When you see the point of time at which it took place, and the nearness of all the different spots where they were to the place in question, eghaps it is not so surprising that there should, at such a distance of time, be so much variance in the account given by different witnesses as to the periods of the day, as there appears to be upon the present occasion. Even supposing the witnesses to come under no improper bias or influence in what they are

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saying, they are speaking of a transaction which not only took place along time ago, but was not imputed to the prisoners at. the bar till a considerable time after it had taken place. For this happened in the month of April, and it does not appear that enquiry was made before a magistrate, or any of these persons committed, till the month of October. Nothing happened immediately after the trans- action, to lead these persons particularly to watch, so as to be accurate in the hour or time on the particular evening, when they saw these persons at a particular place; and then we know how persons are apt to be mistaken, even when care is taken in point of time. However, gentlemen, it is for you to compare the evidence. The evidence on the part of the prosecution rests, not on the testimony of Benjamin Walker only, but of several other workmen in this manufactory, who are not accomplices in this transaction, though they appear to have had a knowledge of it, which I cannot say is not toa certain degree guilty. For I cannot hold them innocent in knowing of such a transaction going on, and treating it so lightly as to give no information respecting it, and to keep it concealed longer than while there was au iinmediate impression of fear of personal danger to themselves. But, indepen- dently of this, you have evidence of that which appears to me to be the strongest part of the case, and requires the most explanation, but which has not been explained, and which applies particularly to the prisoner Mellor, and to Thorpe, if you are satisfied he was with Mellor: I mean the transaction which took place at Joseph Mellor’s house at Dungeon Wood, and which goes to contradict, in point of time, the evidence given by the different witnesses on the part of the defendants. The enquiry is a serious one, not only as regards

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the prisoners themselves, but as regards the public peace and security. You, who have heard the evidence, which lay the facts together in your minds, will do justice between the country and the prisoners.” The jury retired at half-past seven, and returned five minutes before eight, finding,— GrorRGE MELLOR, GUILTY. THORPE, GUILTY. THOMAS SMITH, GUILTY. The prisoners being severally asked in the usual manner, by the Clerk of Arraigns, if they had anything to say, why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon them, answered : Mellor.—I have nothing to say, only that I am. not guilty.” Thorpe.—“ I am not guilty, sir; evidence has been given false against me: That I declare.” Smith.—“ Not guilty, sir.” THE SENTENCE. Mr. Justice Le Blanc immediately passed sentence of death upon them in the following words : ‘‘’You, the several prisoners at the bar, have been tried and convicted of wilful and deliberate murder—under all circumstances an offence of the deepest malignity, but under the circum- stances which have appeared in this case in particular, as far as one crime of the same denomination can be distinguished from another, this may be pronounced a crime of the blackest dye. In other cases, the court has been able to discover something which might work upon the passions of mankind, and induce them to commit an act, at which in their cooler moments, their minds would have revolted, but, in the present case, the crime was committed against a man who appears to have given no offence to any one of you, except that he was suspected of having

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expressed himself with a manly feeling against

those who had set up a right to violate all’

property, and to take away the life of any man who had been supposed to encourage others to do, (what I trust, there still are men sufficient in the country to do,) to stand manfully for- ward in defence of their property. For that reason, lhe was inarked out by you as an object of the most cowardly revenge. You, attempt- ing to associate with yourselves such men as you could prevail upon to join in your wicked purposes, waylay him at the moment when he is returning home, almost in mid-day with a boldness which one had scarcely ever witnessed in trying offences of this description. But in the course of your trial, proceedings have come before the court, af which human nature shudders. That the national character should be so debased; that men, who ought to boast of their character as Britons should have dared to hold forth, in the language which you have held forth, and with so little discretion, assassination and destruction of property were instruments in your hands, to be exercised at your pleasure, and against any person who had happened to offend yeu—independently of this, that you should have dared to take into your hands the Holy Scriptures, and to administer €n impious cath to those who were cognizant of your offence, calling the Almighty as a witness, (that Being whom you were conscious you had offended in the highest degree ;) call- ing upon Him for vengeance upon the heads of those who should discover your crimes; these are circumstances which have appeared in the the course of this trial, and which have scarcely ever appeared in the course of any trial which has been brought before a court of justice. ‘Tt is not upon the testimony ofone, or two, or of three witnesses, that your guilt depends ; and let me advise you not to lay that balm to

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your souls, that you have been deprived by false accusation, and by false oaths, of your lives. A chain of circumstances has been discovered in the course of this trial, which does not depend upon the oath of any one, or two, or three men, whom you may denominate even as bad as yourselves. But even from the testimony of those, who, if they had not been honest to a certain degree, would have given a different evidence, it is clear that two at least of you were guilty; andas little doubt semains, from other evidence, upon the guilt of the third of you. the shop where you have worked, some of you appear to have gained such an ascend- ency over the minds and over the consciences of the workmen, who were in some degree under your control, that you could mould and fashion them to any wicked purpose you your- selves might imagine. Their eyes, I hope, will be opened by the fate which awaits you ; they will see, that though for a short time the career of the wicked may continue, yet the law is sure at length to overtake them.

‘* To you, the unfortunate persons who stand’

at the bar, (for every man who. has disgraced his character as you have must be deemed unfortunate,) to you the only kindness I can offer, is in the advice to prepare, as speedily as you can, for that execution of this sentence, which must shortly await you; to make the best use youcan of the period still allotted to you in this world—longer far than was allowed to the unfortunate person who was the object of your revenge; that you will take the opportunity of niaking your peace with the Almighty Being whom you have offended ; that by the sincerity of your repentance, the fulness of your confession, and ‘he acknow- ledgment offences, you many endeavour to obtain that forgivenesssin the world to come

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which I cannot hold out to you any hopes of obtaining in this world. ‘‘It remains only for me to pass upon you the sentence of the law. That sentence is— That you, the three prisoners at the bar, be taken from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence, on Friday next, to the place of execution; that you pe there severally hanged by the neck till you are dead, your bodies afterwards to be delivered to the surgeons to be dissected and anatomized, according to the directions of the statute. And may God have mercy upon your souls.” The prisoners, who still retained their self- possession, were then removed from the bar, where they had stood from nine o’clock in the morning till nine o’clock at night. During the whole of the trial, and even while the solemn sentence of the law was passed, not one of them shed a tear, but their behaviour was perfectly free from any indecent boldness or unbecoming levity. The proceedings of the court were conducted with unusual solemnities, and the behaviour of the spectators was strictly decorous and becoming. From amongst the numerous relatives and friends of the unfortunate malefactors, an expression of anguish frequently reached the ear, but it was deep, not loud; and in that part of the auditory that was connected with them, only by a common nature, abhorrence at their enormous crime, was not unmixed with con- at the premature fate of three victims of a lawless confederacy. So engrossed had Raysor and Mary been in the trials that they did not know how time flew ; wnd when as they left the crowded court the great bell overhead struck nine, they were yreatly astonished. They made their way swiftly to their lodgings full of excitement at the events they had witnessed.

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At. the opening of the court on Thursday morning, the jury recommended Thos. Smith to mercy, and was made to the Judges, to have the sentence of the law, on such of the murderers as they might think proper to order for execution carried into effect not at the usual place of execution, but on the spot where the murder was perpetrated ; but it was not thought expedient to comply with these applications. . THE EXECUTION. In the interval between the trial and the execution, the prisoners behaved very penitently, though they refused to make any confession either in the prison, or at the place of execution. Thorpe, -on being asked if he did not acknowledge the justice of the sentence said—'' Do not ask me any question.” Mellor declared—‘‘ That he would rather be in the situation he was then placed, dreadful as it was, than have to answer for the crime of their accuser, and that he would not change situations with him, even for his liberty and two thousand pounds;” but with all his resolution, he could not conceal the agonies of his mind, for on the night before the execution, he fell on the ground in a state of insensibility, and % was thought he would have died in his cell; but he slowly recovered, and in the morning his health seemed to be restored. The execution of these unhappy men took place on Friday, January 8th, 1813, at nine o’clock, at the usual place behind the Castle, at York. Every precaution had been taken to render every idea of a rescue impracticable. Two troops of cavalry were drawn up in front of the drop, and the avenues to the castle were guarded by infantry. Five minutes before nine the prisoners came upon the fatal platform. After the ordinary had read the accustomed forms of these occasions,

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George Mellor prayed for about ten minutes ; he spoke with great fervency and devotion, confessing in general the greatness of his sins, but without making any confession of the crime for which he suffered. He prayed earnestly for mercy, and with a pathos that was affecting. William Thorpe also prayed, but his voice was not so well heard. Smith said little, but seemed to join in the devotion with great seriousness. The prisoners were then moved to the front of the platform, and Mellor said—‘‘Some of my enemies may be here, if there be, I freely forgive them, and all the world, and I hope the world will forgive me.” William Thorpe said—‘‘ I hope none of those who are now before me will ever come to this place.” The executioner then proceeded to perform his fatal office, and the drop fell. Some alteration had been made in the drop, so that the whole of the bodies were visible when they were suspended; in former execu- tions only the feet and head could be seen by the spectators. They were executed in their irons. They appeared slightly convulsed for a few moments. The number of people assembled was much greater than is usual on these melancholy occasions, but not the slighest indication of tumult prevailed, and the greatest silence reigned during the whole of this solemn and painiul scene. Such was the issue of that fatal system, which, after having produced in its progress great terror and alarm, and much mischief to the community, at length termin- ated in the death of those who were its most active partizans. And thus perished in the very bloom of life, three young men, who, had they directed their talents to lawful pursuits, might have lived happy and respected. They were young men on whose countenances nature had not imprinted the features of assassins.

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CHAPTER XXVI.

TRIALS OF THE HaLirax LUDDITES, ALSO OF WILLIAM HARTLEY AND OTHERS

** Quick with the tale and ready with the lie, The genial confederate and general spy.”—Byron.

‘* A hopeless darkness settles o’er my fate, My life is Basil. The excitement of the eventful day pxoved too much for Mary Hartley. So long as her mind was occupied by watching the tragic proceedings she was not conscious of her weakness, but when her lodgings were reached she fell down in a dead faint, and had to be carried to bed, where she passed the night in a state of fever, and when the morning dawned was utterly unable to rise. Leaving her in the care of the kind landlady, Rayner next day again made his way to the Castle. Again he was placed in a good seat by the custodian, and after several weary hours of waiting the court was opened in due form, and the Halifax Luddites wexse placed in the dock. There were old John Baines (66), Charles Milnes (22), John Baines, the younger (54), William Blakeborough (22), Geo. Duckworth (23), and Zachary Baines (15). The prisoners were charged with administer- ing an unlawful oath to John McDonald, on July 8th, 1812 The prosecuting counsel said that it: appeared that in July last, John McDonald and another spy were sent from Manchester (by Mr.

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Nadin a very active police officer there) to Halifax, to discover offenders of the descrip- tion charged in the indictment, and they arrived there on the 8th of July. They went to a publichouse called the Crispin ; there they dined, and afterwards went to look for Jodgings and then returned. The circumstances of the attack on Cartwright’s mill were talked about atthe Crispin. The prisoner Milnes was there, and M’Donald entered into conversation with him about the hardness of the times. In the course of the conversation about the mill, Milnes said he knew the two men who were killed there very well, and spoke of the activity of the person who commanded as an officer. said he would be as active as any of them if they would twist him in, or swear him in. Milnes said he had got many blank §cart- ridges‘from a soldier, that he had been searched for, but he got away and stayed away three weeks. Milnes told M’Donald he could get him sworn in by an old man who lived near. M’Donald said he was willing. They sat together till] it was dark, and then went together to Baines’s house about ten at night ; all the prisoners were there. Milnestold them that he (M’Donald) was a stranger, but a good fellow, and wished to be a brother. Old Baines then said, he must be handy about it, because he expected the watch ani ward in before eleven o’clock. He said nothing more, but got a paper and a book about the size of a Testament; put it into M’Donald’s hands, and desired him to say after him. M’Donald said his name was John Smith, and repeated after Baines, who appeared to read from a paper. M’Donald does not recollect many words, but it was that he should never reveal any brother’s secrets, either by signs or words; and if any traitors rose up against them, they were to be put to death; and repeated much

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moréd than he could recollect, and kissed the book. Prisoners were all sitting down until the oath was administered, when they all stood up. Zachary Baines, the boy, stood with his back against the door, to keep it shut. M’Donald himself was afraid, lest the watch and ward shculd come; he however sat down, and said he would pay for something to drink for them. Old Baines said he expected the watch and ward, and they had better go; that one of the neighbours had reported to the magistrates, and he was afraid of the watch and ward. {All the prisoners, except old Baines and the boy, went with M’Donald to the Crispin; Duckworth left them at the door; the said three went in. Gosling (the said police assistant) came in immediately after, and they sat drinking together. M’Donald told Gosling in the presence of the three prisoners then in the house, that he had been twisted in, and they said, ‘‘ Yes he had;’’ and Milnes said he had introduced him. A day or two afterwards they met again, when M’Donald told Gosling, ‘‘That is the old man _ that twisted me in.”” Baines said he had, and put his hand up and said they must be cautious where they said that; hush! his eyes had been opened a matter of three-and-twenty years. This was confirmed by Gosling. Mr. Joseph Nadin, a police officer at Man- chester, stated that the two witnesses who had been examined on the part of the prosecu- tion, had been emplcyed by him to go to Halifax and other places, for the purpose of detecting persons in the habit of administering illegal oaths. On the part of the prisoners, separate alibi were set forth for each of them, supported by witnesses apparently unconnected with each other. John Thomas, a master shoemaker, and

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Thomas Cockroft, his apprentice, deposed that John Baines, the younger, was working at his shop at Luddenden, on the 8th of July, the day sworn to by John M’Donald, and that he remained all night house. Luddenden is about four miles from Halifax. William Longbottom, who lives at Outlane, six miles from Halifax, had occasion to come to Halifax on some business, and remained there over the night of the 8th of July, where he slept at the prisoner’s (George Duckworth’s) father’s. (On the night of the 8th of July was with the prisoner, George Duckworth, the whole of the evening, and could undertake to swear that he was not at the house of John Baines, the elder, that night. William Duckworth spoke to the fact of the last witness being at his house on the 8th of July, and remaining there all night. Thomas Elwall is son-in-law of John Baines, the elder ; is a private in the 33rd regiment: was at his house on the 8th of July last : went about eight o’clock and remained until twelve at night, and during that period no person came into the house except Zachary Baines, his brother; being asked how he could amuse the old man so long, he said he had been in the East Indies, and though he had often told the story before, the old man liked to hear it again and again. Hannah Crowther, of Halifax, stated that she saw Blakeborough on the 5th of July last, and it was proposed to go to Saddleworth on the 8th of July, to his brother’s; that they went on the day appointed, in the morning, and remained there ten days. Witness paid ninepence a day during the time she was there ; paid between eleven and twelve shillings when she came away, to the prisoner’s brother. Witness is generally employed in burling cloth. John Blakeborough stated the facts as

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deposed to by the last witness, as to his brother coming to his house on the 8th of July; that he remained there tendays. The last witness, Hannah Crowther, was there ; she had money to pay for her board, but she did not pay him any. After a charge from the Judge, the Jury retired for some time, and then returned into court, and found a verdict of GuILTy against all the prisoners, except Zachary Baines, who was acquitted. A smile lighted up for an instant the wrinkled face of old John Baines as he heard that his son Zachary was acquitted, and then he turned with a defiant air towards the Benck to hear his own sentence. The Judge cast an almost sympathetic glance at the stern old democrat, who had all his life suffered for the people’s cause. :nd who now faced him with unblanched cheek to hear what he knew would be his final doom. There wasa moment’s dead silence in the court, and then the Judge slightly waved his hand as a signal for the removal of the prisoners. He would consider his sentence. Scarcely was the dock clear, when the voice of the cryer of the court was heard, and cne of the names was that which Rayner longed, yet feared to hear. ‘Job Hey, John Hill, Wm. Hartley,” rang through the court, and soon the three prisovers stood in front of the dock—the two first pale even to the lips, but the third wore his usual air of serious abstrac- tion, which never for an instant left his face during the proceedings. Rayner gazed upon the face of his old friend with intense pity, and felt thankful that his daughter was not able to be present. Though only just turned forty, he looked as bowed and withered as one who had reached the full term allotted to man by the psalmist.

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Mr. Park stated that the offence with which the three prisoners was charged, was connected with the disturbances in the West-Riding. The obtaining of arms was one of the most prominent and alarming features attending that system of terror and outrage which had been carried to so great an extent. Thecrime of burglary was a capital one,.and to constitute this offence there must be a breaking into the house in the night-time, with an intent to steal; but as he had occasion to state to a jury on a former occasion, it would be the same thing in point of law, if the occupier of the house was by threats and intimidation compelled to open it; nor: was it material whether the property was taken by the persons so entering the house, or delivered to them through fear. George Haigh lives at Copley Gate, in Skir- coat ; in August Tast, he had a person lived with him of the name of Tillotson. On the night of the last Saturday in August, he hearda loud rapping at the door; on hearing the noise he got up, and went to the landing-plaze at the top of the stairs; heard a loud rapping at the door, as if with the butt end of a gun. Witness then heard the voices of several persons at the door. The first thing he heard was, ‘‘ Your arms, your arms!” Witness then cried, ‘‘ Holla, holla! what do you want ?” and was answered by one of the party, ‘‘ General Ludd, my master, has sent me for the arms you have.’ Witness said to this demand, ‘“‘I have nothing of the kind, for God’s sake go They then began firing ; there was 1» continual noise, occasioned, as he supposed, by beating against the door in the porch, which reverberated the sound. Witness proceeded to state, that after some altercation with them, in which they insisted that he had two guns and four pistols, his apprentice said

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to him. ‘“‘ Master, you had better give them up, or they will shoot us,” on which he con- sented that he should give them the gun. Tillotson took it to the doorto them. Witness never saw anything of the party; heard them say. Your arms, your arms! be quick or we will shoot you;’’ the voice then seemed to proceed from the kitchen. John Tillotson lived with the last witness in August last; remembers some persons coming to their house in the night, but does not re- member the day of the month; heard a great knocking at the door; witness then declared the circumstances stated by the last witness, as to the terms in which the demand was made for arms, but further stated that the people on the outside of the door said, if the door was not immediately opened, they would break into the house. His master told him he must got up, open the door, and give them the gun. When witness opened the door, some persons ran away from it to the corner of the house, where they were joined by some other persons ; when they returned, they asked for guns and pistols ; witness gave them the gun before they came into the house; witness remained within the door. They enquired if the gun was /ireable, witness said it was ; the ramrod being wanting, they told him if he did not find it immediately, they would shoot him; witness said he could not find it, on which they said there was another pistol, which they must have, and they followed him into the house; they had guns with them, having again threatened to shoot him, if he did not give them the pistol. When the pistol was delivered to them, they told him if his master did not sell his milk among his’ neighbeurs, they would visit him again, with instant death. They took away with them a top-coat which belonged to him, but the coat was left at a farmhouse for him, and was.

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returned next morning. Found the butt-end of a gun next morning near the door. The time of the attack wasa little after twelve o’c’ock at night. Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: They were not more than two or three minutes in the house, it was dark at the time. Neither of the two last witnesses spoke to the persons of any of the prisoners. Joseph Carter (the infcrmer) lives at North Green, i in Greetland; knows the three prisoners; was in their company the latter end of August. Witness knows George Haigh ; himself and the three prisoners went to various places, and among others to George Haigh’s ; the three prisoners at the bar were there ; some of the party went to the kitchen door, and others to the front door; they knocked very hard, and demanded arms. Witness then stated the circumstances related to by former witnesses, previous to their entry into the house. When Tillotson delivered them the pistol, they then told him if his master did not sell his milk to his neighbours at twopence a quart they would visit him ayain. One of the party took a top- coat, and’ threw it on Job Hey’s arm, and he carried it from the house; after some time he enquired which of the party it belonged to, and finding that it did not belong to any of them, he said he would not have anything to do with it, and he left it at a farmhouse to be returned to Haigh’s. Job Hey took the gun into his possession, and another of the prisoners took the pistol. The gun was carried into North Dale. Job Hey had a gun when they went to Haigh’s house, with which he knocked at the kitchen door, and broke it, a part of the stock was left behind; there were no firearms discharged ; he struck the decor very hard. The gun that was broken had been got that night.

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Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: He isa cotton spinner, and came to York from the House of Correction at Wakefield; got home between one and two in the morning: did not get drunk that night, it was another night, had been regularly employed in stealing arms for six weeks or a month; was taken upona Saturday night in December. Witness after- wards corrected himself, and said, that enquiries having been made after him, he sur- rendered himself up. Thomas Clark is a serjeant in the Suffolk Militia ; there is a party stationed at Elland ; apprehended Job Hey at his house in North Dean. On searching his house he found 3}lbs. : of gunpowder. Job Hey told him he had had it sixteen years, but the gunpowder was fresh, and could not have been keptsolong. In con- sequence of directions from Job Hey, he found a pistol concealed between the chimney and the roof. The examination taken before Mr. Radcliffe then proved and read. Job Hey says, there, at George Haigh’s ;” and John Hill says, ‘‘ I was there, but there was never any gun fired.” William Hartley, being charged with a felony, says, ‘‘ I was there, but I had no arms, nor did I make any demand for any.” The examination contained an admis- - sion of other depredations, but only those parts were read which applied tothe present charge. Two witnesses were called to speak to the character of the prisoners, who represented them as honest, industrious men. Mr. Justice Le Blanc, after commenting upon the evidence, and stating the Jaw tothe jury, as Jaid down by the counsel for the crown, said, that character, which could not weigh much except in case of doubt, had less weight than usual in the present}temper and discon- tent which had manifested itself in those

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districts, and where men, who would have shrunk back from the proposal of an ordinary robbery, engaged with alacrity in those depre- dations. The Jury, without retiring, found the. prisoners—GUuILTY. The prisoners received sentence of death on the following day, and were among the unhappy prisoners left for execution.

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CHAPTER XXVII.

TRIAL OF THE RAWFOLDS RYIoTERs.

“‘ Too late we find Nor faith, nor gratitude, nor friendly trust; No force of obligations can subsist Between the guilty.”—Brooke.

On Saturday, January 19th, 1815, James Haigh, of Dalton, aged 21; Jonathan Dean, of Huddersfield, aged 30; John Ogden, of Hud- dersfield, aged 28; James Brook, of Lockwood, aged 26; John Brook, of the same place, aged 22; Thomas Brooke, of the same place, aged 32; John Walker, of Longroyd Bridge, aged 31; and John Hirst, of Liversedge, aged 28 ; were indicted for having, in company with George Mellor, William Thorpe, and Thomas Smith, and one hundred persons and upwards, to the jurors unknown, riotously assembled on the night of the 11th of April, and having begun to demolish a certain water mill, occu- pied by Mr. Wm. Cartwright, situate at Raw- folds, in the parish of Liversedge. The three last persons mentioned in the indictment were executed for the murder of Mr. Horsfall, the preceding day. The prisoners pleaded—not guilty. - The following gentlemen composing the jury were then Newton, Jobn Micklewaite, Godfrey Park, Wm. Parker, Henry Popplewell, Gervas Seaton, Christopher Smith, Robert Stubbing, Richard Tottie, Thos. Tootal, Richard Waddington, Henry Wilkinson. Ccunsel for the Crown, Mr. Park, Mr. Top- ping, Mr. Holdroyd, and Mr. Richardson.

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Counsel for the Prisoners: Mr. Brougham, Mr. Hullock, and Mr. Williams. I The Jury desired to have a list of the prisoners, which was delivered to them. All the witnesses, both on the part of the crown and of the prisoners, were directed to withdraw. Mr. Park said he should be under the necessity of frequently mentioning the names of the unfortunate men now no more, though he did not wish to gay anything harsh of them, but because it was unavoidable. Mr. Richardson opened the indictment, and Mr. Park stated the case on the part of the prosecution, and called the following wit- nesses :— Mr. William Cartwright, examined by Mr. Topping. He stated, that on the 11th of April last, he was in possession of a mill at Rawfolds, in the township of Liversedge, in the West- Riding. Had been in possession of it nearly three years. It was a water mill, erected for the express purpose of finishing cloth by machinery. Previous to the llth of April he had been apprehensive, or #&ther expected an attack being made upon it, and in consequence of this expectation he had taken such measures for its security and protection as he thought best adapted to the purpose. He had slept in the mill for six weeks previous to the attack, and had procured musketry and ammunition, and several of his workmen slept in the mill for the week immediately preceding the attack. Witness had beds in the mill, and himself slept in the counting house. On the 11th of April last, which was Satur- day, he had in the mill five soldiers and four of his own people besides himself. Witness retired to bed at twenty-five minutes past twelve o’clock; in a quarter of an hour he heard the dog bark furiously; it was on the

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ground floor, and had been placed there for the purpose of giving the alarm on the approach of any person in the night-time. He got out of bed supposing the dog had given a false alarm, because he expected the first alarm to proceed from the watch at the outside of the building. As soon as he opened the counting-house door he was astonished by a heavy tire of musketry, accompanied by a violent breaking of windows on the ground floor ; the crash was considerable; a violent hammering was at the same moment com- menced at the door, and a part of the assail- ants went round to the other door at the end of the building. One side of the building was protected by a pond of water, and on that side there was only a narrow footpath. Mr. Cart- wright proceeded to state that they flew to their arms instantly, which had been piled the night before; they had not time to put on any of their c'othes, nor did he think of it, but com- menced a brisk firing. A bell had been put upon the roof for the purpose of giving alarm to a small detachment of cavalry stationed in the neighbourhood. This bell was immediately rung, but unfortun- ately the rope broke. They fired through loop holes which were in an oblique direction with respect to the interior of the building, bué which commanded the front of the mill. The firing was kept up regularly by the people out of doors for a considerable time. He con- tinued to hear the most violent crashing and hammering against the doors, and occasionally heard loud cries of up, lads,”’ “‘ In with you,” ‘* Are you in ?”’ *‘ Keep close,”’ ‘‘ D— the bell, get to it and silence it.” The bell rope broke almost immediately on the first ringing of it, but so important did he consider it that it should continue to give the alarm, that he ordered two men to get upon the roof to ring

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it. Mr. Cartwright said he distinctly heard the expressions, ‘“‘In with you, lads,” ‘‘ D— them, killthem every one.” The number of people appeared considerable. A constant firing on both sides continued for some time, but from the number of shots fired by them he supposed it must have occupied as much as twenty minutes. After the firing without had slackened, they abated theirs within, with a view to save the effusion of blood. He then heard a confused alarm on one side as if an attempt was making to carry off the wounded men. The people in going off appeared to divide and take different roads, but both of them leading ultimately towards Huddersfield. Witness would not for a moment have delayed giving assistance to the wounded after their companions had left the ground, had he not considered it imprudent to open the doors before the arrival of some person who could witness the situation in which the building and doors were ; this he thought a necessary pre- caution, in the state of mind in which many persons were towards him. The first person that came was Mr. Cockhill, and the doors were then opened. They found two men wounded, of whom as much care was taken as the bustle and confusion would allow. Mr. Cartwright then proceeded to describe the situation of the mill after the attack: the windows on the ground were entirely broken with the exception of nine squares of glass, out of three hundred, and the woodwork of the windows was damaged so much as to be entirely useless, and all the frames were obliged to be taken out. One of the doors was almost literally chopped to pieces, and holes made in it that a man might put his hand through; in striking at the door they sometimes appeared to have struck the stone work about the door. The other door had .

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suffered no injury. The windows in the upper storey had also suffered considerable damage. The building, which was of stone, had received a number of shots, the marks of which were still visible. A number of implements used in the <ettack were found by himself and work- people the next morning. Mr. Hullock merely asked some questions to ascertain whether Mr. Cartwright was the sole occupier of the mill, which he answered in the affirmative. Mr. Cartwright said he was not able to speak to the person of any individual concerned in the attack. In answer to a question from the bench, he stated that all the frames of the windows on the ground floor were so much damaged as to be obliged to be taken out. Mr. Cartwright produced a large bag filled with hatchets, mauls, hammers, masks, and other implements used in the work of destruction, also the butt end of a musket, and a man’s hat, which was found in the mill dam. James Sands was next called, who proved the finding of most of the articles contained in the bag produced by Mr. Cartwright, on the morning after the attack. James Wilkinson found a bag in the mill dam, on the morning of the attack about five o’clock, witness picked up some of the instru- ments produced by Mr. Cartwright, near the mill, some of them were found in the inside of the mill. William Hall (informer) stated that he was a cropper, remembered the Saturday on which Mr. Cartwright’s mill was attacked; witness worked at John Wood’s at Longroyd Bridge, near Huddersfield, none of the prisoners worked there; he knew Joshua Dickenson, who was a cropper, saw him about the middle of the day at John Wood’s shop sx Sowden was there at the time, he came to bring powder .and ball; none of the prisoners were there ;

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he brought a good bit of powder, about a pint, and a good deal of ball; the powder was in paper, and the ball in a little bag; he also brought two or three cartridges; gave him directions what to do, and in consequence of these directions he went to a field belonging to Sir George Armitage; he went with Smith and George Dyson, and overtook George Brook, of Lockwood; got to Sir George’s field about ten o’clock, found two or three score people I collected when he got there; remained there a good part of an hour, and during that time a number of other persons joined them; could not state the number, but there was a good deal more than a hundred. Witness stated that before they left the field they called over the people, not by name but by numbers, each person answering when his number was called ; witness was number No. 7; there was @ man tu put them in order. They were formed into companies ; witness was in the pistol company. Mellor and Thorpe were the men who formed them into line; there were two companies of pistol-men; there was also a company of musket-men, which marched first, they were two deep and ten a breast ; witness was in the pistol company ; George Rigg and witness were ordered to go last and drive them up, and see that none went back. They all went in line over Hartshead Moor, and in this manner went to Rawfolds. Witness said they assembled at a place where there was an article called the Dumb-steeple. Witness said there were hatchet-men, and others who had sticks, and others who had nothing at all ; there were also hammers and mauls. When they got to Rawfolds, they were stopped and formed into lines thirteen abreast; Mellor formed the musket company, and Thorpe’ formed the next company. The witness being desired to look at the bar, and point out all the persons there,

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named James Haigh, Jonathan Dean, John Ogden, James Brooke, John Brooke, John Walker, and John Hirst; he did not see Thos. Brook there. They formed iuto a line, and then advanced towards the mill. There was a good deal of firing from the inside of the mill ; witness was amongst the last, when he got up to it they were breaking the windows and doors; heard Mellor call out, ‘‘The door is open,” “ Fire at the heard one call out, ‘‘There is a man shot,” saw a man lying on the ground, did not know him. Witness fired twice into the mill. The firing on both sides continued a considerable time. The door in the front was cut through, but not opened. Witness only saw one person on the ground ; when the firing ceased they got away as fast as they could; he went through the beck in the direction of Hightown. Overtook James Dyson. Saw none of the prisoners going from the mill. Did not see any person without a hat. There was a hat brought to John Wood's shop by Thomas Brook, who told him to get it to the place it belonged to, if he could, and referred him to George Mellor, as the person who would inform him to whom it belonged. Mellor told the witness that he did not know where he was until he got to Hightown, and that he called at Samuel Naylor’s. Witness said he did not remember stopping on the road . or any of the party stopping, nor heard them ask for anything on the road. Sir George Armitage’s field, where they assembled, was about three miles from Mr. Cartwright’s mill. Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: Witness said it was a pretty fair night for seeing, it was not very dark, and he could have known aman at a moderate distance, within a yard or two. He said he saw the prisoners in the field of Sir George ; does not know whether he saw them after, he saw them when they were stand-

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ing together, not in ranks, and had not seen them before they got to this field, which was the place appointed for them to assemble at. Witness knew Mellor and Thorpe before the day on which the attack was rhade; witness said he had seen Haigh at a public house kept by Robinson, but did not desire a person of the name of Berry, or any other person to point out Haigh to him, and had never said that he did

not know Haigh’; had known him before;

could distinguish a good many personsthere by their voices ; saw the men he had spoken of in Sir George Armitage’s field; did not see them at the place where they halted. On his re-examination he said, that being ordered to see that none of the persons went back, he could state that only two persons left them, and they let them go because they were sick and would do them no good.

: ee. . i

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CHAPTER XXVIII.

CONTINUATION OF THE TRIAL OF THE Raw: FOLDS RIoTER.

Guilt is the source of sorrow; ’tis the fiend— The avenging fiend—that follows us behind, With whips and stings.--Rowe.

The next witness called was Joseph Drake, who was examined by Mr. Topping. He said he was a cloth dresser, and worked at the time of the attack on Mr. Cartwright’s mill, at John Drake’s. He went with John Walker and Jonathan Dean from Jonathan Dean’s house. Hesetoff at night. He had been acquainted with them for some time. They were to meet in a field of Sir George Armitage’s. As they went they over- took many persons going to the same place, but did not overtake any cf the prisoners. When they arrived at the place of meeting they found a considerable number of persons collected, from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and fifty. He did not see any of the prisoners in Sir George’s field. They were ealled over by numbers, and placed two. They were also mustered into companies ; could not say who mustered them. A good number of them had arms. Witness was in the pistol company ; did not know how many companies there might be. There were com- panies of musket men, companies of pistol men, and also companies of hatchet men. When they were put in order they were

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marched to Mr. Cartwright’s mill. Witness did not go to the mi!l, but halted about sixty yards from it. Never saw the prisoner Dean after they left Sir George Armytage’s field, but did not see him go away. Witness when he was ' at the place where they haJted heard a good deal of firing. Many of the party stopped behind. Witness had a pistol part of the way but had not a pistol when they halted ; he had then no arms. The main body prccéeded to the mill; the firing was loud; could not hear the breaking of the windows for the noise of the firing ; the firing continued a quarter of an hour to twenty minutes. Dean had a hammer with him, and was solicited to go by John Walker, who had a pistol with him and a smock frock on; did not know James Haigh; knew Thos. Brook ; firstsaw him at Hightown on their return. The party went off in differ- ent directions. Witness went towards High- town; Thomas Brook had nothing with him when he saw him; had seen him before, his clothes were very wet. Witness thought he said he had been in the mill dam, and be was witheut hat. George Mellor was with him, they stopped at Samuel Naylor’s, and a hat was borrowed there for Thomas Brook. Mellor was the person who borrowed the hat, and he went along with them; they stopped at another place near Clifton, where they. asked for some muffins and water; a woman gave them some out of the window. The hat was delivered to them by Samuel wife. Witness knew John Ogden (another of the prisoners) ; had known him before the llth of April; met with him at Hightown after the attack; had not seen him before; he had a pistol with him and nothing else; he said he had been at the attack at the mill; they parted with him before they got to Cowcliffe. I Cross-examined by Mr. Brougham: He said

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it was a very dark night before they fell into .ranks at Sir George Armitage’s field; the field was also near a lane that occupied a consider- able space ; it was also near a lane that went up by the side of the wood; remained there a quarter of an hour, it was then very dark. Benjamin Walker (the accomplice in the murder of Mr. Horsfall) stated that he was one of the party who went to Rawfolds mill on the night the attack was made upon it; he went with George Mellor, Wm. Thorpe, and Thomas Smith (the unfortunate men who had been executed), to Sir George Armitage’s field ; saw none of the prisoners there, nor before they got there; he was No. 13; they were formed into divisions. Mellor’s company was the first, and was chiefly armed with guns, the next company was armed with pistols. George Mellor had the command of the first company, and Thorpe of thesecond. Saw the prisoner Jonathan Dean in going from Sir George Armitage’s field, between that place and the spot where they halted ; it was hearly at the mill; witness continued in the first company armed with muskets; there was a good deal of firing; witness fired his piece. Witness saw Booth, whe was wounded, and is “since dead; he did not see any other person wounded. Witness saw Jonathan Dean, in his own house the morning the attack was over, about six o’clock in the morning; he was in bed, and his hand was bleeding; he told him he had got hurt, but did not tell him where ; said he had got hurt in the finger with a shot, but witness had no further conversa- tion with him. Witness stated that they stopped at a place where they borrowed a hat for Thomas Brook (one of the prisoners) ; it was Hightown where they stopped. Thomas Brook told him he had lost his hat in the’mill- goit ; he said he had fallen in; his clothes were

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very wet. Saw John Walker between Sir Goorge’s close and where they halted near the mill; he had a pistol with him, and saw him again some time after that. Saw James Haigh in the field of Sir George Armitage thought he had a maul; saw no other of the prisoners there. Witness knows the village of . Clifton ; they got some muffins there, which were given them by a woman; was armed with a gun and pistol; he gave the gun to Varley. Witness had a mask on that aight, and some other persons were also disguised with masks. Mellor ordered him to burn his, which he did. The Counsel for the prisoners did not ask any questions of this witness. Joseph Sowden stated that he was a work- man at John Wood’s shop at Longroyd Bridge ; remembers the attack on Cartwright’s mill. Witness knows Jonathan Dean and John Walker and the three Brooks. Witness never heard anything personally from them of what passed at Cartwright’s mill; never saw them for ten weeks after; had some conversation with John Walker the beginning of the week following: the conversation happened at John Wood’s shop; he heard him eay not directing his discourse to witness, that he had a horse pistol; that he was standing looking in ata window and a ball came through and struck the crown of his hat, and that he put his hand into the window, and fired his pistol at the place the flash proceeded from, and said, ‘“T was determined it should go if'my hand went with it.”” Nothing further wassaid. Previous to the attack, Jonathan Dean and John Walker were the first that proposed the frame breaking system, in imitation of the frame- breaking at Nottingham, and who came with a person to request them personally to consult, contrive, and adopt plans for the destruction of machinery. Nothing at that time was said

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about Mr. Cartwright’s mill; the application was first made in the way of solicitation, but afterwards in a threatening way. Nothing was said in his hearing about the intended attack on Mr. Cartwright’s mill. Witness said, so far from approving of these proceed- - ings, he always detested them. Witness never heard anything from Brook on the subject. Mr. Hullock: ‘‘ Detesting as you did these proceedings, why did you not instantly give information of them ?” Sowden: ‘Because I did not conceive they would ever come to the pass they did.” Mr. Hullock: ‘* But when you found they had come to that pass, why did you not then inform? Why should you conceal these enormities so long in your breast ?’ Sowden: ‘I acted as every other person in the circumstances, and with my spirit would have acted.” Mr. Hullock; ‘Pray, sir, what kind of a spirit have you ?” Sowden: ‘A timid spirit.” Mr. Hullock: ‘But it seems you timidly at last gave way. How was it you at length summoned up courage to make a disclosure ?” Sowden : ‘“‘ When I was questioned upon oath, I was then obliged to speak the truth, and leave the circumstances.” Witness stated that it was the 24th of October that he first disclosed his knowledge ef the circumstances he had given in evidence. Mary Brook lived at Clifton in April last; remembered the night of the Rawfolds stir; some. persons came to the door that night, and asked to buy some bread ; she got up and gave them muffins and a pitcher of water through that was broken, and they gave her threepence for them. Witness did not see any of the persons. Mrs. Sarah Naylor lived at the top of High-

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town, was a married woman; remembered in the night of tne attack on Cartwright’s mill, that some persons called at her house and asked her to lend a mana hat, which she did; did not know any of the persons who called at her house. Richard Tattersall practised surgery, and lived at Lepton, which is about four and a ‘half miles from Huddersfield; remembered some person coming to his house on Sunday, the 12th of April, and saw him again on the Tuesday following; only saw him during the time he dressed his wound. Witness after- wards saw the same person at Mr. Radcliffe’s and knew him again. Witness was then asked to look at the bar and point him out, if he was there. Witness looked at the bar and pointed out James Haigh. The first time James Haigh came to his house was about four o’clock; he said he wanted a wound dressing. The wound was on the right shoulder, at the back part ; it ' was about an inch deep; it was not a perforation, but an open wound. His shirt was bloody; at the edge of the wound there was some lint; the wound was more wide than deep, and was alargeish wound. Haigh said he came from Dalton, and the wound was occasioned by a stone. Witness said nothing to him, but dressed his wound ; it appeared to be a bruise, and it appeared as if it might have been done by a stone. It appeared tobe a fresh wound ; sewed it up at each end and in the middle, he took three stitches in the whole. Haigh did not tell his name. The Judge asked some questions to ascertain - whether the wound was a perforation or an open wound, but the witness persisted in asserting that it was an open wound. Joseph Culpan lived at Penistone Green, in a lone house; it was fourteen miles from Huddersfield ; knew a place called Dalton,

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which was about twelve miles from his house. Witness had a relation lived at Dalton, of the name of Ardron; saw him in April last, he came to his house; there was another person with him; it was on the 15th of April between twelve and one at night. The witness was in bed. After some conversation, his wife and he got up, that they might lay down; he had only one bed in the house. Witness said that the person who was with his relation was James Haigh. Witness thought that Haigh said he had been hurt ; but the witness seemed extremely unwilling to give an account of what had passed. Witness said he got up about five o’clock in the morning, and after some trifling breakfast, set off with his rela- tion, Ardron, to go to Ardron’s mother, who lived at Willow Bridge, leaving Haigh at his house. The purpose of their visit was to pre- pare for James Haigh going there. Haigh remained at witness's house until next day in I the afternoon. Ardron’s mother lived about a mile from his house and thirteen from Dalton. No questions were asked of this witness by the prisoner’s counsel. Thomas Atkinson went to James Haigh’s house at Dalton, on the 23rd of April to apprehend him ; found nobody in the house; there were some brewing vessels containing liquor which had teen in a state of fermenta- tiion, but which had completely gone off. Witness found the door locked, and broke it. In consequence of some information he went to Tattersall, the country surgeon, and from thence to Penistone, from Penistone to Ardron’s mother, from thence to Wragby, and from Wragby to Methley, where he apprehended James Haigh ; the distance from Methley to Dalton in a direct line was nineteen miles, but by the circuitous route he went was consider- ably more. him at his brother-

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in-law’s ; he was wounded in the shoulder. Witness took him before a mayistrate; asked him no questions respecting the manner in which he was wounded. Witness stated that the prisoner’s shirt was taken off at Mr. Raccliffe’s, who gave him one of his, The shirt being shown to Major Gordon, he stated it as his opinion, thattherevt had been made by a musket-ball; James Haigh heard this, but made no observations upon it. The shirt had been mended, the prisoner said by his wife ; it was produced in court. Mr. Michael Bentley stated, that he remem- bered seeing the. prisoner, James Haigh, in April last; saw him first at the witness's own house, where he shaved him; it was the day before he was taken up— on Sunday ; witness said he appeared to be hurt in the shoulder, he thought it was the left shoulder; witness asked him no questions about his wound, but he asked him if he was one of the Ludds, to which he gave no sort of an auswer. Mr. Allinson, the solicitor, was called upon to prove the examination of Jonathan Dean, but it appearing that some expectation had been held out to him that it might be for his advantage to make a disclosure, Mr. Park said he would give it up. The examination of John Hirst being proved, was put in and read, in which he admitted he went to Rawfolds. and heard some firing. Mrs. Fanny Mills knew James Brook, one of the prisoners, and lived near him; a window only parted the two doors, After the morn- ing of the attack on Mr, Cartwright’s mill, witness said she saw nothing particular, heard a deal of whispering. James Brook was telling a very sorrowful tale, as she could tell by the motion of his hands. There were many of the shearmen going to and from the house;

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they were men who worked at their shop. Witness knowing'that if she went in they would give over talking; hung back, and heard James Brook say, ‘of all the dismal dins that ever man heard, it was the most dismal; they might hear it for halfa mile ; and he woald be clammed (hungered) to death before he would be in such another stir.’’ I On the prisoners being called upon for their defence, James Haigh and Jonathan Dean said they were not guilty, but left their defence to their counsel. John Ogden said he was never in company with them. James Brook said he was not in the affair. Thomas Brook said he was never at the place: and John Brook and John Hirst repeated that they were not guilty.

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CHAPTER XXIX.

DEFENCE OF THE RAWFOLDS RIOTERS.

Ranging the waste of desolate despair Start any hope.—Southern. ; The following witnesses were examined on the part of the prisouers :— Abram Berry stated that he knew James Haigh, that he was in his company shortly after the last York Assizes, at a public-house kept by a person of the name of Robinson; a person whom he did not know, but who said his name was Hall, asked him.—|The Court here said, unless the witness could state that the person who so accosted him was the William Hall who had been examined on the part of the prosecution, it could not be received as evidence.| William: Hall and a number of other persons were brought into court, and he was desired to point out the person with whom he had that conversation, but the witness after looking at them, said he could not point him out. Thomas Ellison said he was a woolstapler, and lived at Lockwood; knew the prisoner James Brook, who lived with his father at Lockwood; remembered the affair of Mr. Cartwright’s mill; remained at Huddersfield until nine o’clock, and on his return stopped at a tavern called the Spring Gardens, where he reuiained until half-past ten o’clock; from thence to his own house was rather more than @ quarter of a mile. In his way home he saw

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the prisoner; had some conversation -with him ; overtook him opposite his own house as he was going home; this was about a quarter past twelve o’clock. Had known James Brook all his life, and there was not a man in Lock- wood had a better character. Lockwood was about seven or eight miles from Cartwright’s mill. Had some talk with him. Witness was here asked by Mr. Park whether Mr. Black- burn, attorney, had not communicated to him some particulars of the trial. Witness said he had not ; had seen Mr. Blackburn, but the only question put to him was, whether all the witnesses were forthcoming. George Armitage lived at Lockwood; re- membered the evening of the 11th of April; was down at Huddeistield, returned at nearly twelve o’clock; saw the last witness Thomas Ellison. Witness called upon James Brook at his father’s house; got there so ie time near twelve o’clock ; saw James Brook sitting near the fire and had some talk with him, his father called out tohim. Rawfolds mill is about eight miles from Lockwood. Witness heard of the attack on Rawfolds mill the next morning. Witness, on his cross-examination, said, he did not hear of the attack before he went to bed. Had seen Thomas Ellison at Hudders- field; he repeated that James Brook was sitting by the fire-side, and remembers looking at the clock, and it wanted five minutes to twelve o’clock ; it was within five minutes of twelve; he recollected it from the circum- stance of hearing of the attack on Rawfolds mill next morning. Nothing occurred till he was summoned to York to draw his attention to it. Hannah Tweedle knew Fanny Mills; lived very near her; heard her say she was deter- mined to have the Brooks distressed before they came from that place, and that some of

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them must be hanged before they left York This finished the defence of James Brook. John Ellis worked for Thomas Brook ia the spring of Jast year; worked for him at the period of the attack on Cartwright’s mill. Thomas Ellerman and John Vickerman were working upon his premises at the same time. Thomas Brook did not work at the shear-board ; they were very busy at this time; saw his master in the eveniug of that day in which the attack was made; he worked until his master came to the shop and said it was nearly twelve o’clock ; he then went into the house and drew his wages, and then the clock struck twelve. Cross-examiued by Mr. Park: He said there was at that time no scarcity of work at Lock- wood, they were busy; the persons be had mentioned aad himself were the only persons then employed by the prisoner; cauunot re- mewber avy particular person comiug into the shop in the course of the eveniny; received a one pound note, this was the sum he usually drew; Saturday was the customary pay-day. Much time was cousumed in questioning the witness as to a number of winute circum- stunces, whether the children were up, where they slept, where the wages were paid, who was paid first, to which his answers were rather confused and He said ne had been working upon a piece of plain cloth, but could not recotlect the colour of it. In answer to a question from the bench, he said he had been working the whole day except when he went to his dinner. Richard Lee knew John Walker of Longrovd Bridge ; had lived with him nearly six years, lived witb him in April last; went homme between eight and nine in the evening of the attack on Rawfolds mill; remained at home the whole night. John Walker came in between ten and eleven at night; when he

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came home, went to fetch two barrows of coals from Hannah Blakey’s, it was then about eleven John Walker then shaved

Walker, who then went to his house.

John Walker slept in the lower part of the house, and he slept in the chamber over it. Witness in the course of the night occasionally heard him cough and snore in bed. Nothing material came out on his cross-examination. In answer to a question from the Judge, he said that Joseph Walker came in about ten o’clock, and waited until John Walker came in to shave him, there was no one else in the house ; there was no other person in the house except his wife, who told him they wanted coals; ohn Walker asked Joseph Walker to go with him for the coals. Joseph Walker lived at Huddersfield ; remembered the stir at Rawfold’s mill; was at Lockwood the night before; got there

about half-past ten at night. The prisoner,

John Walker, asked him to assist bim in getting a few coals from J. the wife’s name was Hannah; fetched two barrows from Blakey’s, who lived abqut two hundred yards from James Walker’s. John Walker afterwards shaved him, and he left his house twenty minutes before twelve. When he got to Huddersfield he heard the town clock strike twelve. When he got to his own door, he saw Richard Lee in the prisoner's house. Cross examined by Mr. Topping: Lockwood is better than half a mile from Fluddersfield ; there were barbers in Huddersfield but he always went to Walker’s to be shaved. When he got there he was sat in his chair and strap- ping his razor ; went for the coals before he wus snaved. Hannah Blakey stated that her husband was a mason, and that she sold coals; knew

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the’ prisoner John Walker; remembered Rawfolds stir; saw the prisoner on that night come to fetch two barrows of coals; Joseph Walker was with him; it was sometime about eleven o’clock. On her cross-examination, she said she was sure it was that night; always recollected that it was that night, because next morning she heard of the affair at Rawfolds mill. She also remembered from putting the coals down on a siite; did not pay for them. Never lent the prisoner » smock-frok in her life, or ever lent one in her life to Drake Witnéss repeated that she had always kept it in her recollection that it was the night of Rawfolds I stir. In answer to questions from the Judge, she said Jolin Walker had always bought his coals from her ever since she begun of selling ; that they fetched them when they wanted them, sometimes on Saturdays, and sometimes on other days, but did not take any particular notice of any except the night she had spoken of, which she always kept in her recollection. This witness finished the defence as far as the above was concerned. A number of witnesses were then called, who spoke of all the prisoners as honest, industrious and peaceable

men. SUMMING UP. Mr. Justice Le Blanc then summed up the evidence with the nsual accuracy and precision. He stated that his indictment was formed on a statute of George III, made to supply the omission of a former act. By this act it was made & capital offence to demolish any water, wind-imull, or mill of any other description that was, or might be in future, erected ; and it was also made a capital offence to begin to demolish any such mill. There would, therefore, be two questions for the jury to determine. whether the

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eviderce given in the trial, and which he should recapitulate, satisfied thei that there was a beginning to demolish the mill. A mere breaking of the windows would not constitute that offence ; but they would consider whether the breaking of the frames of the windows, and the instruments that were used, did not denote an intention to destroy the mill, and whether they had or not, in fact, begun to carry this intention into effect? If: they determined this question in the affirmative, and which he could not state to be one in which there could Fe much doubt. they would then have to say whether all the prisoners, or any of them, were presenti at this attack. Nor would it be necessary in this enquiry to make out any specific acts of violence committed by any of the prisoners, because every person pre-

sent on.such an occasion, and who thereby

contributed to the general strength of the party, was in law, equally guilty with those who might individually do the acts of violence alleged to have been done. His Lordship, after stating the law with _ reference to the evidence of accomplices, and the degree of credit to which it was entitled, proceeded to recapitulate the evidence, mak- ing those observations which naturally arose frcm the facts related by the different wit- nesses. His Lordship, in the course of his observa- tions, spoke in warm terms of the firmmess and spirit evinced by Mr. Cartwright, in the defence of his property, and said it was an example worthy of being followed by every person placed in similar circumstances; and which would prove the most effective and speedy method of suppressing all tumults and outrages of this description. By this spirited conduct, the assailants were driven away without accomplishing their object. It

I

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remained for the Jury to consider whether they had not begun to demolish the mill. His Lordship, having finished his observa- tions as to the supject matter of the offence, proceeded to comment on the evidence, as it applied to the cases of the respective prisoners, noticing particularly those facts which con- firmed the testimony of the.accomplices ; of these were the wound in the shoulder of James Haigh; the wound in the hand of Jonathan Dean; and the circumstance of Thomas Brook having lost his hat, stated by one of them, and his being seen without one, and having one borrowed for him in their return after the attack. His Lordship then went through the wit- nesses called to establish an alibi on the part of the prisoners, and dwelt particularly on the discrepancy between the evidence of Richard Hill and Joseph Walker, called to prove an aliht for John Walker; and on the incon- sistencies of John Ellis with respect to Thomas Brook. His Lordship concluded with recommending the Jury to weigh the evidence with serious deliberation, and if they saw room for it to discriminate between the prisoners. If they thought the evidence insufficient in any case let them acquit such, and if the contrary it would be their duty to convict. The Jury retired out of court at six o’clock and returned in an hour pronouncing James Haigh, Jonathan Dean, John Ogden, Thomas Brook, and John Walker, guilty; and acquit- ting James Brook, John Brook, and John irst.

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CHAPTER XXX. THE SENTENCES.

** When a man’s life is in debate The judge can ne’er too long deliberate.” Dryden.

‘Though Justice be thy plea, consider this—

That in the course of justice none of us Should see Shakespeare.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the trials of the Luddites is the course pursued by the counsel of detaiting minutely what they were prepared to make clear by the evidence at their command, This was carried to an unusual extent and must be regarded as at variance with the principles of justice. If counsel were permitted to furnish explanatory notes of the evidence ag was done in the cases of these unhappy men, statéments might be interpreted in such a manner as to entirely misrepresent the meaning of the witnesses. The reader will also notice that the alibis get up in some of the cases, especially in that of the Halifax Luddites, were treated in a rather irregular manner. The Jury seem to have heard them and then to have dismissed the evidence given in their support entirely from their minds, apparently as unworthy of investigation. If they really thought the witnesses in support of these alibis were not to be believed, and that they had deliberately conspired to deceive the Court, they ought to have been proceeded against. At the conclusion of the trials, on Tuesday,

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the 12th of January, Mr. Park, addressing the bench, said :—‘‘ My Lords, there are still remaining in your calendar, seventeen persons, who stood capitally indicted for different offences. Upon looking through a list of their cases, with all the accuracy in my power, assisted by my learned friends, I discover that three of the ringleaders in all those offences have already suffered the penalty of the law;

two others ef those, who are involved in some —

of these indictments, have a!so been capitally convicted; I will not state their names because I wish to create no prejudice. I further observe, that two others of those per- sons were acquitted on a former trial, on Saturday night. I do not think that that ought to influence my judgment upon the present occcasion, so as to render it my duty to put them upon their trial again; but inas- much as consider that those whose cases remain, including the two who were acquitted on Saturday night, have been, to a considerable degree, the dupes of designing persons, and that they have been led on by the tive persons to whom I have alluded, I am in hopes that I shall not be doing wrong, in permite ting them to be discharged on giving bail to appear at any time, when called upon by the crown. And Idoassure your Lordships, that if they conduct themselves as honest, industri- ous subjects, they shall never be called upon ; and I trust that [ shall very materially benefit this country by the course I have taken, and that this lenity and forbearance on the part of the crown, (for so the prisoners must consider it) will have a powetful effect upon their minds.” The seventeen prisoners alluded to, were accordingly discharged, upon bail, to answer the indictments when required. Mr. Baron Thompson then proceeded to pass

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sentence upon the prisoners convicted, begin- _ bing with the minor offences. Mr. Baron Thompson : ‘‘ John Eaden, John Baines, the elder, Charles Milner, John Baines, the younger, William Blakeborough, and Geo. Duckworth, you, the several prisoners at the bar, have been convicted of an offence, which the wisdom of the legislature had made a felony. You, John Eaden, and John Baines, the elder, are convicted of having adminis- tered to different persons an unlawful oath, an oath tending to bind the persons taking it, and intended that it should so bind them, to join in a society of persons to disturb the. public peace, binding them to secrecy in that associa- tion and never to declare what they should know respecting that confederacy. You, the other prisoners at the bar, have been convicted of being present, aiding and consenting to the administering of that unlawful oath. by the prisoner of John Baines, the elder, and your offence is the same degree as that of the men who actually administered that oath. ‘‘In the course of very serious investiga- tions about which we have been so long em- ployed in this place, it has but too plainly appeared what have been the dreadful effects of such oaths so taken. They certainly have been the means of inducing many unwary persons to enter into these illegal associations, and of which engagements in support of them, -has been such as we have unfortunately witnessed in the evidence laid before us in the course of the enquiries; they have tended to the disturbance of the public peace in the most populous manufacturing part of this county; they have induced large bodies of men to engage in the most tumultuous pro- ceedings, to attack the houses, plunder the property, begin to demolish the mills, and to

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destroy the machinery employed in the mills —nay they have had the effect of going much further, and have even induced persons to proceed to the horrid crime of murder. Strictly speaking, the administering of those oaths does not make you in law accessories to . those offences, but still they must lie heavy upon your consciences, if you have any sense of right or wrong left. ‘‘You, John Eaden, seem to have been long practised in so administering this oath. To the person to whom you administered it, you gave instructions to get that oath by heart, that he might qualify himself to be the administra- tor of it; and to a person who called upon you shortly after you had so administered that oath, you fully explained to what it was intended to bind the parties, not scrupling to admit that the intention of it was to overturn the very government of this country. ‘‘You, John Baines, the elder, have made it your boast that your eyes have been opened for three-and-twenty years, and you also declared your sentiments with respect to government, and with respect to nd govern- ment, plainly, according to what we have collected from the evidence, preferring anarchy and confusion to order and subordination in — society. Such is the offence of which you, ths prisoners at the bar, stand convicted, and the punishment which the legislature has pro- vided for that offence is certainly not a severe one, if it is only profanation of religion it is; such a daring appeal to the Almighty to witness your desperate engage- ments, as well as the horrid consequences that follow from it. If the offence committed by one of you, that is, John Baines, the elder, of administering this oath, had been committed only two days later than it was, the adminis- tering of that oath would have amounted toa

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capital felony ; for the legislature, seeing that the punishment was hardly sufficient for offences of such magnitude, have enacted, that to administer any sach oaths, whereby a person is held bound to commit any murder or other capital felony, shall itself amount to a capital offence; that act of parliament, how- ever, did not take place till a day after you had committed the offence. ‘‘ Under all these circumstances, we feel it our duty to pronounce that judgment upon you which the law has provided. The judgment of the court upon you, the prisoners at the bar, is, that you be severally transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years.”’ * x x The: unhappy persons, FIFTEEN in number, were then brought up for judgment. The bar, though a large one, was insufficient to contain the whole, and a seat in front of it was cleared of the spectators, that all the prisoners might stand at once in view of the Judge, and a more painful and distressing scene was never witnessed. The prisoners were all young and in the prime of life, and of respectable appearance, many of them par- ticularly good-looking men. They were placed in the following order :— John Swallow, John Batley, Joseph Fisher, John Lumb;;Job Hey, John Hill, William Hartley, James Hey; Joseph Orowther, Nathan Hoyle; James Haigh, Jonathan Dean, John Ogden, Thomas Brook, and John Walker. The last five were convicted of an attack on Mr. Cartwright’s Mill at Rawfolds, and begin- ning to demolish the same. The Clerk of Arraigns then enquired of the several prisoners in the solemn language of the law, why judgment of death should not be awarded against them ; who each entreated that their lives might be spared.

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Baron Thompson and Mr. Justice Le Blanc having put on the symbol of the awtul sentence they were about to pass, Baron Thompson addressed these unhappy men in nearly the following terms :— You, John Swallow, &c.—([his Lordship here repeated the names of all the prisoners, in the order we have stated them,|—the unhappy prisoners at the bar, stand convicted of various offences, for which your lives are justly forfeited. have formed part of a desperate association of men, who, for a great length of time, have disturbed the peace in the West Riding of this county ; you have formed your- self into bodies, and proceeded to the most alarming outrages. The cause of your first associating appears to have been the use of machinery in the woollen manufacture, by which you apprehended that the quantity of labour would be diminished; but a grosser delusion could not have been practised upon you. In the attainment of this you have pro- ceeded to the greatest extremities. ‘Your first object seems to have been the possession of fire-arms; and though some of you geem to. have confined your depredatious to this object, others of you have taken, by terror, force, and violence, property of every description. , I ‘You, the prisoners, Job Hey, John Hill, and William Hartley, do not appear, indeed, to have taken anything but arms; but you went armed and disguised in the night-time, and created great terror and alarm. James Hey, Joseph Crowther, and Nathan Hoyle, have been convicted of robbing in a dwelling- house, and putting the persons therein in great fear. You have all of you been convicted on evidence the most satisfactory.” His Lordship, then particularly addressing

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the last five prisoners, said :—‘‘ You have been convicted of one of the greatest atrocities that was ever committed in a civilised country ; you have been long practised; you have formed yourselves into companies commanded by different leaders, and armed with guns, with pistols, with axes, and other weapors of offence and mischief, you marched in military array to the mill of Mr. Cartwright, which you afterwards begun to pull down ; you kept up a dreadful fire for some time; others of you began the work of destruction, and you were evidently bent on the worst of mischief, intend- ing, doubtless, to demolish the machinery. ' This attack was accompanied by cries and exclamations. ‘“The courage and resolution displayed in the defence of the mill, were successful in repelling your attack; but two of your wretched company paid the forfeit of their lives. It was this defeat that afterwards instigated some of your companions to the more atrocious crime of deliberate murder, and they have suffered the penalty which the law inflicts; and a similar fate is about to await you, the prisoners at the bar. ‘‘ The jury who tried you, recommended one of you, John Lumb, to mercy; they thought they saw grounds for discriminating between his case and that of the other prisoners included in the same charge. On this ground it is possible that mercy may be extended towards him, and that his life may be spared. For the rest of you, I wish I could have dis- covered any grounds for mitigating your sentence; but this I have not been able to do. It is of infinite importance to society that no mercy should be shown you; it is of import- ance that your sentence should pe speedily carried into effect; and it is but right to tell you, that you have but a very short time to

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remain in this world; and I trust, that not only those who now hear me, but all without those walls, to whom the tidings of your fall may come, will be warned by your fate, and avoid those fatal steps which have conducted you to it; for they may rest assured, that, when once engaged in lawless enterprises, 'it will be impossible for them to say ‘ Hitherto will I go, but no further ;’ and that they will

go on till death will, sooner or later, overtake

them in the shape of punishment. ‘‘Prisoners,— I would exhort you to set about the great work of repentance, and to make your peace with God; and that, feeling convinced of your crimes, you will make a full confession of them, as the only reparation you can make to society, and that you will give yourself up to the admonitions of the Rev. Clergyman whogp office it is to prepare you for yeur awful chants : and God grant, that by worthily bewailing your sins, and sincerely for- saking them, you may find mercy of the Lord. ‘*Prisoners—hear the sentence which thelaws of man award your crimes. That sentence of the law is, and this court deth award it— That you be taken henee to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution, and that you severally be hanged by the neck until you are déad, and may Al- mighty God have mercy upon ycur souls.” Une of the prisoners fell into a fit during the time the Judge was addressing them; and when he came to that part of his address in which he spoke of the certminty and near approach of their execution, involuntary groans of anguish burst from several of the prisoners. The scene was inexpressibly painful. The Judges, before they left York, ordered for execution fourteen of these unhappy per- sons, on Saturday, the 17th of January. Lumb was the prisoner respited.

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CHAPTER XXXI.

EXECUTION OF THE LUDDITES. *O God! it isa fearful thing To sec the human soul take wing.”— Byron. We now approach the last awful scene of this tragical assize. After sentence of death had been passed upon the persons convicted of making the attack on Mr. Cartwright’s mill at Rawfolds, and of steaJing arms, all of them (except John Lumb, to whom mercy was extended,) were removed to the condemned ward, and their behaviour in that place was very penitent. They confessed they had -offended against the laws of God and of their country, but on the subject of the offence for which the sentence of death was passed upon them, they were unanimously silent and reserved. All of them, except one, tacitly con- fessed that they were guilty of the crimes of which they stood convicted, and when they were asked if any of them could say they were not guilty, they all remajned silent, except James Haigh and Nathan Hoyle, the former of whom said, ‘I am guilty,” and the latter, ‘‘I am This was the day before the execution : but Hoyle did not make any declaration to that effect when brought to the platform. Their minds for the most part had attained a wonderful degree of composure, except the mind of John Ogden: he appeared for some time to be much disturbed, but on the question being put to him whether his agita- tion arose from any discovery he had to make

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and with the weight of which his was oppressed, he answered no, his agitation arose from the terrors of his situation. And here we may note the striking fact, that if any of these unfortunate men possessed any secret that it might have been important to the public to know, they suffered it to die wfth them. Their discoveries were meagre in the extreme. Not one of them impeached any of his accomplices, nor did they state, as might reasonably have been expected, where the. depot of arms, in the collection of which some of them had been more practically engaged, was to be found. When interrogated on this point, some of them disclaimed all knowledge of the place, and others said Benjamin Walker, the informer, against Mellor, Thorpe, and Smith, could give the best information about arms, as he had been present at most of the depredations. On the question being put to them whether they knew who were concerned in the robbery of a mill (not Rawfolds) near Cleckheaton, James Hey said ‘‘I and Carter, the informer, were present at that It was observed to James Hey, that it was very extraordinary that he who had had the advantage of a religious education, his father being of the Methodist Society, should have come to such a disgraceful situation; to which he replied, in a manner that shewed that his vices, however flagrant, hac not extinguished in his bosom the feelings of filial affection, ‘‘T hope,” said he, ‘the son’s crimes will never be imputed to his father.” Most of the ill-fated prisoners were married and had families. William Hartley, the poor tailor with whose pitiful case the reader will be quite familiar, had left behind at his poverty stricken home, seven children, of whom Mary wasthe eldest. The brokea-hearted mother expired it will be remembercd at the time when

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the officers of the law came to apprehend Hartley. On the morning before the execution, Rayner, who had obtained permission to see him visited hita in his cell. Hartley received his old friend in the cold and apathetic manner which had of late become habitual with him, ex- hibiting indeed no satisfaction in his company, and shewing no desire to enter into conversa- tion with him. When, however, Rayner began to talk of his rouch love1 daughter, and to tell lim, after a tine, that she was in the city— nay, just outside the prison walls waiting anxiously for a parting interview the fountain of tears was unsealed, the vacant, stolid look left face, and he bowed his head in deep anguish. Rayner, who was not dis- pleased to witness this change in his friend’s demeanour, next endeavoured to obtain Hartlef's permission for Mary tv visit him in his cell. At first the poor man's eye brightened at the thought of seeing his darling child again, but by-and-by he realised his sad con- dition as a condemned criminal who had but a short time to live, and. harshly blaming Rayner for disturbing his closing hours he réfused to listen to his entreaties, and aimost angrily asked his visitor to leave him alone in his misery, and not disturb his last hours. But Rayner dared not face the sorely stricken girl who was so anxiously waiting his return without having wrung the consent for a meet- ing from her father. Poor Hartley would fain have been spared the: anguish of this closing interview, but Rayner’: s pleadings were seconded by the yearnings of hi3 own heart, and he yielded at last to Rayuner’s strong importunities. The latter, fearful that the sadly distraught man would withdraw the con- sent he had so reluctantly given, left the prison at once to bring in the anxious daughter who was waiting ‘at a house at the gates. When

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Rayner ushered the poor trembling girl into the cell Hartley tottered on to his feet, a shudder swept over his frame, and the tears from his bloodshot eyes rolled slowly down his cheeks. As he folded her in his arms and mingled his tears with hers the very turnkeys were moved with deep compassion although they were used to such painful scenes, and their eyes were wet with tears as after a time they drew her half-fainting from the cell and gave her into the care of Rayner. The heart-broken father would fain have been spared the anguish of this parting interview, but after it was over it was noticed that the stolid expression of hopeless despair seemed to give place to one of calm resignation. At eleven o’clock on Saturday morning, the Under Sheriff went to demand the bodies of John Ogden, Nathaa Hoyle, Joseph Crowther, John Hill, John Walker, Jonathan Dean, and Thomas Brook. They were all engaged in singing the well known hymn: Behold the Saviour of mankind Nail'd to the shameful tree!

How vast the love that Him inclined To bleed and die for me!

Hark, how while nature shakes, And earth’s strong pillars bend: The veil in sunder breaks ; The solid marbles rerd.

‘Tis done! the precious ransom’s paid ; ‘“* Receive my soul,” He cries; Sec where He bows His sacred head ! He bows His head, and dies!

But soon He'll break death’s envious chain, ‘ And in full glory shine : O Lamb of God! was ever pain, Was ever love, like Thine.

One of them dictated the hymn in a firm tone of voice; aud in this religious service they continued on their way to the platform, and

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some time after they had arrived at the fatal spot. They then joined the ordinary with great fervency in the prayers appointed to be read on such occasions ; and after that gentle- men had taken his final leave of them, ejacula- tions to the throne of mercy rose from every part of the crowded platform. Joseph Crowther, addressing himself to the spectators, said, ‘‘ Farewell, lads;’’? another whose name 1s not known, said, ‘‘I am pre- pared for the Lord ;” and John Hill, advancing a step or two on the platform, _ said, ‘‘Friends, all take awarning by my fate; for three years I foliowed the Lord, but about a year since I began to fall away, and fell by little and little, and at last I am come to this; persevere in the ways of goodness, and O! take warning by my fate.” The executioner then proceeded to the discharge of his duty, and the falling of the drops soon after, forced aninvoluntary shriek from the vast con- course of spectators assembled to witness this tremendous sacrifice to the injured laws of the country. The bodies, having remained suspended for the usual time, were removed, and while the place of execution was yet warm, the remain- ing seven, namely, John Swallow, John Batley, Joseph Fisher, William Hartley, James Haigh, James Hey, and Job Hey, were led, at half- past one o’clock, from their cell to the fatal stage; their behaviour, like that of their deceased confederates, was contrite and becoming. James Haigh expressed deep con- trition for his offences. John Swallow said he had been led away by wickedand unprincipled men, and hoped his fate would be a warning to all, and teach them to live a life of sobriety and uprightness. They all united in prayer with an earnestness that is seldom witnessed in the service of devotion, except in the im-

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mediate prospect of death. A few moments closed their mortal existence, and placed them at the bar differing from all earthly tribunals in this infinitely important particular—here, owing to the imperfectness of human institu- tiors, sepertance, though sincere, cannot procure forgiveness :—ithere, we have the authority of God himself for saying, the cries of the contrite and:broken-hearted shall not be despised. ‘‘ Charity hopeth all things.” The criminal records of Yorkshire do not, perhaps, afford an instance of so many victims having been offered, in one day, to the igjured laws of the country. The scene was inexpres- sibly awful, and the large body of soldiers, both horse and foot, who guarded the approach to the castle, and were planted in front of the fatal tree, gave the scene a peculiar degree terror, and exhibited the appearance of a military execution. The spectators, particu- larly in the morning, were unusually numerous and their behaviour on both occasions, was strictly decorous and becoming.

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CHAPTER XXXII.

AFTER THE ASSIZE.

Frail creatures are we all! To be the best Is but the fewest faults to have.—Coleridge.

At the time the Luddites were executed, the law had not come into existence requiring that the bodies of such criminals shoald be buried within the precints of the prison, and unless it was part of the sentence that the corpse of the culprit should be delivered over to the surgeons for ‘‘ anatomization ’’—as was done in the case of Mary Bateman, the abominable person known as the ‘ Yorkshire witch,” and many others— it was given up to the relatives for interment. This appears to have been the case with the bodies of most of the culprits from Huddersfield and the neighbour- hood, and there are many old people still living who remember the carts that contained the coffins passing through Millbridge on their way to that town. The vehicles were of course followed by crowds from this neighbourhood, and when they arrived at the precincts of Huddersfield an immense number of people were waiting for the melancholy procession. As might be expected, the excitement was intense and universal, both when the bodies arrived and at the funerals that followed, and the few aged people now living who were old enough at the time to remember the mcurnful scenes, speak of them as being unprecedented in their experience. As we have already said in the previous chapter, Luddism did not by

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any means die spark out when its leaders were put to death. The more ignorant and head- strong portion of the generation never indeed seems to have wholly lost the feeling, and it came again and again to the surface during the bitter days that followed the great war, when the unhappy wretches were confronted by the grim spectre of starvation. The intelligent portion of the working classes, however, became gradually alive to the advantages of machinery, and as the trade of the country revived, the unquiet spirit of Luddism was at last laid at rest. It is beyond all question that this result was materially hastened by the writings of the famous William Cobbett, which at this time became widely diffused through- out the whole country and were eagerly bought by the working classes, who hailed with enthusiasm their fearless, warm-hearted cham- pion, who, springing from the people and knowing their sufferings, pitied them in their misery and was proud to suffer for and with them. In his ‘“ Letter to the Luddites,”’ Cobbett displayed his fine, vigorous Saxon common sense and doubtless convinced many an ignorant enthusiast of the folly of destroy- ing that which was destined to prove itself his most beneficent helper. He says :— To show that machines are not naturally and necessarily an evil, we have only to suppose the existence of a patriarchal race of a hun- dred men and their families all living in common, four men of which are employed in making cloth by hand. Now, suppose someone was to discover a machine by which all the cloth wanted could be made by one man. The con- sequence would be that the great family would (having enough of everything else) use more cloth ; or if any part of the labour of the three cloth makers were much wanted in any other department, they would be employed in that

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other department. Thus would the whole be benefited by this invention. They would have more cloth amongst them, or more food would be raised, or the same quantity as before would be raised, leaving the community more leisure for study or recreation. See ten miserable mariners cast on shore in a desert island, with a bag of wheat and a little flax seed. The soilis prolific, they have fish and fruits ; the branches or bark of trees would make them houses, and the wild animals afford them meat. Yet what miserable doys they are! They can neither sow the wheat, make the flour, nor catch the fish or animals. But let another wreck toss on the shore a spade, a hand-mill, a trowel, a hatchet, a saw, a pot, a gun, and some fish hooks and knives, and how soon the scene 1s changed! Yetthey wantclothes; and in order to make their shirts, for instance, six or seven out of the ten are constantly employed in making linen. This throws 2 monstrous burden on the other three who have to provide the food. But send them a loom and you release six out of the seven from the shirt making concern, and ease as well as plently succeeds immediately. In these simple cases the question is decided at once in favour of machines.”’ These arguments of Cobbett are irrefutable and may be thus summarised: Improved machinery lowers the price of production. The cheaper a fabric is the greater is the demand for it, and it at once undersells that produced by hand. Where the demand for it . increases more hands are of course employed. Younger persons can work by machinery than at handicrafts where strength is required. Suppose machinery abolished in Yorkshire, what would prevent its use elsewhere? The wives and children would be thrown out of work by the stoppage of the lighter machin-

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ery. The husband and father having now to support his family alone requires higher wages. Prices are raised to meet this extra demand, and trade again flows into the cheaper market. The trade in the progressive places dwindles. Fewer workmen are required ; down go wages ; and poverty, famine, and death, those cruel teachers of political economy, creep into the half-deserted factories, and push the workmen from their seats into the graves that have been long gaping at their feet. There were, as the reader will hardly need to be told, many Luddite trials besides those we have briefly given, and, though there were no more capital punishments, many were transported and imprisoned, and a few were acquitted. Of those whose lives were spared, and who remained in the country, it is singular to note that many of them seem to have been all the rest of their lives mixed up with all the political and social movements which followed, and which were to some extent under the ban of the law. Many of the foremost men of the bands led by Cobbett, Cartwright, and Hunt, in the Radical movement, and many of the leaders of tre Chartists under Feargus O’Connor and others had been in their earlier days connected with the Luddite movement. They lived in hard times, when as Thorold Rogers makes abundantly manifest in his great work, the bulk of the labouring classes were ground down to the very dust. They were miserably poor and wretched; society had — dealt very hardly with them, and all their lives they were more or less at war with the estab- lished institutions of the country: John Hirst, the head of the Liversedge Luddites, had a narrow escape of suffering the fate of Mellor and others. ‘There is no doubt that William Hall, of Parkin Hoyle, the informer, was the chief means of this being

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brought about. Heknew well enough that; the Liversedge leader was really more guilty than many of the unfortunate men who suffered the extreme penalty of the law, but he seems to have recoiled from bringing his old shopmate, under whom he had worked for seven or eight years, and who had often concealed his irregu- larities from the foreman, to his doom. When therefore the conduct of Hirst came to be enquired into, Hall’s memory became a blank especially with regard to Hirst’s proceedings on the eventful night when he acted as guide to body who attacked Cartwright’s mill. After his acquittal at York, he came back to Liver- sédge, but finding himself so noted a man that he could hardly walk through the ' village without bringing crowds at every corner to gaze at him, and being also pestered and annoyed with inconvenient questions, he soon removed to a thinly populated part of Mirfield. Knowing that he had only escaped the hands of the hangman by the skin of his teeth, he would never discuss Luddism with anyone or give any information about it. Years afterwards when he fell into dotage, he seemed to live over again that eventful period of his life and was constantly muttering mysterious pass-words, administering to imaginary neophytes the secret oath, or going through some Luddite ceremony, drill; or attack. During his closing years, he lived with a married daughter, and when engaged in rocking his grandchildren to sleep he mvariably soothed them by crooning out an old Luddite ditty, every verse of which, a neighbour, who was greatly interested in listen- ing to him, remembers, ended with the refrain.—

“ Around and around we all will stand, And sternly swear we will, We'll break the shears and windows too, And set fire to the tazzling mill!”

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With regard to Bob Wam or Whitwam, he was never seen in Liversedge after the’ night of the attack on the mill, but he is said to have been in after years a prominent figure in the Radical movement at Oldham, and after:vards, _ when a grey headed old man, was imprisoned

for taking part in some chartist physical force I

demonstration. Jonas Crowther and Robert Naylor, both escaped apprehension by disap- pearing from the neighbourhood. The latter never returned to the locality, but Crowther, after many years came back to live at Moor- bottom. In after years he was connected with all the strikes an. physical force movements but managed to keep out of prison. He was as we have said a morose and silent man, and like John Hirst, would never talk about the Luddite movement or acknowledge that he had been prominently connected with it. Some years after his death a person who had taken the cottage at Hightown where he lived during the time he worked at Jackson’s shop, found in digging a deep trench in the gardex a rusty pike head and anold gun. These weapons had no doubt being buried by Hirst when he returned from the attack on Cartwright’'s mill, and took his flight to escape the consequences. There is but one more of the Luddite band we need mention before proceeding with our narrative. Those of our readers who have followed with interest the fortunes of Rayner, who had such a miraculous escape, and of his sweetheart Mrry, the daughter of Hartley the poor broken. hearted tailor, will be pleased to learn that the sun of prosperity brightened in some measure the remainder of their lives. After the closing interview with her father the poor girl was carried in an unconscious state to her lodgings, where she had a serious relapse, and her life for some time hung in the balance. She at last, however, slowly recovered and

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was removed to her native village, where she eventually regained her health. In Rayner's absence his grandmother sickened and died suddenly. He lived in his cottage about a year alone, and then brought home to it as his bride the beautiful daughter of his old friend Hartley. Here they lived in happiness all the remainder of their lives, but Mary never forgot thetragic fate of her parents, and years after, when she was old and feeble herself, her eyes would fill with tears as she told of their hard and undeserved fate.

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CHAPTER

THE ‘‘ NoTTINGHAM CAPTAIN.”

“ But who that chief? His name on every shore. Is famed and ask and know no more.” Ton.

Although the condition of the working popu ' lation of this district was a little more tolerable in the year 1813 than it had been during the black year of the first Luddite risings, em- ployment still remained scarce, provisions very dear, and taxation very heavy. Such being the case itis hardly to be wondered at that the mobs of half-starved wretches often invaded the markets in large towns and com- pelled the dealers to sell their produce at prices that were within their reach. -One of the most serious riots of this kind took place about the time the authorities were beginning to break into the Luddite organisation. The dealers in Leeds market were demanding the astounding price of nine pounds per quarter for wheat, and a serious riot consequently occurred. Headed by a virago who assumed the title of ‘‘ Ludy Ludd,” the desperate popu- lace furiously assailed the dealers in the market. Not contented with dictating the price at which wheat should be sold, they seized upon a considerable quantity ani threw it about the streets. Then they repaired to the works of a miller at Holbeck, who had made himself obnoxous to them by what they considered to be unfair efforts to keep up the

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price, and did considerable damage to his premises. The labouring classes of this district were indeed at this time in a most depressed and unhappy condition: they could with difficulty procure the necessaries of life, and the spirit of outrage need not therefore be wondered at, however we may condemn it. The record of the Luddite riots 1s a black and warning page in the social history of England. It is a melancholy picture of ignor- ance, of useless crime, and of cruel vengeance ; but we should be wanting in fairness if we did not take into consideration the social condition of the wretches who were, in many cases, goaded by starvation to commit deeds which they would have shrunk from in their calmer moments. The wholesale execution of the leaders seemed to crush the movement to a great extent in the West Riding, but though it never afterwards made much headway, leaders being wanting, and many of the better class of workmen holding aloof, still the movement was not finally crushed. The old spirit existed and woke up on many occasions, and had not the lot of the labouring population gradually become better Luddism would not have died out so soon. Agents of the organisations of the various towns in the locality and also at Nottingham still flitted about, and meetings were stil] held occasionally. The idea of a general rising to redress the grievances of the working classes continued still to be advanced by the Nottingham centre, and arms collected with that object over a wide area, but the organisation proved again and again of sand, and many led away by the promise of the assistance of great bodies of working-men from other localities, which never came, found themselves deceived and utterly ruined. Perhaps the most formidable of these abor-

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tive risings took place about three years after Mellor and his companions had been hanged at York. The great war had come to an end at last, and the restless ruler of the French nation was safely chained on the barren rock of St. Helena. The nation was doubtless covered with glory, but France did not thank us for thrusting upon her her old imbecile line of Kings. Byron, apostrophising the Duke of Wellington in one of his Satirical verses, exclaims :—

‘‘ But I should be delighted to learn who Save you and yours, have gained by Waterloo.’

Doubtless there was some gain to the aristo- cratic class, who had combated so fiercely against the Corsican parvenu, but to the work- ing population the result was loss, and loss only. ‘The Corn Bill, which prevented foreign grain from coming into England so long as the price of wheat averaged under eighty shillings per quarter, had been passed amidst the execrations of the starving populace, the House of Commons being protected from their fury by the bayonets of the goldiery during the discussions. The population of the manu- facturing districts was also angry and restless. To drive this discontent into sone tangible — shape, Lord Liverpool sent amoxngst those ignorant turbulent but sincere men, spies who were paid to urge them on to rebellion so that they might be dealt with by the sword and bayonet of the military.

Of the ‘‘ Nottingham captain,” Brandreth, who led the rising of 1817, very little positive seems to be known, but he was a mani of great ‘energy and determination. This rising seems to have taken place on Sunday, the 8th of June, on the borders of Derbyshire. On the morning of that day the parlour of the White Horse, “at Pentridge, was taken possession of by a mob of about two score stalwart men.

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Near the window was seated the “ captain ” a, stern-looking man in a brown coat and grey trousers, who had a map spread out before him. Next to him was a young man whose face would be familiar to the Luddites of the West-Riding, for this was the notable George Weightman, the ‘‘ Nottingham delegate,’’ who. attended the meeting at the St. Crispin at Hali- fax, and many other gatherings, to urge on a general rising. On the other side of Brandreth was another sanguine and notable leader, who was afterwards hanged and beheaded. The Captain talks undisguised treason, declares that the Government is to be overthrown, and points out on his map the routes of the various armed bodies that are hastening, he says, to the general rendezvous. ‘A cloud of men” are coming from the north, ‘he states,’ and bodies from other quarters will, he adds, ‘‘ fall ia” at various points he is tracing out on the map. Lists of pikes and guns are gone through and the readiness of the contingent in the immediate locality discussed, then Brandreth addresses them in a wild fashion, concluding with some rhymes composed by himself—

‘* Every man his skill must try He must turn out and not deny ; No bloody soldier must he dread, He must come out and fight for bread ; The time has come you plainly see When Government opposed must be!” A missive is sent off to Nottingham bya trusty messenger, and leaders are called to whispered conferences with the chief, after which they leave the room to carry out their orders. ‘At Nottingham,” Brandreth promised, ‘‘ there will be plenty of menand a hundred guineas for each of them. A band of music and thousands of friends will meet us at Sherwood Forest; the roofs of the churches

we pass will furnish lead for bullets and at

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Nottingham -there will be bread, beef, and half-a-pint of rum for every man.” He then went on to announce that England and Scot- land were to rise that night at ten o’clock, and ‘*the northern clouds would come down and sweep all before them.” The march of the little band which was to swell into suck a grand army, according to the Nottingham captain, commenced. On their way they pressel farm labourers, pitmen, and ironworkers into their ranks, and cleared out the arms from the houses. After an episode at the Butterly Iron Works where Brandreth found himself opposed, the rebel band made for Ripley Town-end, where they shouted as a signal for the Henge and Belper detachments to join them. AtLangley Mill, a little further, they met George Weightman returning from Nottingham. He reported that all was going on well; the soldiers kept quiet in barracks ; the town was in possession of their friends, and all they had to do was to march forward. A little -before midnight, William Roper, keeper of the racecourse stand, three quarters cf a mile from Nottingham, was returning to his home from the town, when to his amazement he saw a crowd of men armed with guns, pikes, &c., marshalled in line. As he and another man were hurrying to escape ten of them followed in pursuit. Roper and his friend managed to reach his house, but their pursuers followed and demanded arms at the closed door. Roper owned that he had some but told them that he not deliver them up, and they then threatened to break down the door and take them by force. Roper threatened to blow out the brains of the first that entered. Brandreth, infuriated at this threat, shouted for the men with the fire- arms to come forward. The men came, but they could not force the door. After a brief

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conference the band left the house, and marched on towards Nottingham. The news of the advancing host had reached Nottingham, and crowds of people congre- gated in the streets. The faces of the well-to- do classes wore a pale and anxious expression. As time passed on, however, the scouts brought in reports of the numbers, arms, and discipline of the ‘“ liberators”’ the confidence of the friends of the order grew stronger, and preparations were made for resistance. Mr. Robertson, a magistrate, rode early on the morning of that day on the road the niob were said to be coming, to reconnoitre and ascertain whether they were really so numerous and sc formidable as some alarmists reported. When about a quarter of a mile from Eastwood he saw in the distance a body of working-men, armed with pikes, guns, poles, and scythes, and turning is horse he galloped to the nearest barracks for the soldiers. With these he again advanced on the road, but the news of the coming troops appears to have gone before them. The people on the'way informed them that the rioters were dispersing, and as the Hussars dashed through Eastwood they found the road littered with guns and pikes, which the alarmed rioters had thrown down when they took their flight. At a short distance to the left they saw a band of thirty or forty labourers who were throwing away their rough arms and running for their lives. They captured a few and rode onwards. Beyond Eastwood they came on another body of armed men. Brandreth was at the head of these and was trying to put them in line and encourago them to march forward, but the men lost heart at the sight of the soldiers and fled in all directions. The Turners and several other insurgent leaders were taken prisoners, but Brandreth escaped and was not

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captured till more than a month after. George Weightman also escaped, but was traced to Sheffield, and was some time afte taken into custody by the constables.

The leader of this ill-started movement, Jeremiah Brandreth, ulias John Cook, alias ‘The Nottingham Captain,” was tried with about a score of the captured insurgents at Derby, on the 16th of October. Brandreth displayed a resolute and undaunted spirit during the proceedings, and the spectators were greatly impressed by his calm and collected manner. This feeling seems to have

been shared by the counsel, the celebrated Denman, for he quoted apropos of Brandreth, Byron's well-known lines in the ‘ Corsair,” Ww

ich were thought very applicable to the insurgent leader.

But who that chief? His name on every shore Is famed and feared, they ask and know no more. With these he mingles not but to command— Few are his words, but keen his eye and hand. . * + *

His name appals the fiercest of his crew, Aad tints each swarthy cheek with sallower hue; Still sways their souls with that commanding art That dazzles, leads, yct chills tho vulgar heart. What is that spell that thus his lawless train Confess and envy yet oppose in vain? W hat should it be that thus their faith can bind! The power, the nerve, the magic of the mind ! Link d with success—assumed and kept with skill That moulds another's weakness to his will— Wields with their hands—but still to these unknown, akes even their mightiest deeds appear his own. Unlike the heroes of each ancient race, Demons in acts, but gods at Jeast in face. In Conrad's form seems little to admire, Though his dark eyebrows shade a glance of fire ; Robust but not Herculean—to the sight No giant frame sets forth his common height ; Yet on the whole, who paused to look again, Saw more than marks the crowd of common men. They gaze and marvel how, and stili confess, That thus it is, but why they cannot ,uess. Sunoburrt his cheek—his forehead highand full, The sable curls in wild profusion veil; Thore breathe but few whose aspect could defy The full encounter of his searching eye;

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There was a laughing devil in his sneer, That raised emotions both of rage and fear ; And where his frown of hatred darkly fell, Hope withering fled, and mercy sighed farcwell !” The evidence against Brandreth, Turner, and Ludlam was too strong to be gainsaid, and they were all sentenced to death. Brandreth appears to have caused much excitement and aroused’ great curiosity throughout the country. To the last he main- tained that he had fallen a victim to the machinations of Oliver, the Government spy, the same who had so nearly entrapped some of the local policians at the gathering at Thorn- hill Lees. He would apswer no questions likely to incriminate anyone. <A3 for himself, he acknowledged he was responsible for any wrong committed, and hoped he should die as became a christian. He was at all times calm and answered questions with a certain quick abruptness. The tones of his voice were deep and sonorous. He received visitors con- tinuously, but he did not like to be made the object of idle curiosity. The execution of Brandreth took place opposite Derby gaol a few days after the trial ; the law gave short shrifts in those days. He entered the prison chapel with his customary indifference of manner. Meeting Turner in the passage, he kissed him affectionately, say- ing, ‘* We shall soon be above the sky, where there will be jcy and glory for ever.” responded Turner, with enthusiasm, ‘‘ there will be no sorrow there ; all will be joy and felicity.” Brandreth said he had no fear of death. When he stood upon the scaffold, he said, ‘‘ God bless all but Lord Castlereagh. This is all Oliver’s work.” ‘‘The Lord have mercy on my soul,” cried Turner. Ludlam prayed for the king and for all

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within the realm, high and low, rich and poor. After the bodies had been suspended half- an-hour, the platform was covered with saw- dust, and a bench, block, two axes, and two sharp knives were placed The bodies were then cut down and placed on the bench and their heads on the block. The execu- tioner then proceeded to chop off the heads of the criminals. As the head of the “ Notting- ham Captain ’’ fell, he held it up to the three sides of the scaffold, and called out, ‘* Behold the head of Brandreth, the traitor !”” This he also did with the heads of Turner and Ludlam, and the three bodies were then placed in their coffins, their names being written on the lids with chalk, and they were deposited in a deep grave at St. Weyburgh’s Church. After this Luddism died out in Not- tinghamshire and the adjoining counties. Weightman was acquitted with about thirty others and we hear of him no more.

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CHAPTER XXXIV.

OLIVER, THE SPY.

‘* Low breath’d talkers, minion lispers Cutting honest throats by

‘*T wil] be hanged if some eternal villain, Some busy and insinuating knave . . Hath not devised this slander. — Shakespeare.

‘‘God Bless all but Lord Castlereagh ! this is all Oliver’s work,”’ cried poor John Brand- reth as he stood with undaunted mien on-the scaffold in front of Derby goal, prepared to suffer the fearful sentence to which the savage law of that day had doomed him. Who was Oliver the spy ? It is our intention in this chapter to answer this question, and in doing so we shall endeavour to lift the veil which covers ore of the most loathsome biographies that ever was written. Had the judge who sentenced poor Brandreth, Turner, and Ludlam but set them at liberty and executed the vile tempter who led them step by step to their doom in order that he might pocket the blood money, justice would then have been done. Oliver was a paid spy in the employ of the Government—only one of a great number —but the most wicked, unscrupulous, and infamous of the whole vile troop. He had had many splendid jobs during the troubled year 1817,Jand had grown fat and scant of breath. The times indeed were rife for the informer and the detective. General distress continued to prevail, and the people after the immemorial habit of the Anglo Saxons, were desirous of

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expressing in public meeting assembled the sense of wrong and their general misery. ‘ But the Government of the day had no faith in large gatherings, and spies spread throughout theland with the ubiquity and loathsomeness of locusts. Mysterious delegates attended the peaceful meetings of the Hampden clubs, which were plazted thickly in the large towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and dropped their poisoned words into the ears of the simple-minded men who wet to strengthen one another in the struggle for political reform, but who had never dreamt of adopting any but peaceful means to accomplish their objects. They were told that other centres were dis- gusted with their foolish apathy, that to expect the Government to submit to moral force was simply absurd, and that the only means of gaining their ends was to march to Lcndon and demand their rights, pike and sword in If it happened that words of wicked and wild resolve were heard at public meetings, those incitements to deeds of violence came almost invariably from the base hirelings of the ministry, as was too often discovered after- wards when it was too late. It has been demonstrated beyond all question that the wild and foolish movement of the Blanketeers was not originated by local men. It is well known indeed that Bamford and all the other intelligent leaders in the neighbourhood of Manchester exposed its folly, and did their utmost to prevent it. There are, however, always some headstrong individuals connected with every onward movement who can be worked upon by evil and designing men, and these proved too strong for the more cautious of the fraternity. At the famous meeting held at Manchester, from which the Blanketeers started on the foolish’ expedition to London, many wild speeches were made, but there was

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one which capped all others in absurditv and violence, and that was uttered by a “Delegate from London,” who had been for weeks before inflaming the passions of the starving popula- tion at meetings held in and around Cotton- opolis. The base wretch, who stood upin that surging crcwd and incited the working classes to make another Moscow of Manchester if the employers of labour and the capitalists did not find them work and wages, was no local man. It was the ‘“ Delegate from London,” better known afterwards by the name of ** Oliver the Spy,” the same that incited the men of Nottingham to rise, and led the captain and his companions to their doom upon the scaffold. Edward Painter, the pugilist, detecting the base rascal through his disguise, waxed furious as he watched the effect of his infamous speech on the poor deluded wretches around him, and did his best to expose him, but his voice was drowned by the clamours of the excited crowd. Painter determined, how- ever, to punish the vile miscreant who was so fatally misleading so many men whom he well knew would never have themselves dreamt of violent measures. Quietly watching him as he dropped from the waggon and skulked through the surging crowd, Painter followed him until he had got into a quiet lane outside the town, when he fell upon him and thrashed him until the sneaking ruffian literally howled in agony. From that moment Painter was to the spy a marked man, and he swore that if ever the opportunity came, Mr. Edward Painter should end his days in the hulks or on the gallows. Without entering into further particulars touching this private feud, we may say that Oliver nearly proved as good as his word. He dogged Painter’s footsteps like a sleuth hound, and although entirely innocent the pugilist had subsequently some difficulty in escaping from

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the diabolical spy. Lancashire becoming too hot for Oliver, he soon after migrated to the West Riding, which was also in a state of great political agitation at this time. He was introduced into Yorkshire by a prominent reform delegate of the name of Mitchell, of Liversedge. It was thought at the time that this Mitchell had been duped by Oliver, and that he was not aware of the real character of the man for whom he stood sponser, but facts that were made known justify us in concluding that though such might possibly have been the case at the commencement of their ecquaintance, it was not so at a later period. The first evidence that Oliver was at work in this locality appeared in the Mercury of June 7th, 1817; in the shape of the following mysterious announcement :—‘‘ Rumours of a threatened insurrection have been circulated in this town with great confidence. The meeting took place at Thornhill Lees, near Dewsbury, when ten persons were taken into custody by General Byng. The examination took place at Wakefield, to which place the prisoners were taken in carriages, escorted by the police. Information leading to the arrests was given by one of their number, who stated that fifty stand of arms would be found in a barn near the place of meeting.”

As the meeting of the so-called ‘‘ Conspira- tors’’ had only taken place the day before the Mercury was issued, we need not wonder that the news was not of a more explicit character. Before the next issue of the paper, nowever, information of a startling character began to leak out. Onthe 13th of June, Mr. Edward Baines, received a letter from his friend Mr. James Holdforth, which led him to determine to investigate the matter thoroughly. Heat once took a chaise, and went to Dewsbury.

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‘ In the issue of the Afercury of the following day there appeaxed a more detailed account of the apprehension of the deleghtes. After stating that on the suppression of the Union Societies some of the members associated together in a private and clandestine manner, the writer proceeds to say that Oliver was introduced to the ultra-reformers of this locality, by Mitchell, a delegate who had been taken into custody with the rest. He was vouched for by Mitchell as a person deserving their countenance, and not only disposed to eommunicate information as to the state of the country, but able also to afford the most effective assistance. Thus recommended by one who was well known as a prominent reformer, Oliver was heartily welcomed to all the meetings of the various organisations, and soon possessed himself of their unbounded confidence. At every gathering within a wide circle the spy invariably made himself con- spicuous, and dropped his poisonous seeds on every suitable occasion. He represented to these credulous men that all the people in the metropolis were longing for the downfall of the Government; that everything was organised and absolutely settled to obtain that result. He stated that it had been arranged that on the 9th of June a general rising would take place, and that as a consequence of this movement all the public offices were to be seized, and the state prison- ers were al) to be setat liberty. A plan had been arranged for securing all the military, he further stated, by which means a change would be effected without any bloodshed. His object in coming to the manufacturing districts, he said, was to apprize the political organizations in the country of this arrange- ment, and urge them to act simultaneously with the London brethren by carrying out a

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gimilar plan, so that a bloodless revolution might be effected. The central committees, he said, urged that oa the night agreed upon, namely Sunday June 8th, all the military in England should be secured in their quarters, their arms seized, and that all magistrates and other civil officers should be arrested and placed under restraint. Having by such representations as the above excited the passions of a few headstrong men, be thought his scheme sufficiently ripe, and acquainted the magistrates that secret meetings were being held in the neighbour- hood, and that one was to be held at Thornhill Lees, at which delegates would attend for the purpose of inaugurating a revolution. These delegates, he states, were representatives of the Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Huddersfield, and other societies, and they had pitched upon Thornhill Lees because of its central and retired position. The truth was that the organisations in question had not agreed to send any delegates, the men apprehended being simply a few headstrong individuals who had been led by various representations to meet Oliver at the place named, none of whom, however, had any idea that they were about to initiate a general rising. The object of Oliver in bringing these men from the towns all round was to show the magistrates and the Government that the conspiracy was wide-spread, and that he was placing them under great obligations by exposing such a dangerous plot. As will be seen as‘ our account proceeds, Oliver failed to induce the man he had pitched upon as the Dewsbury ‘delegate ”” to attend the meeting, and only brought in a Leeds “delegate ” by a singular and daring stratagem.

On the morning of Friday, the 16th of J une,

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the meeting arranged by Oliver took place at Thornhill Lees, but no business was trans- acted, for they were no sooner assembled than the house was surrounied and they were taken into custody. The following are the names and places of residence of the ‘“ dele- gates’ apprehended :—John Smaller, shoe- maker, Horbury; James Mann, cloth drawer, Leeds; Thomas Wood, cloth drawer, Wake- field; Miles Illingworth, carpenter, Manning- ham; Benjamin Whiteley, cloth drawer, Holmfirth; Edward Fletcher, cardmaker, Hightown ; Josh. Midgley, clothier, Almond- bury ; Wm. Walker, clothier, Thornhill Lees. These men were, as has been before stated, immediately conveyedto Wakefield, where they were examined by Sir F. L. Wood, Benjamin Dealtry, Esq., and other magistrates. The examination was private. It was asserted by Oliver that in a barn at Whitley, near the the place of the meeting, there were deposited one hundred pikes and fifty stand of arms; and at the house of John Smaller, at Horbury, would be found a quantity of ball cartridges. Messengers were despathed to search both places. The straw in the barn was carefully examined, but not a single pike nor firearm coulc be found, in fact, it was plain that the straw had not been disturbed for some time. The evidence relating to the ball cartridges was also falsified, nothing of the kind being found in the house of Smaller. This was as the matter stood when Mr. Edward Baines commenced his investigations. Calling upon Mr. Willans, a printer, at Dews- bury, he learned from him that a person named Oliver had waited upon him and intro- duced himself as a Parliamentary reformer sent from London to ascertain the disposition of the people in the country. This man, Willans describes as of genteel appearance,

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and of good address, nearly six feet high, of erect figure, light hair, red and large whiskers, and full face pitted with the small-pox. His usua! dress was a light, fashionably made, brown coat, black waistcoat, dark blue mixture pautaloons, and Wellington boots. He called upon Willans several times, and during one of his visits said it was quite evident the Govern- ment would not listen to the petitions of the people, it had therefore become necessary to compel attention to their demands. These insinuations Willans silenced by the observation that he could not engage in any proceedings that implied the use of force or the shedding of blood. On another occasion Oliver told him that he was one of a committee of five who effected the escape of the man Watson, who led the absurd attack on the tower of London, and added that if Thistlewood had had equally prudent counsellors he would also have escaped. In fact the whole tenor of his discourse was to show that he was in league with traitors. These conversations aroused Willans’ suspicions, and the intercourse had almost ceased when, on the morning, the arrests took place at Thornhill Lees, Oliver again called at Mr. Willans’ shop between ten and eleven o’clock, and Mr. Willans being absent from business, he begged his wife to tell him that a meeting of delegates was to be held at Thornhill Lees that day, and earnestly requested she would use her influence to get him to attend it. Before Oliver quitted Dewsbury, he called once more at Mr. Willans’ shop and found he had returned, when he renewed his solicitations, telling him the friends in London were almost heart-broken because the people in the country were so quiet. Atthe same tima he told him he had walked from Leeds, and that the person he had with him was a Leeds man.

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Unmoved by Oliver’s solicitations, Mr. Willans refused to attend the meeting, and thus Dewsbury was prevented from swelling the number of ‘ delegates.”

When the so-called ‘‘ delegates’’ were seized at Thornhill Lees, Oliver was taken amongst the rest, but was suffered to escape. While the examinations was going on, Oliver had repdired to his quarters at the Stafford Arms, at Wakefield, and here to his con- sternation he was seen and recognised by a Mr. Dixon, 2 draper, of Dewsbury, who immediately addressed him—‘‘ How does it happen that you, who have taken a leading part in the recent meetings, are at liberty, while your associates are in custody ?” ‘‘ Because,” replied Mr. Oliver, ‘‘no papers were found on me, and being a stranger, the persons who apprehended me were obliged to set me at liberty.” This reply was made in a very hurried and confused manner, and Mr. Oliver at once with- drew ar.d tock a seat on the Wakefield coach to Leeds. As soon as he had taken his seat a person in livery stepped up to him, and, mov- ing his hat, entered into conversation with him. On tke departure of the coach Mr. Dixon went up to the servant, and asked him if he knew that geutieman, to which he replied that he had seen him at Campsall, and had driven him a few days before in bis master’s tandem to catch the coach. Mr. Dixon next asked who his master was, to which question the servant replied, ‘‘General Byng.” Mr. Dixon then left the man and asked Mr. Lyles, who kept the Stafford Arms, if he knew Oliver, to which he answered that he had been there several times—that he believed he was frem London, and that several London letters had come directed to him at the Inn. Mr. Baines published these and other dis-

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é

closures in the Mercury, and they created great excitement throughout thecountry. So impressed were the magistrates with then that they at once released Oliver’s dupes from custody. The Government wasalso questioned on the matter, and Lord Liverpool was obliged to admit that Oliver was an agent of the Gov- ernment. As Oliver was only one of a large number of spies, the people awoke to the fact that it was such vile instruments as those by which scores of innocont men were led to the scaffold, and a strong petition against the iniquitous system was made. The way in which the ‘delegates’ were brought together may be seen from a state- ment made by Marray, who was said to repre- seut the Leeds society. Murray says that he was walking in the neighbourhood of Leeds, when Oliver met him, and asked him the road to Dewsbury. He then further asked him to accompany him as guide, promising to pay his expenses. When they had left Dewsbury for Thornhill, and had arrived at a lane about a hundred yards from the Sportsman's Arms, he saw three gentlemen, one of whom being General Byng, riding up to meet them at full speed. On their approach, Sir John advanced up to Oliver and said, ‘“‘ I think I know you, sir ?” Oliver, affecting to be overcome with fright, made no reply. ‘‘T have an accurate description of you from London,”’ continued Sir John, ‘is not your name Oliver?’ Oliver remained silent, and by the orders of Sir John he was now surrounded by the cavalry and taken prisoner. Murray, who was amazed at this, attempted to walk away, but he was soon stopped and dragged into the Sportsman's Arms, where he © found five or six more ip custody. He did not know any of the men, and was not aware why

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he or they had been apprehended. A carriage was shortly brought up and they were con- veyed to Wakefield. What a fearful light is thrown by this state- ment on poor Brandreths’ dying cry—‘‘ This is all Oliver’s work.” Oliver, the spy, was soon afterwards rewarded with a pension, and retired to an obscure part of the country to finish his ignoble life.

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x

CHAPTER XXXY.

PETERLOO.

Man, proud man! . Dressed in a little brie? authority .... Plays snch fantastic tricks before high heaven, As make the angels weep.—Shakespeare.

Notwithstanding all that could be done either by Government spies or Government officials, political agitation amongst the work- ing classes in the West Riding, and throughout Lancashire continued to grow. Han:pden clubs becanie as plentiful as blackberries, and the agitation for a reform in Parliament waxed stronger and stronger, helpedon as it now was by the notable democrat, known as “ Orator Hunt.” This man, who, for some years was the chief idol of the working classes, was of a very different stamp from the pure- minded patriot, Major Cartwright. His appearance was very striking; standing up- wards of six feet in height, and well propor- tioned, his figure was a prominent one on the platforms of the great reform gatherings. His expression was pleasant and agreeable, except when he became excited in his oratory, at which times the kind smile would be exchanged for the sneer or the curse, his mellow tones gave way to sonorous bellowings, his doubled fist was uplifted defiantly, and his whole man- ner showed the wild passions that were struggling for utterance. It had been arranged that a great reform gathering should be held

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at Manchester, and that ‘‘Orator Hunt,” and other well-known democrats should be the speakers. As the authorites seemed to take alarm at the formidable preparations that were being made to accommodate the immense mul- tilude that was expected to ke present, it was determined by the leaders that no excuse should be given for the threatened interfer- ence of the magistrates, they therefore forbade their followers to carry any arms in the pro- cession, and as the time grew nearer, it was ordered that even ordinary walking sticks should be laid aside. . When the morning appointed for the meeting arrived, immense processions of working men, dressed mostly in their holiday attire, filed through the streets of Manchester to the central ineeting place, St. Peter's Square, accompanied by bands of music, aud carrying hundreds of gay banners. When the great space was filled with some 80,000 reformers, a tremendous shout from the surging multitude, announced the arrival of Hunt and a number I of other well-known leaders. It was proposed that Mr. Hunt should preside, acd the motion being carried the great demagogue took off his white hat—then a recognised symbol of radicalism—and proceeded to open the meet- ing; he had scarcely uttered a score sentences, however, when an uproar was observed to take place at the outskirts of the crowd. It was said at first that it was the from Blackburn that was coming in, but it soon became evident that a body of cavalry had arrived, and were forming in line with their drawn swords ready for action. The soldiers were received by the people witha hearty shout of goodwill, the idea apparently being that they had come to preserve order. It soon became plain, however, that such was not their errand, for shouting wildly in reply, they

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waved their sabres over their heads and striking spurs into their horses, began to slash and strike down the helpless crowd before them. Then ensued a scene of wild confusion. The multitude would fain have fled, but flight to the great bulk was plainly impossible, and in their efforts to escape they only wedged themselves into a still more dense mass. The cavalry, with all their weight of man and horse, could not for a time penetrate into the crowd, and they plied their swords to hew themselves a way to the platform, and chopped off limbs, and bleeding heads and faces were soon visible all along the disordered line. Groans and cries were mingled with the wild shouts of the mad soldiery, and from ten thousand throats cries of ‘‘ Butchers! Shame! Shame!” were heard above the horrid confusion. With a heavy rush and a sound like thunder, the im- prisoned crowd burst through the line of soldiers, but scattered though they were by this desperate movement, the military still struck wildly around them in blind fury, and piteous spectacles of maimed men and even - women were scattered all round the feet of the prancing horses. Finding themselves widely separated by the desperate efforts of the crowd to escape from the confined space, the soldiers wheeled about and dashed into the people wherever they saw an opening, disregarding the piteous cries of the women, old men and stripiings, who formed so large a proportion of the gathering. Bye-and-byet the flags attracted their attention, and they made sallies in all directions so long as one remained flying. In: less than a quarter-of-an-hour the enormous assembly had dispersed, and the great square was deserted, except by groups of good Samari- tans here and there, who were carrying off the dead, and ministering to the necessities of the wounded, while the ground wis covered with

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hats, bonnets, shawls, and other articles of dress, trampled, torn and bloody. In addition to the ‘soldiers who cleared (St. Peter’s Field, others were stationed in the streets, who chased and harassed the fugitives as they escaped. In Deansgate severalipieces of artillery were stationed, and a large num- ber of {special constables paraded the streets in the immediate vicinity. Hunt and the other speakers left the platform at the begin- ning of the melec, but were recognised{as they passed through the streets, taken into custody, and lodged in the New Bailey prison. As might naturally be supposed, this savage and unexpected attack on an unarmed mul- titude, who had met with no but simply to discuss their political grievances in a peaceful and constitutional manner, excited great indignation throughout Lan- cashire and also throughout all England, and the Radical press indignantly denounced the crime and demanded that those who had instigated the attack, as well as those who had carried it out, should be brought to justice. In the neighbourhood of Manchester itself the people were goaded to fury, and there was much talk of a blocdy revenge. Smiths were busy all night long in the villages making pikes; rusty old guns were cleaned and repaired, scythes were fixed uron poles, and everything that could be made to cut or stab was got ready. Had not the Radical leaders been nearly all of them opposed to physical force, it is possible that the Manchester soldiers would have had reason to rue their cowardly attack, but sober counsels fortun- ately prevailed, the rougher spirits were restrained, and the people relied upon Parlia- ment to do them justice, As soon as the news of this riot, as the ministerial papers styled it, reached London,

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a Cabinet Council was held, and instead of the military who had cammitted these outrages being called to account, they received the . formal thanks of the Government for their prompt and valorous conduct. The friends of reform in London, however, were deter- mined that the truth should be made known, and at a large meeting, held in Palace Yard, Westminster, at which Sir Francis Burdett and John Cam MHobhouse were the chief speakers, the affair at St. Peter’s Field was denounced as a massacre, and a foul attempt to destroy the liberties of the English people. The Government was too strong, however, to be affected by any resolutions passed at public meetings, and the well-known ‘Six Acts” were introduced and carried by large major- ities through both Houses. These tyrannical acts took away the right of traversing in cases of misdemeanour ; punished those found guilty by imprisonment for life ; requircd the names of seven householders to the requisition calling any meeting fcr the dis- cussion of any subject connected with church or state, and gave the magistrates the power of entering any man’s house by night or by day. Thus not only were the people cut down by the military, but when they com- plained of the outrage their liberties were further restricted by this despotic House of Commons. The misrepresentations cf Lord Castlereagh respecting the conduct of what he called ‘‘ the mob’”’ are simply astounding. It has never been proved that the Riot Act was read, but Castlereagh not only states that it was read publicly from a window, but goes on to aver that a man who went to the hustings to re-read it was trampled foot. With regard to the ‘“‘ unarmed multitude” as it had been called in a petition for justice, the same roble Lord astonished the nation by informing

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it that they commenced the riot and that the military exercised great forbearance. ‘‘ This unarmed ~multitude,’’ said the. noble Lord, the place had been cleared of stones that were calculated to hurt human beings, assailed the military with so many that the next day two cart loads were found upon the ground, so that the parties had come with stones in their pockets. It was also evident there were men amongst them armed with pistols, for they fired at the troops.” These false statements were received with great indignation by the Radicals, and their gagged press did its best to refute them by pointing out that they were sheer inventions. None of the astounding events named by Lord Castlereagh had been so much as hinted aé the state trials which had taken place, and as Mr. Edward Baines, in an article in the Mercury, said, ‘‘ They will stand recorded for ever as having been solemnly averred in the House of Commons, although they were found in a court of justice to be wholly untrue.” Not content with exposing the vile conduct of the authorities in his paper, Mr. Baines con- tributed largely by his statements as an eye witness to put the publicin possession of the actual facts touching this notable demonstra- tion.

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CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE RISING AT GRANGE MOOR.

Better that they awhile had borne, — Een all those ills that most displease, Than sought a cure far worse than the disease. Buckingham.

About nine months after the Peterloo mas- sacre it was shewn that the Juddites in this neighbourhood had not forgotten their old place of meeting. The labouring classes were still suffering great privations, and a disposi- tion to tumult still prevailed. On the night of Friday, the 3lst of March, 1820, another simultaneous rising was appointed to take place throughout the West Riding. Emis- saries from the various clubs ard other political and trade organisations had been flitting about for a long time previously, most of them hail- ing from Barnsley and the neighbourhood, which may be regarded as being the head- quarters of this rising. It was arranged that the meeting place for Dewsbury, Heckmond- wike, Birstall, Gomersal, and other towns and villages round Mirfield should be the old Lud- dite meeting place, rear the Dumb Steeple, Cooper Bridge. The capture of the town of Huddersfield seems to have been one of the first objects of this rising, and it was arranged that the detachments from the surrounding places should approach the town simultan- eously. In order to prevent their plans from being prematurely divulged, all the stage coaches were stopped, and horsemen and pedestrians were prevented from continuing

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their journey. Toward the hour of midnight considerable bodies of men marched in small detachments towards the appointed place and committed some excesses on a few pedestrians who refused to stop when ordered and fall into rank, After waiting some time for the signal . to march agreed leaders became apprehensive that something had gone wrong and they advised the men to disperse. The itinerant emissaries, who were afterwards shown to be paid spies like Oliver, were busy flitting about on the day following. They ex- plained that the central body had found that owing to unexpected difficulties the united niavement could not take place on that even- ing, but it had beén arranged that the various bodies should meet on Grange Moor on the Wednesday following! and march on Hudders- field in a compact army. The malcontents in _ this immediate locality being either disgusted with their failure of the previous week or beginning to fear the consequences of their rash action, do not appear to have mustcred in large numbers, and when the ‘“ grand army,”’ as it had been beforehand named was assem- bled, it was found to consist of a mere handful of men, principally from Barnsley and its neighbourhood, many of them workmen out of employment and none above the rank of labourers. The little frightened band waited some hours in the momentary expectation of reinforcements, but when morning approached and they found that the triumphant “ army of the north,” which was to march on London, did not appear, they began to disperse to their homes. The Huddersfield authorities’ who were duly apprized of the state of matters on the moor sent out a few soldiers to reconnoitre, but when they arrived they found nothing to tell of the whereabouts of the rebel army, ex- cept a few score pikes and sticks which the

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insurgents had abandoned in their flight, for fear of being compromised if they were cap- tured before they reached home. During the next day a strict search was made in the surrounding towns and villages, especially in the neighbcurhood of Barnsley, and twenty-two of the ringleaders were appre- hended. An immense number of pikes were also discovered hid in haystacks and out- houses, and also in draw-wells. The suspected persons were committed to York Castle until Monday, the llth of September, when an ad- journed assize was held for the purpose of trying them. Mr. Baines, the editor of the Leeds Mercury, had, at intervals since the apprehension of the rioters, been urging upon the authorities that the extreme punishnient of the law should not be inflicted upon these misguided men, but that a long period of imprisonment should be substituted. Their miserable, half-starved condition was dwelt upou, and any circum- stances likely to tell in theirfavour were brought forward week after week. On the Saturday following the op2ning of the assize, the editor Was in a position to make the following grati- fyiug announcement :— “The special assize at York has terminated more abruptly and more favourably both for the interests of humanity and the interests of the country than was expected. All the pri- soners captured during the late unhappy aftair at Grange Moor, to the number of two and twenty, have pleaded guilty, on the under- standing that whatever punishment it may be judged proper to award them, their lives at why rate shall be spared. This is a course which, as our readers well know, we have from time to time taken the liberty to recommend, a:iml without presuming to suppose that the recommendations in question have had any

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influence whatever in deciding tre conduct of the government and their law officers, we may now state that soon after the paragraph appeared, we had the satisfaction to learn that the sentiments it expressed met with favour amongst persons of considerable power and authority in the state. The time for making the offer with which the prisoners closed, was very appropriate and well chosen; it was the night of Sunday before the opening of the commission, and the commencement of the trials. On the arrival of Mr. Williams, the leading counsel for the prisoners, at York, it was made known to him if the prisoners thought proper to plead guilty, and in that way cast themselves upon the clemency of the crown, the sentence awarded for the crime with which they all stood charged, would not be executed upon any of them. This offer the learned gentleman (accompanied by Mr. Starkie) com- municated to his clients, without any recom- mendation or dissuasion whatever, whether to accept it or reject it. The proposal was made about eleven o’clock at night, and soon after twelve the counsel returned to know their opinion on it, at which time they founda paper, drawn up we believe, by Comstive, bearing the names of all the prisoners, those from the neighbourhood of Huddersfield as well as those from Barusley and neighbourhood, in which they all consented to accept of clemency on the terms proffered to them. We shall net attempt to describe the change which an hour had produced in the minds of these unfortunate men; from the contemplation of death as near at hand and in its most hidecus form, the pros- pect of life continued to its natural duration, and of a speedy return to their families had burst unexpectedly upon them, and rendered a night which had commenced in horrors, the happiest in their existence. On the following

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morning, sensations equally pleasurable were imparted and confirmed in the minds of their friends, who, instead of the awful denunciation of the law, pointing at death as immediately at hand, heard the compassionate judge cast I the spectre to a distance, and address the pri- soners in the eloquent and cheering language— ‘* Ani whenever death shall come upon you, may God Almighty, whose mercy is infinite, extend to you that mercy which your situation may require.” : An investigation into the circumstances of this extraordinary treascn would, we appre- hend, have shown that the great bulk of its infatuated perpetrators had been led intocrime by the persuasions of designing men, who had themselves abandoned them in the hour of trial, and that many of them in joining the rebel army, as the rabble rout was somewhat ponipously called, had acted under a momen- tary impulse, and not from any deliberate purpose to overthrow the government. In adjudging the punishment which will, we ap- prehend, be for different periods, these circumstances will be taken into consi- deration, and a line of distinction will be drawn between the exciters and the excited. We are not in the habit of complimenting the government on the wisdom or moderation of its measures, but in the present instance we have no hesitation in saying that their cle- mency has been dictated by sound policy, and that more will be effected by mercy than could have been accomplished by severity. To the prisoners themselves, and to their connections, the jeopartly into which their lives have been brought by listening to the counsel of desperate men, will have read them a lesson which they will never, we hope, forget, and will have added another tie to the obligations under which they were before placed to hold the

ty 4 “

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laws, and respect the institutions of the coun- try.” Comstive, the ringleader, referred to in the above extract, was a native of Kirkham, in Lancashire, but had been a resident in Barns- ley for a few years before his apprehension, where he was employed as a weaver. He had served ia the 29th regiment of foot under Captain Longbottom, under whom he attained the rank of sergeant more than once, but was broken through unsteady conduct. He was at Waterloo, where he again proved himself to be a brave and reckless soldier. He was the cap- tain of the Barnsley rebels, and the soul of the movement. He was a good penman, and having a fair knowledge of military matters, drew up a plan for attacking Huddersfield, and arranged the general plan of the rebellion. He gave the plan he had drawn up to Craven Cookson and Stephen Kitchen, who had been appointed a deputation to go to Huddersfield, and these men turning traitors the document came into the hands of the authorities. After the arrangement, the counsel for the tion showed Comstive this document, which made him feel very nervous, as he had no idea that the delegates had betrayed him, and that so damnatory a proof of his guilt was in pos- session of the crown. Had the trial proceeded his fate was inevitable, he therefore naturally exerted himself greatly to persuade all his friends who had been apprehended to throw themselves on the mercy of the government, when the prornise was made that if-that were dore all their lives shonld be spared. He was transported for Jife. Another Waterloo veteran, who had been Comstive’s right-hand man, was also transported for life, as were many of the others. His, name was Richard Oddy, and he was a small linen manufacturer. His wifeand children went with him into exile, as did

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nearly all the near relatives of the other rioters who were sent out of the country. From the report of a gentleman who had been out to Van Dieman’s Land in 1836, six- teen years after the Grange Moor rising, it seems that all the men transported from this district did well in their new homes except oor Comstive. Many of them rose to be large dairy and sheep farmers, and one was sitting on the Launceston bench as a magistrate. Comstive’s ill-luck followed him. He might have done well, but the old reckless spirit could not be kept tmder. He was finally con- cerned in the forging of a will, and was trans- ported once more to Norfolk Island. The informers, Craven Cookson, Stephen Kitchen, and Thomas Morgan were always treated with much contempt during the re- mainder of their lives, and if one of them entered any company in a public-house or elsewhere, all conversation ceased at once.

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CHAPTER XXXVII.

CHARTIST RISINGS.

Men of England ye are slaves, I Though ye “rule ” the roaring ‘‘ waves,” Though ye cry from land to sea, ** Briton’s everywhere are free!’ Disraeli, in hig younger days, once wrote to Hume to ask him to introduee bim to some Radical constituency fas a candidate, and con- cluded his letter with the exclamation, ‘“‘ My forte is Whatever may be the ver- dict about the Conservative chief it is curious to ncte how truly this exclamation might have been uttered by many Yorkshiremen of the last generation. Itis notorious that thousands of working men, made desperate by their hard lot, joined every movement whose aim was opposition to the government. Some of them were Luddites when that faction was in exist- ence, Radicals afterwards, and finally as old men joined in the Chartist risings.

When Queen Victoria ascended the throne trade remained still very bad, and provisions being dear discontent was rife amongst the half-starved operatives of the great industrial centres. Only a few weeks after the corona- tion day & great Radical meeting was held at Birmingham, and from this gathering may be said to have orginated the movement which by and by developed into Chartism—a disturbing influence in political life in England for ten remarkable years, whose record has never yet been fully written.

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The Reform Bill of 1832 had not satisfied the working classes. The well-to-do portion of the middle classes had certainly secured some representation under it, but the great body of operatives who, when they were re- joicing over its safe passage thought they were inaugurating the millennium, soon found out that they were as much left out in the cold as ever. The Chartists, we need hardly say, were so_ named from the famous document, called the People’s Charter, which appears to have been drawn up by William Lovett, and after being revised by Roebuck and others was finally adopted with great enthusiasm, and upwards of a million men were speedily enrolled under the green banner which was their political symbol. The name of the manifesto—which was certainly a happy one—seems to have been given to it by Daniel O’Connell, the great repeal agitator, who speaking at a meeting where it was adopted in 1838, exclaimed ‘‘There’s your charter; agitate for it, and never be content till you get it.’’ The want of a newspaper to advocate the claims of the new movement was soon felt, and the Northern Star was speedily established in Leeds, Mr. Joshua Hobson being the pub- lisher and Mr. Hill the editor. Although the paper could not be sold at less than 44d. per copy, Owing [to the heavy stamp and paper duties with which the government then crippled all efforts for the political education of the people, it soon secured a large circulation, and is said to have eventually reached a sale of 60,000 copies weekly. The movement had not been long in existence before it was divided into two sections, one of which advocated moral suasion and the other physical force. The majority of the Chartists of Lanca- shire and the West Riding, like those of Bir- mingham, belonged to the more violent section.

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Moral suasion amongst these was openly scoffed at, and the people were counselled to provide themselves with guns, pikes, and knives in order to force the upper classes to grant to then: what they considered to be their rights. Dear bread and bad trade fanned the discon- _ tent into a flame, and during the year 1839 the working classes were in a desperate state, especially in Lancashire and the West Riding. Unsound corn was 76/- per quarter, and the best reached 10/- more, and every other neces- sary of life, excepting butcher’s meat, was equally dear. -Wagcs had fallen very low, and in Leeds alone upwards of 10,000 people were walking the streets in enforced idleness, other Yorkshire towns being equally as bad. Great meetings were held on the moors and commons in central localities, the chief orators at which were poor, poverty-stricken men who, driven to desperation, spoke with extraordinary velhemence and recklessness, and as a natural consequence riots broke out evesywhere. It was recommended that a general rising should take place, but it was resolved that the state of the country should be firat brought before the legislature. A chartist convention was with this view assembled in London, which com- prised representatives of almost every inipor- tant town in England. At this great gather- ing a petition to the House of Commons was adopted, which was speedily signed by more than a million and a quarter people. In it the legislature were asked to take into considera- tion the six points of the charter, but this, by a majority of 189 in a house of 281, was re- fused. On this being made known great indignation meetings were held everywhere, at which the people were advised to purchase arms and march on London. The advice was acted upon; vast quantities of weapons, es- pecially pikes, were secretly collected, until

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the authorities, alarmed at the threatening aspect of affairs, instituted a search and seize all they could discover. Riots of a formidable character occurred at Birmingham, Man- choster, Oldham, Preston, and Neweastlé, and the whole of the West Riding was in a ferment. In some of these places attempts were made to stop the factories and bring all libour toa standstill, the object being to show capitalists how helpless they were without the working classes. At Birmingham the rioters wero exceedingly violent, and when resisted at- tempted to fire the town. In Bradford and Leeds fierce fights were waged in the streets with the constables and the military, and in Lancashire, where the mobs had almost the mastery, bakers and provision shops were broken into and looted in all directions. At Birmingham the loss of property and from damayve was estimated to reach £40,000, and the Lancashire towns suffered in equal pro- portion. As the authorities got the upper hand many of the Chartist leaders were ar- rested, and the disturbers of the pcace were yradually overawed. It would be unjust to represent the leaders of this new political crusade as mere violent demagogues whose whole aim was disturbance and sedition. Some of them were men of great ability, and their political speeches were often characterised by rarecloquence. Amongst tliem were able writers like ‘Thomas Cooper, poets of genius like Ernest Jones, and great orato,s like Julian Harney and Bronterre O'Brien, who could sway large crowds with their impassioncd oratory as the corn is swayed by tho wind. ‘The head of the move- ment, Feargus O’Connor, who was a man of vreat stature and tremendous strength, had considerable oratical gifts, and his rough hum. our and bonhommie endeared him to his humble

~

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followers. Thomas Cooper, in his interesting autobiography, gives an amusing description of an election scene at Nottingham,where Feargus O’Connor, irritated by a crowd of jeering Tory butchers, leaped down from a waggon into the midst of them and ‘fought his way through them, flooring them like nine- -pins.”’ ‘‘ Once the Tory lambs got him down,” Cooper adds, “and my heart quaked, for I thought’ they would kill him, butin a few minutes his red head emerged again from the rough human billows, and he went on fighting as before. Feargus O'Connor had education, had mixed in good society, belonged to an old and wealthy family, and with good warrant -boasted his descent from a line of Irish kings. His sin- cerity was proved by the sacrifices of time and money which he made to help on what he re- garded as the people’s cause, and though his faults and errors were great ‘and manifold, he

‘was for many years the idol of the working

classes, who flocked to hear him in thousands. in all parts of the country. On Whit Monday, in this year, there was an immense gathering of Chartists at Peep Green, a large stretch of waste land between Harts- head and Roberttown, which is said to have been the largest political meeting ever held in England. This great historical gathering was organised at the Old Yew Tree, at Liversedge, by some of the principal local Chartists, of whom Mr. Pitt Keighley, of Huddersfield, and Mr. Luke Firth, of Heckmondwike, were the leading spirits. When the day arrived proces- sions miles in length came from all the great towns around, and a sight was witnessed such as will probably never be seen again. Each detachment had flags inpumerable, and as they were each accompanied by two or bands, they attracted almost the entire popu- lation along the route. As they marched on to

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the great common where the meeting was held, with bands playing and banners flying over- head for hour after hour, the enthusiasm was indescribable. In appearance those joining in this memorable demonstration seemed to be operatives of the more intelligent class, and their demeanour throughout the proceedings was sober yet determined. When the im- mense masses of people had taken up the positions assigned to them by the marshals, it was calculated that a quarter of a million people were present. The spectaele of that sea of upturned faces as seen from the plat- form was, we are told by an old veteran who witnessed the sight, one which could never be forgotten. The meeting was opened by the singing of Wesley’s fine lyric :— Peace doubting heart ! my God’s I am ; Who formed me man forbids my fear ;

The Lord has called me by my namie, The Lord protects, for ever near.

The singing of which from such a vast multi- tude had an indescribable effect, accompanied as it was by thousands of musical instruments. A touching prayer was then offered up by Mr. William Thornton, of Halifax, a man of superior intelligence. When the popular idol, Feargus O’Connor, stood up to address the meeting, the enthusiasm of the assembly was tremen- doug, and it was along time before the cheering, which volleyed like thunder, could be stilled sufficiently to allow his stentorian voice to be heard. O’Connor’s harangue was warm and impassioned, but in wild fervour it fell far be- hind that of Bronterre O’Brien, who was one of the most eloquent of perhaps the most remarkable band of orators that ever stood on a political platform in this country. Amongst the early apostles of Chartism was Henry Vincent, an enthusiastic young printer, full of fire and energy, who was considered one

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of the best speakers in England at that time. He had been put into prison at Newport, Wales, along with other Chartists for his vio- lent speeches, much to the indignation of the stalwart miners there, who were nearly all physical force Chartists. As winter drew on a scheme was devised amongst these men to liberate their leader, and Mr. Frost, a Newport magistrate, aided by his neighbours, Messrs. Williams and Jones, agreed to head the rescue party. The prison was to be assaulted on fonr sides simultaneously by four divisions number- ing 10,000, or according to some accounts 20,000, who thought they would be able by attacking it on all sides to distract and divide its defenders, but as often happens in such enterprizes, owing to cowardice or miscalcula- tion, the junction was not madeat the time agreed upon, and when Frost began the attack with his division, he found to his dismay that they were alone. He had thus to bear the whole brunt of the defending forces of military and policemen, and his little troop was soon driven back with a loss of ten killed and fifty wounded. In their flight they met or saw the lagging divisions, but nothing remained for all of them then but a speedy flight. Frost, and his assistant leaders, Williams and Jones, were apprehended, and after a time were tried and found guilty of high treason. Death, under all the revolting sircum:stances which attendcd the end of Brandreth, the Nottingham captain, would have been the finish only a few years before, but public opinion would not allow another barbarous exhibition of that sort, and their sentence was commuted to transportation for life. Even this was not carried out, for when the Chartist movement had collapsed, Frost was allowed to return home. He found on settling again at Newport that a great change had come over the scene. The aboli-

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tion of the corn laws inaugurated the era of cheap bread, and free trade had unlocsened the springs of commerce so that the working men, being better fed and better clothed, had ceased to agitate against government, except by constitutional methods..- After and about the time of the Newport riots there were riots and turmoils everywhere. The Chartist leaders were hauled up before ° the magistrates by scores, vo less than five hundred of them being in prison at one time. Amongst them was Thomas Cooper, the well known author of the ‘‘ Purgatory of Suicides,” which able work he in fact wrote when in continement. Cooper, in his ‘* Autobiography,” gives a very graphic sketch of the state of the country at this troubled period, and tells a little anecdote which strongly illustrates the feeling amongst working men at this time. ‘Wild and infidel notions,” he says, ‘‘ were _ proclaimed by many of the leaders. I was holding a meeting one day in Leicester, when a poor, religious stockinger said, ‘Let us be patient a little longer, surely God Almighty will help us soon.’ ‘ Talk tous no more about thy Goddle Mighty’ was the savage cry that came from the audience, ‘there isn’t one! If there was one he would not let us suffer as we do.’”’ Next day a poor stockinger rushed into Cooper’s house, and throwing himself wildly on a chair, exclaimed ‘I wish they would hang me out of the way! I have lived on _cold potatoes that were given to me two days, and this morning I have eaten a raw potato from shear hunger. Give mea bit of bread and a cup of coffee or I shall drop to the ground.” Benjamin Wilson, of Salterhebble, says rightly that he was not surprised that people were so much in earnest about Reform when he saw how they had to live. His own mother was engaged in the laborious occupa- I

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328 THE RISINGS OF THE LUDDITES.

tion of “ braying sand,” really a strong man’s work, and her only remuneration for it was a few potato parings, which she boiled for the family dinners. I The settled conviction of the Chartists was that bad trade, dear living, and all their mis- fortunes arose from bad laws, and that if they .could only get votes and send men of their own class into the House of Commons they would so order matters that a reign of peace and plenty would at once be inaugurated.

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CHAPTER XXXVIII.

CHARTIST RISINGS.

Onward! while a wrong remains To be conquered by the right; While oppression lifts a finger To affront 1s by his might; While an error clouds the reason, Of the universal heart, Ora slave awnits his freedom, Action is the wisest

During the whole of 1839 the Chartist move- ment waxed greatly in strength, and the alarmed authorities began to concoct means to check it. Finding that they did not succeed very well they soon resorted to their old dis- creditable weapon, paid spies. This led to the capture of scores of the local leaders of chart- ism throughout the country, many of them being imprisoned on the very doubtful testimony of the hired informers who joined the organ- isations for the express purpose of hounding men on to violence so that they might land them in prison and then draw the wages for their villainous work. The abortive attempt at Newport, and the heavy punishment that had been meted out to those who had been captured in arms against the authorities so far from stopping the agitation seemed to increase and strengthen it, and as fast as one batch of ‘‘ martyrs,” as they were always cailed, were immured in prison there was another eagerly contending for the privilege of suffering for the people’s cause. As great demonstrations cele- brated the liberation of every prisoner, at which some of the most fervent apostles of the new

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political faith defended its methods and en- forced its claims, the whole country rang with their eloquence and working men joined its standard in large numbers, especially in York- shire and Lancashire. The operative classes indeed grew more and more bitter against the Whigs whom they denounced at one time as being worse than the Tories, and whose defeat afterwards was doubtless contributed to by the angry fire of Chartist denunciation and crit- icism. With a contemptuous hatred of the upper classes, who were ridiculed unsparingly in all the Chartist publications, there was con- joined a profound distrust of the middle classes and their leaders. One would have thought that the movement for the repeal of the Corn Laws was ono which would have secured at once the enthusiastic support of the artizans of all the large towns who had suffered so much from them, but so strong was their dis- trust of the middle classes and the commercial men who took the lead in that movement that they met the agitation for cheap bread with coldness or downright hostility. ‘‘ When we get the charter,” said one of their chief speakers, ‘‘ we will repeal the Corn Laws and also all other bad laws, but don’t be deceived by the middle classes agair. You helped them to get the Reform Bill and what fine promises they made youthen! Don’t be humbugged by them again. Stick to your charter—without votes you are slaves !”’ During the pleasant summer months large meetings were held in all the great centres of population, which were often addressed by I wild orators, whom starvation or poor fare had made desperate, and who took little trouble to disguise their treasonable sentiments. Moral force was ridiculed and physical force was Openly advocated. ‘' Provide yourselves with knives,” said one, ‘‘ good long knives, and then

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when the beef comes you will be ready.” A mcnth of complete abstention from work— called ‘‘ the sacred month ”—was now the chief burden of the harangues. Without the labour of the toilers it was pointed out the social pyramid would inevitably collapse, ard to avoid the destruction that would follow, the upper and middle classes would gladly concede their rights. A large gathering to help on the agita- tion for the sacred month was held at the end of July, at Barnsley, the chief speakers at which were Joseph Crabtree, Peter Hoey, and William Cowling. Government spies were present and careful note was made of the vio- lent language used, the result’ being that the three men just named were speedily lodged in prison and tried at the succeeding assizes at York, when it was shown that physical force had been advocated strongly by all of them. Hoey, it was shown had used some very inflam- matory language, and his companions were equally violent. In advocating the sacred month they said«that a national holiday would be a na- tional revolution, and before the month had ex- pired the charter would be the law of the land. ‘The possession of arms was declared to be the inalienable right of Englishmen, and hints were given that the poorest should possess them- selves of pikes, which they were told were now being almost openly produced at Sheffield, Bradford, &c., 1n large number3. Hoey said that up to that time he had been a moral force man, but the sight of so much destitution and misery had driven him into the ranks of the advocates of physical force. Joseph Crabtree declared the government to be bloodthirsty and tyrannical, and he emphasised the advice to procure arms and use them if necessary to secure their just rights. ‘The weavers were al- ready acting on this sanguinary advice so far at any rate as securing arms, and the miners now

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began to follow their example. Crabtree urged the lattcr to bring their picks out of the pits, and said they would soon have something softer to use them upon than the coal face. Ho gaid that at Birmingham the working men had produced a greater effect by trying to set fire to the town and had advanced the cause more than they could have done by a whole year of agitation, and that if the government did not grant their demands they would light & fire in Yorkshire that would not soon be put out—large enough in fact to warm the whole country—they were indeed determined to have the charter or England should be a -heap of smoking ruins. William Cowling’s speech was -equally violent and withal of a practical sort, for he urged them to follow the example of Sheffield, where hundreds were sharpening their pikes ready for action, and told them where they could be had. As a result of all this plain speaking the three orators were sén- tenced to be imprisoned, but the seed they had sown sprung up and the whole district was disturbed for some years after. Partial outbreaks took place also at Leeds, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Halifax, and Bradford, and in almost every instance it was found on investigation that the men who had been most active in bringing the discontent to a head were government spies. One of these minions, named Harrison, who ingratiated himself with the Bradford Chartists, while bringing some of the lcaders into trouble prevented by his ac- tion, perhaps unintentionally, what would otherwise have been a formidable rising by the non-delivery of missives to other ce:tres, whicli were entrusted to his care. It had been ar- ranged that a rising of the West Riding towns should take place on the 26th of January, 1840. The plan was to take possession of the popu lous centres simultancously by the local

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chartists, after which the cannon at Lowmoor Ironworks was to be seized, and the united forces were to march on London. The rising was to begin at Bradford, and the Chartists at Liversedge, Heckmondwike, and Dewsbury were to join with a strong reinforcement, as were also Halifax and Leeds; but Harrison threw the whole movement intc confusion by destroying or not delivering the orders sent from tne centre at Bradford, and the succours consequently never arrived there as expected. The leaders in this affair at Bradford were Robert Peddie, who seems to have come from Edinburgh to takethe chiefcommand, William Brook, Thomas Duke, Paul Holdsworth, and James Holdsworth. Beivre taking the control of the operations, Peddie visited all the West Riding towns and exhorted them to hold them- selves in readiness for rising when he should give the signal. The chief witness against the insurgents at these trials was James Harrison, the government spy already named, of whom it may be said that he performed his dirty work in a less blamable manner than many of his colleagues. How he came to thwart the movement at the last moment by the non-delivery of the signals has never been satisfactorily explained, but it has been sug- gested that he was himself alarmed by the magnitude of the plot and was startled at the task of involving such a large number. The arrangements on the eve of the fateful day. were complete. To avoid suspicion the leaders had met at Lidget Green, an outside village which stands away in the fields. There the leaders sat, after sending away the orders to all the surrounding centres, and at two o’clock in the morning went forth to inaugurate what they expected was going to be an overpower- ing manifestation against constituted autho- rity. There were less than two score of them

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all tcld, but they knew that thousands had promised to rally round them when the signal was given, and they therefore confidently marched into the town to the Green Market, which they had decided to make the centre of their operations. As they walked through the silent streets they encountered two constables, and these they captured and took with them to their rendezvous. A shed, at one corner of the market near the inn, served as a place of confinement for their prisoners, who having been dispossessed of their rattles were thrust into it, and a couple of pikemen were told off to act as warders over them. Brook was, it appears, employed at the Lowmoor Ironworks, where much cannon was then made for the government, and he had on the previous Sun- day taken Peddie round the works to show him where the guns were. Although it was intended that the bulk of the cannon should form the equipment of what was grandilo- quently called the ‘Army of the North ”’ in its march on London, Peddie seens to have had an idea of also fortifying the buildings round the Green Market. The bazaar, a Icng building surrounding three sides of the square behind the old Manor House, was to be taken posses- sion of, and in this and a large news-room adjacent the various bodies of men were to be put until all were assembled. A number of colliers had also been engaged, who, with their icks were to make holes ia the walls of these puildings through which the guns from Low- moor were to frown defiance on the enemy. Why this should be done is not plain, as the whole army was to march immediately on London, but it may have been that it was in- tended to leave a detachment here to overawe Bradford. Peddie marched impaticntly about the Green Market armed ready for the fray, and wondering much, no doubt, how it was

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that the men who were to come in hundreds east, west, north, south were so slow in arriv- ing. In the missives he had sent out he had strongly exhorted them all to be as near the time as possible. Those who were in com- mand of 100 must bring 50 if only that num- ber had mustered at the time and so on,:but there was to be no delay or the whole arrange- ments would be spoiled. They were exhorted to seize all constables on the route, and if they refused to come he significantly advised that they should be left so that they would make no noise. The men were told that though their numbers might not be large at starting they would gather strength as they marched, and two thousand at starting would speedily grow into twenty thousand. When they had stormed London this extraordinary commander stipu- lated that he must have a day or two’s leave of absence, and he promised he would leave one as g00d as himself in command. He would himself take a post chaise and go to meet Dr. Taylor, who would be marching at the head of the men from Durham, Newcastle, &c. He further instructed his men that they were to take anything they wanted on the way. The ‘‘army of deliverance’’ was to want for no- thing, but the sufferers were to be indemnified for all losses after the Republic, which they should proclaim in London, had been fully settled in power. I After Peddie had vapoured round the Green Market for an hour or so he began to feel un- easy. Not a score of new men had joined him instead of the thousands he had been expect- ing with so much confidence, and he began to» fear that something had gone wrong. He sent scouts out in all directions, but those who re- turned at all came but to tell him that there were no Signs of any reinforcements in any direction. There were signs, however, that

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' the authorities were waking up. Messengers had been despatched to the barracks at Brad- ford Moor, and the echoes of horsés’ hoofs could be heard in the streets. The military and the special constables by and by formed a cordon round Peddie’s position, but by the time it beyan to close round the Green Market nearly all Peddie’s men had dispersed, and a sudden descent being made upon them the remains of the ‘‘Grand Army of the North” were speedily lodged in durance vile. Although this rising ended so ingloriously there were fermenty and disturbances through- out the whole of England for some time after, and the military and special constables were kept at work almost night and day. Many of the Chartist leaders were taken into custody, and Feargus O’Connor, the chief disturber, shared the same fate. The Chartist chief was tried on the 17th of March, 1840, before Mr. Justice Coleridge, at York, the Attorney General prosecuting on behalf of the govern- ment. Mr. O’Connor, who defended himself in person, Made an extraordinary speech ex- tending over five hours, which seems to have sreatly impressed the Judge, who treated the arch-agitator with marked courtesy. Boldly addressing the jury, he declared that he stood up in defence of the working men of England, who had been all their lives oppressed and ground to the very dust by laws made by their more fortunate countrymen and which they had no means of opposing but by the means they had adopted, and though they might find him guilty in court they could not find him guilty in the secrecy of tlie closet. He avowed himself a Chartist—a democrat if they liked —in tke fullest sense of the word, and declared that if his life hung upon the abandonment of his principles he would scorn to hold it on so base a tenure. He then in the same bold and

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defiant manner criticised the speech of the Attorney General, and with wonderful inge- nuity explained away its most formidable charges, concluding his eloquent defence amidst loud applause, which was with difficulty sup- pressed. The Judge, in summing up, testified his great admiration of Mr. abili- ties, and regretted that he did not more respect his own high acquirements and talents than to use them for the purpose of exciting an illiterate audience by a caricature of the other classes of society. The jury retired and in about ten minutes brought in a verdict of “Guilty.” The Attorney General pressed for immediate sentence, but the Judge refused the application. The action of the authorities so far from checking the Chartist movement served only to cause it to spread all the more widely and swiftly. The leaders throughout the country seemed rather to court prosecutions than to avoid them, and as they stood on their defence before the magistrate, which they almost always conducted in person, the result was that what were virtually Chartist meetings were held in scores of court-houses with the presiding magistrates in the chair.

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CHAPTER XXXIX. Tur Piva Riots.

A crouching dastard sure is ke, Who would not fight for liberty, ' Anddie to make old England free, From all her ioad of tyranny.—Bam/ford.

Trade in 1842, the year of the plug riots, was worse than ever, and the sufferings of the working classes throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire were very great. It was hoped that as summer came on matters might 1m- prove, but they grew gradually worse, and at the beginning of August the distress was at its height. The corn laws were then in full operation, and the ports being closed the people throughout the country wero starving, In the north it was reported that a fonrth part of the population were dying of famine. At Stock- port half the masters had failed, and five thousand workpeople were walking the streets, nor were they much better in aby of the towns in Lancashire. The Chartist movement had gathered much strength during the past year, and the working classes in all the large towns were in a state of great discontent and dis- affection. The masses of the people werestill persuaded that the ‘‘ People’s Charter " would enable them ¢o secure higher wages and better food, and that for that very reason the “ aris- tocrats,”’ against Whom they inveighed sO furiously would not grantit. Another immense petition in favour of the charter was presented in the House of Commons in May, and great

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meetings were of almost nightly occurrence in all large towns of Yorkshire. At Leeds the pauper stone heaps now amounted to one hun- dred and fifty thousand tons, and the guardians offered 6/- weekly for doing nothing rather than 7/6 for stone Poor rates swel- led to the size of rents, and the middle classes viewed with dismay the heavy drain on their resources. ‘Towards the end of June a meet- ing of tradesmen and shopkeepers was held in the Bradford courthouse, ‘‘to enable them to make known the unparalleled dis- tress whioh prevailed, and the decay of trade consequent thereon, aud to adopt such mea- 4 sures relative thereto as might be deemed advisable with a view to avert impending ruin.” 4 Disturbances of an extraordinary character, and on a large scale took place in Laneashire, j which speedily assumed an alarming character. t They commenced at Staleybridge. On Sunday, I August 7th, a large meeting was held at Mot-

{ tram Moor, which was attended by eight or ‘4 ten thousand people. The disturbances t originated in this way :—Some of the mauu- /

fitturers of Staleybridge finding, as they { stated, that others in the vicinity were paying lower wages than they were gave notice of a reduction. ‘The workmen consonted at one niill at the expiration of the notice to take the lower price. At another place, however, they refused to submit to the change. The work- people of the firm last mentioned waited upon their employers, Bayley Brothers, and spake t roughly on the proposed reduction, on which one of the masters said if they took the matter up in that spirit they had better play until } they thought differentlySof it. On hearing this the deputation set up a loud shout, when all the hands left the mill, without waiting for t any formal answer +o the demands of their

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representatives. Proceeding to the different mills in the town, the workpeople nearly -all turned out and joined them, and their number soon swelled to more than 5000, of whom one- third were females. Day by day they extended their march and emboldened by their numbers they determined to put an end to all work until their political demands were met. In accordance with-this resolve they stopped all the collieries, and insisted upon men of all trades participating in the general holiday. Finding that all were not willing to join in the mad enterprise, they did not hesitate to over- awe and coerce them, and procuring a number of formidable bludgeons, they tried to intimi- date any workman who resisted them. Pro- ceeding to the print works of Thomas Hoyle and Son, who had made themselves very obnoxious, they spoiled a great many of their goods, and then went on to Ashton, where they were joined by fresh crowds. An immense meeting was held there, when™the passions of the mob were intlamed by the fiery oratory of reckless demagogues. They next proceeded to Oldham and Manchester, where, however, they found the military drawn up to check taeir excesses. As the mob did not at once commit depredations the military were with- drawn, but a scene of pillage and disorder soon followed, the chief sufferers being the provision dealers and bakers. Tho military again inarched out and fourteen of the ringleaders were taken into custody. At Birley’s Mill a determined struggle took place. ‘The rioters were first deluged with water, but as this did not compel them to disperse, some of the workpeople ascended the roof and threw pieces of iron, stones, and@other missiles upon them. Many persons were very seriously hurt, and a young girl killed on the spot. From Lanca- shire the disaffection speedily ; spread into

340 THE BISINGS OF THE LUDDITES. I I

SPREE RE — SEE

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Yorkshire. On Sunday, August 14th, a large gathering took place at Bradford Moor, under the presidency of George Bishop. Mr. Ibbot- son, a well known news vendor, whose place of business was on the Bowling Green, addressed the gathering, which was estimated to number 10,000, and was followed by other speakers, stirring up the enthusiasm of the surging crowd, who received their treasonable utter- ances with wild cheering. The alarmed authorities summoned the chief inhabitants to meet the same evening at the Talbot Inn, when if was resolved that steps should be taken to put down the outbreak. Special constables were sworn in large numbers, and troops were sent for from Leeds. Next morning another meeting was held in front of the Oddfellows’ Hall, at the early hour of seven, when it was resolved that the people should never relin- quish there demands until the Charter became the law of the land. The immense crowd then formed into military order and marched up Manchester Road to Halifax, stopping all the mills and causing great excitement. Here they were joined by the Lancashire turnouts, a large number of whom were women, and many white-headed old men also appeared in the ranks, The thousands of fenale turnouts were looked upon with some commiseration by the well-disposed inhabitants, as many were poorly clad and not a few marching barefoot. When the Riot Act was read, and the insurgents were ordered to disperse to their homes, a large crowd of women, who stood in front of the magistrates and the military, loudly declared they had no homes, and dared them to kill them if they liked. ‘They then struck up

THE UNION HYMN.

Oh! worthy is the glorious causc, Ye patriots of the union ; Our father’s rights, our father’s laws Demand a faithful union.

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A crouching dastard sure is he Who would not strive for liberty, And dic to make old England free all ber load of tyranny. Up, brave men of the union !

Our little ones shall learn to bless Their fathers of the union, And every mother shall caress

Her hero of the union. Our plains with plenty shall be crowned,

The sword shall till tho fruitful grounc, The spear shall pruno our trees around, bT'o less a nation's union.

Singing this stirring hymn they defiantly stood in their ranks as the specia constables marched up, but their music did not savo them, for the constables did not hesitate to strike them with their staves, and a melee en- sued in the dispersion of the mob in considerable disorder. At Ackroyd’s Mill the military were summoned to the defence and three of the riotera were shot before order could be restored.

When these stirring events were occurring I was 2 lad of some ten years of age, but I well remember the savage appearance of that huge crowd of men as they marched through Horton to Bradford, at the close of their day's work at Halifax. The sight was just one of those which it is impossiblo to forget. They came pouring down the wide road in thousands, taking up its whole breadth--a gaunt, famished- looking desperate multitude, armed with huge bludgeons, flails, pitch-forks and pikes, many without coats and hats, and hundreds upon hundreds with their clothes in rags and tatters. Many of the older men looked foot sore and weary, but the great bulk were men in the prime of life, full of wild excitement. As they marched they thundered out to a grand old tune a stirring melody, of which this was the open- ing stanza :—

——

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Men of England, ve are slaves, Though ye “rule” the roaring * waves,” Though ye shout, ‘From sea to sea Britons every where are free.’” As the wild mob swept onward, terrified wo- men brought out all their bread and other eatables, and in the hope of purchasing their forbearance, handed them to the rough-looking men who crowded to the doors and windows. A famished wretch, after struggling feebly for a share of the provisions, fell down in a faint- ing condition in the doorway where I was standing. A doctor, who lived close at hand, was got to the spot as soon as possible, but the man died in his presence. One of his comrades told us that the poor fellow had eaten raw potatoes at Ovenden after being without food two days; these the doctor said had killed him, ‘“‘raw potatoes on an empty stomach being By this time all the towns and villages in Yorkshire were in a state of great excitement and confusion. On Tuesday, the 16th of August, a considerable mob entered Cleckheaton, and met with much opposition from the people at work in the mils. They succeeded in stopping one mill, and then went on to the works of Mr. George Anderton. Here they were gallantly opposed by the workmen within the mill, who with the assist- ance of a large number of the inhabitants drove them out of the millyard, and pelted them with stones until they finally expelled them from the town. On the same day mob law was put in force at Dewsbury. A large meeting was

eld at the Market Cross at six o’clock in the

ovening, after which a procession was formed, and the crowd proceeded to Batley Carr, Bat- ley, Birstall, Littletown, and Heckmondwike. They tapped all the boilers on the way and turned out all the hands, after which another meeting was held at the Cross, at which it was

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stated that thirty-six boilers had been “let off.” The Dewsbury shops were closed as soon as word came that the rioters were returning, and the public-houses closed at six o’clock. Next morning another gathering took placo, after which the mob marched through Earls- heaton, and Horbury Bridge, coming back by way of Thornhill Lees. They had some time to wait at the colliery of Joshua Ingham, Esq., to get out the men and horses before they tapped the boilers. Here a field of turnips belonging to the Rev. Henry Torr, the rector, was nearly stripped of its produce. Another meeting was held at the Cross on their return, and it was arranged that the next muster should be held at Birstall. The shops were again closed, although it was market day. The men, who were all armed, went from house to house begging, and in many instances, if refused and only women happened to be in the house, force was resorted to. The mayistrates, J. B. Greenwood and John Hague, Esgqs., attended from early in the morning till late at night to swear in special constables, and many hundreds from Dewsbury, Batley, and Heckmondwike offered their services. On Thursday morning all the factories and collieries round Dewsbury were stopped by a mob 5,000 strong. The same mob then visited Batley and stopped Bromley’s and Ellis and Sons’ mills, where they drew the plugs without any opposition. They then resolved to pay a second visit to Cleckheaton, to do the work they had been unable at their previous visit to accomplish, and strong parties were told off to stop the mills, collieries, etc., at Gomersal, Millbridge, and Heckmondwike. It does not appear that any opposition was offered at any of those places, and as the various mobs passed rapidly through the towns to rejoin the main body of their comrades at Cleckheaton their

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ranks were swelled by a large number of local chartists, who, deceived by the apparent im- potence of the authorities, were persuaded that they were about to inaugurate a revolution. The time for redressing their grievances had, they were persuaded, at last arrived. The long-suffering people had risen in their strength, and by stopping all production were going to teach ‘the aristocrats how completely they were dependent on the classes beneath them in the social scale, to whom they had so long denied their just political rights. Many of the men had coarse grey blankets strapped to their backs, their idea being that when they had stopped all the mills and turned out the work- people they would march in immense bodies to London, and there put the affairs of the nation on an equitable basis. ‘‘ And what would you have done ?”’ one of them was afterwards asked, ‘‘when you had got to London?’ ‘ Done,” replied the simpleton in amazement, ‘ why we sud a taen t’nation and sattled t’national debt.” Amongst the prominent local men who joined the movement was the late Isaac Clis- sett, a man who, however he might be misled by his political opinions at the time, proved himself afterwards a peaceful and worthy citizen. At first Clissett did not throw himself heartily into the movement, and joined at last with an honest desire to restrain the mob, but, carried away by the enthusiasm of his com- pavions, he entered Cleckheaton in the front rank of the Heckmondwike detachment. The first attack of the mob at Cleckheaton was on the mill of Mr. Sutcliffe Broadbent, where they were suffered to draw the plugs without any serious resistance being offered, and being joined by some of the other detach- ments, they proceeded in a body numbering some five or six thousand to St. Peg mill, and had withdrawn the plugs from two of the

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boilers when an alarm was raised that the soldiers were coming. As soon as it became known that the rioters were approaching Cleckheaton in strong force, the late Mr. Jas. Anderton, of Upper House, then a young man, rode, it is said, from Cleckheaton to Bradford in the incredibly short space of half an hour to fetch a troop of the Lancers then stationed there, but before they arrived a troop of the Yorkshire Hussars came from Leeds, where Prince George of Cambridge was acting against the insurgents. When the Yeomanry reached Cleckheaton they were joined by some hun- dreds of special constables, and then proceeded in a cody to Peg Mill. The mob had, as we have stated, withdrawn the plugs from two of the boilers, ‘and were proceeding to the third when they saw the soldiers defiling down the lane. MHastily massing themselves, those who were unarmed proceeded to pick up all the loose stones in the yard, while those who were armed with bludgeons, scythes, &c., were thrust to the front. The appearance of the rioters, as they somewhat unsteadily waited for the arrival of the troops, was certainly formidable, but the discipline of the little band who came to attack them more than counterbalanced the disadvantage of the great disparity of numbers. The leader of the friends of law and order called out for a halt as they neared the mob, and addressed to his men a few simple words of encouragement, appealing to their sense of duty to the throne and the peace of the realm. He then.waited for the reading of the Riot Act. Before this could be done the mob advanced in disorderly fashion and threw pieces of dross at the com- pact mass before them, and several men were knocked senseless and bleeding from_ their horses. The moment was critical, as the mob, taking

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advantage of the confusion occasioned, were advancing with stones in their hands once more, Clissett, who was in the front rank, excitedly waving his arms and crying, ‘‘Follow me, my brave boys!’ when orders were given to fire. Though this and a second volley was fired in the air, the crowd fell back in disorder, and the Yeomanry, taking advantage of the confusion, rode rapidly upon them, flourishing their sabres over their heads and striking them . with the flat sides. The special coustables followed up the advantage thus gained and drove the rioters towards the beck, on reaching which they scattered in ail directions, some crossing the stream and others rushing into a neighbouring corn field, where they hoped by lying flat to hide from their pursuers. ina few minutes about twenty or thirty were taken into custody, and all the fields ard lanes in the neighbourhood were black with wild struggling masses cf human beings trying to escape from the horsemen, who rode after them flourishing their weapons. The following is a list of those taken into custodv:—Chas. Leighton, (18), farmer, Gomersal; Richard Thomson (26), clothier, Gomersal; Thos. Barber (22), collier, Gomersal ; David Walker (17), clothier, Batley Carr; Chas. Brearley (32) machinist, Batley Carr; John Hay (18), collier, Hightown ; Matthew Parkineon (30), dyer, Dewsbury ; Josh. Holdroyd (20), raiser, Dewsbury; David Brooke (34), sawyer, Dewsbury ; Joseph Farn- hill (35), weaver, Dewebury; W. Allport Bell, Dewsbury; Robert Waterson (16), no trade, Birstall; Matthew Mawson (26), collier, Birstall; J. Hodgkinson (30), weaver, Birstall ; Samuel Newsome (14), clothier, Hanging Heaton; Josh. Blakeborough (39), weaver, Batley; Edward Exley (22), weaver, Earls- heaton; Wm. Wild (17), collier, Alverthorpe ; and Matthew Castle, hawker, Bradford.

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CHAPTER XL.

Last STRUGGLES OF CHARTISM.

Last scene Of all That ends this strange, eventful history. Shakespeare. The suppression of the Plug Riots left the country still in a sadly disturbed state owing to the scarcity of work and the dearness of provisions, and great meetings and riots such as those already chronicled continued at inter vals during several years. The prisons al) over the country, in the clothing districts especially, were crowded with chartist leaders, no less than fifty of the principal agitators being imprisoned at one time. Amongst these were the wary leader of the movement, Feargus O’Connor and his trusty lieutenants, George Julian Harney ard Dr. McDouall, who were tried together before Baron Rolfe, at Lancas- ter. Hundreds of the leaders of the plug rioters in Yorkshire and Lancashire were also put upon their defence, and some of the accounts given by these men of the circum- stances which had led them to engage in that desperate undertaking were of a very pathetic character. Benjamin Wilson, of Salterhebble, who was himself mixed up with the chartist movement, refers to a man named Pilling, wuo was one of the orginators of the great strike which resulted in the plug riots. Tn his defence, Pilling stood forward and thus ad- dressed the jury ;—‘‘ Gentleman, I am some

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where about 435 years of age. I was asked last night if I was not sixty. “At first, when I went to Ashton, my two sons and myself worked at the mills for 124d. per cut. Our work was thirty cuts a week, which made £1 1ls. 3d., this would be 10/5 each. In alittle over twelve months we had to submit to three reductions in wages, bringing them down to 7/11 each per week. These were starvation wages, and on another attempt being made soon after to re- duce us still further, flesh and blood rebelled and we struck. In Ashton not one pennyworth of damage was done to property, although we were starving for six weeks. My lord and gentlemen, it was a hard case with me and mine. son fell into a consump- tion from insufficient nourishment and hard- ship. Before we struck our united wages had sunk to 16/- per week, and that was all nino of us had to live upon, and 3/- of that had to go for rent. During this time the son I have named laid helpless before me. I have gone home night after night and seen that son on a sick bed and dying “pillow, having nothing to eat but potatoes and salt and no medical attendance. Someone who knew my sore straits went to a gentleman’s house to beg a bottle of wine for my son, and the answer was, ‘Oh, he is a chartist, he must have none!’ Mr. ‘Rayner, of Ashton, had given notice a day or two before that he would reduce wages 25 per cent., that aroused the indigna- tion and the strike was the result. The people first rose in desperation because they could not live, and that was why I joined the movement.”’ Poor Pilling’s reason was doubtless the reason of thousands besides—it was not so much the desire for a vote asa desire fcr food that im- felled multitudes to join the great movement. which reached at last such portentous dimen- sions. The country continued in much the

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same disturbed state up to the remarkable year of revolutions, 1848, when the fall of Louis Philippe, the French king, caused a wave of revolutionary feeling to rirple throughout Europe and a serious sifting time began for the rulers of the continent. The Chartists hailed this time of political earthquakes with wild enthusiasm, being convinced that the long looked for period had come at last when kings and aristocrats were to be swept for ever out of existence, and the “long-suffering, down- trodden people were to come into their rights.” Everywhere the Chartist leaders who believed in physical force called upon the people to rise in their strength and demard that the Charter should be at once made the law of tho land. Others of a milder type contented themselves with demanding the dismissal of the ministry and the immediate dissolution of parliament. ‘“The Charter and no surrender,” was the cry everywhere, and at an immense gathering held throughout the country delegates were elected to form a Nationa] Convention, which was to sit in London, and take control of the great move- ment which many Chartists believed was at lust about to be crowned with success. The result oi all this wild commotion was that the sober-minded men, who had hitherto succeeded in keeping the Chartist movement moderately well in hand, found themselves in a discredited minority. The excited people, intent upon in- augurating forthwith the political millennium which seemed to them at hand, would listen no longer to what they deemed timid counsels, and the cry went forth that the Charter must now be conceded or the government would be over- thrown and a republic erected on its ruins. In order to give Parliament what was ostenta- tiously culled a ‘‘a last a monster petition was commenced, which it was resolved should be signed by millions, and should be

— a ce

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presented by an immense procession, which should convey it to the very doors of the House of Commons. The central gathering place was to be Kennington Common, and April 10th was fixed upon as ‘the date. From that place, after an address by Feargus O’Connor, who though his pcpularity had waned somewhat, still held his post ut the head of the Chartist movement, the crowd was to march in military order to overawe the House which had so long disre- garded their protests and derided their threats.

Perhaps the great bulk had no other desire _

than to impress parliament with their numbers, but there was a strong contingent of desperate physical force men present, who would un- doubtedly have been too glad to have forced on a conflict with the authorities in the bope that, as in France and other countries, the Government might have been overturned. The physical force section began as the day drew near to use language of such violence in their wild speeches and manifestoes that the mo- derate men tcok the alarm, and when the meeting took place many of them stayed away and the leaders were all disputing amongst themselves. The convention which was sitting in London up to the eve of the day looked forward to with so much hope by some, and so much apprehension by others. Itdawned at last, and the meeting was held amidst a great conflict of opinion amongst the Chartist leaders, but it was plain the bulk of them were much sobered by the danger which they saw was imminent and by the preparations the Government was making to meet it. Feargus O’Connor was one of the first to realise the grave situation and had the good sense to oppose these mad counsels with all his strength. The result was a further commotion in the gathering, which ended in the withdrawal of the violent spirits

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who were so determinedly bent on mischief - from the National Convention. These dis- putes were fortunate for the physical force men themselves, for these soon found they had been greatly misled by the apparent fervour which their declamation had evuked. When those who sympathised with them so far as supporting their theories was concerned found that the theories were to be translated into action they began to scent danger, and so in- significent did the physical force section become that the police had little difficulty in dispersing their demonstrations. Eventually, when Mr. G. W. M. Reynolds, the proprietor of Reynolds’s Newspaper, and a few other I rabid politicians of the same stamp, assembled in Trafalgar Square and attempted to inaugur- ate a revolution by shouting out in wretched French ‘“ Vive la Republique!” in imitation of their Paris compatriots, the British public laughed consumedly, and the police entering into the spirit of the fun allowed the little band to hide their diminished heads in the nearest tap room. On the morning of the famous 10th of April, the Chartists assembled at Kennington Com- mon in immense numbers, but it was simply to hold a peaceable open air meeting, and the alarmed shopkeepers found at the close of the day that the goods and chattels behind their strongly barricaded shutters remained intact. Feargus O’Connor and the principal Chartist leaders knew well enough that the Iron Duke was ready for them, and though there was no ostentatious display of military in the streets the old tactician had a strong force well in hand and all prepared to grapple with any disturbances that might arise. The end of the matter was that no procession was formed, O’Connor, who saw the danger, insisting upon that part of the programme being given up.

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The physical force men denounced the moral force leaders as humbugs, and the quarrel that ensued resulted in thousands of working men withdrawing from the movement in disgust. The great Chartist petition which was to astonish the House of Commons and carry conviction to the minds of the most obtruse members of the Government was presented in the House, or rather rolled into it, for it was of the dimensions of a cart wheel. Mr. O’Connor, in the inflated harangue he made on the occa- sion, boasted that it contained five millions seven hundred thousand signatures. Had he been content to have claimed a more moderate number Fe might have been doubted, but no investignation would probably have taken place ; the statement he made seemed, however, so absurd, that a committee was appointed to examine the monster document, when it was found that the actual number of names fell short of two millions, and that very many of them were evidently fictitious. Amongst the rest of the signatures appeared that of the Queen, Prince Albert, the Duke of Wellinyton, Sir Robert Peel, and, to crown all, Colonel Sibthorpe, a very violent Tory, who would gladly have seen the leaders of the Chartist movement transported out of the country. The absurd ending of this last great rising and the consequent ridicule with which the Chartists were now assailed on every hand, owing to the damaging disclosures made by the committee who examined the ‘“ great na- tional petition’ had much to do with discredit- ing the party, but what gave this remarkable and once powerful movement its finishing I stroke was doubtless the abolition of what John Bright called the ‘ thrice accursed Corn Laws.” Under a free trade regime the lot of the working classes was wonderfully changed for the better. They gradually acquired a

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osition and comforts to which as a body they ad hitherto been strangers, and with increas- ing prosperity the old hatred for the classes above them in the social scale was moderated or died out, and ultimately constitutional agita- tion and moral suasion took the place of the violent, physical force methods, with which they had so long been familiar.

THE END.

SENIOR AND CO., PRINTERS, HECKMONDWIKE. cil


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