Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The Cheshire Luddites
The workers decided on direct action. In February 1812, arsonists attacked Peter Marsland’s steam loom factory at Stockport, and unsuccessfully torched William Radcliffe’s steam loom factory in March. Manufacturers weren’t even safe in their own homes. In early April, Peter Marsland’s house windows were broken, and the homes of mill owners William Radcliffe and Mr Hindley were also attacked. Macclesfield, too, saw riots by angry cotton workers in the same month. The Cheshire Yeomanry had a full-time job keeping public order. You can find out more about the riots and the rioters’ fate in Regency Cheshire.
Image: Harrison’s Improved Powerloom, exhibited by Harrison’s of Blackburn at the Great Exhibition. Illustrated London News, 23 August 1851.