Chapter Two


1. Luddism in Derbyshire

2. The Knitters’ Union after Luddism

3. The Pentrich Provocation of 1817

4. Notes and references

Luddism in Derbyshire:

The trend to the Luddism of the 1811-12 period developed against a background of trade depression, 20% unemployment, low wages and high prices. Before any knitting frame breaking, which was the hallmark of the Luddites, took place, ordinary people had flooded the authorities with letters and petitions complaining about the situation. Much of the hosiery trade was with the American and Continental markets and this dried up during 1811. Wages had already dropped phenomenally when the effects of the latter stages of the Napoleonic Wars began to be felt. Moreover, the stocking trade was hit by sudden changes in fashion and the effects of economic blockade.

The price of wheat averaged 107s 3 1/2d per quarter in the period 1800-1813, but it rose to the unprecedented peak of 156s 0d to 180s. 0d in August 1812. At that stage a worker in the hosiery trade could earn anywhere from 7s 0d to 14s 6d a week, although the bulk of earnings would be towards the lower bracket. A loaf of bread – a worker’s staple diet – could cost as much as 1s 5d or 1s 8d for a day’s ration. [1] So great was the poverty that half the local population were on poor relief. Felkin, a contemporary commentator, wrote that “for twelve months past many workingmen had swept the streets in … Derby, receiving a scant eleemosynary (i.e. given in charity) pittance for their labour”. [2] Felkin knew Derby, while writing from a manager’s point of view, he recalled his birthplace of Ilkeston, then just a village, as being “dirty and unpaved” and “many of the houses were little better than huts, inside and outside, and noisome and destitute of most of the conveniences of life”. [3]

This dramatic and distressing life experience could but only produce a savage response from the workers, newly made bold with republicanism and unionism. A contemporary song expressed the aims of the machine breakers – speaking of General Ludd, the mythical leader of the rebels; the song explains exactly the knitters’ concern.

“His wrath is entirely confined to wide frames
And to those that old prices abate.
These engines of mischief were sentenced to die
By unanimous vote of the trade”[4]

General Ludd, the almost magical figurehead `leader’ of the textile workers, gave his name to his `followers’. The origins of the name are shrouded in mystery. Felkin claimed it to come from the act of a Leicestershire lad called Ludham, “who, when desired by his father, a stocking maker, to `square’ his needles… took his hammer and beat them into heaps”. [5] The modern image of the Luddite has been cruelly distorted from reality, for the movement has to be seen not simply as a resistance to technological change, but more as a bargaining mechanism to resist excessive damage inflicted upon the workers during this period.

In the absence of a definite and clear workforce, with an established long-term defensive organisation, the range of tactics open to the framework knitters was limited. Ill informed, and often anti-union, modern commentators have devalued the word `Luddite’ as a stupid, blind resister of change. In reality, of course, the modern worker faced with the kind of mass unemployment that micro-technology has raised, or even economic restructuring, resisted not technological innovation in itself, but the social effects of those changes. It was the same for the Luddites who grew only in part due to the fear of new machines. Luddism’s prime target was not the machine, but the use by the masters of excessive numbers and excessively productive machines, in a time of dire economic distress, to maximise profit and keep wages deplorably low. For example, at Pentrich in December 1811, workers fixed notices to their stocking frames:

That is to say, at the agreed rates. If it hadn’t have been, then no doubt the machine would have been `broken’. Here again another modern myth needs to be exploded. “Breaking a machine” conjures up an image of brawny gangs of men smashing metal into shapeless lumps with huge hammers. It was nothing of the kind. Usually the `jack-wires’ were simply removed, rendering the frame useless until the wires were replaced. It was a quick and easy way of rendering the machine immobile and represented a small step in social protest from confiscating `illegal’ cheese or flour, as in the `riotous’ behaviour described earlier.

Moreover, machine breaking had always been used as a way of applying sanctions upon an employer. In 1710 a London hosier, who infringed the company rules by having 49 apprentices, had his frames broken and the action must have been sufficiently widespread to cause the passing of an Act suppressing it in 1727 – on pain of death! Cloth workers in the West of England used the tactic throughout the 18th century and in 1789 the practice seems to have been used in Nottingham. All through, such action had been used to resolve all grievances, not simply over new technology machines, but excessive apprentice quotas and piece-rate problems as well. While some concern existed about new machines, this was nowhere by any means the key problem in the 1811-1812 phase of Luddism.

The stocking trade was in a state of serious recession and to cut their losses unscrupulous employers used wide frames to make pieces of cloth that were cut up into gloves and socks. The raw edges were stitched together and, unlike properly knitted goods, the edges unravelled after the customer had bought the item. These goods, known as `cut-ups’, were very bad pieces of work and represented the real target of the Luddites. Only wide frames could produce these cut-ups, for the manufacturer needed a large piece of cloth to be cut up and sewn together to pose the finished product as having been knitted in one piece, what is known even today as fully fashioned. Only those owners who were engaged in `cut-up’ work were the targets and only those who had wide frames could do the shoddy work. So it was not really the new technology of the wide machine that the Luddite attacked, but the unscrupulous undermining of the reputation and quality of the trade.

Similarly, in lace, poor quality material was being sold as first rate, after being heavily starched. Again particular frames were responsible. The popular song referred to earlier again tells all, the trade would continue to fight:
“Till full fashioned work at the old fashioned price
Is established by custom and law” [7]
That is to say, no `cut-up’ work was to be done, nor any work was to be done at other than the agreed rate. The song continues to identify the knitters’ other grievances as being the use of “colting and cutting and squaring” – that’s the use of un-apprenticed workers and, again, `cutting-up’ work.

Frame breaking only began after abortive appeals to Parliament to regulate the dishonest practices. Some of the employers agreed to maintain all the practices demanded by workers if they would “join in bringing up the under-paying masters to the same standard”. [8] It was practically an invitation to break frames, for the men had no other powers. Following a cut in wages, the first militant act of frame breaking occurred in March 1811 in the Nottingham area – it rapidly spread over into Derbyshire, particularly Ilkeston. Workers from the border hosiery area gathered on the 11th March, in Nottingham, to give voice to their protests. Machines were broken in Ilkeston between 16th and 23rd March. No formal hosiery union existed, of course, but ad hoc bodies did develop alongside the Luddite movement. Indeed, the new trend was a “continuation of negotiations for the same ends (as the ad hoc bodies), but with other means”. [9]

Towards the end of the year Derbyshire became most affected, although many frames had been broken earlier in the year. The local militia of Derbyshire, numbering about 4,000 in five regiments, proved insufficient to control the outbreak of Luddism; not that it was too small, but it was impossible to protect the scattered frames. [10] The breakers were part of the community they lived in and betrayal was non-existent. Luddism operated rather as a guerrilla force, with groups operating swiftly under the cover of night, if secrecy was needed, or en masse, if possible.

The second wave of Luddism, centred on Derbyshire at the end of 1811, re-emerged with full vengeance: “There is an outrageous spirit of tumult and riot, houses are broken into by armed men, many stoking frames are destroyed, arms are seized, (hay) stacks are fired and private property destroyed”. [11] In an extraordinary move, public houses were ordered to close at 10pm and curfews were imposed in an attempt to introduce calm. (Legal licensing hours for pubs was not brought in until the 1914-18 war.) “In Derbyshire rioters have been very active, have displayed much violence, and much prudence as far as prudence can be connected with lawlessness.” Thirty frames were broken in the course of one week in Ilkeston. A correspondent from Crich warned the Home Secretary in a letter that a dreadful winter lay ahead unless something was done. [12]

Another sixteen frames were broken at Ilkeston on the 8th December and another seven at Cotmanhay in the New Year. A royal proclamation, dated 23rd December, offered £50 for every person convicted after: “A most violent attack was made about 8 o’clock last night on the house of MR JOHN BRENTNALL at LOCKO GRANGE, in the County of Derby, by eight or more persons, two of whom with their faces blacked and armed with pistols, entered the house”. [13] Presumably the motive for the attack was to break frames. Despite the fact that the intruders were frightened away, the authorities were determined to catch them. £50 was worth more than a year’s wages to some frame knitters – a mighty sum in view of the fact that no injury to life or property was occasioned. This was rapidly followed by the setting up, on the 17th December of an “Association for the Protection of Persons and Property…within the County of Derby”. [14]

For all this posturing by authority, in truth the attack of Luddism on frames, compared to the total number in operation in the County, was minimal, granted that the number of frames engaged in activities contrary to the wishes of the workers must have been limited. The total number of frames in Derbyshire was 4,700, with 400 in Derby and the rest scattered across 83 places in the country. [15] Assessing the total number of frames broken in Derbyshire is difficult, but it was surely a small percentage. The effect of Luddism was essentially a moral lesson to the employers, as well as a practical act.

1811 16th-23rd March Ilkeston *
23rd November Ilkeston *
25th November Heanor (“Some”)
29th November Bagthorpe (16-18)
2nd December Sneiston (2)
3rd December South Wingfield (1), Ilkeston (30)
6th December Pentrich (18)
7th December Pentrich (10)
11th December Ripley (“Several”)
12th December Ilkeston, Crich, Holbrook, Heage, Swanwick, Riddings.
1812 4th-11th January Heanor*
19th January Ilkeston (7), Swanwick (11)
17th February Stanton (1)
7th March Pentrich (10)
1813 1st January Melbourne (10)

* Numbers are not mentioned, but incidents `occurred’.

Map: Locations of machine breaking in Derbyshire 1811-1813

Combination Laws and anti-framebreaking legislation apart, negotiations were conducted all through the frame break period with the employers by what was virtually a co-ordinated trade union committee. On the 13th December 1811, the hosiers had agreed to raise wages, but not enough to satisfy the men’s demands. By the 28th December a list of agreed prices was published and, while the Nottingham employers were reluctant, the Derby hosiers were “early inclined to revert to the old prices”.

The Derby Committee of Plain Silk Hands appealed to the masters [17] to respond to their plea: “Galled by the pressure of unprecedented times, we cannot any longer remain indifferent to our common interests as men. As a body of ingenious artisans employed on materials of great value, pent up in a close shop 14 to 16 hours a day, (a confinement prejudicial to many constitutions) having under our constant care a machine confessedly difficult…we conceive ourselves entitled to a higher station in society”. The framework knitters continued to explain that as they were “hedged in by a Combination Act, we cannot say to you, as a public body, that we demand an advance of wages”. Felkin estimated that wages were raised by 2s a dozen items through the activities of the Luddites [18], no doubt much of the frame breaking simply stopped because the demands of the workers had been achieved. Wages were increased and the `cut-up’ trade was checked. However, the last word was to be left with the authorities, which immediately began to strengthen the powers of control open to them. More seriously, proposals were made for an anti-framebreaking Bill in February 1812. The United Committee of Framework Knitters opened correspondence with all towns to seek a delay of the Bill. Derby replied on 3rd March that “The magistrates of this Rotten Borough will not suffer us to have a meeting of the trade.”[19] The reference to a `rotten’ borough was the term used for parliamentary constituencies that had very few electors compared to the population; the word no doubt conveyed the moral stench implied by the lack of democracy.

Predictably, the Bill soon passed into law, and a very severe piece of legislation it was indeed. The death penalty was to be used against those found guilty of destroying machinery. During the debate in Parliament, the poet, Lord Byron, was to the fore in opposing the Bill. Rejecting the distortions of Luddism by his fellow Lords which has passed into historical mythology, Byron warned them not to be complacent: “You may call the people a mob, but do not forget that a mob too often speaks the sentiments of the people.”[20]

2. The Knitters’ Union after Luddism:

Unlike the open organisation of trades unions, the Luddites were a relatively small body of armed men, acting clandestinely. The anti-framebreaking law was largely irrelevant, for if convictions were rare when the penalty was 14 years transportation, it would be unlikely that the mass of the people would provide information on the Luddites if it would mean death. The Knitters now concentrated again on getting Parliament to regulate those very demands that they had successfully enforced by machine breaking. Gravenor Henson organised the petition, which was rejected by the Lords, even after the Commons had proposed only a partially effective Bill. Disappointment was strong amongst the workers and a clear lesson was there for all to see. One certain result was the general movement towards organised and united action. A Government intercepted letter from a framework knitter to a friend in Glasgow in 1812, urges such on the knitters of that town, announcing that Godalming, Dublin, London and Derby had formed societies. Called the United Society of Framework Knitters, it aimed to organise across framework knitting generally. Previous attempts to organise tended to concentrate on silk or cotton or worsted sections of the trade, specifically. [21]

The company system was now totally dead and the framework knitters began to assume formalised trade union structures. By 1813 a central `government’ and rules existed; the organisation was itself a federation of small local societies of some several score membership each. Eleven out of the 56 societies were from Derbyshire. Several disputes were immediately entered into. [22] In April 1814, 350 silk hands in Derby went on strike, or `turned out’, for an eight shillings a dozen advance, but although much financial support was provided to them, the dispute came to nought. [23]

The massive petitioning of Parliament in 1814 and 1816 more than testifies to the fact that this tactic was still very much with the knitters. Firstly, the action was in protest at the repealing of the seven-year restriction on apprenticeship and, secondly, two years later it was again seeking the legal protection of wages. More significant was the first use of the general strike weapon. Some 9,000 workers in the framework knitting trade struck from the 6th September 1817, after weeks of tension during which some employers resisted demands for an advance in wages. The workers were quite effectively organised and Derby seems to have been quite solid. [24]

3. The Pentrich Provocation of 1817.

Some have called the event a revolution, some a riot, some a rebellion. It seems more accurate in the light of events as we know them to dub it a Government inspired provocation to action, designed to generally assist in justifying repression. Whatever it truly was, certainly an armed rebellion of 400 men took place in Derbyshire in June 1817. How did this arise? What forces led them to such a strong gesture and what became of it?

The movement for political reform, which had been agitating since the 1770’s, was driven underground as the French Wars enabled English Governments to adopt authoritarian policies of state. As the movement went underground it was radicalised in the process. Economic discontent began to be channelled into political clubs like the Hampden Clubs, formed by Major John Cartwright, a supporter of wider suffrage. The clubs were named after John Hampden (1594-1643), a prominent 17th century libertarian, one of five MPs whom Charles I attempted to seize in the House of Commons in 1642. He died of wounds received in battle, when in command of a Parliamentary force during the civil war. (For details of Derbyshire’s Clubs see Appendix B to this chapter.)

Major Cartwright saw Luddism as a blind alley and argued strongly for political action when he visited Derby in January 1812, no doubt helping to found a club. [25] He had been no stranger to Derby, having stood in the 1780 elections for that seat. Coming third with 149 votes, he had been beaten by the Tory, Daniel Coke, who polled 341 and the victor, the Whig Robert Smith, who took 569 votes. The Hampden Clubs co-ordinated massive petitions to Parliament and, in January 1817, a rally was held in London, marking the first real national co-ordination of any peoples’ organisation of a wider character then the purely sectional trades unions.

The mood of the masses was sharply rebellious – the Prince Regent had stones thrown at the windows of his coach by a crowd. The House of Lords investigated the state of the nation as the political clubs became more and more popular – especially in the Midlands and the North. While the aims of the clubs were modest at first – simply an extension of the franchise – the fear of revolution held by the ruling circles soon gave vent to repression. In an atmosphere of paranoia bordering on the absurd, the Government suspended Habeas Corpus, and the infamous Sidmouth `Gagging Acts’ were passed. (Lord Sidmouth was the Home Secretary.) All public meetings were forbidden, except under licence from local magistrates. Pubs and coffee houses, as especially notorious places for radical gatherings, were covered by the Acts, as were all public places. `Sedition’, that is to say opposition to the Government whether by speech or written word, was to be punished severely.

Of special concern to the authorities were the political writings of William Cobbett and his journal the `Political Register’. Cobbett wrote in a conversational style, quite unusual then and, as most workers could not read, crowds would gather in meeting places to hear public readings of radical newspapers. The style of `Political Register’ came into its own then – it was as if Cobbett were there, speaking to them! His ideas and style were explosive in impact. The “Address to the Journeymen and Labourers of England” sold 200,000 copies in two months. A phenomenal number for the time – and if it’s taken into account that usually one subscriber would read it to scores of sympathisers, then Cobbett’s audience must have numbered millions. It would be the reading of Cobbett’s works that would be specifically cited as the source of blame for the Pentrich events.

As the discontent reached fever pith, the first `hunger march’ of the unemployed was organised. At the beginning of 1817, the textile workers of Manchester decided to petition the Prince Regent for political reform and relief of the unemployed. The idea was to march to London, over a period of six days, in order to present the petition. The men would sleep anywhere, on the ground, or in churches, but would take a blanket with them; they were rapidly called the `Blanketeers’.

About 12,000, entirely peaceful, supporters of the Blanketeers turned out to greet the start of the march – but the authorities arrested a score or more of the main leaders and dispersed the crowd with troops of dragoons. Despite this, some several hundred marchers had already left, but large numbers were forcibly stopped at Stockport. 500 marchers reached Leek, but as they marched towards Derby they found the Hanging Bridge over the River Dove at Ashbourne occupied by masses of troops who were expecting an army of 30,000 rebels! Most of the Blanketeers turned away, but 25 were arrested in Ashbourne itself, and a few got to Derby; only one marcher reached London to present his petition.

Throughout the spring of 1817, the Government set up a network of spies and political provocateurs. The aim would be not only to be aware of trouble, but also to anticipate it. The line between anticipation and prematurely forcing rebellion was fine. But the latter tactic would be ideal for the Government. A relatively isolated and harmless expression of discontent could be used to nip firmly in the bud the development of a more serious situation. Moreover, it was of supreme tactical importance to prevent an alliance between the labouring masses and the middle strata. Such an alliance had been seen with terrifying force in the English Civil War. Bourgeois liberal elements were making strong criticism about the excesses of State powers and, to quell this, Government Ministers became obsessed with portraying the North and Midlands as a hot bed of revolution. Proof that this was so would more than justify the extreme measures of repression taken. The use of `agent provocateurs’, to create the very conditions the ruling circles feared, was thus expedient. One particular agent became famous for his work in Pentrich. As early as the attack on the Prince Regent’s coach, `Oliver, the spy’ was heard at the Horse Guards “inveighing in such loud and seditious terms against the Prince Regent as to collect a crowd around him”. [26] If such was so, then it is tempting to speculate as to whether one of the very acts that justified the repressive legislation was itself a `put up job’. Either way, it certainly didn’t take much to inflame the crowd against the Prince Regent.

Oliver began a tour of the provinces soon after, with a letter of introduction written by John Addington, (brother and under-secretary to Sidmouth). The letter urged co-operation of the “intelligent man deserving of your confidence”, more specifically, Oliver’s role was detailed for the local officials, with the locations left out in the records to protect the spy. “A person well acquainted with the Designs of the Disaffected at ________ and other places in the Midlands and Northern counties, will leave London Tomorrow Evening, and will visit _______ previous to his return. It is possible that he may obtain some information while at that place, the earliest communication of which to a magistrate on the spot may be of material importance”. [27]

Oliver passed through Derby on the 26th April on his way north. Having to wait for fresh horses on the public coach, he called upon Robertshaw, the landlord of the Talbot Inn, a local meeting place for radicals. Travelling on his way, Oliver attended a meeting at Wakefield of delegates from across the disaffected counties. One Thomas Bacon of Pentrich was there. [28] Once taken into Bacon’s confidence, Oliver was able, a month later, to return to Derby when he stayed at the Talbot Inn. While in the town, he met with a group of six local activists in the upstairs room at the Three Salmons. Presenting himself as a delegate of a `Committee of gentlemen in London’, Oliver intimated that his mission was to “ascertain the sentiments of the people respecting Parliamentary Reform”. [29] Only `physical force’ was worth trying, he argued. Petitions were a waste of time. The local men responded that the country was not ready – but Oliver told them they were mistaken, “half the country is in an organised state…particularly the manufacturing districts”. Some places were only with difficulty prevented from armed action, he claimed. Despite the fact that the six locals thought Derby to be “a very loyal place”, Oliver asked that something be done – even only as a token. For “the business would be done in London, where sixty or seventy thousand armed men would be raised in an hour or two’s notice”. [30]

So the Derbyshire men had only to show that they were in support of this fictitious great national uprising. How could they know the reality? Communications were expensive, limited and dangerous. Thomas Bacon had seen Oliver in action as a `London delegate’ already. Bacon had been a radical activist for thirty years. He was later to be described as of “rude and uncultured” appearance, and yet as one who possessed “an excellent natural understanding, a degree of knowledge far beyond the attainment of men of his condition of life”. The authorities were well aware of his history and believed him intent on channelling Luddism into a political revolutionary response. A Pentrich Hampden Club owed its existence to Bacon. [31]

Pentrich was particularly vulnerable to suggestions of violent militaristic action, for local feelings were running very high. With Luddism and Hampden Clubs well established in the area, the news of the execution of seven Luddites from Loughborough and another in Nottingham in April, must have inflamed opinion in the surrounding parts. [32] More importantly, however, four men were currently due to be executed for setting fire to Colonel Wingfield Hatton’s haystacks at South Wingfield, very near to Pentrich. Hatton was the local magistrate and squire, so a good deal of anger was generated amongst the commoners about the affair. The four men, George Booth aged 21, John Brown aged 38, Thomas Jackson aged 20 and John King aged 24, all protested their innocence to the very end. One of them was buried in Pentrich in August, after the rebellion. The church funeral service was marked by bitterness. The established church, by and large, counted for little in these remote districts, newly acquiring large populations from mines and textile production, except as the most unrelenting voice of `law and order’.

However, one Hugh Woolstenholme of Crich, who was the new curate of Pentrich, had sharply radical views. He took the opportunity of the large congregation at the burial to tell the people that “the man was murdered – and that the same fate would attend their relations and friends now in jail if they did not prevent the designs of the bloodthirsty prosecutors and perjured witnesses”. [33] Woolstenholme’s brother was a key radical in Sheffield and was himself in contact with Thomas Bacon. The authorities had scant regard for Hugh Woolstenholme; he was “of the lowest order of clergyman, uneducated, of vulgar habits, and low connects”. [34] In fact he had attended Sheffield Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge, but no matter – a parson had to be a gentleman, a man at least related to property-owners and often was a local magistrate. Woolstenholme, however, was a revolutionary!

Various local dignitaries sensed the rising tide of anger in the area. John Fletcher, proprietor of the Ripley Brewery, made a sworn statement on the 6th June that he was upset by the “frequent private assemblies of Hampden Clubs”. There had been three meetings in the previous week with over a hundred present at each one. Fletcher claimed that the “few respectable inhabitants had hidden their valuables because of alarm in the area”. [35] The local paper positively and firmly blamed the Hampden Clubs after the event, saying that Monday, 9th June, was “fixed for a general insurrection in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire”, and that immense bodies of men, armed with guns, pikes and other offensive weapons, were to have marched out of Lancashire and Yorkshire, over the north-eastwardly side of this county and the westwardly side of Nottinghamshire, into the town of Nottingham”. [36] Such a description is so far from reality that it’s oddly reassuring to find that newspapers could get it so wildly wrong in the 19th century as they sometimes do today! In truth, the establishment was well prepared for it all and there was no surprise amongst the authorities. Indeed, in readiness for the anticipated event, over 100 selected and reliable men out of the 700 employed at the Butterley Iron Works, only up the road from Pentrich, were sworn in as special constables. [37] Similar preparations were taken elsewhere, notably at Nottingham, the supposed centre of the rebellion, but it proved impossible to provoke a response from the Hampden Clubs there of the same order as in Pentrich. Perhaps the quality of the leadership bore some relevance.

There were three men, other than Bacon, who were to feature prominently in the Pentrich affair. Jeremiah Brandreth, or the `Nottingham Captain’, was to actually lead the rebellion. (See contemporary picture – right.) Despite some rather wild stories about his origins, Brandreth was an unemployed framework knitter from Sutton in Ashfield. He had, almost certainly, been involved in Luddite activities and some say as a young apprentice had been present at the execution of Edward Despard in 1803. Accused of planning the assassination of the King, Despard protested his innocence, claiming that he died because he was “a friend to the poor and oppressed”. [38] If that were so, then how the anger of the crowd must have impressed the young Brandreth. How ironic that he himself should become another victim within 14 years! Brandreth was very much the central figure at the meetings in Pentrich, which were to organise the fateful venture.

Clearly, there was a body of support locally, for it was heard that six men from Jessop’s foundry at Butterley had been sacked “in consequence of their Jacobinical principles and calling themselves members of a Hampden Club”. This would have inflamed the mood and the very next day, Sunday 8th June 1817, Brandreth spoke at a crowded meeting in the White Horse Inn in Pentrich. Repeating, with total belief, Oliver’s tale of a grand revolt about to open up all over the country, Brandreth recited some verses of his own composition. Every man “must turn out and fight for bread. The time is come you plainly see, The Government opposed must be”. [39] Calling on the men to march to Nottingham, he told them that they would each be given 100 guineas, bread, beef and ale. Over 16,000 men would rise at Nottingham and the Derbyshire contingent would take boats down the Trent to seize Newark. [40]

The rebels assembled at 10 am at Hunt’s Barn in Garner’s Lane, South Wingfield, to march to Ripley. Recruits from Heage and Belper reinforced the march at Ripley and, by the time it arrived at Codnor with another 70 men from Swanwick, there were well over 400 insurgents. On their way to Nottingham, they called at nine or ten houses to collect arms and in one or two cases press-ganged men to join the rebellion. Most were armed simply with sticks with a piece of iron or spikes attached to them. The Government preferred to call them pikes, but the military connotations were rather exaggerated. Most carried hayforks or freshly peeled tree poles studded with nails. [41] In truth the men were very sparsely armed, contrary to the claims in the local paper that the “insurgents from Pentrich possessed themselves of all the guns, and fire arms (in the district) of which they had accurate account, which were found on them”. [42]

At some houses, the farmers were forced to provide provisions but not all were reluctant to assist. At Samuel Hunt’s farmhouse, bread, cheese and beer were freely given by him to the insurgents. Hunt was to be rewarded with transportation for life for his generosity and involvement. At the Squire’s door, violence was threatened, but not carried out, in reprisal for the forthcoming hangings in August. This Squire was Colonel Wingfield Hatton, whose haystacks had been fired in April. Then the column split into two to cover the area better, aiming to gather further recruits and provisions. Brandreth, William Turner and Isaac Ludlam took one group, while George Weightman and Edward Turner took the other. The most serious incident of the rebellion was about to take place. It was Brandreth’s group that visited the home of Mrs Hepworth. The `Captain’ banged on the door asking for arms, while those inside refused to open up. A few of the rebels went to the rear of the house, where a window was broken, and a random, warning shot was fired inside. The servant, Robert Walters, fell mortally wounded as he bent down. Proof of deliberate murder was never provided, nor was there more than a suspicion that it was Brandreth who fired the shot. Moreover, no one was charged with murder, nor did anyone admit to such a crime. It was enough, however, to blacken the whole column with murderous intentions. [43]

By early morning, the two groups had come together again and had reached Eastwood. There, two magistrates accompanied by twenty fully armed men and Officers of the 15th Light Dragoons, met them. Mundy, one of the magistrates, afterwards described the confrontation: “we came in sight of the mob who though at three quarters of a mile’s distance from us no sooner saw the troops, then they fled in all directions…throwing away their arms”. [44] Not a single shot was fired and, within a very short space of time, 48 men were captured. Some, however, stayed at large for quite a while. Isaac Ludlam was arrested at Uttoxeter, Brandreth at Bulwell and George Weightman at Eccleston, near Sheffield. Thomas and John Bacon were not caught until the 15th August and then only by virtue of the enormous reward of 100 guineas offered for their betrayal. [45]
Route taken by the Pentrich marchers

The establishment now proceeded to extract retribution; it would be vindictive and effective. Within two weeks of the event it was announced that: “Ann Weightman, widow, who has kept the White Horse public house at Pentridge for several years, was convicted…of having permitted seditious meetings and, in particular, a meeting on Sunday, 8th instant”, when Brandreth had called upon the men to join the rising. In consequence, her licence to sell ale was revoked, thus depriving her of her livelihood. In a similar move, the Duke of Devonshire announced a strict inquiry into the tenancies of any men involved in the insurrection. [46]

More serious would be the punishment meted out to the leaders, all of the prisoners were isolated until the time of their trial in Derby; their relatives sold everything, down to their beds, to provide funds for their defence and a committee was formed in London to campaign for their release. 46 men of Pentrich, South Wingfield, Alfreton and Heanor, were indicted at the Derby Assizes on 26th July 1817 as having committed High Treason, along with “a multitude of false traitors …500 or more”. [47] A more colourful aspect to the charge was that they had been “moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil to levy war against the King”. [48] The overwhelming majority of those on trial were labourers and framework knitters, but there was one each of a farmer, tailor, blacksmith and sawyer. There were also two stonemasons. Fully eleven of those charged were still not caught by February of the next year.

A Special Commission of four judges had 35 of those charged before them on 16th October 1817 at Derby. A full trial, lasting ten days, ensued, before a jury packed with rich farmers. The prosecution had deliberately held over the trial to October, until after the harvest, so that such a jury would be available. This was important in High Treason cases as the defence could challenge 35 of the panel, without cause, and an unlimited number with cause. The Derby solicitor, W J Lockett, preparing the case for the Crown, was more than pleased with the outcome, writing to Lord Sidmouth, he declared that he was “happy to inform you that we are prepared for the trials. I have intelligence upon which I can depend as to every juror”. [49] Lockett was in his own right a wealthy backer of John Heathcote’s Loughborough lace factory, attacked by Luddites in 1816. He was later to become agent to Lord Cavendish in the Reform Bill elections.

Each group of defendants faced a different jury, but the first business was the calling of a Grand Jury that had to decide if there was sufficient evidence for a case to be answered. The composition of the Grand Jury, double normal size, gave new meaning to the phrase `jury by peers’! For it was comprised of the cream of Derbyshire’s ruling class: – nobility, rich farmers and textile tycoons crammed the jurors’ seats. (See Appendix)

The indictment left nothing to chance for it was several pages long. The main thrust of it was that the prisoners did: “with force and arms at the parish of South Wingfield aforesaid, in the county of Derby aforesaid, maliciously and traitorously amongst themselves, and together with divers other false traitors, whose names are to the said jurors unknown, did compass, imagine, invent, devise, and intend to levy war against our said Lord the King, within this realm, in order by forces and constraint to compel him to change his measures and counsels, and the said last-mentioned compassing imagination, invention, device and intention did then and there express, utter and declare, by divers overt acts and deeds hereinafter mentioned, that is to say, in order to fulfil, perfect and bring to effect, their most evil and wicked treason and treasonable compassing, imagination, invention, device and intention last aforesaid”.[50] That’s to say, by force of arms they intended to wage war against the King to get him to change his policy to one they agreed with!

The prosecution held Oliver the spy, the instigator of it all, in reserve in Derby, well out of sight. All they had to do was to prove the insurrection occurred and that the prisoners were part of it. The defence, meanwhile, ineptly argued that Brandreth was misled and duped by – William Cobbett! Defence lawyer, Cross, put it like this: “I cannot help alluding…to one of the most malignant and diabolical publications ever issued from the English press…it is entitled – `An address to the Journeymen and Labourers'”. Not that Cross – he was after all defending them – was unsympathetic to the plight of the rebels; he drew attention to the evidence of Thomas Turner, a state witness, who said nothing of the indictment’s claim that the insurgents aimed to overturn the Government. “At Elijah Hall’s (the) men told him they wanted a bigger loaf and better times for the framework knitters, and if this were high treason he feared that there were many persons in that hall guilty of the crime”. [51]

But why clutch at straws like this, when there was hard defensive evidence? Brandreth’s solicitor took a statement from him before the trial, not used by him, but which clearly identified Oliver’s role. In this, Brandreth explains the Three Salmon’s meeting, attended by Oliver, where he claimed that the entire country was ready to rise. Oliver said, “he could raise 70,000 men in London… (but)…the people in London would not be satisfied unless Nottingham was perfectly secured” to safeguard the passage over the Trent for the supposed northern forces. [52]

Moreover, everyone seemed to know about Oliver’s doings. Joseph Strutt, a well-to-do local liberal, wrote in a private letter to his uncle, Lord Belper, that many wondered how it was that nothing of Oliver came out in the trial, but such was the cunning of the prosecution that, “not a single witness was brought forward against the prisoners who had ever had anything to do with Oliver. The prosecution commenced by the examination of men who had been at a meeting only the night before the rising took place, and after Oliver had left them, so that anything which took place before that time would not have been admitted as evidence”. [53]

The Government had learned from previous cases that the evidence of a spy tended not to help the prosecution, for there is an almost natural aversion of people to the sneak. Moreover, if evidence is secured by devious and lying means, how could any jury be sure that the evidence was really sound? It was essential that a death sentence was reached, at least in the case of the leaders, to place on record a warning to the radical movement.

There was another clever sidestepping manoeuvre on the part of the Crown; Brandreth was taken as the main culprit, and not Bacon who was, in reality, the leading radical in Pentrich. There was good reason for this move, for Bacon had set it all up, in good faith, with Oliver. To accept Bacon as the leader would mean providing him with an opportunity to mention Oliver. Bacon was induced to plead guilty in return for sparing his life and Brandreth’s case was taken first. [54] Bacon later wrote: “When I was first in prison some magistrates came, I offered to tell (them of] the affair, but Mr Lockett, the prosecutor, discharged me from speaking one word. I was the first man in the indictment, it was the King against Thomas Bacon and others. My trial was supposed to come on…first”. [55]

Political dissidents had chalked up the slogan “JURYMEN REMEMBER OLIVER!”, somewhat in vain, on the walls of Derby before the trial. But Oliver’s part did not come out in the trial and Brandreth was found guilty on Saturday 18th October, after only twenty-five minutes consideration. William Turner’s trial started on Monday and in turn he, Isaac Ludlam and George Weightman were all found guilty, after much the same evidence. Turner’s jury was out for fifteen minutes, Ludlam’s for only ten. In mitigation for Weightman, Cross argued that he was “led by delusion into a riotous assemblage… (he) …was incapable of committing any outrageous act”. [56] The jury of ten farmers, one miller and one master cotton spinner were not especially moved.

While the greater part of the other prisoners were either released or condemned to transportation, the capital sentence of high treason was pronounced on Brandreth, Turner and Ludlam. The judge made their offence clear: – “Your object was to wade through the blood of your countrymen; to extinguish the Laws and Constitution of the country, and to substitute for the liberty of your fellow subjects – anarchy”. [57] Nine prisoners followed who had pleaded not guilty originally, but who had now changed their plea to guilty. Ten pleaded guilty outright and these were formally sentenced to death, commuted to transportation and gaol. The Attorney General offered no evidence against twelve, mainly young relatives of the principals. The Chief Baron, in acquitting them, said that while he might have been pronouncing death he believed that by “taught wisdom…you will lead more correct lives… (as]…you have been misled by others”. [58] Of those that pleaded not guilty, eleven were pardoned from death and transported for life, three for fourteen years and others were imprisoned – one for two years, two for one year and three for six months.

Brandreth and his colleagues waited for their deaths. A fruitless campaign to save them was waged, for the Prince Regent believed himself to be acting magnanimously in response to a plea for clemency by remitting the quartering – they were only to be hanged and decapitated. Even the High Sheriff, Hallewes, who had proposed that the heads be removed by an anatomy student as a humanitarian gesture, was over-ruled. Two axes were ordered from Bamford’s, a Derby Smithy, but a very high fee of twenty-five guineas had to be offered to attract a volunteer to do the job of executioner. In gaol, Brandreth was silent about his past, presumably because of his Luddite connections. After Brandreth’s death, George Weightman told the Chaplain that the former had told him how he took part in an incident at Basford, when a man was killed. Perhaps he wished to avoid implicating any of his comrades by talking about the event. [59] Certainly Brandreth was outraged at the role of Oliver. Joseph Strutt wrote to his uncle, “Mr Wragg, the solicitor of the prisoners, was refused admittance to see Brandreth on Sunday last, and Lockett (not with his usual cunning] let out that he was afraid of Wragg seeing him, for that he (Brandreth) had ever since his condemnation talked of nothing else but Oliver, and that he was a murderer, etc., I hope he will speak and tell all that he knows when on the scaffold.”[60]

Brandreth was a family man, with a girl of four years of age and a boy of one year. His wife, Anne, was pregnant and, being penniless, had to walk the whole way (around fifteen miles] from Sutton in Ashfield to Derby, arriving on Wednesday, 29th October, to say farewell to her husband. [61] Brandreth’s last letter to Anne was written on the Friday morning. He left word for some money to be given to her. Finishing the letter, he sounded calm, “my dearly beloved wife this is the last correspondence I can have with you. So you will make yourself easy as you possib(ly) can”. Signing off as “your most affectionate husband”, Brandreth says “adieu, adieu, to all for ever”.

Strutt revealed that crowds of people flocked into Derby to see the execution “and the horseguards are parading our streets”, he warned. Indeed, the militia were very much afraid that a last minute attempt to rescue the three men would be made. A great force of cavalry, armed with drawn sabres, surrounded the scaffold. Several companies of infantry were also present, all to ensure that the crowds did not interfere with the judicial killings. Thousands were assembled in Friar Gate when Brandreth, Turner and Ludlam were brought out at 12 noon. Brandreth walked with a firm step to the scaffold and said to all “God be with you all and health to Lord Castlereagh”. [63] The rope was put around his neck and Turner was brought next, to say: “This is all old Oliver and the Government”. Ludlam, a Methodist preacher, merely addressed a prayer to the people. But no sign of repentance was shown by any of the condemned, despite much pressure to do so.

Pics left and below: depictions of Brandreth’s severed head were widely viewed

Cobbett, in a personal letter to Henry Hunt written from America on 6th February 1818 (lodged in Derby local studies library), relates how much anxiety and manoeuvring was shown by the authorities, all designed to prevent the men speaking the truth on the scaffold. His explanation for this was that the authorities wanted the three to specifically mention himself, Hunt, as responsible, to provide an excuse to move against the leadership of the radical movement.

The men were dropped from the trap to hang for half an hour. Hanging in those days did not instantly break the neck, but slowly strangled the victim to death. The men were lifted, eventually, to have their heads severed – the job was done ham-fistedly on all of them, for the executioner obviously unused to the task, could not sever the head from the body with the axe and had to cut it off with a knife. Bear in mind that the thirty minutes strangulation might not have killed the men. Finally, the executioner held Brandreth’s head up by the hair saying: “This is the head of Joseph Brandreth, a traitor”. Three times, Strutt relates, “there was a general expression of dissatisfaction by groans and hisses etc., from the people, and in an instant there was such a rush made from the lower part of Friar Gate, towards Messrs Hurt (at the end of Ford Street), that I thought the soldiers must have been coming and with the rest of them took to my heels”. The whole affair created a great sense of indignation amongst the local population, the events, Strutt thought, were “horrifying to the feelings of those who have a spark of liberty”.

Percy Byshe Shelley, the poet, wrote a bitterly sharp pamphlet after he read of the execution and the death in childbirth of Princess Charlotte, only daughter of the Prince Regent, in the same newspaper. The latter event was dwelt on with all solemnity as a national tragedy; the former seemed to Shelley to be the real calamity. Contrasting the private grief associated with the death of an amiable young lady with the bloody brutality of the slaying of the Pentrich Three, Shelley followed them to the grave in imagination. Conjuring up the tempo of a funeral march in his sentences, it was not the funeral of three men he saw in his mind’s eye, but that of British liberty. The realism of this poetic licence has in the past cause some to believe quite erroneously that Shelley was actually present at the execution, but this was not so.

Thus, a framework knitter and two masons were `privileged’ to be the last recipients of such a punishment in the provinces. The execution block is preserved in Derby’s museum and consists of two planks, two and a half inches thick, fastened together to form a base, 6′ 6″ by 2′ 6″. A piece of three inch high wood is nailed across the top – to provide some purchase on the head when severing it. All three coffins were buried in one deep, unmarked grave in St Werburgh’s churchyard, not far from the place of execution. It is unarguably a location worthy of some lasting memorial to three martyrs in the long fight for democracy in Britain but, sadly, to Derby’s shame, there is none.

As for those rebels left facing punishment, ten of fourteen prisoners left Derby gaol for deportation on Friday, 28th November; the others were left at Derby to follow on because of illness. They were all, rightly so, very bitter about their treatment, especially when they compared it to the discharge, on bail, of the only other rebels to respond to Oliver’s provocation. In Huddersfield, a capital charge against others failed because the evidence relied upon was that of accomplices. Many of the transportees were able to survive the rigours of Australia, although some died as convicts. All serving life sentences received a pardon on 1st January 1835. The last surviving rebel was George Weightman who died in 1865. The future was slightly kinder to Oliver who left for South Africa in 1820, where he had a job as Inspector of Buildings. He was to die, inauspiciously, in August 1827.

What of the lessons of the entire event? The political reform movement was blamed for complicity in an entirely government manufactured conspiracy. The Duke of Newcastle, who was Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, wrote to Sidmouth shortly after the march of the rebels, inferring that the authorities had deliberately allowed the event to occur: “As your Lordship is aware the plot had been hatching for some time, which we knew, and were prepared accordingly”. [64] Only by expecting an entirely different support for insurrection than actually existed would Brandreth and the men have embarked upon what was surely self-destruction. Only Oliver gave them any reason to expect otherwise, for they themselves were initially sceptical.

Was it simply a government created folly? E.P. Thompson has seen Pentrich as “one of the first attempts in history to mount a wholly proletarian insurrection, without middle class support”. [65] The true nature of Pentrich has been variously distorted as a rebellion, or a revolution, an expression of the desire of common folk for armed uprising. In reality, it was largely a deliberate provocation by the State. The motive? To crush the yearnings for democracy, so strong amongst the people. In a letter in 1831, Lord Melbourne, a former Home Secretary, recalled that there was “much reason to suspect that the rising…was stimulated, if not produced, by the artifices of Oliver”. [66]

That there was a willingness of the people to take to arms cannot be denied – that they were eager to do so can. There was not a revolutionary situation in England at that time, but there was a serious political situation. The provocation of Pentrich was no more historically significant than that it was an attempt to divert the rising tide of discontent into a premature blind alley. More specifically, in his letter of 4th February 1818, Cobbett wrote to Henry Hunt that the object of exciting the rebels had been to “give a shadow of ground for the lullish (i.e. deceptive, the quality of lulling one into false security) measures which had been previously adopted against the people”. Cross had tried to bend the truth that the men had been “instigated to riot, not be the hired instigators”, but by Cobbett himself against whose writings “infernal measures had been levelled”. The real aim of it all, he believed, was to “pave the way for further measures against the press”. Rebutting the suggestion that the rebels would not have acted without his seductive reasoning, Cobbett argued that real grievances lay at the heart of the events of Pentrich. “How could we persuade men to think that they were hungry? Men feel hunger. It does not come in at the ears.” Moreover all the odds were against Cobbett, for “nine-tenths of the pens and tongues were employed against us. What amazingly powerful orators and writers we must be!”

Perhaps to the modern mind, used to de-stabilisation techniques and political dirty tricks of all kinds, the notion that Pentrich was part of a government plot to justify greater repression does not sound bizarre. Pentrich happened in the days of infancy for British capitalism – but the cool cynicism of the State machine was far from childish.


Lord George Cavendish (foreman) Phillip Gell
Hon. George Vernon John Radford
Hon Henry Cavendish Francis Mundy
Sir Robert Wilmot, Bart Charles Hurt
Sir H. Fitzherbert, Bart Winfield Halton
Sir William C. Bradshaw Bache Heathcote
Sir Charles Colvill John Crompton
Richard Arkwright Richard Bateman
Ashton Nicholas Moseley Samuel Frith
Edward Miller Mundy Marmaduke Middleton Middleton
Francis Hurt Joseph Jebb

The Rebels and the Hampden Clubs in Derbyshire

Details are extracted from a manuscript index of folios of confessions and statements produced by the Crown during the trial of the rebels. The document sought to detail the essence of the offences of each individual, cross-indexing with the statements of witnesses. The page numbers of each reference is listed after the text viz: [DLSL ref: 59; 42]. The manuscript is lodged in Derby Local Studies Library.

Benbow visited Alfreton, when a meeting was held at Peach’s house – the Queen’s Head – at Alfreton Common. One Job Walker called a meeting to set up a club receiving a letter from Bacon when he was in London. Thomas Goose was the `secret committeeman’ for Alfreton. [DLSL ref: 59; 42]

John Cope, along with several workmen formed a `political club’ at the ironworks and was appointed the “secret committeeman for Butterley”. Cope was noted to have read “Sherwin’s pamphlet” to a group of ten workers at a meeting at Brassington’s – “an odd (i.e. isolated) house between Ripley and Butterley”. [DLSL ref: 31]

The Derby club clearly played a major role in developing other clubs in the county. A man called Nelson was either the secretary or chairman of the Derby club. Nelson certainly assisted in the setting up of the Heanor club about Christmas 1816. [DLSL ref: 89; 66]

The first meeting was held at Thomas Allen’s house – the “sign of the Nag’s Head”. Robert Bestwick chaired the meeting. A large room used as a Methodist meetinghouse belonging to Samuel Weston of Tag Hill, near Heanor was also used. John McHessick was, along with Bestwick, a key figure. [DLSL ref: 66; 2; 26]

The club met at the Anchor Inn and the secretary was J. Graham. [DLSL ref: 55]

Benbow had visited Pentrich to address a meeting at the White Horse. Thomas Bacon had set this up. At the meeting, Benbow urged the inhabitants of the village to send a delegate to London with a petition urging parliamentary reform. Bacon was appointed and some five pounds was raised for his expenses. Job Walters was appointed president or secretary of the Pentrich Hampden Club, which was established at a meeting at Bacon’s house, after he had written to Walters from London. The latter emigrated to America before the rebellion, but Bacon was clearly the key figure of the club all along. [DLSL ref: 21; 35; 69; 54; 96]

The club was founded two months before the rebellion by local petitioners, William Smith and John Moore, who was a collier. Edward Fletcher was the secretary and the club first met at Thomas Moore’s `The Cock’, then at Thomas Brassington’s isolated house and finally at William Ensor’s. Readings from Cobbett’s Register were heard at the Methodist meeting house in Ripley. A delegate reporting to a meeting at Thomas Brassington’s told of meeting Francis Burdett (or `Old Frank’ as he was affectionately known), Lord Cochran and Major Cartwright – the key national figures of the Hampden Clubs. Ripley adopted the rules of the Derby club in preference to those of Leicester or Nottingham.

Other members of the Ripley committee were George Burrows and a James Saint (or Sant), who was also the `delegate’ at one stage. Smith and Burrows were the revolutionary `secret committeemen’ for Ripley in the days just before the rebellion. Samuel Ludlam “appeared to act as chairman”, and along with Thomas Moore he read Cobbett’s Register and the “Nottingham Review” out aloud to members. [DLSL ref:65; 69; 39; 55; 27; 36; 65; 55; 35; 97; 103; 80]

South Wingfield
William Turner was the `secret committeeman’ [DLSL ref: 114]

Swanwick: Edward Haslam and James Barnes were the `secret committeemen’. [DLSL ref: 45]


Nine rebels pleaded not guilty originally and then reversed their plea.

Thomas Bacon* John Onion*
John Bacon* John Mackesswick*
Samuel Hunt* German Buxton*
Joseph `Manchester’ Turner* Josiah Godber*
Edward Turner*

Ten pleaded guilty outright:

John Moore George Weightman
Edward Moore Alexander Johnson
Charles Swaine Thomas Bettison*
John Hill* William Hardwick
Joseph Rawson* George Brassington*

The twelve against whom no evidence was offered:

Isaac Ludlam (junior) Thomas Weightman
Samuel Ludlam William Adams
William Ludlam John Wright
Robert Turner Joseph Topham
Joseph Weightman (junior) Thomas Ensor
James Weightman Joseph Savage

* These 13, plus George Weightman, were transported.

11 were charged, but never brought to trial:

William Barker Samuel Walters
Samuel Bridden Joseph Weightman (Snr)
Benjamin Taylor William Elliot
James Taylor James Barnes
Joseph Taylor Edward Haslam
John Horsley


1 G Rude “The Crowd in History – 1730-1848” Lawrence and Wishart (1981) p80
2 W Felkin “The History of the Machine Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufactures” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1967 reproduction of 1867 edition) p231
3 W Felkin “The History of the Machine Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufactures” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1967 reproduction of 1867 edition), S D Chapman’s introduction pp (v) and (vi)
4 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p259-60
5 W Felkin “The History of the Machine Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufactures” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1967 reproduction of 1867 edition) p231
6 “Alfred” 9th December 1811 quoted by E P Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class” Penguin (1976) p607
7 J L &B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p260
8 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p259
9 M I Thomis “The Luddites – Machine Breaking in Regency England” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1970) p134
10 W Page(ed) “The Victoria History of the Counties of England – Derbyshire” University London Institute of Historical Research/Dawson (1970 facsimile reprint of 1907 edition) p150
11 W Felkin “The History of the Machine Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufactures” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1967 reproduction of 1867 edition) p233
12 M I Thomis “The Luddites – Machine Breaking in Regency England” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1970) p18
13 “Derby Mercury” 26th December 1811; M I Thomis “The Luddites – Machine Breaking in Regency England” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1970) p52
14 “Derby Mercury” 2nd January 1812
15 J Blacker “History of Nottingham” (1815) p235
16 W Felkin “The History of the Machine Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufactures” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1967 reproduction of 1867 edition) p437; M I Thomis “The Luddites – Machine Breaking in Regency England” David and Charles Newton Abbott (1970) p34 & pp177-82
17 “Nottingham Review” 20th December 1811
18 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p266
19 E P Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class” Penguin (1976) p585
20 “History of the Working Class II – The English Industrial Revolution & Chartism” Martin Lawrence (1932) p9
21 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p229
22 F Wells “The British Hosiery and Knitwear Industry – its history and organisation” David and Charles (1972) p97
23 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p 232, p234
24 F Wells “The British Hosiery and Knitwear Industry – its history and organisation” David and Charles (1972) pp101-2; J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p248
25 E P Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class” Penguin (1976) Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class” p666
26 F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) p57
27 F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) p57; J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p355
28 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) “The Pentrich Revolution” (1896) p32
29 Henry Bennett MP in “An Inquiry into the Conduct of Certain Spies & Informers” February 11th 1818 Hansard XXXVII p353 Quoted in F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) p60
30 F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) p60
31 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) pp20-24; M Thomis DAJ XCIV (1974) pp41-44
32 “Derby Mercury” 24th April 1817
33 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p80
34 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p290
35 Original written statement to Lockett – Derby Local Studies Library
36 “Derby Mercury” 19th June 1817
37 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) pp21-24
38 E P Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class” Penguin (1976) E P Thompson p515
39 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p361; Arthur Coleman “The Pentrich Revolution at Eastwood” pp 1-2
40 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p23
41 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p61; J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p362; F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) p51; Crown Documents (Derby local studies library) MSS pp24-25
42 “Derby Mercury” 19th June 1817
43 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) pp 61-62; J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p362; F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) p51
44 J L & B Hammond “The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832” Longman’s Green (1919) p362
45 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p79
46 “Derby Mercury” 26th June 1817
47 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p86
48 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p40
49 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p81
50 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p42
51 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p76
52 F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) Chandler p62
53 W Page(ed) “The Victoria History of the Counties of England – Derbyshire” University London Institute of Historical Research/Dawson (1970 facsimile reprint of 1907 edition) p153
54 F W Chandler “Political Spies and Provocative Agents” self published Sheffield (1936) Chandler p68
55 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p113
56 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p86
57 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p90
58 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p89
59 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p103
60 W Page(ed) “The Victoria History of the Counties of England – Derbyshire” University London Institute of Historical Research/Dawson (1970 facsimile reprint of 1907 edition) p153
61 “Derby Mercury” 30th October 1817; J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p103 (The author quotes the letter, full of the most acute spelling mistakes, corrected here for clarity.)
62 W Page(ed) “The Victoria History of the Counties of England – Derbyshire” University London Institute of Historical Research/Dawson (1970 facsimile reprint of 1907 edition) p153
63 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p60
64 E P Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class” Penguin (1976) E P Thompson p733
65 J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p33
66 J Neal “The Pentrich Revolution” Pentrich Church Restoration Appeal Committee (1966 reprint of 1896 edition) p38 and J Stevens “England’s Last Revolution – Pentrich 1817” Moorlands, Buxton (1977) p11

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