By Andrew Charlesworth, David Gilbert, Adrian Randall, Humphrey Southall, Chris Wrigley (auth.)
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Extra info for An Atlas of Industrial Protest in Britain 1750–1990
But it was only where wives of textile workers were threatened that resistance was encountered. Rural labourers' families suffered just the same loss of income. Rural labourers, however, lacked the social cohesion or confidence engendered by the tradition of vigorous protest found in the woollen working communities and no resistance was forthcoming. Only one non-textile area saw violence and that was at Keynsham where miners' wives were displaced. Miners were certainly not afraid to riot but, distant from the towns where the innovators lived; their threats could not be brought to bear upon them.
Small manufacturers and master dressers began to destroy or to dismantle their frames rather than risk the croppers' wrath. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that many master dressers were not displeased to see the apparent end of finishing machinery. However, some of the larger mill owners in the eastern districts were not so easily cowed and, as in Wiltshire in 1802, posted armed guards and began to tum their premises into small fortresses. Luddism in Yorkshire 39 The croppers were faced with a difficult tactical choice.
Protest against machinery in the west of England woollen industry, 1776-1802 31 5. The Luddite disturbances, 1811-12 Some of the most extensive and certainly the most famous industrial protests of the Industrial Revolution occurred in the Midlands and North of England in the years 1811-12. Beginning in Nottinghamshire, the 'Luddite' disturbances, drawing their name from the mythical Ned Ludd, spread into Yorkshire and across the Pennines into Lancashire. The context of these disturbances was one of rapidly increasing food prices and of trade dislocated by the acute depression caused by the ill-judged 'Orders in Council' and by the short-lived war with the USA which they occasioned.
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