Jan 15 1812: Ludditism Arrives in Yorkshire

In Leeds, there is the first indication that Luddite disturbances have spread to Yorkshire. Magistrates dispersed a crowd gathered in Leeds. 
The events are described in more detail in Luddite Bicentenary 1811-1813 as follows: 
At 9 o'clock on the evening of Wednesday the 15th of January, Magistrates in Leeds received news they must have been dreading. An informant gave them information under oath about a conspiracy to destroy machinery in the area.
Croppers were to gather en masse that night and then make their way at 11 o'clock to a new Mill at Sheepscar to "proceed to the work of destruction".
The Magistrates assembled at the office of the Town Clerk to decide what to do. They proceeded with mounted troops towards the proposed location of the attack, the meeting point being a bridge close to the Mill. Once there, they observed a number of people, who were passing the meeting place, and then returning to pass it by again, as if they were unsure of what to do. They seemed reluctant to gather, and when they finally dispersed at 1.00 a.m., the Magistrates and troops apprehended one of their number. The man had his face blacked, and carried a hammer and chisel. He also carried a large piece of burnt cork in his pocket.
For more information about the Luddites see my earlier post here.
An interesting timeline of the spread of Ludditism in Yorkshire can be found here.
Luddite Bicentenary 1811-1813 remains one of the best sources for information on the Luddite movement on the web. The site has a particularly useful examination of the historical context for the spread of the Luddite disturbances in Yorkshire here.

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