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
26 Bradford on Avon where a prominent clothier, Joseph Phelps, established one in his workshops in the centre of the town. A crowd of 500 gathered and demanded he take the machine down and make a public promise never to re-introduce it. Phelps refused to be intimidated and, when some of the crowd stoned his windows, fired shots into the crowd, killing three and mortally wounding two others. The crowd, outraged, continued their assault and Phelps' nerve broke. The machine was handed over, where upon itwas 'tried' and then ceremoniously burned on the town bridge.
A lull followed but by the end of February the district around Huddersfield-Almondbury, where gig mills and shearing frames were most numerous, began to experience a series of nightly attacks on dressing shops. Organised groups, usually with faces blackened, would seek or force entry into the cropping shops and smash the hated machines. These attacks lasted until the end of March. As E. P. Thompson says, this campaign emerged 'already full grown, modelled upon the Nottingham discipline and tactics, but accompanied by a greater number of emphatic threatening letters' (Thompson, 1968, p.
Westbury ............ ~.... o 1802 WILTSHIRE 1802. " " '- ... _.. 0 \ From~. • Devizes ,, " ,, \ Protest against machinery in the west of England woollen industry, 1776-1802 29 outright assaults on mills, to arson and eventually even to attempted murder. Many of these attacks involved personnel from several of the main cloth dressing centres, indicating the coordination and control employed. The Wiltshire Outrages brought to the fore the old regulatory legislation which had controlled the industry since the sixteenth century.