In 1812 certain areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire saw major outbreaks of violence by people who have come to be known as “Luddites”. The Luddites were mainly croppers, a small and highly skilled group of cloth finishers, who, at a time of the worst trade depression since the 1760’s, facing deepening poverty, rising wheat prices and food scarcity, turned their anger on the new cropping machine, which they feared would put them out of work.
2012 is the bicentenary year of the Luddites inWest Yorkshire and to accompany the major exhibition produced by West Yorkshire Archive Service, a booklet is now available for £2 [£3.10 with postage], obtainable from all of our district offices and through our eshop.
The 25 page booklet aims to give an insight into life in 1812 , the major events of riots and murder as well as the individual stories of some of the Luddites and the personal suffering undergone by their widows and children, who were visited by the Quaker,Thomas Shillitoe.
The display is now on at Red House Museum, Gomersal, Halifax Central Library and Huddersfield Library until the end of April and then will be shown at various other venues such as King Cross Library, Halifax; the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield; Armley Library; Marsden Mechanics’ Institute and Shibden Hall later in 2012. (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details).