This report begins: 'Account of the proceedings at the Lancaster Assizes against the Rioters in Lancashire; when no less than 35 Men and 7 Women received the awful sentence of Death on Monday last, for destroying the Steam-power Looms; Also, the excellent Address of the Judge on passing Sentence, with the Names of the unfortunate Prisoners.' The sheet was published in Glasgow by John Muir.
Although these people were sentenced to death, in actual fact none were executed. Most had their sentences commuted to prison terms and ten were transported for life. These handloom weavers were desperate, and attacked the mechanised looms that were destroying their livelihood. The judge recognises their plight, saying 'There has been, God knows, a great pressure of distress in this country, but it cannot be permitted to individuals to carve their own relief'.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
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1826 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(088)
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