Yorkshire Luddites Threaten the Owner of a Mechanized Factory

Ned Ludd




Information has just been given in, that you are a holder of those detestable Shearing Frames, and I was desired by my men to write to you, and give you fair warning to pull them down, and for that purpose I desire that you will understand I am now writing to you, you will take notice that if they are not taken down by the end of next week, I shall detach one of my lieutenants with at least 300 men to destroy them, and further more take notice that if you give us the trouble of coming thus far, we will increase your misfortunes by burning your buildings down to ashes. ... We hope for assistance from the French Emperor in shaking off the Yoke of the Rottenest, wickedest and most Tyrannical Government that ever existed. ... We will never lay down our arms till the House of Commons passes an act to put down all the machinery hurtfull [sic] to the Commonality and repeal that to the Frame Breakers. ...

Signed by the General of the Army of Redressers,

Ned Ludd, Clerk


G. D. H. Cole and A. W. Filson, eds., British Working Class Documents: Selected Documents  1789-1875 (London: Macmillan, 1951), 113-115.