This image reproduces a letter from a group of North Yorkshire ‘Radical Reformers’ to a Mrs Lawrence of Studley Hall, c. 1817. A keen eye will discern a very definite threat, mainly that the Hall and Fountains Abbey would be blown up unless Mrs Lawrence gave the out-of-work men £100 in alms!
The letter reads: ‘[They] are all hungering to death for want of work and if you do not send them some thing handsom [sic] you must expect your hall being blown down… but if you send them an hundred pound you will not be disturbed at all but if you send nothing you must expect being blown up before thursday next and a great deal more places in the parish will be blown up all the halls in ingland [sic] shall be blown down before christmas yet…’.
The item (accession no. DC/RIC II 9/1/54) forms part of the Ripon Corporation collection at North Yorkshire County Record Office in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.
The North Yorkshire Record Office also holds a number of other documents and resources related to labour history in the North Yorkshire region, including trades union minute books.
For more information about NYCRO, visit their website.