E.P. Thompson, Shirley, and the Antinomian Tradition in West Riding Luddism and Popular Protest

This article follows a thread that links E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class with his later study of William Blake, which uncovered an antinomian tradition that linked the radicalism and protest of the ‘age of reason’ with the seventeenth century. Continue reading E.P. Thompson, Shirley, and the Antinomian Tradition in West Riding Luddism and Popular Protest

SSLH backs campaign to save Luddite pub from demolition

An 18th century pub that played a central part in the story of Luddism in West Yorkshire faces demolition after plans to replace it with housing were submitted to the local council. The Shears Inn at Liversedge was host to regular gatherings of local croppers at the start of the 19th century, and in early 1812 was the venue for a meeting at which plans … Continue reading SSLH backs campaign to save Luddite pub from demolition

North Yorkshire ‘radical reformers’

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 … Continue reading North Yorkshire ‘radical reformers’

Liberty or Death: the Yorkshire Luddites

The story of the Luddites and their times continues to fascinate. That is particularly true for those of us who live in that part of Yorkshire where the events were most dramatic. However, what is often overlooked is the extent to which the Luddite events of 1812 and 1813 fit within the broader and more sustained pattern of British social and political radicalism in the … Continue reading Liberty or Death: the Yorkshire Luddites