[1811] - First Luddite riots in Nottingham

The Luddites was the name given to a group of workers who rioted and destroyed textile machinery between 1811 and 1816. Fearing that such machinery would erode their livelihoods, the Luddite movement grew in response to the social and economic pressures on the labouring classes caused by the Napoleonic Wars. In particular, the Luddites were concerned that the introduction of wide-framed automated looms would result in the redundancy of thousands of skilled textile workers. The earliest Luddite violence broke out between March 1811 and February 1812 as machinery was attacked and destroyed throughout Nottinghamshire and Lancashire. Although machine breaking had been made a capital offence in 1721, special legislation was passed in an attempt to restore order to Nottingham. In March 1812 seven Luddites were sentenced at the Nottingham Assizes to transportation.

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