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Anti Poor Law Riots, November 1838  (Document ID: 102754)

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Anti Poor Law Riots, November 1838 (Document ID: 102754)

Author: Unknown
Date: November 1838
Location: Todmorden
Format: Historical Account
Document ID: 102754
Library ID:

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 required the election of Boards of Guardians, the collection of a poor rate and the establishment of a workhouse, for each of the newly established unions of parishes and townships. In the Todmorden area, there was fierce opposition to the idea of introducing a workhouse and efforts were made to prevent both the election of Guardians and the collection of the poor rate.
The Mankinholes Riot of 16th November 1838 was the outcome of an attempt by constables Feather and King to seize goods from the home of William Ingham, the overseer for Langfield, who had refused to collect the poor rate and then failed to pay the fine imposed as a result.
On 21st November, following a rumour that the constables were to return for a second time to try and seize Ingham's goods and also to arrest rioters from the 16th, crowds of people rioted again. They attacked the homes of some of those involved with trying to administer the Poor Law and significant damage was done to several properties, including Todmorden Hall.
This document begins with a section of shorthand, which has not been transcribed. From the handwritten section following this, it seems that Mr Crowther of Greenwoods Mill may have given names of those involved in one of the riots to the magistrates, partly because of a grievance against the Fieldens. The men named as appearing in handcuffs do not appear on the list of prisoners sent to the subsequent trial at York, though this was not the only trial that took place.

A transcript of the document follows the original image.

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