This handbill marking the hanging at Lancaster in 1812 of eight alleged Luddites, seeking to resist the introduction of new machinery into textile mills, is a rare survival. More than 200 years old and still in one piece. I bought it from a bookshop in Salisbury (not noted as a ccntre of Luddism!) thirty-five years ago.
I am delighted that this handbill - not simply a similar broadside, but this very item - features in Nick Mansfield's and Martin Wright's excellent new book, Made by Labour: a material and visual history of British labour, c1780-1924. It's a brilliant book and produced to very high standards - do check it out!
The handbill has a crude representation of a hanged person dangling from the gibbet - the sort of visual image which could probably be recycled on 'execution' handbills, peddled on the streets at the time of a hanging.
And in case you are curious, this is what Made by Labour says about this deeply evocative piece of ephemera.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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