A Story With a Moral. —Heathcoat’s mill at Loughborough, a factory which has for two generations been the centre of many painful associations, has been totally destroyed by fire. The founder, Mr. Heathcoat, in 1809 invented a new twist lace machine that virtually revolutionised the industry. The introduction of these labor saving machines led to the Luddite outrages, and in 181 G a gang from Nottingham, armed with pistols, hatchets, and axes, attacked Heathcoat’s mill, overpowered the armed watchmen, shot and injured one of them named Asher, destroyed 55 costly frames, cut and burnt the lace, and did damage to the amount of more than LIO,OOO. Some accomplices in the outrage gave evidence against their companions, and at Leicester assizes six men were sentenced to death on a charge of shooting with intent to murder. They were executed at the New Bridewell in Leicester, and it is a noteworthy fact that at those assizes 23 men were condemned to the punishment of death, and such holocausts on the scaffold were by no moans uncommon. The six Luddites were hanged with a man whose crime was that of setting fire to a stack of oats. The action of the misguided Luddites drove the manufacture from Loughborough to Tiverton, where Mr. Heathcoat amassed a princely fortune.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 52, 24 January 1880
Page 2 Advertisements Column 3 Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 52, 24 January 1880
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