Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Swing Riots

Source: The Swing Riots of 1830 & 1831
By: Jill M Chambers, Letchworth Garden City Hertfordshire

" It was in the autumn of 1830 that the agricultural labourers, mainly those in the southern half of England, rose up against their masters in an effort to better the lives of themselves and their families. By the beginning of 1831, instead of the improved working and living conditions they had hoped for, many families found themselves worse off with the breadwinner confined to prison or worse still on board the hulks awaiting transportation to either New South Wales or Van Diemen’s Land, as Tasmania was then called, and many of those left behind described as 'on the parish.' "

"The main counties from which men were transported were Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Huntingdon, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Sussex, and Wiltshire. One or two were also sentenced to transportation in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, and Staffordshire."

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