Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Yorkshire Rebellion of 1820


On the evening of 31 March 1820 there was a rising in the textile villages around Huddersfield.  Several hundred men marched on the town itself with the intention of taking it from the garrison stationed there.  However when backup failed to materialise the plan was aborted and the men dispersed.  Four of their number -John Lindley, John Peacock, Nathaniel Buckley and Thomas Blackburn- were later committed to the York Assizes.
Then on 11 April several hundred men from Barnsley and the nearby villages of Dodsworth and Monk Bretton marched to Grange Moor near Huddersfield.  They believed that they were part of a rising postponed from 1 April.  This time they had arms and provisions, marched to a drum beat and had colourful political banners.  There was even talk of a march on London.  But yet again they were to be disappointed.  Only 20 men from Huddersfield were there to back them up.  Dejected, the group quickly dispersed -though 18 of the Barnsley men would later be indicted for high treason.
In Sheffield on the same day there had been plans by 200 men to take Attercliffe Barracks.  They had assembled in the Haymarket chanting "Hunt and Liberty", "The Revolution, The Revolution!"  Their leader John Blackwell symbolically fired off a pistol but at the last minute the attack was aborted.  Blackwell got 30 months in prison (Stevenson 1979)

On Saturday 25 June at 1pm  at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be hold a meeting about the 1820 Yorkshire Rebellion.  The main speaker is Shaun Cohen (Ford Maguire Society).  The chair is Adrian Cruden (Green Party).
Admission to the meeting is free and there is a free light buffet.  There is also a bar with excellent real ale.

Alan Stewart
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group.

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