Gangs of of English textile workers and weavers have been rampaging the mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire destroying weaving machinery as a form of protest.
They claim that using the new machinery is being used in a "fraudulent and deceitful manner" to get around standard labour practices.
Spokesmen for the Luddites have expressed the fear that the time spent learning the skills of their craft would go to waste as machines would replace their role in the industry
Mill owners have recently taken to shooting protesters and have called for the army to use force to crush the protesters.
In a related development, Lord Byron made an impassioned speech in the House of Lords supporting the Luddites, addressing his Lordships he said hardships inflicted on the working class by the war with Napoleon, leading to the rise in food prices and taxation increases provoked the mill orkers. He drew attention to similar actions by the Keelmen working in the port of Tyne, Cornish tin miners forced to steal from granaries at Falmouth in 1727. As well as the partial rebellion in Northumberland and Durham caused by starvation. Lord Byron has predicted that skilled artisans in the cloth, building, shipbuilding, printing and cutlery trades will soon be organising friendly societies to peacefully insure themselves against unemployment and sickness.
British government response
News erporters at the Bridge have reported clashes between the army and the Luddites on several occasions. Intelligence sources at the admiralty confirm that there are more British soldiers fighting the Luddites than there are fighting Napoleon on the Iberian Peninsula.
Our North of England reporter has has heard eye witness reports of Three Luddites, ambushing and assassinating mill owner William Horsfall of Ottiwells Mill.
Lord Byron denounced the plight of the working class, the government’s inane policies and ruthless repression in the House of Lords on 27 February 1812, "I have been in some of the most oppressed provinces of Turkey; but never, under the most despotic of infidel governments, did I behold such squalid wretchedness as I have seen since my return, in the very heart of a Christian country.
His Majesty’s government are being urged by the mill owners and the landowners to vigorously suppress the Luddite movement, In mass trials at York in January, The government charged over 60 men, The harsh sentences of those found guilty, which included execution and penal transportation to Australia are being used as a deterrent to the rebels .
Parliament subsequently voted tonight to make "machine breaking"a capital crime punishable by hanging in passing the Frame Breaking Act and the Malicious Damage Act 1861.