Preston Cotton Martyrs : The Millworkers Who Shocked a Nation
Preston was no ordinary town during the nineteenth century. While king cotton reigned supreme throughout Lancashire, the underlying ills associated with this industry were very often highlighted particularly starkly there. Child labour, shocking working conditions with appallingly long hours and pitifully low wages, as well as the constant risk of suffering horrific accidents in the cotton mills, all fostered a deep sense of hostility among the operatives towards the employers. Overcrowded and insanitary housing, disease, poverty and awful wretchedness were often to be witnessed in the fast-growing working-class districts of Preston.Against this backdrop the nascent trade unions and political and social reformers began to challenge the unbridled mastery of the millowners. Trade disputes, confrontations, lockouts, strikes and tragic episodes of violence were the inevitable consequence of this lethal mix of hardship and employer intransigence, and dominated affairs in the town for many years. This book by local author J.S. Leigh is a powerful indictment of the industrial system that caused such suffering to Preston's cotton 'martyrs'.
- Paperback | 128 pages
- 156 x 234 x 10mm | 252g
- 29 Feb 2008
- Carnegie Publishing Ltd
- Palatine Books
- Lancaster, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Acknowledgements viii Introduction 1 1 The early years 3 2 The quest for reform 14 3 Combination and radicalism 24 4 The Spinners' Strike of 1836A-1837 33 5 Chartism and the tragedy of 1842 44 6 Recession and the Ten Per Cent question 51 7 The great Preston Lockout of 1853A-1854 59 8 Strikebreakers 70 9 The Cotton Famine 80 Sources and bibliography 104
About Jim S. Leigh
Jim S. Leigh was born in Preston in 1951, spending his childhood among a close terraced community. His keen interest in local history,particularly that of the cotton industry developed from the fascinating stories and recollections heard from elderly relatives and neighbours, many of them former millworkers. He still lives in the Preston area.