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Fine Art Sale Lot 777


LUDDISM. AN HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT EDGED WEAPON, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH C the sabre blade with rough hewn wood hilt, brass quillons and pommel with star top engraved TAKEN FROM BLACKBORNE GENL OF THE LUDITES BY W COOK SHORT WOOD JAN 3RD 1817, blade 58.5cm lThe crude but highly evocative weapon of one of the most notorious Luddites, or frame brakers whose reign ended in capture and betrayal "General" John Blackburn ('Blackborne') was one of the ringleaders of a violent gang of Nottingham men which on the night of June 28th 1816, destroyed the Loughborough factory of John Heathcote. During the attack one of his employees was shot, apparently by Blackburn according to James Towle, the only member of the gang to be soon apprehended and subsequently hanged.Blackburn was caught when he raided the home of Lord Middleton's gamekeeper, William Cook at Shortwood near Nottingham. Cook fought back, overpowered and detained him. To escape the hangman's noose Blackburn confessed, implicating the other members of the gang. As a direct consequence, on his evidence alone, the Nottingham six, Mitchell, Crowder, Amos, Savage, Withers and Towle's brother Rodney were convicted at Leicester Assizes and hanged before a crowd of 15,000 spectators. Blackburn and his young family were resettled in Canada.

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