Leeds & West Yorkshire

Plans to demolish Liversedge Luddite pub The Shears

The Shears in 2019 Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The rebel textile workers gathered in an upstairs room of The Shears in 1812

An 18th Century pub with links to the Luddite rebellion could be replaced with housing after plans were submitted for its demolition.

The Shears Inn in Liversedge, West Yorkshire, would be levelled as part of plans sent to Kirklees Council.

The Luddites were textile workers who felt their livelihoods were threatened by increasing mechanisation.

A group gathered in the pub in April 1812 before ambushing wagons carrying new machinery.

Andrew Mitchell bought the derelict pub 10 years ago but applied for planning permission on the advice of his accountant, reported the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Mitchell said he had put nearly £500,000 into the building built in 1773 "but the licensing trade is struggling".

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Erica Amende, of Spen Valley Civic Society, said it would be a shame if "one of the few examples of working class history" was to be lost from the area.

The textile workers gathered in an upstairs room of the pub before lying in wait on Hartshead Moor and ambushing wagons carrying cropping machines that could replace several workers.

Shortly afterwards on April 12 in West Yorkshire's most notable attack, about 150 Luddites marched on Cartwright's Rawfolds mill in Cleckheaton but were repelled and two were killed.

The ringleaders were later hanged.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rawfolds Mill, between Huddersfield and Leeds, was attacked in April 1812

The Luddite rebellion (1811-13)

  • It included textile workers in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire
  • Luddite attacks began in Nottinghamshire
  • In Yorkshire attacks were led by croppers, highly skilled finishers of woolen cloth who were highly organised
  • After a trial in York, 17 Luddites were hanged in January 1813.

Source: The Luddites at 200

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