Train to Kiama and back – 11 — main street

How pretty is this!

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And there are some fascinating details…

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Apparently the plaque went missing at one stage. But what a story it commemorates.

On the evening of 8 June between 50 and 300 stockingers, ironworkers and labourers from the villages of Ripley, Pentrich, Alfreton, and South Wingfield gathered and set out to march the fourteen miles to Nottingham, collecting more men and arms on the way. Brandreth assured his followers that Nottingham would already be secured, that 100,000 men from other towns would meet them, and that London would be the next objective. Roast beef, rum and a hundred guineas a man were promised to those who were reluctant. The prospect of ending the National Debt and all taxes and releasing some ‘great men’ from the Tower were also offered. The men called at farms and houses on the route, demanding arms and support. At one of these farms , Brandreth demanded entrance to a house where it was believed there was a gun, fired through the window and killed a farm servant.

Brandreth led his wet, despondent and dwindling party with determination, repeating rhymes:

Every man his skill must try
He must turn out and not deny;
No bloody soldier must he dread,
He must turn out and fight for bread.
The time is come you plainly see
The government opposed must be.

According to one of Brandreth’s commanders, Brandreth “believed the day and hour were fixed when the whole nation was expected to rise; and before the middle of the week, he believed there would be hundreds of thousands in arms … there were men appointed all over the nation.” When they arrived at Nottingham they found none of the support that had been promised, apart from a group of about a hundred who gathered briefly in Nottingham Forest with pikes and poles and who dispersed quietly of their own accord. The Pentrich men fled at the first contact with soldiers and were rounded up during the next few days.

The Pentrich rising had involved only a few hundred men at most, many of them effectively forced into taking part during the night march to Nottingham. Armed with a few guns, home-made pikes, scythes, and pitchforks they killed only one man during the whole episode. The Government, however, decided to make an example of them and forty five were tried for High Treason by Special Commission in Derby in July. Three were hanged, including Brandreth; thirty more were sentenced to transportation, including Bacon.

On what happened with Weightman

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