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 Post subject: Little London
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:59 pm 
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09 February 1895

"Little London"

In the Township of Extwistle
[By Tattersall Wilkinson]

History is generally a record of periods of plenty and suffering. In the year 1817 in halcyon days of hand-loom weaving, before the days of steam looms, when the sound of the shuttle was heard in almost every cottage and farm house, hand-loom pieces were then 10s. 6d. each for weaving, and work was plentiful. There was no Ten Hours Bill in force in those days. Monday was generally a holiday, Tuesday was little better, but when Wednesday came they buckled to and the rest of the week was devoted to working all the hours that God sent. This state of things went on for a time, until the masters gave notice of a reduction of sixpence per piece. The weavers protested and came out on strike, though many of the weavers refused to join. The strikers formed into gangs, and perambulating the country districts took away by force the shuttles of the blacklegs. The prices for weaving were gradually reduced until 1826 when they reached starvation point. At the time weavers dipped into a mixture of paste made up of flour and water. Each length from the yarn beams to the healds had to be dried consecutively by an iron pan with three legs, called a chawning dish, a specimen of which I have in my posession at the present.
Things went on from bad to worse until the year 1826, when the pieces which nine years previous were 10s. 6d. each for weaving fell to the starvation price of one shilling each, and in some cases so low as nine-pence. And what was still worse, work could scarcely be had at any price. Many had their wages pain in 'truck' instead of the current coin of the realm. There was no representation of the working classes in those days, 213 boroughs in the United Kingdom returned 416 members to the British House of Commons, whose united population did not exceed that of the town of Manchester, which sent no member prior to the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832. Up to the year 1825 a great many wild speculations had taken place in every department of trade and commerce. The country banks had deluged the country with one pound notes, and the facility of obtaining discounts and credit had encouraged the uttering of a flood of accommodation bills on the part of traders and merchants, who, like the promoters of the great South Sea Bubble, were in a hurry to get rich and make hay while the sun shone. But the explosion came, and with it a great number of country banks came to grief. Holgate's Bank, the principal bank in Burnley, stopped payment, bringing down with it a number of the principal tradesmen, thus involving the district in a universal stagnation. Work-people were on the verge of starvation. Relief committees were found for the purpose of alleviating the distress. Brownside Bridge, leading to Worsthorne, was erected about this time; in fact every effort was made that was possible for the benefit of the starving poor. The wages were often paid in meal and flour, and perhaps a little money to make up. This period of distress was known as "Doal Time."

George Harrison, who lived in a cottage near Monk Hall, in Extwistle, was the father of a numerous family of up grown boys and girls, principally handloom weavers, who were all thrown out of work and were almost without food. He commemorated the circumstance by carving an inscription on a corner stone of his cottage, comprising the following words, which remains legible to-day;-"G. H. Hard Times, 1826." It was at this period that the Reverend Robert Mosely Master, the incumbent at Saint Peter's, Burnley, instituted a movement with the object of finding work for the unemployed. Proceeding to London he canvassed for subscriptions, in which he was very successful. On his return he applied to the late Robert Townley-Parker Esq., of Cuerden Hall, near Preston, for the lease of a plot of land on Extwistle Moor, who at once, with a commendable generosity, not only gave a substantial subscription, but also leased to the reverend gentleman 86 acres of land for a term of 50 years at the nominal rent of ten shillings per year. I have in my possession a copy of the original lease, bearing date the first day of August, 1827, to expire in 1877. Steps were taken at once to enclose and bring the land under cultivation, thus affording a temporary relief for the unemployed in the district. Owing to the money having been principally subscribed in London, the farm was called Little London, which it retains up to the present.


From an inscription on a grit slab over the door of this farm house we learn that "Robert Parker and Jane his wife, and Robert and Henry, their sons, built this house May 2nd, 1672." A postscript at the bottom probably written by Robert, their son, says:- "O thou of mighty and most blessed, and them that made this cot, R.P." Over a door in another part of the building is written, "Robert Parker and Grace, his wife, 1677." The Robert Parker first mentioned was the grandson of Robert Parker, of Extwistle, who married Jane Haydock, daughter of Evan Haydock, Heasandford (Pheasantford), who died December, 1597.


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 Post subject: Re: Little London
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:53 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:48 am
Posts: 1
A point by point rundown of Little London areas which have existed in England and Wales can be found at The Llundainfaich Little London Homepage The locales were made by the Welsh Cattle drovers as right on time as the Medieval Period. The Institute of Place Names at Nottingham concurred in November 2009 that Little London was owing to the Welsh drovers.

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