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Dr Robert Poole - The Rebellions of 1817

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The University of Huddersfield

Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, University of Huddersfield

Queensgate

Huddersfield

HD1 3DH

United Kingdom

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Light refreshments available from 7pm

Huddersfield Local History Society and the University of Huddersfield History department present the third in a series of annual lectures focusing on aspects of the history of radicalism in the Huddersfield district.

As Cyril Pearce, Chair of Huddersfield Local History Society, explains: ‘The annual Luddite Memorial Lecture is an ideal opportunity for distinguished historians to share their work with a wider public and to contribute to our understanding of our own history. Understanding the Industrial Revolution and history of the turmoil of Britain's transformation into “the workshop of the world” is key to understanding the history of Huddersfield and the West Riding. Within that the Luddite and revolutionary outbursts of the early 19th Century which were particularly important in our area continue to attract a great deal of scholarly interest.’

The 2016 Luddite Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Robert Poole, Guild Research Fellow and Reader in History at the University of Central Lancashire. Dr Poole has published on a wide variety of historical subjects although, perhaps, his best known book is Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth published in 2008. He has also lectured widely on the Lancashire witches trial of 1612. However, Dr Poole is just at home when talking about popular protest in the industrial revolution period. This has not only resulted in several publications but also appearances on TV and radio. His book, Peterloo: the English Uprising is due to be published in 2018.

In his Huddersfield lecture Dr Poole will be focusing on unrest here in West Yorkshire. Commenting on why the West Riding rebellions of June 1817 continue to arouse interest and debate today, he asks: ‘Were they the earliest attempt at working-class revolution, hopeless gestures by desperate people, or just a trap set by Oliver the (government) Spy?’

Dr Poole believes that this fascinating episode in Huddersfield’s history was part of a series of radical attempts to force parliamentary reform in 1816 and 1817: ‘It began with a constitutionalist mass petitioning campaign emanating from London, and proceeded through the Spa Fields meetings, the march of the Blanketeers and the Manchester rising to the last stand in Huddersfield and Pentrich (in Derbyshire)’.

The Luddite Memorial Lecture will be introduced by historian Professor Tim Thornton, the University’s deputy Vice-Chancellor, who welcomes the way in which this annual lecture series is continuing to develop. He says: ‘I'm very much looking forward to Dr Robert Poole's lecture on the rebellions of 1817; after the excellent inaugural Luddite lecture from Matthew Roberts back in 2014, and Malcolm Chase's highly thought-provoking contribution last year on political prisoners in York, Robert Poole's talk will I'm sure demonstrate that this important collaboration between the University and the Local History Society is going from strength to strength’.


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The University of Huddersfield

Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, University of Huddersfield

Queensgate

Huddersfield

HD1 3DH

United Kingdom

View Map

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