The Pentrich Revolution
Jeremiah Brandreth, William Turner and Isaac Ludlam were considered the revolution ring leaders and labelled the Pentrich Three. With over 500 men they set out to march on London to petition the King to better workers’ rights.
Jeremiah Brandreth, or the `Nottingham Captain’, was to actually lead the rebellion. Despite some rather wild stories about his origins, Brandreth was an unemployed framework knitter from Sutton in Ashfield. He had, almost certainly, been involved in Luddite activities.
Sunday 8th June 1817, Brandreth spoke at a crowded meeting in the White Horse Inn in Pentrich………
The rebels assembled at 10 am at Hunt’s Barn in Garner’s Lane, South Wingfield, to march to Ripley. The march route.
There was a traitor to the rebellion, in their midst, and they were stopped at Eastwood the following day.
By early morning, the two groups had come together again and had reached Eastwood. There, two magistrates accompanied by twenty fully armed men and Officers of the 15th Light Dragoons, met them. Mundy, one of the magistrates, afterwards described the confrontation: “we came in sight of the mob who though at three quarters of a mile’s distance from us no sooner saw the troops, then they fled in all directions…throwing away their arms”. Not a single shot was fired and, within a very short space of time, 48 men were captured. Some, however, stayed at large for quite a while. Isaac Ludlam was arrested at Uttoxeter, Brandreth at Bulwell………..
…….. all of the prisoners were isolated until the time of their trial in Derby; their relatives sold everything, down to their beds, to provide funds for their defence and a committee was formed in London to campaign for their release. 46 men of Pentrich, South Wingfield, Alfreton and Heanor, were indicted at the Derby Assizes on 26th July 1817 as having committed High Treason, along with “a multitude of false traitors, …500 or more”. The overwhelming majority of those on trial were labourers and framework knitters, but there was one each of a farmer, tailor, blacksmith and sawyer.
On 7 Nov 1817 Jeremiah Brandreth, Isaac Ludlam and William Turner were executed by hanging and beheading.
At the bottom right hand corner of the above image are my grandparents Jim and Bette Hardy. Charles T Hardy my great grandfather changed his name from Wigley to Hardy as did my Grandfather. If you follow the tree upwards you will find Isaac Ludlam near the top right hand corner. Isaac Ludlam and Obadiah Wigley married sisters. Isaac was also a witness at Obadiah and Mary Wheatcroft’s wedding.
In researching this blog post I’ve also found out that William Wheatcroft, Mary’s brother also took part in the revolutionary march. That’s three brothers in law who took part. William and Obadiah suffered no direct repercussions however, as stated above, their relatives sold everything, down to their beds, to provide funds for their defence.
The defeat in court and the deaths of Brandreth, Turner and Ludlam must have had a huge impact on them but Isaac’s death would have had the biggest of all. Fourteen of their fellow revolutionaries were transported to Australia, six were jailed in England, twelve were tried and freed and many more were apprehended but not charged.
Obadiah and Mary Wigley moved to Mansfield, Nottinghamshire some time between the revolution and Obadiah’s death in 1828. This move affected their son James as you can see in this blog post.