Wednesday, 4 September 2019 (Group: Nottingham)
Start time 10:15
7 miles / 11.3 km
(Estimated finish time: 16:30)
Walk leader: Dave Johnson
7 miles circular. Grade 'C"
Meet 10.15am Victoria Bus Station for 10.20am Rapid One bus to Ripley.
Group Zigzag discount tickets available (£14 for up to 5 people)
The year is 1817. Two years previously the Napoleonic Wars had ended at the Battle of Waterloo, and the end of the war brought a recession in the iron and textile industries, some of central Derbyshire's main employers. To help the poor and unemployed there was a form of Parish Relief based on a rating system, but as more people claimed relief the tax on remaining families increased. This had the effect of bankrupting small farmers and other working people.
With the increase and movement of population the government was no longer representative of the people. The monarchy was also in a precarious state. The Prince Regent's extravagant lifestyle did not endear him to the people at a time when many of their subjects were suffering unbelievable hardship.
Against this background of recession, poverty and bad government, groups intent on political reform began to meet. In Nottingham, Derby and Ripley reformers would meet as 'Hampden Clubs' such as one at the Cock Hotel in Ripley. In 1816 the weather added to the misery.
With the French and American Revolutions in recent memory, the government feared widespread revolt and adopted panic measures. Meetings of more than 50 people were forbidden, effectively disbanding clubs and reform meetings like the Hampden clubs. Spies were sent out to report back on unrest, and by suspending Habeas Corpus the government ensured that anyone could be held in prison without trial.
The time was ripe for the Pentrich Revolution, England's last revolution . . .