Attack on George Haigh

George Haigh was a woolstapler and farmer of Copley Gate, Halifax.

In 1813, after the deprivations of the enclosures, a group of Luddites threatened to shoot him if he would not sell milk to his neighbours.

On another occasion, a gang – comprising Joseph Carter, Job Hey, John Hill, and William Hartley - went to Haigh's house

armed with pistols, and having by intimidation procured admittance, succeeded in obtaining by violence and threats, a gun and a pistol

The gang were part of a larger group who had met earlier in a local field before splitting into smaller groups. They were sent to Haigh's house.

While they were knocking at the door, Haigh got up and standing upon the stair inquired

Who's there?

The answer from without was

Our master, General Ludd has sent for your fire-arms

They took the gun and pistol and said to Haigh's servant, John Tillotson:

Tell your master that if he does not sell his milk in the neighbourhood at two pence per quart, [we shall] visit him again on a similar purpose

The pistol and 3¼ pounds of gunpowder were later found in Hey's. house

At the trial, the principal witness was Carter. He gave evidence against the others and escaped hanging.

At the trial, it appeared that Hill was present at the robbery, but did not take an active part in the crime. The judge directed that, because he was present, he was equally guilty.

The jury did not retire, but gave their verdict that Hey, Hill and Hartley were guilty.

On 16th January 1813, the others – Hey, Hill and Hartley – were executed at Tyburn for

a burglary in stealing fire-arms in the night-time out of the house of George Haigh

They were executed on the same day as the Luddites involved in the Attack on Rawfolds Mill

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 18:38 / 12th April 2021 / 4268

Page Ref: WW_32

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