February meeting – The Swing Riots in Norfolk – Rowena Burgess

England in the first half of the nineteenth century was not a particularly tranquil land. The Luddite movement in the early years of the century brought civil disturbance and riot into the mill towns of northern England and the Midlands, and the ongoing popular demand for parliamentary representation is remembered most notably for the Peterloo massacre of 1819 and later the Chartist movement in the 1840s. England was a turbulent country and the Swing Riots were the rural expression of this turbulence..

The Swing Riots were a period of agrarian unrest in southern England in 1830 associated with protest against newly introduced mechanisation and rural living conditions. Rowena’s talk will focus on events in Norfolk and how effective they were.

Using source material and contemporary illustrations, Rowena’s talk will explore the rapidly changing agricultural conditions in Norfolk which led to the riots, the response of the landed classes and the ultimate fates of the protesters.

Rowena is a Senior Lecturer in Humanities in the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities at UEA.

We’re meeting at Needham Village Hall, High Road, Needham, IP20 9LB on Saturday 15th February at 2.00pm. All welcome, admission is £2.00 for members, £3.00 for non-members. The usual refreshments will be available.

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