“It is well documented that Ned Ludd who hailed from Anstey smashed his masters’ frame in a fit of temper. What is not so well known is that frame breaking existed as a tactic to control fraudulent process within the trade…this was long before Ned was born in the mid 18th century.
So if frame breaking existed before he was born, why was the process named after him? This becomes easy to explain when we look at the state of our country when the hosiery industry felt it had to regulate itself in the year 1811. England was at loggerheads with France and the U.S.A. Those who had the most to lose here feared what had happened recently in France (revolution) might happen here. Also the economic state of England was dire…especially if you were poor.
In Nottingham the hosiery workers took action, the authorities, local and national, feared the worst – open revolution and every measure was taken against this group of people. They however continued and did so in the name of one person…the now long deceased Ned Lud, by calling themselves Luddites.
Proof that Ned lived is shown in the display at Anstey Community Library. Many times his name crops up in the poor relief records of Anstey, judged by the level of care it suggests he was not able to care for himself…more study is needed to make a judgement of this.”
Words by: Ian Porter, Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers (LLLSV)