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Helen F
Warrington
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46 of 59  Fri 6th Apr 2018 9:07am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

This is a picture of the Priory pool (there are many similar ones). Beck's factory would have been just out of sight on the right behind the trees on the far side of the River Sherbourne which runs right to left into the mill pool. The view is looking south. The Board of Health map is from about 1850 and clearly shows a Ribbon factory at the end of Beck's Lane and a row of properties along the west side of the lane which could easily be top shops. Later maps also show the building, up to the point where Trinity Street was built. If you type 'new buildings demolition' into the library pictures (buttons top left) the first picture you get is of the street off which Beck's Lane extended. In the picture it ran to the right from just beyond the three storey buildings on the right. You can just see a gap in the pavement. The lane would have had a building over the entrance. Next type Beck's and a picture of the factory on the same plot will pop up. I'm fairly sure it is the building that was on the plot in 1850 and so was probably Beck's factory. link to picture The picture above is looking north east. The Blue Coat School is bottom left, then there is the line of top shop roofs leading to the side elevation of Beck's with its tall chimney. If you want to use the pictures in a book, you'll need to contact the Herbert Art Gallery History Centre and other sites. If you wait, the official versions will get a new website soon and it will talk you through using the images for your needs. Edited by member, 6th Apr 2018 6:08 pm
Weavers of Coventry
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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47 of 59  Fri 6th Apr 2018 2:43pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1135

I have just re-read Joseph Gutteridge’s Autobiography in “Master and Artisan in Victorian England”. He does say he was an eye witness to the happenings. He would have been 15 at the time. He worked at another factory which he describes as being the other side of a sheet of water, the Mill dam, a filthy piece of water on the site now occupied by the Smithfield. He says “After one of their indignation meetings, the weavers proceeded in body to Mr Beck’s factory, with the determination of subjecting the proprietor to the indignation of riding on a donkey through the streets face tailwards. Mr Beck, becoming aware of the intention - a common punishment for those who had transgressed any usage of the various trades in Coventry - made his escape. An entrance was forced into the factory and soon the cry was raised that he was climbing over a wall at the back to take refuge in a neighbour’s house. He was dragged forth, and without ceremony set on the ass backwards amidst the yells and execration of the crowd, and was also subject to much brutal and rough treatment."
Weavers of Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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48 of 59  Fri 6th Apr 2018 6:10pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

Correction - it's the Priory mill pool in the picture above.
Weavers of Coventry
Andydtow
Kenilworth
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49 of 59  Fri 6th Apr 2018 8:51pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2017  Total posts:6

I have only just read this site. I do know a bit about Dalton Barton and Co., my father was the Chief Cashier. The boss was a Mr Crease who lived at The Old Hall on Tamworth Rd. I am talking about the early 50s as I worked there on the looms for a short while after leaving school. The factory was on King St on the site now occupied by Wickes. Towards the end of the 50s the factory in King St. closed due to pending Ring Road development and the firm moved to Mason Rd. They may have had premises there before. I do not think they were there long before moving to the Forest of Dean where they eventually went into receivership.
Weavers of Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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50 of 59  Fri 6th Apr 2018 10:12pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

Every bit of information helps Andy. It's funny how bits add up. Thanks. Thumbs up
Weavers of Coventry
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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51 of 59  Sun 8th Apr 2018 3:49am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:8

On 6th Apr 2018 9:07am, Helen F said: If you want to use the pictures in a book, you'll need to contact the Herbert Art Gallery History Centre and other sites. If you wait, the official versions will get a new website soon and it will talk you through using the images for your needs. Edited by member, 6th Apr 2018 6:08 pm
Helen, thanks so much! Great to see these pics. The researcher featured in the article I posted about the location (George D, now at the University of Birmingham), also sent me the pic of Thornley's (along with the Board of Health Map from 1850). He believes this building was Beck's factory (pre demolition in the 1930s) as well. I'm writing a novel based around the key events in Thomas Burbury's life so the pictures are excellent, priceless in fact, to help me visualise the setting but I won't need to use them in the book (thank you for the kind offer though). Regarding the Priory Mill Pool - I was told that townsfolk would have been able to readily see the factory from the Mill Dam (and indeed, the evidence presented at the court trial by both witnesses and the accused supports this). Perhaps they were standing to the left of the picture you posted which would give them a better view?

Question

Weavers of Coventry
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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52 of 59  Sun 8th Apr 2018 4:05am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:8

On 6th Apr 2018 2:43pm, Annewiggy said: I have just re-read Joseph Gutteridge’s Autobiography in “Master and Artisan in Victorian England”. He does say he was an eye witness to the happenings ...
Thanks Annewiggy. I have ordered a copy of this book (amazing they have a copy in libraries here in Australia!). So far I have read and transcribed the various newspaper articles from November 1831 recording the riot in detail and then the court case in 1832 (reads like a transcript of the trial including the evidence presented at the trial from eye witnesses and the accused) as well as most of the numerous petitions and depositions sent to the Secretary of State, Lord Melbourne, seeking mercy for 2 of the men condemned to die. There's no mention of a donkey. Perhaps Joseph watched most of the goings on but then only heard from someone else there was a donkey??? Nevertheless, as well as being beaten, Beck's humiliation Blush included being carted around in a hand-cart with hundreds of people hissing and spitting and hurling abuse, then being unceremoniously dumped in the mud (I assume it was putrid and stinking in those days) Sad before Thomas Burbury, helped him up from his knees, wiped the mud off his face and took him home. Edited by member, 8th Apr 2018 4:11 am
Weavers of Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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53 of 59  Sun 8th Apr 2018 8:56am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

By Beck's day I think that there may have been more than one water mill. The original medieval mill was the third building from the left in the picture and water flowed under the road to the left in a mill race at the most distant point of the pool. This milled flour but was probably only making animal feed by the 1800s. Just off to the left of the picture there was another, bigger, more modern mill that is marked as a sawing mill on the Board of Health map. I'm not sure when that was built and was definitely a steam powered mill by the time photographs were taken but may have started life as a water mill. There were buildings on that spot in 1807. The first 2 storey building on the left may have been the water mill but the steam powered saw mill was three storeys high. It's not something I've looked into as my period of interest is 1650ish. You can just see the 3 storey mill with its chimney in the view from the church. A case of if you can't beat Beck, join him. Not long after Beck was attacked the mill pool was drained/filled in. The pool no longer existed by the time the map was made but the area was still open. Another 10-30 years later the river was culverted and the whole area became a cattle market. The natural river level was about 2.5 metres below the top level of the pool (which was probably very silted given its age and how easily it was filled in) so the dam extended from the very left of the picture to the medieval mill race. So yes, anyone standing on the dam would have been able to see Beck's by looking up the River Sherbourne. There is even a little group of people in the picture. There were a few pubs nearby so the spot may have been a favoured spot for a chat/rant about those new fangled steam businesses. Just to the left of the picture there were the sluices for the pool, where the water turned back into a river and the height of the pool could be controlled. That is the pinched part of the road in the Board of Health map. The location continued as a bridge for the river after the sluices were removed.
Weavers of Coventry
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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54 of 59  Sun 8th Apr 2018 11:49pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:8

Thanks Helen. For a student of the seventeenth century you are pretty good on the 1800s! Yes, I see the people now. Thomas and his brother John and William Thompson and little Johnny Bassitt (all of whom gave evidence at the trial) would have had a great view from there. They watched as the "warps" were thrown out of the windows and then a fire took hold. They would have watched as Wood, an employee of Beck's, stuck in the garrett, had to make his escape from the flames by lowering himself on a blanket fastened inside and hung over the window*. * The Wood escape was reported in the Coventry Herald and Observer on 11 Nov 1831 in one of the early reports of the riot but doesn't come up in the court case so perhaps questionable veracity. I would have expected endangering life would have been relevant to culpability but it wasn't raised. That said, they were more concerned with damage to property than anything else given the legislation at the time (brought in out of fear of civil uprisings). The men were charged under section 8 of the Malicious Injuries to Property Act of 1827 "riotously and tumultuously assembling to disturb the public peace and unlawfully (with force) demolishing, pulling down, or destroying..." for which the penalty was death.
Weavers of Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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55 of 59  Mon 9th Apr 2018 9:02am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

Thanks Smile The number of images of Coventry increase considerably in the 1800s and to work out the Civil War stuff I start with the oldest images and subtract the newer stuff. So I'd got a still from the Pathe News video because of the buildings behind the Beck character (which is Gosford Street). I'd no idea who he was until you related the details. Thank you for adding to the knowledge base here.
Weavers of Coventry
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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56 of 59  Wed 11th Apr 2018 1:18am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:8

Guess what! I found a sketch of the location of Beck's Mill and Mill Dam on the last page in the court transcript prepared by the court clerk for the Judge. It confirms everything we now know about the existence of Beck's Yard (the laneway shown on the Board of Health Map), the gate at the end leading in to Beck's Mill and the orientation / position of the Mill in relation to the Mill Dam. Note that the clerk appears to have mis-labelled New Buildings as Cross Cheaping. As I understand it, Cross Cheaping is to the left (west) of this picture. And this all occurred today on 11 April, the 186th anniversary of the execution date for Burbury and Sparkes! Edited by member, 11th Apr 2018 1:44 am
Weavers of Coventry
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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57 of 59  Wed 11th Apr 2018 1:30am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:8

Here is a cropped version, so you can see it in more detail.
Weavers of Coventry
Garlands Joke Shop
Coventry
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58 of 59  Wed 11th Apr 2018 9:00pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:174

Hi all, The Weaver's House (Upper Spon Street) is having an open day this Saturday (14th April 2018) 11am-4pm. See the The Weaver's House Website for details and dates of other open days throughout this year. Luke. Thumbs up
Weavers of Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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59 of 59  Thu 12th Apr 2018 8:56am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

Yes SJT, Cross Cheaping was to the left of the sketched map. I love it when little unexpected bits of information pop up, like a map or a sketch.
Weavers of Coventry

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