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Kent Outrage

Author: John Boucher, Luke Bonwick & Geoff Holman

John found a fascinating item on agricultural machinery in Kent being ravaged by roaming bands of men.

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The full news item may be read by clicking on the related article link below.

John wrote:

I noticed the attached flashback to 1830 in Saturday’s Guardian. Did the destruction of threshing machines in Kent extend to windmills at that time also?

Luke replied:

Interesting one. It sounds like an extreme form of strike action! I didn’t come across any info relating to these events when working through the Kent Millers’ Tales material. I’m copying this to Rob and Geoff who are involved in historical research into mills of the county at the moment; maybe they will have come across relevant information…

and Geoff emailed

Threshing machines were destroyed by farm labourers who thought that mechanisation would put them out of work. The only recorded instance I have is one being destroyed at Lower Hardres near Canterbury. My family firm had 3 sets of threshing tackle to hire out with traction engines, but I have no records of any of them being attacked, nor have I heard of windmills being destroyed. Although the one the firm built in Jerusalem, when built, was thought by some to be the work of the devil which would be destroyed in no time – the tower still stands over 150 years later… If you are interested in Kent mills, I am getting a new group together to replace the old Kent Mills Group. It should be up and running in the New Year. Let me know if you are interested in joining.