Foster's Mill

Album: various (1815)
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  • "Foster's Mill," also spelled "Fosters' Mill" and "Foster's Mill," is one of the songs discussed in Roy Palmer's monograph Poverty Knock a picture of industrial life in the 19th century through songs, ballads and contemporary accounts.

    Written in 2/4 time, this is another song inspired by the Luddite movement, and is a celebration of one of their outrages. The mill near Wakefield was owned by Mr. Foster, and on April 9, 1812, it was stormed by an armed crowd of around three hundred who smashed up the machinery and attempted to set the building on fire.

    The composer(s) of the song is unknown, and whoever wrote it probably didn't want his name attached to it in view of the fate suffered by some Luddites - which included hanging.

    A 21st Century recording was made by Jim Potter at Barnsley, a town better known for a certain heavy metal band than for this type of folk music. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


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