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The list below shows all the titles published in the Machine Breakers series, either the publications or I am now offering a Machine Breakers search and can supply all the information I have on a named individual. For more information go to:-


Go to Suppliers and where you will find me under Machine Breakers News or the link below will take you directly to my stall.


The Story of the 1830 Swing Riots


The following books all follow the same format, with a day-by-day account of the riots and trials in each county. Includes biographical details of all those tried for machine breaking and associated crimes. 




(Sorry out of Print – If you are interested in a particular person all the information I have on that person can be ordered from Genfair, see link above)






This volume tells the story of the riots in Buckinghamshire from the first threatening letters received by farmers and paper manufacturers in the second week of November 1830, through the incidents of machine breaking at Stone, Waddesdon and upper Winchendon, to the climax when attacks were made on the paper mills along the Wye stream at Chepping (High) Wycombe. A detailed account of the week of trials held before the Special Commission at Aylesbury in January 1831 follows. All the men tried for machine breaking and associated crimes are listed, with details of their offence, sentence, petitions, and in many cases family details.
The Appendices include, the names of some of the Special Constables, Richard Hailey, High Constable of the Second Division of the Hundred of Desborough, a transcript of an anonymous ballard called The Sorrowful Lamentations of Thomas Blizzard and John Sarney, Claims for rewards for the capture of rioters, a short piece on John Hay, Paper Maker, and transcripts of the Treasury Solicitors Briefs for the machine breaking at Long Crendon.


A5 Paperback                    338 pages


NOTE: Only 1 copy remaining - no reprint planned.






This book begins with the gathering of labourers at Winterbourne Kingston and Bere Regis, where they demanded an increase in wages, on the 22nd November 1830, goes through the worst days of rioting from the 24th and 30th November, when machines were destroyed in a number of parishes, including, Sixpenny Handley, Milborne St Andrew, Boveridge, Wolland, Pulham, Buckland Newton, Mappowder, East Stower, and Stower Provost. There were arson attacks on farms at Stinsford ans Piddletown on the 25th November and at Bere Regis and Witchampton on the 2nd December.
A detailed account of the Special Commission, held at Dorchester in January 1830, is also given. These trials resulted in the imprisonment of a number of men, and the transportation of 13 others. All the men tried for machine breaking and associated crimes are listed, with details of their offence, sentence, petitions, and in many cases family details. Details are also given of 5 men and 1 woman charged with arson, none were found guilty of this offence.

The Appendices include transcripts of Home Office Correspondence relating to the riots, extracts from the Diary of Mary Frampton, Claims for rewards for the capture of rioters, transcript of the proposed scale of relief and wages for agricultural labourers in the Sturminster Newton Division, and information on the voyage of the Eleanor to New South Wales.


A5 Paperback                    340 pages





In Essex there were three main areas of disturbance. The first was centered in the north west corner, near the boundaries of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, beginning on the 1st December, and in the main taking the form of simple wages riots. The second centre of disturbance was the area around Colchester, particularly the coastal strip between Ramsey and Clacton, beginning with a riot at the poorhouse at Great Coggeshall on the 22nd November. The third centre was the small isolated pocket of disturbance south of Chelmsford, which began with a fire at Rayleigh on the 5th November. As well as a day by day account of the riots this book gives a detailed account of the Winter Gaol Delivery held at Chelmsford in December 1830, and the Epiphany Quarter sessions, held in January 1831, which resulted in the imprisonment of a number of men, and the transportation of their comrades. Brief details of those tried for offences other than machine breaking and rioting are also included.
Each person who was tried is mentioned, with details of their offence, sentence, and any petitions sent on their behalf. Many cases include family details and in the case of the men who were transported their description and conduct record is also given.

The Appendices include transcriptions of Home Office Correspondence, Indictments and Depositions held at the Essex Record Office, Claims for rewards for the capture of rioters, the names of some of the Special Constables, and papers relating to the case against James Ewen who was executed for arson on 24th December 1830.

A5 Paperback                    482 pages






Volume I: The Riots, Trials & Appendices

This book is an account  of the riots in Gloucestershire, in the form of a diary of events, beginning with John Raymond Barker’s unsuccessful attempts to persuade the principal inhabitants of Fairford to be sworn in as Special Constables, through the breaking of thrashing machines at Beverstone, Tetbury, Horseley, Fairford,  Coln St Aldwyns, Eastleach Turville, Eastleach Martin, Quenington, Bibury, and Coln Rogers. This was followed by a riotous assembly at Southrop and arson attacks at Dumbleton, Pardon Hill and Aust, and includes transcripts of the letters sent to the Home Office.

The rioters were tried at the Epiphany Quarter Sessions, which took place at Gloucester over three days from the 5th to the 7th January 1831, and a day by day account of the trials and sentences is also given.


The Appendices include:

  • A Brief Diary of Events
  • Committals to Gloucester Gaol
  • Transcripts of records at The national Archives, including Claims for Rewards for the capture of rioters
  • Expences paid for the Prosecutions
  • Causes and Consequences of the Riots
  • A short piece on Charity Stevens, daughter of Robert Stevens who was transported for his part in the riots. She had been found guilty of stealing 2 donkeys and sentenced to 7 years transportation in 1829.

Available as A5 Paperback or CD                   226 pages




This book tells the story of the riots in Hampshire, from the drawing up of a Petition to the King by members of the Radical and Musical Society in the Barton Stacey area, through the troubled weeks of November when the Parish Workhouses at Selborne and Headley were attacked, machinery was destroyed at Tasker’s Iron Foundry near Andover, and numerous labourers made their way around their parish, destroying farm machinery, and demanding money, food, and drink. A day-by-day account is also given of the Special Commission held at Winchester in December 1830, which resulted in the execution of two men, Henry Cook and James Thomas Cooper, the transportation of 108 men, and the imprisonment of numerous others.

A5 Paperback                    521 pages



Volume I: The Riots & Trials

This book tells the story of the riots in Kent, from an arson attack on a farm at Orpington on the 6th June, the breaking of the first threshing machine at Lower Hardres on the 28th August, which was followed by arson attacks, wages meetings and numerous other attacks on farm machinery, in the months that followed. On the 25th November no fewer than nine threshing machines were broken in broad daylight. The first rioters were tried ar the East Kent Quarter Sessions, held at St Augustine's in October 1830 and received a very lenient sentence, imprisonment for 3 days. Others were tried at the East Kent Special Sessions in November 1830, the Winter Assizes in December 1830, the Dover Quarter Sessions in December 1830, the West Kent Quarter Sessions in January 1831, the Lent Assizes in March 1831, and the Winter Gaol Delivery in December 1831.

This book also includes a transcript of the Causes and Consequence of the Riots in Kent, taken from the House of commons Parliamentary Papers, 1834, and Claims for the Rewards for the capture of rioters.

Volume II: The Rioters

(includes index to both books)

In this book each person who was tried for machine breaking, rioting, and arson is mentioned, with details being given of their offence, sentence and any petitions sent on their behalf. In many cases family details and census information is also included. In addition, for those sentenced to transportation, a physical description, the conduct record and date of Ticket of Leave and Pardon is given. Transcripts of the Surgeon's Logs for the voyages of the convict ships, that carried those sentenced to transportation, to Australia, and Treasury Solicitors Papers giving details of the evidence gathered before some of the trials, is also given. Some of these cases, such as that against Timothy Willocks, suspected of arson, never came to Court.


A5 Paperback             Total number of pages 786

KENT MACHINE BREAKERS - Supplement: Source Documents

This CD includes transcripts of letters sent to the Home Office, in 1830 and 1831, relating to the riots in Kent, taken from HO40/27 - Disturbance Correspondence, 1830-1831, Municipal & Provincial Correspondence, 1830 - HO52/8, and Municipal & Provincial Correspondence, 1830 - HO52/13.
References to some of the document relating to the Swing Riots in Kent, held at the Centre for Kentish Studies, including a number of transcripts, are given. Also listed at some useful references to documents held at the East Kent Archives Centre.

Only available on CD-ROM




Volume 1: Riots and Trials

This volume tells the story of the riots in Wiltshire in the form of a diary of events, from the first fire at Maddington on the 8th November 1830 and a threatening letter received by Mr Slade, a farmer at Codford St Peter, through the troubled weeks of November when the unrest was at its height; then a day-by-day account of the trials at Salisbury in January 1831, when over 300 men and women appeared before the Special Commission is given. This is followed by brief details of the events of 1831 and 1832, including the transportation of over 150 men and the execution of Henry Wilkins for arson.

Available on CD & A5 Paperback Book


Volume II: The Rioters & Appendices

This volume gives information on all those people tried before the Special Commission of Assize, which opened at Salisbury in December 1830. It gives details of the offence, sentence, any petition sent on their behalf and in many cases family information, including baptism, brothers & sisters, marriage, death, & children. For those who were transported additional information includes, Hulk record, Conduct Record, Description, Ticket of Leave, Pardon, and Certificate of Freedom. There are also chapters on ‘Miscellaneous Rioters’, who were tried either before or after the Special Assize, and latest updates on some of the rioters.

The Appendices include: -

  • Causes & Consequences of the Riots (taken from Parliamentary Papers)
  • Deposition, Examinations & Letters
  • Claims for Rewards for the Capture of Rioters
  • Henry Hunt’s petition on behalf of James Lush & Peter Withers
  • Rioters included in the Tisbury & Wardour Census of 1835
  • Pardons issued to Rioters in NSW
  • The Voyages of the Transport Ships
  • Letters sent to Thomas Vinen, a Machine Breaker of Tisbury
  • Muster Rolls of the Wiltshire Yeomanry Cavalry, 1830-1831


Available on CD only




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