George Gordon Byron in the English Parliament

In the first half of the XIX century. England was shaken by the waves of a powerful Luddite movement, uniting in its ranks artisans, desperately crushed new machines, with the appearance of which they were deprived of work or a significant part of their wages. The government of England, which took care exclusively about the incomes of the owners of factories, prepared a law that provided for the death penalty for machine-gun destroyers. Taking advantage of the right to a traditional introductory speech in parliament, Byron delivered a speech in defense of disadvantaged workers, in which he sharply condemned those who were ready to assess the human life “below the cost of a hosiery”. This was a daring challenge to the authorities, but, unfortunately, nothing more: despite the poet’s protest, the bill was adopted... and became an instrument of brutal reprisal against the rebels.

During the years 1812-1813. the poet delivered two speeches, one of which was devoted to the sufferings of the Irish people under the rule of the English crown, and the second – to the topic of parliamentary immunity. Both of them, like the first speech, had no practical results. Byron cooled to parliamentary meetings, and his opinion on certain political issues was expounded in satirical poems that spread throughout the country and enraged the state husbands.

* This movement received its name on behalf of the legendary apprentice Ned Ludd, who allegedly was the first to destroy the loom. Particularly active was the Luddite movement in Nottingham, where the center of the weaving industry was located. Only during February 1812 there were destroyed about 1000 machines.


George Gordon Byron in the English Parliament