1816 saw the mounting of 'the Loughborough Job' – a Luddite attack in the town which resulted in the destruction of lace-making machinery at John Heathcoat's Mill Street factory (now Market Street) and the withdrawal of Heathcoat and much of his workforce from the town.
An attack was made on Heathcoat and Boden's factory in Loughborough on 28 June 1816. The attackers – known as 'Luddites' after Ned Ludd, a local youth from Anstey famed for frame-breaking – spent the day drinking in the town before breaking into the factory after dark, shooting and injuring night watchmen John Asher before destroying over 50 machines and burning all the lace stored at the factory. For their crimes, six men were executed and another three were transported.
After the trials, Luddism subsided in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Concurrently, 'Swing' riots erupted in the countryside as a protest against low wages, unemployment and the Game Laws.
For more information about local history in Loughborough, visit the Loughborough History and Heritage Network website.