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Jack Blackler/John Blackwell


Loyal Member
Yet another Sheffield Character. Apparently first turns up as a political agitator around 1802. Some suggestion that he went to Waterloo. He was a Tailor and the only person I can find that is probable is a John Blackwell Tailor and Flour Merchant in 1822 in Wadsley Bridge.

In 1816 he turned up at a Luddite/Food riot and turned up in court. He was known as King of the Gallery because he would turn up at the theatre with a loaf on a stick soaked in blood and shout political slogans.

In 1820 he turned up again as the Sheffield part of the Yorkshire Rebellion which is said to have been as a reaction to a rising in Scotland at the same time.
Led by John Blackwell, a local agitator who had been active in political outbursts in 1812 and 1816, about two hundred men assembled at pre-determined meeting points. The men were armed, and Blackwell fired off a pistol, but they committed no acts of violence. They were reported to be highly organised, falling into ranks like soldiers. They split into two groups and then reassembled in the Haymarket. Shouts were heard: "Hunt and Liberty," "the Revolution, the Revolution," and "All in a mind for the Barracks."

While many who were tried were deported to Australia he was not. He was given 30 months jail and came back to Sheffield apparently dying in the workhouse in 1839.

Rumour says he married an Elisabeth Wilde. I can't find where he was from. If he had children or what was said in the court cases and why he was treated so leniently considering he seems to have been a thorn in the authorities side for a number of years.

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