The following persons were severally convicted under
the Worsted Act in the several offences following viz.
May 4th before Henry Wickham Esq.
Mary Lord, Isaac Nicol and Sarah Pickles of Northowram 8th Hannah Stancliffe, Hannah Smith and Sarah Marsden of
Mary, the wife of John Lane, Hannah Stanley and Ann Cooper
Ann Watson of Bramhope
Martha Hudson of Yeadon
Lydia Holmes and Betty Highman of Bierly - all in the
penalty of five shillings each, for Reeling False or Short Yarn.
Mary Rider of Horsforth in the penalty of Forty Shillings
for a Second Offence of Reeling False or Short Yarn
William Verity of Burley in the penalty of Five Pounds, for
refusing to suffer the Inspector to Inspect a Quantity of Yarn which he had in
his possession supposed to be False or Short Yarn.
Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling
Further information by Christine Lovedale
The Worsted Acts were passed between 1777 - 1791 in an
attempt to curb the embezzlement committed by out- workers, usually the
hand spinners working for a clothier.
They cheated by claiming the lengths of
yarn spun were longer than they actually were.
The Acts gave power to
inspectors to check on the yarn and subsequently bring to justice the
miscreants, who were probably living at subsistence level.