12th February 2009 - plaque unveiled for the Swing 'Rioters' in Salisbury Guildhall

On the 12th February 2009 a plaque was unveiled in Salisbury Guildhall to commemorate the Swing Rioters tried there in 1830 and 1831.

Cllr Ian McLennan, then Chairman of Salisbury District Council, unveiled the plaque.

He said:

This plaque commemorates the agricultural labourers who were subject to trial here during 1830 and 1831. These pauper labourers demanded a minimum wage and an end to rural unemployment. They turned to riot as their only means to find a voice and their actions inspired others to rise in protest, such as the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Their treatment was very harsh and I am pleased we can have this plaque as a permanent reminder of what they experienced.

The Aslef Journal reported that

The Riots were the first example of people, agriculture workers in this case,standing together against the landowners and their new thrashing machines which deprived workers of their livelihoods and homes. Many needed to steal food just to survive[1].


[1] 0612 Aslef journalv5 - AprilJournal2009.pdf, URL: http://www.aslef.org.uk/files/109311/FileName/AprilJournal2009.pdf