Source 7a

‘Swing’ letter, sent to two colleges at the University of Cambridge and forwarded to Lord Melbourne, ‘Secretary for the Home Department’, 8 December 1830. Catalogue ref: HO 52/6


Swing’ letters were often sent to farmers demanding that they increased wages for farm workers. Farmers were warned if they did comply, their property would be damaged or burnt.


Corp. Chr. Coll. Cambridge [Corpus Christi College]
Dec 8. 1830


Dr Lamb
Enclosing two threatening letters


The Rt. Hon’ble [Right Honourable]
Lord Melbourne
Secretary for Home Dept.


Corp. Christ. Coll. Cambridge
Dec 8th 1830


My Lord


The enclosed letters were received this morning one by Mr Simeon of King’s College and the other by myself. They are probably of no importance – but I forward them to your Lordship, as it is not impossible but they may be of some use in the investigations now going forwards.


I have
the Honour to be
Your Lordship’s obedient
humble servant


J. Lamb


« Return to What caused the ‘Swing Riots’ in the 1830s?
  • What was Dr Lamb’s reaction to the ‘threatening letters’ mentioned in source 7a?
  • Can you explain his reaction to the letters?
  • What does his letter infer about the Government’s response to this matter?
  • Why might someone send ‘Swing letters’ to these university colleges in 1830?