Source 7b

‘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.


Dr Agnus


The college that thou holdest shalt be fired very shortly. Thou shalt here further from me when it is in flames.


Head Quarters


« 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?