Unrecorded: poor relief during an outbreak of food riots

A laudable Scheme... for the relief of the poor...for the purchase of Wheat and Rye in large quantities.

Shrewsbury: 2nd December, 1756.

Docketed in contemporary hand on verso. Folio (15 x 10-1/2 inches). Unrecorded: poor relief during an outbreak of food riots. Some splitting along old folds, pale foxing, very good. Not in ESTC. Item #311559

An apparently unrecorded broadside proposing a scheme for the relief of the poor of Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, by which quantities of wheat, rye, and corn would be purchased by gentleman subscribers, "To be Sold out in such Quantities, At such Prices, and under such Regulations, as they shall direct." The proposed scheme was likely a preventative measure taken in response to the food riots and grain seizures which broke out across England in response to a dearth in 1756-57. In that respect the measure seemed to have been successful, as no riots are recorded in Shrewsbury during the period. (See Bohstedt, The Politics of Provisions: Food Riots, Moral Economy, and Market Transition (2016), pp 113ff; and Bohstedt, Riot Census 1756-7: http://web.utk.edu/~bohstedt/files/RCIV_1756-1757.pdf.)
That the effects of such an intervention in the grain market would be cause for anxiety among distributors and producers is indicated in the document's fourth provision: "To remove some Objections, which Gentlemen, as well as Farmers, may make to this Scheme: It is proposed: That no more Corn shall be bought with the Money raised by this Subscription, after the General Price of Wheat and Rye in Shrewsbury Market shall be: For Wheat 6s. For rye 4s. the Bushel." Attached by pin to the broadside are three printed slips of identical language, advertising meetings to discuss the scheme, with dates and times completed in manuscript, and each signed by one Edward Elisha, Esqr. (Two are dated before the printed date on the broadside, November 23 and 30, and one dated December 4.) A fourth slip, differing in language from these, bears a printed date of December 10, 1756, and calls for a follow up meeting about the scheme.

UNRECORDED: Not in ESTC, no holdings recorded in OCLC, nor are we able to turn up reference to the broadside or slips in other sources.

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