130116 Commemoration 2

This Saturday, 19 January 2013, there’s an event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the execution of seventeen Luddites at York Castle in 1813.

It is being hosted by the York Alternative History group. I can’t go but it promises to be interesting with talks, a commemorative event near the execution site, and a wake in the evening.

There is a wealth of contemporary accounts on Richard Holland’s exemplary Luddite Bicentenary blog and the Methodist hymn ‘Behold the Saviour of Mankind’ is the subject of a recent post.

In 1813 the local newspaper, The Leeds Intelligencer, described the condemned men singing the hymn prior to their execution. The hymn was probably sung to the tune, ‘Martyrdom’ which you can hear on the post. I love this simple (imperfect) rendition. Its directness and power remind me of The Miners’ Hymn, a collaboration between composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and filmmaker Bill Morrison.

I wanted to contribute to the 200th anniversary event but time and other commitments got in the way, the image above didn’t get beyond first ideas.

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