Robert Hambidge
1827 - 01/01/1892
Manager of Crown Farm

“ the men needed to understand I cannot afford to pay more…….I offered a rise for the fitter ones”

His workers were on the minimum wage of 10s a week. Unable to feed, clothe and support their families they asked for an increase to 14s and gave a week’s notice to strike. 
 

This was official procedure arising from the Liberal Government Act of 1871 making Unions and their activities legal except for the action of preventing anyone else from working. Of course this tied the strikers’ hands but perhaps someone in Ascott realised that it did not tie the hands of their wives and daughters who were not members of the Union.
 

After a couple of weeks without labour Robert Hambidge decided on action. He hired two teenagers, John Hodgkins and John Millin from Ramsden and on the 12th of May went off to Stow Fair leaving these lads with instructions to begin hoeing a certain field.