Hangin’ with the Revolutionaries at The Dog Inn

Well, not exactly. These days, The Dog Inn is an appealing gastro pub, and Pentrich a pretty village with tidy homes and attractive gardens. Beyond excellent fish and chips, the Dog Inn’s bar menu serves such things as a variety of chargrilled flatbreads (“made in house every day”):

Pulled pork in BBQ spices with red onions, coriander & fresh apple
Roasted red pepper, baby plum tomato & buffalo mozzarella
Hot smoked salmon & prawn with watercress
Chargrilled chicken, melting Reblochon & crispy pancetta

The Dog Inn website’s history page bears this bit of information about the June 9, 1817, Pentrich Rising, which has been billed as England’s last revolution:

As you stand in this ancient building the ghosts of Jeremiah Brandreth, Isaac Ludlam and William Turner may well be close by. The period immediately after the ‘successes’ at Waterloo in 1815 left many local working family distraught. Staple food prices rocketed as the Corn Laws bit and demand for the framework knitters’ goods was decimated by competition from the new factories and changes in styles. They were people left with little hope and little option other than to seek reform from a government of aristocrats and landowners. To rub salt in their wounds their plans were rendered ineffective by government spies and agents provocateur.

Please drink to their memory and their courage!

– Michael Parkin, Chairman of the Pentrich Historical Association

Three Pentrich Rising participants were hanged and beheaded after having been granted “clemency” of a peculiar sort:

A show trial in October was a national sensation, especially when the ringleaders Jeremiah Brandreth, Isaac Ludlam and William Turner were sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. They were the last men in England to receive that sentence, but in the end received “clemency” and were only hanged but beheaded. [citation]

The Dog Inn sports a couple drawings and a wooden roster bearing the revolutionaries’ names (the list of names is here), but the bartender had no map and could tell us nothing about where to find the commemorative wall plaques dotted around the village. (We could have downloaded the map before heading off to England, of course, but that would have been too easy . . .).

Having come up empty-handed, we ordered tea and conspired over steaming Dog Inn mugs. Some folks at a neighboring table slipped us a bit of photocopied information. We pored over it in an attempt, however vain, to impress it on our memories before we set out again.

Our first stop was St. Matthews Church, where we spied our second wall plaque. Here, it was said, the curate hid rebels from government troops.

Next stop was the Village Hall. We followed by car as our advance scout set out on foot. We entered peaceably, where we encountered four members of the U3A Art Group busily at work. They didn’t know the whereabouts of the plaques, but were able to report their contributions to art commemorating the Revolution’s Bicentenary Celebration, which is currently underway.

Some prints of the paintings are here. As Les Herbert (#35), one of the painters, notes, the then Duke of Devonshire figures in:

After the revolution had taken place, the Duke of Devonshire ordered the demolition of around one third of the village of Pentrich, turning out the families of the men who took part in the revolution, causing even more misery to these families. Most fled to nearby Alfreton and Ripley, some going further afield.

The White Horse was one of the buildings demolished, as well as the house of Thomas Bacon, on the site of which the village school was later built. The village school now acts as Pentrich Village Hall.

The population dropped from 726 in 1811 to 508 in 1821. The decline continued, and the population today is a little over 200.

The year after the rising, in April 1818, the Duke of Devonshire visited Alfreton Hall and expressed his wish to call on his tenantry in Pentrich and was shown the route that the marchers took.

On riding out of the village, “the Duke left a bountiful sum to be distributed among the poor at large”, returning to Alfreton Hall “highly pleased by his excursion”.

As we left, our advance scout reported her findings: two commemorative plaques she’d spotted en route to the Hall. We followed on foot to confirm. We were now up to three, but where were the others? We retraced our steps and spotted one more on the Village Hall’s outer wall. Just then, a person we’d not met before emerged from inside.

I hear you’re looking for the plaques, said he.

We sized him up as a good man, not in the enemy’s camp, so we fessed up to finding four. To help us further, he needed a complete description, and we readily complied.

You’re wanting three more, he said. He gave us detailed instructions that we did our best to commit to memory: on a dip down the hill after the such and such farm, at the traffic light on the way out of town, and by a construction site nearby, that sort of thing. We managed, but only just, to find all three.*

Our mission completed, and without untoward incident, we set off to our home away from home in the Plague Village. We were there with time to spare for an evening stroll along the lane before settling in for the night.

Postscript: June 10, 2017, the date of this post, is Bicentenary Commemoration Day. For today’s events and those coming up, including the first of three sound walks on June 17, click here.

*The map we hadn’t printed out shows 10 plaques in all. We made a mental note to return someday, this time with the map.


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Listening List

 The Triumph of General Ludd

 Below are the song’s first two stanzas. The remainder of the lyrics may be found here.

No more chant your old rhymes about old Robin Hood
His feats I do little admire
I’ll sing the achievements of General Ludd
Now the hero of Nottinghamshire.

Brave Ludd was to measures of violence unused
’till his sufferings became so severe
That at last to defend his own interest he rose
And for the great fight did prepare.


General (Ned) Ludd, a creature of myth, gave his name to the “Luddite” movement:

In 1811, food riots and stocking-frame breaking erupted in Nottinghamshire, where the legendary Robin Hood lived. Since trade unions were illegal, workers formed secret, underground groups that sent threatening letters to employers and local officials. The letters were usually signed by the mysterious “Ned Ludd.”

Soon the Luddites were arming themselves, training in secret, and marching on nighttime raids against shops and factories where they smashed the hated stocking frames. By the end of 1811, they had destroyed about 1,000 frames.

The English government responded by planting spies, offering rewards to informers, and sending several thousand troops into the troubled area. . . . . Luddite raids and other activities in Nottinghamshire finally ended in the spring of 1812 when Parliament passed a law that made machine breaking a death-penalty offense.

The scene then shifted northward to Yorkshire and Lancashire. . . .

Scattered attacks against machines and factories continued for a few more years, but the Luddite movement was finished. [citation]

The Pentrich Rising’s leader, Jeremiah Brandreth, was believed to have been “involved in Luddite activities in 1811. He was involved in a Luddite raid in 1811 when a fellow Luddite was shot dead.”

The Pentrich rising was an armed uprising in 1817 that began around the village of Pentrich, Derbyshire, in the United Kingdom. It occurred on the night of 9th /10th June 1817. While much of the planning took place in Pentrich, two of the three ringleaders were from South Wingfield and the other was from Sutton in Ashfield. The ‘revolution’ itself started from Hunt’s Barn in South Wingfield, and the only person killed died in Wingfield Park.

A gathering of some two or three hundred men (stockingers, quarrymen and iron workers), led by Jeremiah Brandreth (The Nottingham Captain), set out from South Wingfield to march to Nottingham. They were lightly armed with pikes, scythes and a few guns, which had been hidden in a quarry in Wingfield Park, and had a set of rather unfocused revolutionary demands, including the wiping out of the National Debt.

One among them, however, turned out to be a government spy, William J. Oliver, and the uprising was quashed soon after it began. Three men were hanged and beheaded at Derby Gaol for their participation in the uprising: Jeremiah Brandreth, Isaac Ludlam and William Turner. [citation]


Credits: The sources for quotations may be found at the links in the text. As always on the blog unless indicated otherwise, the photographs are mine.

8 thoughts on “Hangin’ with the Revolutionaries at The Dog Inn

  1. shoreacres

    What fun to read this on the Bicentennial weekend. And how thoughtful of the fellow in charge of the sound walks to provide pre-loaded devices for those (dare I say Luddites) like me who don’t have a smart phone and wouldn’t know a QR code from a pikestaff.

    I laughed at the “clemency” offered, and wondered what the good people of the village would think of the menu at today’s gastro pub (another phrase I’d never heard). But what a wonderful collection of songs. Who wouldn’t smile at English rebel songs: 1381 – 1984. I wonder if there was a song making the rounds during the recent election that could be added to the collection.

    Which reminds me: did you see the videos of Prime Minister May during the Maidenhead count, on stage with Elmo and Lord Buckethead? I’m rather taken with Lord Buckethead, myself. There was something wacky and charming about his campaign video.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      shoreacres: You and me both on the pre-loaded devices for the soundwalks. I had no idea what QR code was either. The idea of beheading v. drawn and quartered as anything remotely relating to clemency is indeed hard to fathom. For the executioners, maybe, but not for the executed. (PS: I did NOT know about Lord Buckethead. Very funny.)

  2. hilarymb

    Hi Susan – definitely I will be back to run through your post properly … and take in the area and time frame – and that map with 10 plaques to be found … must have been such an interesting day and walk around. The pub looks amazing too …and looks like the ‘Pentrich unfortunates’ might have set Australia up on their way towards the 21st C … cheers Hilary

    1. Brigitta “Britta” Huegel

      I like that post immensely, Sue, and will take a few notes – in case I will ever see it! Thank you!
      At the moment almost every little grey cell of mine is filled with “Paris” – so: comment on your lovely garden blogpost when I am back – bear with me!

  3. David N

    Good to see more of the pictures to go with Josie’s account when you visited. BTW something about a couple of mixes that menu doesn’t sound quite appealing. Was it any good?

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