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Home|Special Collections Exhibitions|Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’|Britannia: Parliament, party & the Prince|11. Byron’s ‘Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill,’ Morning Chronicle, 2 March 1812 

11. Byron’s ‘Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill,’ Morning Chronicle, 2 March 1812


Byron’s ‘Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill’ was published anonymously in the Morning Chronicle four days after his speech on this topic in the House of Lords on 27 February 1812.


Oh well done Lord E—N! and better Lord R—R!
  Britannia must prosper with councils like yours;
HAWKESBURY, HARROWBY, help you to guide her,
  Whose remedy only must kill ere it cures:
Those villains; the Weavers, are all grown refractory,
  Asking some succour for Charity’s sake–
So hang them in clusters round each Manufactory,
  That will at once put an end to mistake.*

The rascals, perhaps, may betake them to robbing,
  The dogs to be sure have got nothing to eat–
So if we can hang them for breaking a bobbin,
  ’Twill save all the Government’s money and meat:
Men are more easily made than machinery–
  Stockings fetch better prices than lives–
Gibbets on Sherwood will heighten the scenery,
  Shewing how Commerce, how Liberty thrives!

Justice is now in pursuit of the wretches,
  Grenadiers, Volunteers, Bow-street Police,
Twenty-two Regiments, a score of Jack Ketches,
  Three of the Quorum and two of the Peace;
Some Lords, to be sure, would have summoned the Judges,
  To take their opinion, but that they ne’er shall,
For Liverpool such a concession begrudges,
  So now they’re condemned by no Judges at all.

Some folks for certain have thought it was shocking,
  When Famine appeals, and when Poverty groans:
That life should be valued at less than a stocking,
  And the breaking of frames lead to breaking of bones.
If it should prove so, I trust, by this token,
  (And who will refuse to partake in the hope?)
That the frames of the fools may be first to be broken,
  Who, when asked for a remedy, sent down a rope.

*Lord E. on Thursday night, said the riots at Nottingham
arose from “a mistake.

Transcribed from the Morning Chronicle, 2 March 1812.

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