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AN ODE TO THE FRAMERS
OF THE FRAME BILL

By
Lord Byron



On February 27th 1812, Lord Byron gave his maiden speech in the House of Lords on the Frame Bill.  This bill was to add a death penalty upon the  Frame-breakers . . . also known as the Luddites.   At that time, there was in effect a punishment for this offense, of transportation for 14 years.

 Byron was against the bill, defending the countless workers that had been replaced by machinery.

". . .whilst these outrages must be admitted to exist to an alarming extent, it cannot be denied that they have arisen from circumstances of the most unparalleled distress:  the perseverance of these miserable men in their proceedings, tend to prove that nothing but absolute want could have driven a large, and once honest and industrious, body of the people, into the commission of excesses so hazardous to themselves, their families, and the community."
Even though Byron's speech was met with acclaim, the bill was passed.  Later, on March 2nd 1812, Byron sent the poem, An Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill to the editor of the Morning Chronicle to be published anonymously.

Click here to read

NOTE:  In 1816, Lord Byron also wrote:  Song for the Luddites
 


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