Given that the panels were commisioned on a particular anniversary it is appropriate that the first panel should depict scenes from that event.
The weavers had been on strike for twelve weeks as a protest against a cut in wages. On previous occasions strikes had been resolved by settlement but on 3rd September 1787 the army was sent in for the first time and six weavers were killed. 6000 people attended the funerals.
Only three of the weavers are recorded by name and the artist has chosen to show the protestors with covered faces, despairing and unknown.
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