Anonymous threatening letters, hamstrung horses, arson attacks, beatings, rattenings, bombings, shootings and murders; all at the hands of trade union thugs, orchestrated by William Broadhead, the tyrannical saw grinders union leader. Such is the folklore of the Sheffield Outrages. However, acts of intimidation against obnoxious workers and defiant employers stretched beyond Sheffield and across many trades.The story of the Sheffield Outrages is not just about the infamy of William Broadhead and the saw grinders, it is about a way of life in 19th century Sheffield; it is about conflict between hard-working skilled men and their exploitative masters; it is about a time of transition in industrial relations and the development of trade unionism.The story of the Sheffield Outrages is a significant and important aspect of Sheffields social history and for far too long has been an understated one.
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