Money or Blood by David Hopker
Privately published 1988 25pp
Subtitled 'The 1835 Riots in the Swale Villages' this pamphlet is one of those local booklets you can pick up in many villages outlining various incidents of historical interest in the area.
What sets this aside from most of those pamphlets is the detail that has gone into the research, and the plethora of names listed that were involved in the riots - an essential source of family background for anyone who has ancestors in the villages concerned.
Basically, this is the story of how rural labourers in the Swale area set out to challenge the new Poor Law amendments by making them unworkable - and how the powers that be sought to defeat them. Kicking off at Rodmersham village, the series of protests and riots made national news, and it could be argued that they played a not inconsiderable part in setting the minds of future reformers to take greater account of likely unrest from unpopular measures in the villages.
With some handy source extracts and photocopies of several documents from the time, this pamphlet is a very valuable account of a remarkable series of events that should be on the reading list of anyone with Kentish 'Ag Labs' in the 1840s!