Ten Per Cent and No Surrender

Ten Per Cent and No Surrender is the title of a book written by H I Dutton and J E King about the Preston Stike and the events leading up to it.

It is a study of industrial unrest in the cotton industry at a time when the economy was on the threshold of mid-Victorian prosperity,and when Chartism was still much more than a memory. The town of Preston was the crucial battlefield, and here the masters and men fought out a bitter trial of strength.

The strike on 1853 - 54 closed the Preston cotton industry for 7 months, and disrupted production in many other towns in Lancashire.

Against the implacable opposition of the masters the strikers toured the country to organise support, and raised £100,000 in subscriptions from their fellow operatives. The dispute featured prominently in the national and provincial press, and the weavers delegates, notably George Cowell and Mortimer Grimshaw, became celebrities overnight.

After five months, the employers brought in blackleg labour, and when the detested 'Knobsticks' failed to break the strike they had the operatives' leaders arrested. These moves did not deter the cotton workers, who were forced back to work only when their financial reserves were exhausted. Their campaign ended defiently, as it had begun, with cries of 'Ten Per Cent still, and no surrender'.