‘Traitor’s’ blue plaque

A NOTORIOUS figure from Belper’s past — known to some as a traitor — is to be commemorated with a prestigious blue plaque from Derbyshire County Council.

Born in the town in 1768, Samuel Slater later became an apprentice in Jedediah Strutt’s cotton mill.

But, at the age of 21, Slater absconded to the USA and betrayed the secret of Richard Arkwright’s “water frame” to American manufacturers.

Nominator Rosemary Timms, of Milford, said: “I hope this blue plaque will help to enlighten future generations into the significance of Slater’s 18th Century apprenticeship in Strutt’s Cotton Mill in Belper, and subsequently the development of the factory system in America and across the world.”