Friday, 3 July 2015

3rd July 1815: Francis Raynes offers his resignation with a threat to publicise his case

3d July, 1815.


Absence from home prevented my receiving your Grace’s favour of the 24th ult. Till this moment.

Were it possible I could misapprehend your Grace’s expression in respect to the barrack appointment, your letter would excite no surprise; but when I reflect that your Grace stated to me, that my Lord Liverpool had assented me to such appointment in my favour, preferable to some the reduced officers, I am precluded drawing any equivocal inference. I most perfectly accord with your Grace’s opinion, “in what is to be done, and what is eventually accomplished,” as the experience of the last two years and a half has fully taught me. Yet I would be loathe to think so uncharitably of the Earl of Liverpool or Lord Sidmouth, as to suppose they would trifle with the feeling of an individual under such circumstances; and I am to believe they would not presume to make your Grace an instrument in the furtherance of hopes which were not intended to be realised.

Your Grace will have perceived throughout, that emolument alone was not my object; but that an honourable appointment should await my services. If His Majesty’s ministers will admit my being allowed the temporary rank of Captain, and the requirement of such, it might readily relieve them from the difficulty which has so often been suggested.

Should this proposition be rejected, without a suitable remuneration, I must request your Grace will be pleased to accept my resignation; for I should not feel happy to do duty in the Stirlingshire, under existing circumstances.

It is fortunate that I have preserved every document relative to that service; and I cannot entertain a doubt that the General Officers under whom I had the honor to serve, will bear amply testimony thereof; and however reluctant I may be to make my case known to the public, yet, on retiring from the service, I feel it a duty I owe myself and my family.

I have the honor to be,
Most respectfully,
Your Grace’s obedient and humble Servant,


[To] His Grace the Duke of Montrose, &c.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

1st July 1815: George Coldham expresses concerns about the security of arms depots

Nottingham 1st July 1815.


Dear Sir,

I was yesterday at Newark & I was upon the Spot & had half an Hour to spare I set about examining the State of the Arms here. I found that in consequence of a Letter from you the Arms of the Regimt of local Militia remaining in Newark had been shipped stripped of their Locks & Bayonets which had been removed without great precaution & Secrecy to a very different place from the other parts of the Muskets. But I actually saw with my Eyes & therefore can not be mistaken that the Arms of the Regimt of the regular Nottinghamshire Militia deposited there were placed in the rooms above the Council room at the Town Hall had their Bayonets & Locks with the muskets & were in no State of Security from Attack having no Guard upon them. I therefore really think that you had best give Directions to this effect by a Letter to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment at Newark where I believe there is an Adjutant & Staff belonging to the Regiment. I am sorry to be troublesome but I am sure you will be glad to learn this & act upon it and it is certainly just possible the precautions may prevent much mischief

I am Dear Sir
Your’s very truly
Geo. Coldham

[To] J. Beckett Esqr

1st July 1815: The Mayor of Leicester expresses concern about recent developments in the Town

July 1. 1815.

My Lord,

Mr. Burbridge, our Town Clerk, having received a letter on Thursday evening last from a confidential friend at Nottingham, who wishes name to be kept secret; but upon whose discretion and Judgement your Lordship may entirely rely, I beg to inclose a copy of that Letter, marked "A." On the day to which the writer alludes (26th June) a Meeting was held at Leicester, and an open pasture ground, upon the subject of Parliamentary Reform. It was called by an Anonymous Advertisement, & attended by about two or three hundreds only of the rabble of the Town. There were some Strangers amongst them who took the lead.

Yesterday evening I received a letter from an anonymous correspondent of which I inclose a copy marked "B." I am sorry to add that some other little facts which had previously come to my knowledge lead me to believe that, to a certain extent at least, the information thus communicated is true. In any event it is clear that secret Societies are forming in Leicester & that the members of them are sworn. With the view to detect these practices my Brother Magistrates and myself have taken such precautions as appeared to us to be necessary. Amongst other things we have thought it expedient to request that two confidential and discreet officers from Bow Street may be sent to as to reside at Leicester, in disguise, for some months, if necessary, & to associate with some of the members of these Societies, &, if possible, to get admitted themselves. No other plan appears to us to promise so speedy a development of the objects in view; nor could any persons known in this Town or neighbourhood be so likely to accomplish it.—With respect to the Militia arms we would mention that we have requested Adjutant of the Militia to place a Guard night and day over those which are deposited in the building called the Magazine which we consider to be tolerably secure;—but the Local militia arms are in another building in a different part of the Town, & we do not consider them safe. For this reason we have requested the Officer of the Local Militia to order the Locks & Bayonets of his pieces to be taken off & deposited in the Magazine, & they will thus be rendered harmless if an attack should be made. The party of regular Militia resident at Leicester does not, we believe, exceed 20 or 30 men, & we have no other military here but recruiting parties.—

Your Lordship is aware that it is only the arms of the Leicester Regiment of Local Militia which are deposited at Leicester, the others being kept, I can not say whether securely or not, in other Towns in the County. Your Lordship will consider whether it might not be well worth the expenditure to have some capacious & secure building erected which should hold all the Militia arms of the County, & be at all times under a sufficient military Guard. I feel persuaded that your Lordship will pardon the liberty of this suggestion, & I need scarcely add that in any point upon which your Lordship will favor us with directions we shall be very happy to obey them.

I have [etc]

M Miles Mayor

[To] The Right Honble
Lord Visct. Sidmouth
&c &c &c

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

30th June 1815: The convict Thomas Holden writes to his wife, from Sydney, Australia

Sydney June [11] 30 1815

My Dear Wife

I take this oppertunity of Writing to you Hoping to find to find you and My Dear Child in good health as this Leaves Me at Presant thanks Be to god for the Same and I ham very unhappy to think that you have for got me So soon for My Part I know that I ham Shut up in one Corner of the World But I hope that you wont for get to write to me hevery 3 Months as there is a Ship Sails from Portsmouth and there is nothing will Give Me More happiness than to hear from you for My Part there is never a Ship Coms to this Contry But I goes to know whether there is aney Letter for Me or no and when there is no Letter then I think you Have quite forgot Me to think that I have got ondley one Letter Since this time 3 yers So I Desire you Will Let Me know the Reason that My Brother Dont Write to Me and My Cousan James and I hope they Will find time to write if they Can and My Dear father and Mother I hear that there is Peace with all the World so I Desire you will Send the Word if it is So and
Please to Let Me know how the trade is Since Peac[ ] and Whether I can get a honist Living or not and there is a Strong Report of us getting our pardon and if there is Please to Let Me Know By the first Ship and you Mentinsond Some of the Men that Came from England with Me But I will ashure
you I have never Cept Company with any one Sins I Left my natife Contry for I will ashure you I find
it as Much as I Can do to Mind My Self and I have Done all that Eavr Man Can Do to get my Liberty
and to Come home But it is all in vain the More I strive the More I ham Behind So Dear Mother if
Should Please God to Let us Meet a gain in this World I hope it will Be a happy Meetting and if it Should Please god to Call Me Before our Meeting I hope we Shal Meet in another World Where there
Will Be no More Parting once I Did not think that it would Be my feat to Be So far Distant from you My Dear Mother and you My Wife and Child Dear Mother things in this Contry is very Dear Mens hats is too Pound too Shillings and Stockings ten Shillings Per Pair and Shoos Sixteen Shillings Per Pair Sugar 3 Shillings Per Pound and Butter 7 Shillings Per Pound Cotton Prints 12 Shillings Per yard velveteen one Pound Per yard 40 Reed Muslin 12 Shillings Per yard and Eavry thing acordingly and allthough the Prices is So high We are Verry glad to get at aney Price so I must inform you of my  Wages

I have 20 Pounds Per year in Corrency Money it will Be More than 12 Pounds in English Coin So My Dear Brother I hope you will Stay at home with your Mother and Becontented in the State you are in and I Desire you to write to Me and Send Me all the news that is going with you Both in family afairs and how trade is and the Prise of Vitling and all oather news that you Can as ther is nothing will give Me More Satisfaction then to hear from you all & when it is Dark with you it is Light with us and the natifs of this Contry they are Blaiks and they go naked Just as they Came into the world and they live on Nuts of trees as [   ] [   ] Snouts or aney oather Creeping thing [   ]n and Children goes all naked a Like So I have nothing More to add ondley Begging of you My Dear Wife that you will take Perticul[  ] Care of My Dear Child until I Return for I will ashure you I think of nothing But you and My Dear Child and My Sincere Prayr is Both Day and night that I May once More Be along with you Both and never More to Be Parted – – –

So no More at Presant from your Loving husba[ ] – [til Death] and affectinate father and Dutifull Son
        til Death Thos Holding

[To] Mrs Holding
to be left at the sign of the Golden L[   ]
Church Gate Bolton
Lee Moores

30th June 1815: The Mayor of Leicester receives an anonymous letter from 'A Loyalist'

[Received 30th June 1815]



It is not impossible that you may know what I am about to communicate; or if not you may deem the information unimportant in either case I am persuaded you cannot be offended by the liberty I take of addressing you, while I shall satisfy my conscience by laying before you a few facts which have recently come to my knowledge—

I lately fell a company with a person of whose principles I had some previous knowledge, though I have every reason to believe he was wholly ignorant of mine — I would here, Sir, remark that in order to be more completely acquainted with him I disguised my own politics sentiments & assumed the appearance of "a true brother" viz. one disaffected to Government. By this means with little difficulty I became the confidant of my companion & received from him what it is my present business to state to you — Our first conversation was respecting the meeting lately held in the [Pasture] the ostensible object of which was "Reform in Parliament" — This I was assured was only a covering of the real design — that similar meetings had been would be convened in many places — that the business was conducted by Strangers & that the real design of them was (to use the same ends) "to see who was who"―That which the apparent business of the meeting was going on — a party of the best of them (i.e. the foremost) were employed in close conversation alone — I was then plainly told that the end in view was to ascertain the sentiments of the people, to appoint persons to carry on the business amongst themselves as well as to keep up a communication with several others places (amongst which Manchester, Liverpool, &c &c were mentioned) — a signal or watchword was appointed — correspondence, on the subject is forbid as likely to lead to detection — when these arrangements are fully made an effort is to be made to subvert the Constitution — an early day was expected to be named — it being desirable to carry their plans into execution while the army is absent (the day [illegible] ― derived it was considered not unfavourable that it was received so early lest the embarkation of the Troops about to proceed to Holland should be stopped)—

A simultaneous movement is to take place. the centre of which is London — They have no apprehension from the Local Militia they being for the most part considered friendly to the cause — It will be unnecessary to enter into the detail of what is to follow if success crown the first effort — I will only firstly state that it is in their plan immediately to proceed to the House of Commons — dissolve it & chuse one of their own making — to dethrone the present family & place — there Sir Francis Burdett, who by the bye is already known among them by the name of Oliver Cromwell—

These things will perhaps rather excite a smile than any consternation — I confess I am not concerned as to the result if any attempt should be made — My only reason for troubling you is, that if you are not already — you may be apprized of what I sincerely believe is in agitation — As no evil can result from your knowledge of them & may be a prevention of disturbance I have put down the above as I heard it unconnectedly & incoherently & incorrectly it is written I doubt not, but you will excuse this & if you think it of any importance you will of course be upon the watch tower. I can assure you the person before mentioned was not sparing of invective against yourself & brother Magistrates for employing Constables upon a late occasion — Every thing indicates at a set of the most despicable unprincipled wretches are endeavouring to promote disaffection ‘till it terminates in a revolution & as this appears the moment for them to make their appeal to the public when trade is bad, manufacturers are out of employ, the army abroad &c it certainly will be but the part of prudence to endeavour to suppress in the germ what perhaps it will be more difficult to destroy when grown into a more complete system

A Loyalist.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

28th June 1815: The Town Clerk of Leicester receives an informer's letter from Nottingham

28th June 1815.

Dear Sir,

You well know by what a set of Scoundrels we are surrounded in this place — I mean the Ludites — their present plan is to overturn the Government by a revolution. There is an organized society for this purpose — and I am sorry to say that in the number of manufacturing Towns the same intention prevails — Leicester is in the number — I therefore think it prudent — well knowing your loyal & good intentions to give you such information as has come to my knowledge in order that you may put the Magistrates on their guard & thereby frustrate the intentions of these miscreants. The Nottingham Arms in Belgrave Gate is their principal place of rendezvous — Johnson, a retail Hosier, son of the Landlady is a first rate mover in this business but is a wary, cautious fellow — Brown, a Painter in the same Street, is also a principal – There are several societies in Leicester & the members are all sworn — It was the intention of them to send a Deputy to London. For this purpose & to make other arrangements a meeting was to be held at Mrs Johnson’s on the 26th inst.

I do not presume to offer any advice on this occasion — no doubt the thing will appear ridiculous to many that a few insignificant individuals should think of adopting so mighty a plan as that of bringing about a revolution — However I leave the matter to your consideration — & I must particularly request that you will on no account communicate my name – You have no idea that a murderous set of Villains are to be found in this neighbourhood I again request you will tear my name from the paper—

I am,
Your’s very sincerely

I feel myself under the necessity of cautioning you still further — namely, not on any account to let it be known from whence you receive this information — I mean is coming from this place, lest the party from whom I derive my information may be suspected — Probably you will not think, it adviseable to consult with more than two or three of your Magistrates — If Mr. H. Wood should be one of them I have no objection to give him my confidence —

One part of the plan is to seize the Militia arms now in depot at Leicester—

[To] Burbidge Esqr.
Town Clerk,

Saturday, 27 June 2015

27th June 1815: George Coldham's informer sends his second report of the day about Nottinghamshire Luddites

27th June 1815.

I was at Seymour’s last night with Burton, Badder, John Slater Hill, John Mann & Holmes.—The journey to London was considered. They wanted me to go to London by myself.—Hill told me privately that Holmes had been heard to say it would be a casualty going there and they therefore did not think he was hearty in the cause and have not full confidence in him.—I objected going alone & alledged as a reason that one person only would not be so much noticed as 2 or more and that the person from Leicester might not be ready to go.—They have collected they said betn 30 & 40 [shillings] & put the same into John Mann's hands.—The Needlemn in Woolpack Lane I think his name is Stevens was to have furnished instructions to whom to go to in London & he came there but did not come into the Room amongst us on acct of there being some words about Homes whom they suspect – Burton and Hill have been to Sampson Walker as proposed & told him about the London Journey & that I was to go — He told them there was a Snake amongst them for the [Corporation] had got a List of 20 of their names & that some of these Names were at London before now — Hill urged my going — I told them Nottingham would be only a handful & that they would not act if they had not many more Towns to join them.—The London Journey is given up and I am going into Yorkshire, to Wakefield, Sheffield, Halifax and some other places were mentioned & I am to meet them again tomorrow night to have final instructions & be furnished with money .. Bigs the Tinman in Greyhound Yard is the man that went there before but they have a very bad conceit of him & say he would tell if taken on Suspicion.—They say he is frightened & tells them he dreams and talks in his sleep about what is going on — They are to go to him to day to get some information from him.—Hill & Slater said there was a Petition going on in the Town.—They wanted me to go to Sampson Walker to find out whose names the Corporation have got,—They talked about where the Arms are deposited but none of them could tell where they are — Slater said the way to find that out would be to seize some of the head Devils, they named [Aldermen] Swann & Mr Coldham the Town Clerk & put them in fear by threatening their lives if they would not tell whether arms are — As to Coldham they said they should not save him if he did tell for he was a Governmnt Spye & had £400 a yr — A great deal more like language was used, they said this [Corporation] was worse than Government — Slater told me privately he had been agaitwards with Dann to arnold & Dann had told him he had been taking a view yesterday of Mr Coldham’s house & that he means to lay wait for him — Dann is not to go to Leicester — He remains working at Gilberts Sandy Lane — They are to attempt to seize the arms of the militia stationed in Nottm.

27th June 1815: George Coldham's informer writes of a meeting with Gravenor Henson & talk of revolution in Nottingham

27th June 1815.

I was with Sampson Walker yesterday morning about the [Corporation] having a list of the Ludd's names. He began to chastise me as soon as he saw me & advised me to have nothing to do with it. I told him I had nothing to do to do with it, & the Connection I had with these men was only just formed & they could not have my name. He said Lomax the Grocer told him the Corporation had had the names a month since & that there was no doubt they had gone up to Government & they might suspend the Habeas Corpus Act & put anyone into Prison without shewing why.―He told me by all means to drop the Connection as Revolution was not to be brought about by the means they proposed & he had told Burton to call again, but he should have nothing to do with it.—When I left Walker about 9 oClock I went to Stevens the Needlemaker in King Street, Woolpack Lane.―He began to talk to me about a Revolution & Gravenor Henson came in — Gravenor began to talk about getting money & he asked me if old Newton of Bullwell had not got a good bit of Gold.—I told him I understood he had but I did not know where it was.—He said ‘Oh damn that, we’ll soon find it when we get there, I asked him how we were to find it. He said ‘Oh damn that we would soon make him tell, by putting him in bodily fear by getting some hot water & pouring on his legs, hanging him up, or giving him a good hiding or some such way.—We talked about the Revolution. He said he could raise 25,000 men in 2 hours.—As for such fellows as Dr. Wylde & all those black gowned [Gentleman] he would send them to New South Wales where many a brave fellow had been sent — He said there were three men in Nottm. shd. die & nothing should save them.―I asked him who they were — He said one was Coldham the Town Clerk,—Stevens of Mansfield & Beecher of Southwell. These he said should have no mercy.—We had a deal of talk about a Revolution―Burton came & heard part of this Conversation.—He talked of the same method as before proposed by Slater of finding where the arms are by getting hold of some of the heads of the Town & making them tell where they are. — Remained with till about noon — Was with Burton, John Mann, Badder, Holmes, and John Slater to night at the Leather Bottle.—They called me out into the Street & told me they thought it would be better to lay aside the Yorkshire Journey a few days — The reasons they assigned were — their suspicion of John Greaves who was Secretary to the Committee of the late Petitioning.—They said he has a Cousin at Coldham's Office & he has been in the habit of going there sometimes. They did not say that he had told of anything that he had discovered anything on there but that Mr. Coldham had once said to him he had too much of Sir Francis Burdett in him, & they said that Mr. Coldham would not have said so to him unless he had been saying something to Mr. Coldham — Holmes swore if he found out, that any man was hunting his blood he would hunt his.—They agreed that John Greaves is to be told it had all dropped on account of this news & then they should get rid of him.―They agreed we were to meet next Sunday or Monday and if I had anything to communicate I might come to John Mann at the Leather Bottle & he would let them know, & I told them they might find me at Hollingworth's.

Dann is 5 f. 6 or 7 inches high.. has redish hair and wiskers largish palish complexion.―thin face rather long – a tooth out in front, think on the top jaw – is franfreckled – generally wears blue Framework Pantaloons, walks upright & quick off the Ground - has a fullish eye, color, blue.―Teeth rather yellow – longish nose aquiline or roman, mostly wears a Jacket, a kind of Fustian without laps, – looks cleanish mostly. —

When Gravenor Henson was talking about the means to be used to effect a Revolution he said the first thing to be done was to set fire to Lombard Street where all the Banks were & then when the Mail brought that intelligence it, must be the signal to begin every where else. The next thing London must be shoved out & we could go to thro the Country in 9 days.―He mentioned many Towns where there were arms & the People were ripe & what Towns would be of Service — He mentioned so many I cant remember them.—He spoke of many in Yorkshire & Lancashire & a Barracks where there were only 500 Soldiers and many arms. This place must be attacked & the Arms seized & it would strike a dread upon the Country.—He said a great deal that I cannot repeat about the means to be adopted & the measures to be pursued by the Revolutionists.

Friday, 26 June 2015

26th June 1815: George Coldham reports on plans to send his informer to London

Nottingham June 1815


Dear Sir,

I inclose you a Copy of our last Report by which you will perceive the Statement made by our Informant of the Situation of Leicester. I did not I confess think these Men quite so dangerous as I was Disposed to imagine that but I still conceive their power of doing harm rendered expedient to know as much of them as we can. The Secret Committee have therefore Determined to let our Informant go to London if the Luddites can raise him a Companion & so much Money as to clear him of the Suspicion of being too forward If they can furnish the two Men £6 he will pretend to have got Subscriptions as far as £2 & will go [illegible] care to raise in the meantime some small Subscriptions where it will be reported to them. I have conferred with the Magistrates & if he goes they have Determined to send me Clerk Francis Wright with whom our Informant communicates here with an Introduction to you so that if it really appears that there is any channel of communication in London which it can be important for Government to know you & Lord Sidmouth will be put in possession of it. The Expenses attending this measure I have taken upon myself to be responsible for the Secret do not think it belongs to them & the Magistrates are aware that it may form a questionable Article in the County Rate Accounts & I hope you will think it is an Expense which Government will under the circumstances consider them bound to provide for. Nothing good or important may arise out of it or it may lead to useful Information but if the opportunity occurs I shall not think I Do my Duty without making the experiment. As by probability our Informant’s going may be Delayed somewhat longer I have shall be glad to hear from you on this subject by return of Post if you differ from me in Opinion. We hope we are in a [fair] [Train] of finding as the Person who wrote the private Letter to me respecting the Arms & that more Information may result from it. I think nothing at all of their means of any serious permanent mischief but I believe a few of them are mad & desperate enough for anything. At present they are very slow to believe in the Defeat of Bonaparte. I cannot close this Letter without congratulating Lord Sidmouth & yourself most sincerely & heartily upon the late glorious Victory which has placed Lord Wellington & this Country upon the very Pinnacle of Military Glory I devoutly hope that it may be immediately lead to consequences important & decisive of the best Interests of Britain & of Europe.

I am Dear Sir,
Your’s very truly
Geo. Coldham

[To] J. Beckett Esqr.

PS. Our Informant [returns] to communicate with us to morrow Afternoon where you shall hear if he can be safely permitted to go to London

Thursday, 25 June 2015

25th June 1815: Informer's report on Leicestershire Luddites

25th June 1815.—

I went to Leicester last Wednesday morning.—Had instructions to go to the "Nottingham Arms" Belgrave Gate, where I was told there was a Society of Revolutionists and that the son of the Landlady, Elizth Johnson, was one of them.—Dann told me Johnson was a good one.—He is a retail Hosier and works in the Frame himself.—Went to Johnson's as soon as I got to Leicester and saw him.—Told him what I was come about.—Dann is to go and work with him and I told him that something had happened that had prevented him from being with him until next week.—

I asked him if there had not been some stranger from Nottm & told him to be cautious who he said anything to.—He said he did not know of anybody having been there.—Johnson is very close minded.—He said a few Stocking makers could not bring such a thing as that forward and a parcel of us would get hanged if we did not mind. He speaks little and when in company frequently cautions others when they say anything that may be used to their disadvantage.—Went into the Hay market and there saw, a little black looking Chap.—Dont know his name we got into Conversation.—He asked if I came from Nottingham and if I knew Cooke.—I told him I did and had worked with him & Sherwood also―he told me they were Brothers in Law.—When he found I knew & was acquainted with them, he talked freely with me, & we went to Johnson’s together & on the way there he told me there was to be a Meeting in some Field, the name of which I don't remember.—He advised me not to go―When he had been at Johnson’s some time, about 9 o'Clock he said he should be wanted & he then left me.—I told him I thought the Leicester Chaps were not so forward as the Nottm.—He said they were & that they swore in every man that they engaged.—He did not tell me any of their names nor their number — He said Leicester would be as ready as Nottingham to seize the arms there, but it must be done in the night – He did not say they had adopted any plan to do it. Johnson did not hear of any of this Conversation.—Several men came here that night & I afterwards discovered they were part of the set.—Afterwards had some talk with a man of the name of Brown — who was one of those at Johnson's that night.—He is a Painter & lives he says in Belgrave Gate.—He began to talk about Sherwood, and told me Sherwood had been there lately.—I told him I knew he had, and that it appeared from what he had said that the Leicester Chaps hung back sadly.—Brown said that was not the Case and Sherwood never dived into it.—He said he thought they were more ready than Nottm — he understood they had Meetings twice a week at Nottm.—He told me there were several Societies in Leicester, and one was there (at Johnson's) and he was in it.—He did not tell me how many there were who had joined them.—He told me there was to be a Meeting there next Monday night.—Did not say what for.—The foregoing was Secret discourse — Had no other Secret talks with any, but have been with Brown & the man first mentioned at Johnson’s in company with several others when the chief of their discourse had been about the Revolution.—

Yesterday I went to Sherwood and Cooke.—As soon as Sherwood saw me, he told me he wanted to see me & that he was just going to seek for me — we went out together & he told me they had found out there was another Union in Nottm and from what he said I found it was Badder, Slater and their accomplices.—He proposed we two should join & act togr. upon one plan.—I told him I had been at Leicester & I thought they were more ready there than here.—He said he believed they were but when he was there he had not time to get amongst them as much as he wished.—He took me to a great Shop (Wells’s in Barker Gate) where there were some of his Friends, & there I saw Badder, & two other men not known to me my name.—Sherwood told them I was the Young man he had spoke to them about & that I had been at Leicester — we have some talk there and others came in.—They asked if somebody was not going to London from Leicester.—I told them I understood there was and then we agreed to meet at the Leather Bottle — We went there soon after but there was a deal of mixed company, & we cd. not say what we wished.—Haines came in & stuck up a written Paper in the Parlour "If France is subdued Europe's Liberty ends". We agreed to go to Seymour’s & went there separately – We had a Room to ourselves a Chamber — Thos. Burton dont know where he lives – Sherwood, Badder, Holmes dont know where he lives, John Mann and a Needlemaker who lives in Woolpack Lane, in a yard at the Cottom, either King Street or Wool Alley, & another Chap called Henry, were all there.—They began to say now we are met we must consult about the means to send two to London along with one from Leicester, as this was the very moment to strike the blow, when the Soldiers were all out of the Country, as they should never have a better opportunity.—They then asked me if I should like to be one.—I told them I should have no objn. but I was going into Yorkshire.—They said there should be no time lost in going to London & I had better go there & somebody else to Yorkshire.—They wanted to know how much money I could get amongst my friends towards the expence of the Journey.—They talked of raising 8 Guineas, I told them I thought I could raise £2.—They are to meet a Chap today at Badder’s Garden, who is to tell them on many staunch Jacobins to join them. They propose Holmes & myself to go to London next Tuesday to tell that then than Nottm & Leicester were quite ready to seize arms and begin & that if the blow be first struck in London, it will stop the whole trade at once & create a General forment.—That the night is to be agreed upon when the blow is to be struck & it is to be at all the places at the same time.—The blow to be struck is to seize the arms of the Military & the Militia Arms & they think the military will join them.—Nothing was said what was to be the next measure.—They were in high Spirits & sanguine in their expectations of success.—They are to have a Petition prepared as a Cloak to cover a Subscription — & they talked of going to the Committee at the Colonel Wardle and to confer with Sampson Walker and to make known to him their intentions — I told them I thought he might be trusted — Burton is to go to Walker this morning — We are to meet again tomorrow night at 8 at Seymour’s.—

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

24th June 1815: The Duke of Montrose tells Francis Raynes he has misunderstood an offer of employment

On Tuesday the 20th June 1815, the Duke of Montrose had written to Franics Raynes, inviting him to call at his residence in Grosvenor Square on any morning after 11.00 a.m. Raynes duly called on him shortly afterwards, and later recorded his thoughts about the meeting, which he followed with a copy of the Duke's next letter to him of Saturday 24th June:

The purport of the visit thus desired by the Duke, was for his Grace to inform me he had seen Lord Liverpool and Sidmouth, and it was their intention to give me the appointment of a Barrack-master. This, though far different from what, in the first instance, I had been led to expect, nevertheless, from the difficulties which had been thrown in the way of giving me any thing, I thought it best to accept. The propriety of thanking Lord Sidmouth, was suggested by the Duke; which I did, sending a copy of the letter to his Grace.

London, 24th June, 1815.


I have received your letter, and a copy of that sent to Lord Sidmouth, which is very proper; but I must observe, that Lord Sidmouth has only applied in your favour, and that I stated to you, the difficulties of obtaining the situation of Barrack-Master, from the just pretensions of old Barrack-Masters, deprived of their appointments by the peace establishment, &c. That you may obtain your reward, I earnestly wish, and so, I believe, does Lord Sidmouth; though there always a great difference, in my opinion, in what is to be done, and what is actually accomplished.

I remain, with esteem, Sir,
Your’s, &c.

[To] Captain Raynes.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

23rd June 1815: The convict, Thomas Holden, writes to his parents from Sydney, Australia

No 13 Letter and only one Answer

Sydney, Port Jackson.
New South Wales,
New Holland 23rd June 1815

My Dear Father & Mother,

I take this Opportunity of [  ]iting to you those few lines hoping it will [ ]ind you in good Health as it leaves me and I should wish to know the reason you dont write to me as there is a Ship sails from Portsmouth every 3 Months there is nothing in this World that would giue me more happiness than hearing from you at euery Opportunity there is never a Ship comes into New South Wales but I always go and ask for one and when there is not one I always think that /you\ quite forgott[  ] me

Mr and Mrs Holding

Dear Father you was a speaking to me about the Men that came in the Ship with me but I neuer associated with any of them so that I dont know any thing about any of them for I have as much as ever I can do to look after myself Dear Father I should like to know the reason my Brothe dont write to me Si[nce] that he can find as much time as I can do So I hear there is Peace made in England and I hope you will let me know how trade is in England since there was Peace and whether I could gett an honest living if I was at Home .... Dear Wife and Child I should wish to know the Reason that she does not write to me for there is some hopes of me getting my Pardon let me know the foundation andd send it by the next Ship

Not to be afraid of putting them in the Post Office for I will pay the postage for them and let me know all the New They can andd not to be afraid to let me know all particulars Dear Mother if it should be our fortune in this Wo/r\ld I hope it will be a happy meeting and if not in this world I hope in [    ]xt so now I think we will can[  ] [    ]ife Child, father Mother Broth[   ] [    ] my Cousin James & my Wifes Sister

Dear Father and Mother I am
your Most Afft and Loving Son
Till Death shall part
Thomas Holding

P:S: [Kiss] my Dear little Wife & Child for me my Dear Mother

T Holding

sydney New South Wales 23[   ]

[To] Mr John Holding
To be left at the sign of the Golden
Lion Church gate, Bolton
Lee Moores

Sunday, 21 June 2015

21st June 1815: George Coldham abandons plans to raid Gravenor Henson's home


Dear Sir

I feel myself very much indebted to Lord Sidmouth and yourself the attention you have been so good to shew by your last letter, and after the result of your consultation, I believe we shall abandon all ideas of searching Henson's House as the Policy of the measure depends upon its success and its illegality is certain.—

Hitherto we have taken our precautions privately by outward watches set upon the house of the Adjutant of the Local Militia, and as there has been a double watch one Military and one civil, and the Guard at the Guard Room belonging to the Cambridge has been encreased, I think we could answer for their security under any common circumstances of attack. If under such circumstances you should deem it wiser to remain in this state of preparation taking still further cautionary measures when we approach nearer the threatened period until that time has elapsed pray be so good as to say so.—But it would certainly be more pleasant to know at once that the arms are secure and to be relieved from all unpleasant responsibility respecting them—

I am, Dear Sir
Your’s faithfully

Geo. Coldham


21st June 1815

[To: John Beckett]

Saturday, 20 June 2015

20th June 1815: John Lloyd reports information about a Hatters' Union to the Home Office

Stockport 20th June 1815


At the last Chester assizes I was concerned professionally in a prosecution against a man of the name of Green for stealing Hats from his Master Mr. John Jackson a considerable Hat manufacturer in this Town and one George Pickford was a Witness for the prosecution — This hatter man and one Wm. Acton were the persons that first informed Mr. Jackson of the felony, and at the same time gave him reason to suspect a master-Hatter of the name of Richd Ardern of receiving the stolen Goods & encouraging such offences—William Henshall worked for Ardern as well as Thomas Bell the latter of whom was said to be privy to the Offences.―On the 15th Feby last Mr. Jackson took out a Warrant agt Ardern and Bell—the latter absented himself, &, there not being sufficient Evidence to fix the former, he was released & the next day he (Ardern) appealed to the Justice & obtained a Warrant against the Witnesses Acton & Pickford for threats sworn by sd Wm. Henshall to have been suffered by them agt the Life of Ardern on the monday before which was the day they had given Information of the felony – But this fact they must positively deny — No threats were ever made. This has been carried a little further, & they have since sworn to an actual Assault, & indicted Acton & Pickford at the Sessions which immediately succeeded the Assizes.

Pickford as I observed was examined on the Trial of Green who was convicted — and in the course of the trial it came out that the Journeyman Hatters of this Town had assembled in congress (as it is so called by them) on the 20th Feby a day or two after the commitment of Green and had imposed a fine of five guineas upon Pickford for giving the Information to the master of the robbery; which induced the Court to make a strict Enquiry as to the nature of such Congress and the animadvert upon the it in the strongest terms

Mr Sergt Marshall who presided for the Atty Genl, and Chief Justice, expressed a hope that some Evidence might be procured & steps taken to suppress such dangerous & illegal proceedings — This day has brought me to the sd Acton & Pickford to the Office, who having to defend themselves from on the Charge of the assault imputed to them by the Indictment, have declared all the circumstances concerning the Congress which has been taken upon oath & is to the Effect following —

That any Journeyman Hatter (Pickford & Acton amongst the rest) were warned or summoned to the Townhouse for 7 oClock on the 20th Feby — where a committee was formed out of the Body consisting of above a dozen Journeymen whereof the said William Henshall was the president and John Knight Wm. Hodgkinson and Joseph Birkett and John Swindells were members — The Copies of Examinations were produced & read by by John Wood and read aloud first by sd Joseph Birkett & afterwards by John Shore and after some deliberation which Pickford & Acton were not allowed to be present at, they were called in and a paper was read to them by Thomas Oldham to the following purport

"George Pickford & Wm Acton must pay five Guineas each before they hat any more all be stood by—" (the meaning of the last Expression was sufficiently understood by them to be that no one was to be suffered to work with them or the masters to employ them). They accordingly raised the money that night & paid it, part of it to Joseph Birkett remainder to the Inn Keeper of a public house the next night for Liquor which all the Journeymen partook of except Pickford & Acton & a scene of the greatest riot drunkenness & confusion ensued on this occasion – Acton is a poor man and was under the necessity of borrowing the money which he had to stop from the maintenance of his family by 10 [shillings] per week The Stewards assembled the congress and ordered the spending of the money. There are 3 stewards who have each a Key of the Turn-house Box, in which the papers are deposited — The acting Steward was sd Joseph Birkett

A Petty Congress was afterwards held at which the Journeyman Hatters were ordered to contribute 6 [pence] per week each Green & his Wife the former had 6 [shillings] a week in Prison & the latter 14 [shillings] per week to hire upon — and this they forced Pickford & Acton to contribute to under threats of fines ― Acton sent his money to the Stewards every Saturday night at the Turn house by one Saml. Parr, a Journeyman, And that they contributed in like manner to the Journeyman Calico Printers lately when they turned out against the masters—

The manner in which Congress is assembled they represent to be by a Note written by a Steward (supposed to be Birkett) which is handed to the 1st Shop and from thence it is taken by a workman of that shop to the next & so on (under a fine for any delay) till it gets to the last shop in the district & this last carries it to the Steward at Congress when assembled ― And this you will please to observe in general throughout the Kingdom — a Journeyman not attending forfeits 5 [shillings]/3 [pence] to be spent in liquor for the first 7 shops—

A Petty Congress is composed of one Journeyman from each Shop who is summoned by name & for non attendance forfeits 2 [shillings]/6 [pence] – If a Journeyman refuses to pay any fine – He is declared foul & no one is to work with him work with him; & if the master shod employ him, after he  has been declared so — The whole Shop ‘turn out’ or ‘strike’ & refuse to work for that master—

Thus an Individual Master is intimidated from making his complaint, & there is not unfortunately sufficient of Union amongst them to crush the Evil — and I am therefore induced to trouble you at the instance of Mr Jackson, who is obliged to remain in the back ground in this business, in the hopes that you will allow Mr. Serjeant Marshall to confer with the Attorney and Solr General with a view to making it a public Concern — or at least allow us to have the sanction of the Government in our legal proceedings to suppress the Confederacy either by Indictment for a Conspiracy or otherwise – and particularly be aided with some power, if the 39th & 40th of the King (the Combination Act) does not provide it, in making the seizure of their Books and papers — At all events you will be pleased to excuse me troubling you with so long a Letter upon the Subject

I have the honor to be

Your very obedient
humble Servant

J Lloyd

[Home Office note: desire Him to collect all the Evidence He can that is likely to lead a Conviction and transmit it to Mr Hobhouse

— It is not legal to seize Papers under the 39 & 40th of the King — but if they can be got at in any other way it might be desirable — Lord S. leaves this however to Himself.]

Friday, 19 June 2015

19th June 1815: Derby Magistrates are concerned about a military depot following anonymous threats

Derby County Hall 19th June 1815

My Lord.

Frequent intimation have been given of late, to the Mayor, and others, of an inintended attack upon the Military Depot, near the town of Derby. Little credit may be done to anonymous communications of this nature; but, however peaceably disposed, the labouring manufacturers in this, and the neighbouring counties, at present appear to be, there is too much reason to apprehend, that they are actively employed in concerting: and organizing plans of future outrage, and disturbance. Under this conviction, we consider it to be our duty, as acting Magistrates of the County, and Borough, to represent to your Lordship our unanimous opinion, that the Depot is by no means sufficiently guarded, or, in point of construction, a place of sufficient security, for the arms, and ammunition, deposited in it. In this opinion we are fully confirmed by gentlemen of military experience. The place, in itself, does not afford the means of an effectual temporary defence;—and, even with the advantage of not much augmented, and more efficient guard, would be carried, and the stores taken, or destroyed, by a mob, insignificant in point of numbers, before a party could arrive from the town, to protect it. It is unnecessary to advert to the consequences of such an event. The possibility of its happening, we [moot] will excuse us, for thus intruding upon your Lordship, and most earnestly soliciting the immediate attention of His Majesty's Government to our representation. To us it appears highly requisite for public security, and the preservation of the peace, not only that the regular guard of the Depot, should be increased, but that the building should be better secured, and in some degree fortified.

We have [etc]

F R C Mundy
W Whitwell
Francis Mundy
B. Heathcote
Richard Bateman
J: Radford
Edwd Miller Mundy
Henry Fitzherbert High Sheriff
Danl Parker Coke } County Magistrates acting the for the Districts round Derby

John Drewry } Mayor of the Borough of Derby
J Balguy } Recorder of the 1st Borough & acting magistrate for the County
John Hope
Thos Lowe
Richd Draper } Magistrates acting for the Borough of Derby

To the Rt Honble Lord
Viscount Sidmouth

19th June 1815: John Beckett cautions George Coldham about raiding the home of Gravenor Henson


June 19, 1815.

Dear Sir,

I received yours of [the] 17[th] by this mornings Post together with the Enclosure which I return according to your desire.—

— As far as one can judge from the Paper itself Lord Sidmouth, to whom I have shewn it and your letter – is of opinion with me that the Communication is much to be a friendly one.—You seem however to have taken all the Precautions possible respecting the Arms of the militias that are alluded to and having done so, I hope no very vicious mischief is to be apprehended — Your future operations will depend probably upon what takes place at Leicester of which you will I take for granted be accurately informed.

Upon the material question in your Letter, viz. as to searching Houses—I have as you desired held a Consultation — and it is clearly Opinion here that unless you can lay before a magistrate such Information of a Treasonable nature as will indeed induce him to grant a Search Warrant — it would be unwise to take such a Step — whether your Information will enable you to go that length of course the Secret Committee will be the best judges―

I shall be glad to hear from you if any thing material takes place in the Course of this week or the next.—I own however that I think your precautionary Steps will shew that you are prepared — and that therefore nothing will happen nothing will happen of consequence.—

I am &c

J Beckett

[To] Geo: Coldham Esqr

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

17th June 1815: 2 wide glove frames broken in Leicester

Some time on Saturday the 17th June 1815, in a workshop belonging to a Mr. Mason of Leicester, 2 wide glove frames were destroyed by Luddites.

17th June 1815: George Coldham informs the Home Office of his plan to raid Gravenor Henson's house

Dear Sir

I inclose you a Note I received this morning by the Nottingm Penny Post regarding which on my account I shall be glad to have your and Lord Sidmouth’s Judgement.―It is most clear that it is the letter of one who by some means or other is acquainted with the leading Agitators here, as the list given in the letter is such an one, as, with very little exception I might have given to you or Lord Sidmouth if you had asked me for such an Account.―The Statement about myself and Mr. Ashwell does not alarm so much as it would if the threats had been disconnected with the grand Plot of of seizing the arms &c.―It appears to me we must receive all such communications with doubt, and use them not without at the same time recollecting that altho’ they may be false they may also by possibility be true.―It may be written, as it appears to be with an intention honestly to save us from the danger to which the Writer apprehends we are exposed or it may be composed by one of these men to alarm and harass us, but the names I can hardly conceive they would think we know and the disclosure of them is scarcely reconcileable to any Statement which is not designed to be friendly unless indeed it be meant as a trap to judge whether I am active in opposing this nefarious conspiracy, and then I could imagine it to be the work of Gravenor Henson, who I think might write it with a view to incite us to take measures which might lead them to know who were the most active against them by observing whether the hints were followed.―In this Case they would take care that nothing should be found and nothing would arise out of the precaution we might adopt for the Security of their arms.—Be this as it may I have taken measures to secure the arms which I take to be the arms of the Notts Supplementary Militia which were before threatened and which we ordered to be rendered ineffective, I shall have a Guard fixed upon these arms tomorrow, and I have given Colonel Maitland a caution respecting the arms of the Cambridge Militia, and shall give the Commanding Officer at the Barracks the same precaution tomorrow morning respecting the Arms at the Barracks altho’ I do not regard them as being in the least danger.―

In the mean time I have taken care to direct the special attention of our Informant to the subject and have stationed a Constable here and have sent a Confidential Constable to Leicester to observe the Characters who may appear to proceed from hence to Leicester between this on Monday evening.—

The Organization alluded to in this Communication is perfectly and precisely what we have ever understood to be that of the Luddites here.—

I have consulted the Secret Committee and Magistrates hereupon and have taken the measures already adopted with their concurrence—Pray let me hear from you or Lord Sidmouth herein, and have the goodness to return turn the inclosed

I am, Dear Sir,
Yours very truly

Geo Coldham

Nottm 17 June

P.S. Pray let me have your Opinion what it would be wise to do regarding the Searching Henson's House for Papers We can wait your reply because it is to be presumed if he is the Leader & Consultations are held at Leicester on Monday [illegible] not be in possession of the Results of the Mission to Leicester untill Tuesday & between then & Saturday seems the point of time at which we must Search if we Do it at all―It must then be Done upon an Information if one of our Police Constables that he has been informed & [believes] that Papers are there lodged which would Disclose Circumstances dangerous to the State—but on this subject we wish the best Advice & Opinion you can procure us—& shall not hesitate to act upon it.

[To: John Beckett]

Sunday, 7 June 2015

7th June 1815: Informer's report about the activities of Nottingham Luddites

7th June 1815.

I went with Badder last night to the Leather Bottle.―There were many there that I knew to be Ludds and well wishers to them.—They don't go to the Goat so much as they used to, because there is so much rabble and noise there by the Company gambling &c.—Sherwood was amongst them at the Leather Bottle and asked me when I should be ready to go into Yorkshire.―He said there was a man to go this morning who has some connections there.—I proposed to go with him and asked who he was.―He said he did not know his name, and you might not like any one to go with him, and he thought I had better stop till he came back which would be next Friday or Saturday and he said they would not take so much notice of one man as they would of 2 or 3, in a Company―I told him it would require about a fortnight to be to do any good and it would be a considerable expence and that I should like to have some money raised for me—He said I must get some goods and sell there, as money was very scarce and he told me there had been a man there but he came back sooner than was intended for want of money and that those he got amongst on learning he was a Nottingham Ludd were very fond of him.—He gave me the address of “John Holden Junr Bottom of Broad Lane Sheffield” which he wrote in my presence (and told me to mind and not get the old man) who would, introduce me to the persons I was to confer with & that he would not say much to me himself.―Some of the Company heard this discourse I joined in it and approved of the plan.—I was there from 7 till about ½ past 9. I then went with Badder to the Fox the bottom of Wood Street, stopped there about ½ an hour but as nothing was doing there we went to the Cricket players and there saw 4 or 5 I know by sight and to be Ludds or Friends to them.—One of them began to talk to Badder about the Revolution and said he hoped it would be while he lived and not long first.—He said he thought it would be very soon and said Hill (who used to be employed by Mr. Nunn as a Mechanic) told him it would be in a fortnight—Badder told him he must not mind what he said before he was a rogue and a madman and not to be trusted.—They don't mention any plan of operations to be acted upon to effect the Revolution and say there is somebody concerting a plan and will make it known in proper time but I cannot learn who these persons are and I think they don't know.

What they do know appears to come to them through Delegates.―There was a great deal of talk about the Revolution and they said there were somebody at work who we did not know of that they would not be known until the minds of the people were shown.—Badder says Hill talks too much and will be getting himself hanged and advised me not to trust him He asked me if I were at Heald’s last Monday where he said there was a Meeting and I think from what he said the man who is going into Yorkshire, is sent from there—He said Hill was there―He lives somewhere, in or about the Meadow Platts and works in Barker Gate between the Punch Bowl and Cricket Players on the same side.—Jack Dann (proper name Rand) was at my house last Sunday—A woman named Lomas at Bulwell, has been talking publicly about my being a Ludd and a man of Arnold has been doing the same as to Dann.―Dan told me he had been talking to Jack Slater about it,—He said they both agreed that it was necessary either to shoot them or do them some injury to deter them and others from the like practice―He swore he would take care Lomas’s Frames should be broke when I should be in Yorkshire and he asked me for a Pistol—I told him he should have one, in the course of a week.—He said Slater urged the shooting the woman (Lomas) I endeavoured to prevail upon him not to do anything on my account and told I thought I could settle Lomas a different way.—He said he always liked to be revenged and he should not have felt easy if he had not revenged Bamford's death at Garton before he came off the ground (He shot Kilby)—Badder told me they had sent Lincoln (a Ludd in the Gaol, for assaulting 2 Constables) a pound last Monday and that Peter Green had been sending for some money.—He said he had been rather neglected the last week and had been complaining—I think Peter was not at Bulwell when the man was shot at Hollingsworth's if he had I think he would have boasted of it as he always tells of his exploits—Peter's wife has been blowing up Badder and told him if she were Peter she would have somebody else there where he is—Badder said he damned her for a Fool and told her to get home.—I think Badder would tell if he knew there was any thing could be brought home to him. Peter's wife is a very industrious woman and wants the Ludds to see why he is detained and their not having done any thing to obtain his release has provoked her—Badder told me Peter was such a fool he had told her every thing and from what she had said he knew Peter had told her that he, Badder, was at Garton's.―

Friday, 5 June 2015

5th June 1815: The Duke of Montrose replies to Francis Raynes

Grosvenor-Square, 5th June, 1815.


I have received your letter, and regret very much that some method has not been contrived to remunerate your acknowledged services; though I knew the difficulty, and I thought I knew the intention and desire of Lord Sidmouth to find the opportunity. I shall again mention the subject to Lord Sidmouth; but will not make myself responsible for its producing any effect. The letter you allude to, from Captain Campbell, originates in the intimation I have received, that the militia will be again called out, which makes it the duty of the officers having charge of the militia, to inform themselves what officers propose again to join the regiment, on its being ordered to assemble, and to endeavour to fill the places properly, if possible, of those whose convenience it does not suit to again join the regiment, which is my own case. Feeling that my health would not allow me to take the field, should the services of the militia be called for in Ireland or elsewhere, in that manner, I have , therefore, appointed Colonel Russel to succeed me in the command.

I remain, with esteem, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,

[To] Capt. Raynes.

The Duke of Montrose will be glad to see Captain Raynes, any morning about eleven o’clock, in Grosvenor Square.