Wednesday, 22 October 2014

22nd October 1814: Government reward notice for the attack on Thomas Garton

Whitehall, October 22, 1814.

Whereas it has been humbly represented to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that on the evening of Friday the 14th day of this instant October, the house of Thomas Garton, situated at New Basford, in the county of Nottingham, was broken into by a number of armed men in disguise, for the purpose of murdering the said Thomas Garton; and whereas it hath been further represented to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that the armed men in question, after forcing their way into the said Thomas Garton’s house, fired upon the constable and other persons therein assembled, by which firing John Kilby, of New Basford aforesaid, was killed, and ______ Garton, brother to the said Thomas Garton, and one of his men were wounded;

His Royal Highness, for the better apprehending and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this atrocious outrage and murder, is hereby pleased, in the name and on behalf of His Majesty, to promise His Majesty’s most gracious pardon to any one of them (except the person or persons who actually fired as aforesaid), who shall discover his or their accomplice or accomplices therein, so that he, she, or they may be apprehended and convicted thereof.


And, as a further encouragement, a reward of TWO HUNDRED POUNDS is hereby offered to ay person (except as is before excepted) who shall discover his, her, or their accomplice or accomplices therein, so that he, she, or they may be apprehended and convicted thereof, or to any person or persons who shall apprehend and bring the said offenders, or any of them, to conviction, or cause them or any of them so to be apprehended and convicted as aforesaid.―Such reward of two hundred pounds to be paid by the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

21st October 1814: The owner of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, apologises for the 'General Ludd' letter

The Nottingham Review of Friday 21st October 1814 contained a brief editorial by the owner, Charles Sutton, for the satirical 'General Ludd' letter published in the previous edition. Sutton was obviously already aware of the storm it had raised, but his apology would not draw a line under the affair:

The Proprietor of the NOTTINGHAM REVIEW, is exceedingly sorry to find that an article which appeared in his last Number has given disgust to some of his friends, who have conceived it as having a tendency to encourage the spirit of insubordination and outrage, which has been so long prevalent in this neighbourhood, and which no man laments more than himself. He will not multiply words upon the subject. He knows his own intentions, and he knows that nothing could possibly be further from his thoughts, either in that article or in any other, which at any time may have appeared in the Review.

21st October 1814: Joanna Southcott publishes an address to her followers

The Leeds Intelligencer of Monday 31st October 1814 published the following article about an address recently given by Joanna Southcott to her followers:


This bewildered or wicked woman has published the following Address to her friends:–

"Many of the Believers in my Visitation, as I have been informed, begin to grow impatient in their expectation, as to the marriage spoken of not having taken place, and published a long time before the child should be born; and seeing the harvest nearly ended, "they appear ready to sink in the great deep—the seas before them, and the Egyptian host behind them;" so that where is the promise of either the Marriage or the Child? will soon be the cry of the public; and the believers themselves will be ready to say—‘the harvest is over; the day is ended; and we are not saved.’―From this I see clearly that my enemies would soon boast and triumph, while the Believers would be ready to sink in despair, if the way they are stumbled in remained without being answered and explained. In order, therefore, to give away such a state of mind in the Believers, I take this opportunity of informing them, that when the marriage was first mentioned to me, it was before I had any knowledge of what would follow; I was warned that a private marriage would first take place in my own house, which afterwards was to be granted to be realized in public.

"This circumstance stumbled me, and also my friends, who were made acquainted with it, because at that time there appeared no necessity for such a private marriage to take place in haste; but now I see cause enough, from the dangers which begin to appear; so that, from my present situation, and my own feelings, I can judge the truth of the words that are already in print. For, if there be ‘no Son’, there will be ‘no adopted Father,’ and no marriage to be binding: because it will be but a temporary marriage, from which death must soon release me. But who the bridegroom is must not be publicly made known, after the marriage hath taken place, until the child be born. Thus, taking the whole into consideration, it is clear to me that the marriage and the birth of the child may, and will, most likely take place within, perhaps, less than a day the one before the other; therefore the Believers may from this hint be able to form a correct judgment, and check their impatience, so as not to look for the Sixth Book immediately after the marriage shall have taken place; but that the Sixth and Seventh Books, to complete the wonders, as before said, will be in order, and in right time, both after the birth of the child shall have taken place.


October 21, 1814.

Monday, 20 October 2014

20th October 1814: The Solicitor General gives an initial legal opinion on prosecuting Charles Sutton

My Lord;

I regret much that I was in London when your Lordship did me the honor to call at Wimbledon. I perused the mischievous and wicked letter, and I think it is the Subject of prosecution particularly the letter part which states that the outrages at Nottingham are not so bad as the proceedings of his Majesty’s Troops at Washington; I can assimilate this to the libel published by Horne Took in the beginning of the american War, in which he stated that the americans had been murder’d by the King’s Troops, there was no doubt that this was libellous tho’ I think speaking from Recollection there were some Error in some part of that Indictment which precur’d a reversal of the Judgement in the house of Lords. I write only from Recollection but will to morrow look for the Case. I am to be in town to morrow to meet the Attorney General and will shown the paper my present notion is that the printer and publisher should be prosecuted. If it is wished in the [extent] as tending to encourage the thoughtless and deluded who cannot think or reason for themselves. these are my first impressions I know your Lordship will not be offended if on maturer consideration of my own or of others such impression should be altered—

I have [etc]
Saml Shepherd

Thursday octr 20. 1814

[To Lord Sidmouth]

Sunday, 19 October 2014

19th October 1814: The Home Secretary requests a legal opinion about the prosecution of Charles Sutton

Richmond Park
Octr 19th 1814

Dear Sir,

I herewith inclose a Letter from a very intelligent, and most well disposed Gentleman in Nottingham, and the Newspaper to which he refers.—"The melancholy Business" to which Mr. A alludes, as having taken Place immediately after the Publication of this Paper, was a most [flagrant] Outrage, which had murder for it’s Object; and which occasioned the Death of a very respectable man (not the obnoxious Person) who was shot.—A principal leader of the Assailants was shot by one of the Constables, who behaved with great Spirit.

The Conviction, and Punishment of the Printer, or Publisher of the most obnoxious Paper would, I have no doubt produce the best Effect: how far that is likely to be accomplish’d by a Prosecution for the Letter in Question, you will judge, and I shall of course be govern’d by your Opinion.

I am, &c

P.S. The Promptitude, with which you were so good as to prepare your Report upon the papers, realting to Gloster Jail, enabled me to send them to Bathurst on Saturday. He is perfectly satisfied with your Report—The Gloster Sessions commenced Yesterday

[To] The Solicitor General

19th October 1814: George Coldham suggests that the government offers a reward for information about the attack on Garton

My Lord

On the part of the Secret Committee to whom I have the honor to be Secretary, I am desired to request that your Lordship will have the goodness to direct the immediate attention of the Government of the Prince Regent to the dreadful nature of the late Attack upon Thomas Garton with a deliberate and determined purpose to murder him and the cruel and wicked sacrifice of the life of John Kilby upon the same Occasion.—This Committee are determined to Reward the Constables engaged in this Service in the most liberal manner, they have directed me to give a most liberal Reward to the person from whom I derived my information.—Thomas Garton and his family must the present rest entirely upon them for support, and I calculate their immediate expences occasioned by these combined circumstances to exceed very much the sum of £100.—Under these circumstances, the Secret Committee feel themselves fully warranted to solicit from his Lordship and his Majesty's Government that they would be pleased to offer a reward of £200 or such further Reward as they may judge expedient to any person or persons who may give information of the persons who committed this murder or who were engaged in the Attack upon Mr. Garton’s house whether with the intention of murdering Mr. Garton or of breaking the Frames in his house and offering Pardon to any one or more of accomplices who may be disposed to give evidence against the principals concerned therein if such offer can be made consistently with the forms of Law and the course of conduct usual on such occasions.—The Secret Committee hope your Lordship will deem it no more than proper that under the peculiar circumstances of this Case these Rewards should be offered not only in the name but actually with the intention of being paid by his Majesty's Government.—The Secret Committee have already independent of the expences arising out of the present circumstances, expanding a much more considerable sum in the course of the execution of the duties entrusted to them and their Constituents and they have now the charge of two very heavy Prosecutions at the Assizes which must occasion a further expenditure to a very considerable extent.—I take the liberty of stating to your Lordship that the propriety of offering a Reward must be in a great measure determined by a view to the circumstances in which the Secret Committee is placed, and that it appears to me to be essential that it should be done quite independent of the expectation of any future good to arise out of it, because if worded judiciously it seems to me, that it would Operate as a Shield to our Informant which is admirably calculated admirably calculated to protect him from Suspicion whether the Eyes of these miscreants be fixed upon him with relation to the Past or the future.—I shall hope to hear your Lordship’s sentiments on this subject in order that I may as soon as possible communicate them to the Secret Committee for their Government.—

I am [etc]

Geo Coldham Ssecretary—

19 Octr 1814

[To] The Rt Honble Lord Sidmouth.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

16th October 1814: George Coldham relates the circumstances of the attack on Thomas Garton to the Home Secretary

Nottingham 16 October 1814

My Lord,

After the Perusal of my Letter the written by Desire of the Magistrates of yesterday you will be aware of the general Bearing of the circumstances relating to the Attack upon Thomas Garton’s House but I thought it due to myself & your Lordship to explain a little more fully than I could even to the Magistrates, the peculiar Situation in which I was placed & the nature of the Information under which I acted. On Thursday Afternoon I received Information that on Sunday it was the Intention of a Band of the Luddites to assemble for the purpose of Destroying Thomas Garton. I received this Information from one was to be of the Party & who was in the confidence of the Leaders of the Plot. By Friday Morning I sent for Garton & his Brother & arranged with them that Thomas Garton should leave his own House & be placed in a State of Safety on Saturday Morning & that then we should concert measures for the Security of the House & if (as I was given to understand we should) we had previous Notice of the time of the Attack for the apprehension of the Assailants. On Friday at ½ past 6 OClock in the Afternoon I was given to understand the same that it had been that moment settled by this Band of Scoundrels that the Attack should be made at 8 OClock that as soon as ever they could arm themselves & proceed to the place. I immediately proceeded to the Police Office & ordered my Clerk to assemble the most confidential of our Constables & instantly went myself to the Commanding Officer in the Town & being cloathed with authority from both the Town & County Magistrates I required of him a Guard to proceed instantly to Thomas Garton’s House & bring him in Safety away. It was now nearly 7 oClock the Officer Declared that the Discipline of the Regiment did not permit of his Doing so & that he must & could only refer me to Colonel Mudie at the Barracks which be about ½ a Mile or more from the Town. To Colonel Mudie I proceeded all along [impressed] with the Idea that the Man must be taken away by 8 oClock or he would be Destroyed imagining very difficult to have a force assembled in the House competent to meet the Attack by that time Basford being about two Miles off. I not with considerable Difficulty in persuaded or Directing Colonel Mudie to furnish me with a Guard but after some time I procured six Men & standing by all the time to see & urge their Dispatch at about half Seven they were sent off & returned the some time afterd with Garton safe to the Police Office. In the mean time my Clerk had applied to Mr Ashwell our Mayor who with all the promptitude which distinguishes his Judgement sent off his own Secretary as a Messenger in the manner Described in my more publick Letters. As soon as I returned to the Police Office we were diligently employed in Dispatching our Constables well armed to Thomas Garton’s House. We had scarcely done this effectually ere we learnt from our Constables Barnet & Griffin that the Attack had been made & then the Magistrates Dispatched another party of Dragoons to the Assistance of the Person stationed at Basford & if possible to apprehend the Assailants. The Depositions shew your Lordship the result. I have received full Instructions from the Society of which I am Secretary to reward handsomely the Constables our Informant & all the parties operating to those measures which however it may be lamented they have not been more effectual in producing the Convictions of some of the Confederates have saved an important & valuable Life & we will hope by the Destruction of one of the most active of these Miscreants in the very Attempt at Murder will operate an important Lesson in deterring from similar Attempts in future.

I have [etc]

Geo Coldham Town Clerk

[To Lord Sidmouth]

16th October 1814: The Nottingham Solcitor, Louis Allsop, calls for the prosecution of the owner of the Nottingham Review

16. Oct. 1814

My Lord,

Mr Coldham, I understand, has communicated to your Lordship, the Affair which has taken place in this neighbourhood on Sunday Evening last, which, he is much better enabled to do with accuracy than I possibly can. My object in addressing your Lordship is to request your Lordship's Attention to a letter signed "General Ludd" in the Nottingham Review of this Week, which paper is transmitted herewith; Your Lordship will recollect that I have before stated the great mischief this paper had done in the course of the unfortunate proceedings in this County by the insidious Encouragement it has held out to those Wretches & most particularly on the former occasion of a Man being shot at Bulwell—This letter has given general dissatisfaction by appearing immediately before the Commission of this last melancholy business presents a good opportunity, (in case it shd be considered of such a tendency so to render the Printer & Publisher amenable to the Laws) of taking such a Step—It is much highly desireable that this man should be punished; the [leading] Mischief of this Letter I need not point out to your Lordship, it is deserving of your Lordships consideration, to direct the proper opinions to be taken, whether under the present Circumstances of this part of the Country such a Letter has not a Tendency to encourage the proceedings of the Luddites & consequently such an offence as can be made amenable to the Laws. The paper sent herewith is marked by the person I sent to purchase it, but in case your Lordship should think it proper to commence any proceedings, I had better receive directions in the regular Way to purchase another paper as that will appear better on the Trial, than purchasing one in the way I directed this to be done, which I did as a matter of Precaution, in case we are not able to get one afterwards

Your Lordship may command my Services in any Way you may direct & I have the Honor to be

my Lord,
with great Respect
your Lordships
most obed Servt

L Allsopp

[To] Lord Simouth

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

15th October 1814: George Coldham informs the Home Secretary about the attempt on Thomas Garton's life

My Lord,

I am desired by the Magistrates of the Town of Nottingham to refer your Lordship to the former communications, made to you on the part of the Mayor and Aldermen for their Opinion of the extent and danger of that extensive Conspiracy existing amongst the Framework knitters of this District, in order, for the destruction of the Frames the property of their masters and other acts of violence to controul the management of the Trade and dictate the amount of the wages to be paid to the labouring hand.—The system of Framebreaking had almost entirely subsided until about June last when several Frames were broken and amongst the rest some Frames at the house of Thomas Garton of Basford were destroyed the house being violently and burglariously broken into by several persons amongst whom one James Towle was recognized by Thomas Garton and upon his Testimony he was committed for trial at the Assizes.—This circumstance has excited much terror amongst the active members of the Combination they imagining that the case would reach the life of James Towle and they have ever since vowed Vengeance upon Thomas Garton.—Several circumstances have lately occurred to induce a belief that plans have been in agitation to destroy Thomas Garton on the part of those who were possessed of the means of confidential a Information in consequence of the Society lately instituted by the Hosiers.—Last night information was obtained that this intention was about to have been executed at or about 8 oClock.—In consequence of having been specially authorized by both the Town and County Magistrates upon all urgent occasions to command in their name the application of a portion of the Military force of the District to the emergency of the moment, I, immediately dispatched under the directions of one of the Constables of the Town who had been sworn in a Peace Officer at the County a Military Guard who brought Thomas Garton away from his house and disposed of him in safety in the Town.—Whilst a party of the Constables of the Town of Nottingham were dispatched to Mr. Garton’s home at Basford, to keep Guard there—At the time I set off to solicit the aid of Colonell Mudie at the Barracks a Messenger was dispatched to Mr. Thomas Garton who reached him previous even to the Military escort from the Barracks, and afterwards proceeded to his brother's house who lived a mile and a half further distant and brought him to the assistance of Thomas Garton’s house and property.—

The Copies of the Depositions which accompany this letter it is hoped will furnish a full detail of the events which occurred at Thomas Garton's house from the time he left it till the morning when the Constables returned home.—It appears from that Detail at about half past 9 o’Clock the house was attacked and entered by force by the foremost of a Band from 7 to 10 men armed with Swords and Pistols.—The leader of this set of Ruffians brandished a Pistol and called out where is he, and several of these men actually let fired their Pistols upon which a Volley was fired from the Constables and persons stationed in the House by which a man of the name of Bamford a very notorious Framebreaker supposed to have been engaged in the first Outrage at Gartonls house was killed and two or three more were wounded, and unfortunately nearly at the same time a most respectable man and a near neighbour at whose house the wife of Garton had sought refuge was killed by a Pistol Shot from the Assailants The man still threaten vengeance upon their Opponents.—The Magistrates of the County and the Town under these circumstances, feel themselves under the absolute necessity of requesting that a portion of Infantry not less than 200 in number may be immediately stationed in the Town to enable them to meet with promptitude such Outrages as may be in future planned by these desperadoes.—This request has once before been made to your Lordship as Secretary of State of the Home Department, and altho’ the Magistrates have felt every anxiety to accommodate themselves as much as possible to the exigencies of the State, Experience has shewn that the system of lawless violence here in operation cannot be properly and effectually opposed without a competent force of Infantry.—From private Information upon which we can depend it appears to be a fact, that the attack upon Thomas Garton's house was made with a deliberate intention to commit murder and there is too much reason to fear that the present system of the Desperadoes who still adhere to the Conspirators is to keep a system of terror by taking the lives of those most obnoxious to them or necessary to secure the Lives of their Associates in Crime.—

I have [etc]

Geo Coldham
Town Clerk

15th Octr. 1814.

[To: Lord Sidmouth]

15th October 1814: Nottingham magistrates inform the Home Secretary of recent events and requests troops

Nottingham 15th October 1814

My Lord

The Magistrates of the County of Nottingham have for some time had great reason to believe that there is an organized system and combination amongst the Manufacturers and others of this County, and of the Town of Nottingham, for the Committing of the most violent outrages against the Public Peace. A person of the name of Towle is now confined in the County Gaol for breaking into a House with others, in the month of September last, to destroy Stocking Frames in the House of Thomas Garton of Basford near Nottm.—Towle is Committed on the testimony of Garton, who has been threatened with revenge and was alarmed lest he should be murdered to prevent his testimony.

The Town Clerk of Nottm it is understood will inclose to your Lordship, by this Post, Copies of Depositions which will inform your Lordship what happened last Night, and the Magistrates are strongly of Opinion that they will not be able to maintain the Peace of the County by the Civil Power alone.

The Commanding Officer of the Cavalry stationed near Nottm being averse to his Men being separated from their Horses or acting dismounted. We as Magistrates of the County have to request that your Lordship will have the goodness to give directions that a competent force of Infantry perhaps not fewer than 200, may be sent to Nottm as early as possible to be distributed in such Villages as the Magistrates shall direct.

We have [etc]

Charles Wilde
Fran. Evans
John Kirkby
John Longden

[To: Lord Sidmouth]

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

14th October 1814: Armed attack on the home of Thomas Garton leaves a Luddite and bystander dead

The home of Thomas Garton had been raided, and six knitting frames had been destroyed, on 4th September 1814. Shortly afterwards, a framework-knitter called James Towle had been arrested and placed in custody awaiting trial following Garton identifying him as was one of the Luddites involved in the raid.

Since that time, Garton's life has been threatened. The Town Clerk, George Coldham, had an informant involved with the Luddites, and he had been alerted by this person on Thursday 13th October that an attack on Garton's home would take place on Sunday 16th, with a view to killing him to prevent evidence being given against Towle at his trial. On Friday morning, Coldham summoned Thomas Garton and his brother and explained to them what he knew. He suggested that Garton should be moved to a safehouse on Saturday morning and measures taken to secure the house with a view to arresting any attackers.

But Coldham received more news from the informant at 6.30 p.m. on Friday 14th that the attack on Garton's home had been brought forward to 8.00 p.m. that evening. Coldham wasted no time and dispatched a constable to move Garton to safety at the Police Office in Nottingham, as well as other constables to go to Garton's house and another to alert Garton's brother to come to his aid.

Constables Benjamin Hall and John Flude arrived at Garton's house at 7.30 p.m. Three of Garton's journeymen and 2 apprentices were there, one of them armed with a stick, the rest unarmed. Shortly, 4 more constables from Nottingham arrived, armed with cutlasses and guns. Finally, Garton's brother and his son and two servants arrived, bringing more weapons.

After 2 hours, nothing had happened, and two constables - Griffin and Barnes - were dispatched to fetch some food and drink.

But within 10 minutes, those inside heard what sounded like a hammer banging on the front door of the house, and voices could be heard in the passageway at the side of the house - someone later estimated 10 men were outside. The door being forced open, 3 men rushed in, with one of them calling out "damn him! where is he? where is he?" - this was followed by 3 or 4 shots being fired into the house by the intruders. The force of the shots was so great that soot fell from the chimney, almost putting out the fire in the hearth in the parlour, with candles going out. One constables said "be steady lads, give them a volley" and the constables returned fire - one of the intruders dropped to the ground, and others fell outside in the passageway. All was then quiet.

However, the noise and commotion had excited interest elsewhere. A neighbour of Garton came to his front door, but was swore at and threatened by a man who threatened to 'blow his brains out'. Mrs Garton was at the house of a neighbour, William Kilby, who lived only 30 yards from Garton's. Mrs Garton had heard the noise and became alarmed - Kilby rushed out to his door, but was hit by  a bullet from a gun. He fell down dead. Later reports accused the Luddites of killing Kilby, but one constable present - Robert Lineker - later gave a statement which clearly stated Kilby was shot at the time they returned fire - it was possible, but not acknowledged, that a stray shot aimed at the Luddites had killed him.

The constables in the house expected another attack to be made and set about reloading their weapons. A light was found, and it was then clear the intruder that had fallen was dead - his head being shattered by shots. No trace of any remaining intruders could be found, but it was apparent that Garton's brother was injured in one hand, and one of the men he had brought had minor wounds in his stomach. Mrs Garton then arrived and told the constables what had happened outside.

An hour passed without incident, and the two constables that had left returned, bringing with them six dragoons. The whole group didn't leave until it was almost dawn.

The raiders had escaped into the night. The raider who was killed in Garton's house was later identified as Samuel Bamford, originally from Basford, but latterly living in Nottingham.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

8th October 1814: Joanna Southcott's Accouchement

The Leeds Mercury of Saturday 8th October 1814 re-published news about the expected birth of Shiloh to Joanna Southcott:


From the Sunday Monitor, October 6.

The Accouchment.—We understand the house for Mrs. Southcott’s accouchment is not finally determined upon, but in all probability it will be tomorrow or Tuesday. As soon as that takes place, Dr. Reece, Dr. Sims, and the other medical gentleman will have immediate notice, that they may be present agreeably to their promise. The heads of the Church will also be invited, either personally to be present, or to send their physicians. The accouchment is expected to take place on the 10th or 12th of this month. Mr. Wetherell, surgeon, of Highgate, is to be the accoucheur. Mr. Phillips is in daily attendance. Her general health is lately much improved.

The Bible.—A short time since it was announced that a superb bible was binding, to be presented to the forthcoming infant of Mrs. Southcott. Yesterday, we had an opportunity of seeing it in its finished state, at the binder’s, in Nelson-street, City-road, and a more elegant and complete piece of workmanship has certainly never been executed. It does greater credit to the talents, skill, and judgement of the binder; and no pains or expense have been spared to render it the most complete and beautiful bound book ever produced.

Johanna Southcott’s doctrine.—The following has been handed to us, as a farther illustration of the tenets of Johanna:—

That the child is the third person in the Trinity that is to be born of her, (making up Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). That our Saviour was the Foot, that is the Branch; that this child is to sit on the throne of David, in all the pomp of an earthly King, until the end of the world; that through him the Jews are to recover their former kingdom, and that the Turks are to be driven from the Holy Land and destroyed; and that the kingdom of the Jews restored, to last till the Day of Judgment.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

5th October 1814: Letter from 'General Ludd' to 'the Editor of the Nottingham Review'



Sir—I take the liberty of dropping you a few lines to inform you of the good fortune of one of my sons, who is come to very high honor. You must know that some time ago, owing to a little imprudent conduct, my eldest son, NED, decamped, and enlisted into his Majesty’s service, and as he was notorious for heroism and honorable enterprize, he was entrusted with a commission to exercise his prowess against the Americans, and I am happy to say he has acquitted himself in a way which will establish his fame to generations yet unborn.

I assure you, Mr. Editor, I scarcely know how to keep my feeling within bounds, for while all our former and united efforts in breaking frames, &c, were commented upon with some severity, and in a way which cast an odium upon my character and that of my family, I now find the scales are turned, and our enemies are converted into friends; they sing a new tune to an old song, and the mighty deeds of my son are trumpeted forth in every loyal paper in the kingdom. My son is not now confined to the breaking of a few frames, having the sanction of government, he can now not only wield his great hammer to break printing presses and types, but he has a licence to set fire to places and property which he deems obnoxious, and now and then even a little private pillage is winked at. Even the GAZETTE EDITOR at Mr. Tupman's who was formerly one of my greatest enemies, and threatened to pursue both me and my family to the uttermost, is now in my favor, and is to become a patron, and an admirer of my son, on account of his achievements in Washington. There is one thing though in the conduct of this Gentleman which has created me some little uneasiness; a few weeks ago he strongly recommended to the magistrates to offer a very large reward, to any person who would disclose our secret system of operation in this neighbourhood: he went so far as to say 5000l. ought to be offered; enough he said to enable the informer to live independent in another country, intimating such a character would not be considered as a proper person for the society of this country, and therefore he would emigrate to seek other associates. I hope it is not true that this notorious Editor has any secrets to disclose about me and my family, and that he is waiting for this large reward to be offered, that he may avail himself of such an opportunity of making his fortune, and fleeing his country. Now, I really think, as my son has become truly loyal, and is working for his country's good, and all under the sanction of the Crown, and as his achievements have been of the first rate, "old grievances ought not to be repeated;" though, bye the bye, I am of opinion that all which I and my son have done in Nottingham and neighbourhood, is not half so bad as what my son has done in America; but then you know he has supreme orders, from indisputable authority, for his operations in America, and that makes all the difference.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

Ludd Hall, October 5, 1814.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

27th September 1814: The Home Secretary tells the Duke of Montrose to not encourage rewards for service

Had Captain Francis Raynes been aware of this letter from the Home Secretary to his commanding officer, his heart would have sunk: the government was already discouraging rewards and recognition for those who had served it faithfully during the Luddite disturbances.

Whitehall [illegible]
Septemr 27: 1814—

My Lord,

Upon my Return from Devonshire, I was honored with your Grace’s Letter of the 7th of Septr, with two Enclosures, consisting of a Letter, & memorial from Captain Peter Macdougal, of the Stirlingshire Regiment of Militia – And I am extremely sorry to be under the Necessity of stating to your Grace my opinion that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to give effect to Capt. Macdougal Representation.—The Account for the Service in question has been very long since closed, and to open it again would be to afford Encouragement to others to prefer similar Applications, which could not fail to lead to Inconvenience, and Embarrassment, and which, if made at all, ought to have been brought forward at a much earlier Period after the Services had been performed.—

S. [i.e. Lord Sidmouth]

[To] His G.
The D of Montrose

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

10th September 1814: Letters to the press about Joanna Southcott's 'pregnancy'

Both of these letters appeared in the Leeds Mercury of Saturday 10th September 1814, in a column entitled 'Extracted from the Courier':


TO THE EDITOR.—SIR,—Several persons having expressed a wish that I should visit Joanna Southcott, that they might be better satisfied what foundation there was for a report that she was pregnant, I consented to accompany one of her friends, a surgeon and accoucheur of experience, for that purpose, on the 18th of August. He informed me on my way thither, that the most satisfactory examination would not be permitted, but that it was not at all necessary, as no professional man could have any doubt of her situation, upon seeing the state of her breasts.

Their appearance gave no reason to doubt the truth of her statement, that she was in her 65th year, and that certain natural effects had ceased since she was 48; circumstances under which her pregnancy was naturally incredible, and were it real, might well enough have induced a belief that it was supernatural.

I endeavoured, however, not to prejudge the case, but to form and my opinion of her situation from the symptoms alone, as I should have done had she been only 45 years of age, and therefore within the period of probable pregnancy.

After a minute statement of particulars of his examination of the woman, the writer concludes thus:—

Considering all the above appearances, I did not hesitate to declare it to be my opinion, that Joanna Southcott was not pregnant, but I was told that I was the first medical man that had seen her, who was not perfectly satisfied of the contrary.

I believe that her uterine organs are diseased, and that the breasts, as is usual, sympathising with those parts, have an increased quantity of blood determined to them. Had I thought the external appearances such as ought to lead to a belief in her pregnancy, I should have urged the propriety of submitting to a more satisfactory examination; but feeding, as I did, a perfect conviction that she was not with child, it seemed to me unnecessary to insist upon any further enquiry.

Having observed in the newspapers, that assertions are repeatedly made, the eminent accoucheurs have declared this woman to be pregnant, I am desirous not to be reckoned of that number. Yet, before I conclude, I feel right to say that I am convinced that this poor woman is no imposter, but that she labours under a strong mental delusion.


Sept. 3, 1814.


SIR,—In a Morning Paper the 30th ult. a Medical Gentleman, the signature of J. C. H., states, that "he should not be doing his duty to those poor deluded people, who are in the belief of John Southcott, and the public at large, were he not, after having an opportunity of seeing her, to state the result of such a visit." He then complains "of an imposition that was tried to be practised on him; or rather a trap, in which he had like to have been caught." This trap, it seems, was a request made by Joanna Southcott, that in giving his opinion, he should consider her a married woman of 24 years of age, and divest his mind of all prejudice respecting her inspiration. Now, Sir, I should suppose that a Medical Man employed on such an occasion, would pay no attention whatever to the statement of a woman, who was represented in all the Journals to be an impostor: one would suppose that he would have attended to those symptoms only, the existence of which he had an opportunity to ascertain. Mr. J. C. H. who I understand is Mr. Hobday, of Ratcliffe Highway, was allowed to make the same examination as was afforded to the other Medical Gentlemen who attended her, on which he has thought proper to be silent. Joanna Southcott, I find, was examined by nine medical practitioners of some eminence in London, six of whom pronounced her to be pregnant, and the other three declined to give a decided opinion, principally on account of her age. [Here the writer enters into some particulars which it is not necessary for us to repeat. He concludes thus:]

As the medical men who have attended Joanna Southcott, has to be apprised of her labour when it takes place, I hope they will all attend. Indeed, so far from being her wish to have it conducted privately, I know that applications have been made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to appoint a person to attend her accouchment, and to procure for her a suitable apartment, which his Grace has refused to do, under the idea that such a measure would tend to confirm her followers in the belief of her inspiration. The pregnancy of a woman in the 65th year of her age, is in modern times a novel occurrence, and deserves to be recorded. With respect to the operation of the law, I consider it worthy of notice, causes having been determined in the House of Lords against claimants born in foreign countries, on the presumption that their mothers were at the time of their birth, too far advanced in life to bear children, although one (Lady Jane Grey) was about ten years younger than Joanna Southcott. If then, in this point of view, the case of Joanna Southcott be interesting, it is of great consequence that its authenticity should not be called in question at any future period. For the purpose of avoiding deception, and any ground for suspicion or misrepresentation, might not he Lord Chancellor with great propriety, take her under his protection, place her in decent apartments, and appoint accoucheurs of experience and respectability to attend her? Such an interference could not possibly be considered by her followers as in any degree countenancing the marvellous part of the business. Of this plan, I understand her followers, and I think I may say the public in general, would approve.

I am Sir, your obedient servant,


171, Picadilly, Sept. 2, 1814.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

4th September 1814: 16 stocking frames destroyed in Old & New Basford

On Sunday 4th September, just before midnight on the 5th, around 20 Luddites undertook a series of raids in both Old and New Basford in Nottinghamshire.

At the house of Thomas Ford in Old Basford, the group demolished 5 frames. The Luddites moved on to the house of James Smith in the same town, where they destroyed 5 cotton frames.

Moving to New Basford, the Luddites went to the home of Thomas Garton, and destroyed 6 frames there. Within a week, a man had been arrested after Garton gave testimony that he recognised one of the Luddites: his name was James Towle, and he was to become one of the most notorious figures in Midlands Luddism for the next 2 years.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

3rd September 1814: 'Some Account of Joanna Southcott, the Pretended Propehtess'

This 'Passport to Heaven' from 1803 was sold at Bonhams in 2007 for £2520

From the Leeds Mercury of Saturday 3rd September 1814:


In the following summary of the prophetic origin and history of Joanna Southcott, it is not only my intention to submit any other information than what is to be found in writing.

In the year 1790 she was employed as a work-woman at an upholsterer’s shop in Exeter. The shopkeeper being a methodist, his shop was frequently visited by ministers of the same persuasion; and Joanna Southcott, possessing what they termed a serious turn of mind, did not pass unnoticed. She had frequent discussions in the shop with these ministers, and was regarded as a prodigy. Indeed, so much was she sensible of her own importance and superiority, that, with the aid of a few dreams, and some extraordinary visions, she began to self to think herself inspired. But what confirmed her in this belief was, the realization of a circumstance which she had been forewarned of in a vision—it was the miraculous seal. One morning, in sweeping out the shop (it is not stated whether or not she had a miraculous broom), she found a seal, with the initials J.S.; this could not possibly mean any other person than Joanna Southcott. From this moment she bid adieu to the shop, and commenced a prophetess. In a first prophecies she states, that in 1792 she was visited by the Lord, who promised to enter into an everlasting covenant with her, and told her that a vision would be shewn to her in the night. It accordingly appeared, sometimes like a cup, then like a cat, which she kicked to pieces, but was very uneasy, until she was told it was nothing more than the tricks of Satan, with a view to torment her. On the appearance of her first prophecies, the methodist preachers, already adverted to, endeavoured to convince her of the diabolical nature of her attempts; and attributed their origin to Satan himself. She then appointed an interview with as many as might choose to attend, in order to put the question to rest. The day arrived; the discussion was warm; and she adopted the argumentum ad hominem with such effect, that it terminated in the following valuable document, subscribed to by all parties present:—

“I, Joanna Southcott, am clearly convinced that my calling is of God, and my writings are indicted by his spirit, as it is impossible for any spirit, but an all-wise God, that is wondrous in working, wondrous in wisdom, wondrous in power, wondrous in truth, could have brought round such mysteries, so full of truth, as in my writings; so I am clear in whom I have believed, that all my writings come from the spirit of the most High God.


Signed in the presence of 58 persons (including the Methodist Preachers) who assented to the truth of the statement.

From this period her converts increased surprisingly, so that she could not furnish seals sufficient to answer all demands. The sealed papers contain a text of scripture (not uniformly the same) promissory of beatitude hereafter, stamped with the seal found in the upholsterer’s shop. The sealed person is forbidden to open the paper, lest the charm should be destroyed. That money has been given for these passports to Heaven I do positively assert, but that they are publicly or openly sold, I am not prepared to affirm. Those who would wish to inform an opinion of Joanna Southcott from her writings, need only purchase a 1s. 6d. number from Mr. Sharp the engraver, or Mr. Tozer, (one of her preachers), of the Westminster-road.

The three leading preachers were, Mr. Carpenter, (who preaches at the ‘House of God,’ Newington Butts), Mr. S.P. Foley (said to be a relation of Lord Foley), and Mr. Tozer; the former (Mr. Carpenter) has seceded from his Mistress, and afterwards employed a young man to see visions for him on his own account, but provided for by one of his flock. The two latter preachers still hold forth in Johanna’s interest, at a church near the Obelisk in Westminster-road.

With regard to the doctrines of Joanna Southcott, it is no very easy matter to arrive at a knowledge of them. They are not to be found in her works; for they are all of a prophetic, mysterious, ambiguous, blasphemous, or illiterate description. All that I have been able to collect from her preachers or admirers, relates to a second redemption of mankind through the medium of her writings and deeds; that her coming is called the Second Advent; that when the number of her followers amounts to (we believe) 300,000, then the objects of her mission will be for the most part accomplished—then all who admit the truth of her writings will be blessed, and those who deny them condemned to everlasting torment. She also asserts that the salvation of mankind would not be complete without a second redemption wrought in her person.


3rd September 1814: Casualties to machinery in Leeds in the last week

From the Leeds Mercury, Saturday 3rd September 1814:

The following casualties have occurred during the present week, at Hunslet, near this place.―A young woman lost her arm at a cotton-mill; a boy was desperately bruised by the machinery at a flax mill; and another boy lost his leg from getting entangled in the works of a steam engine.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

31st August 1814: Letter from 'A Priest' to the 'Editor of the Nottingham Gazette'



SIR—Walking near the rock-holes in the park, early this morning, I picked up the inclosed manuscript, which, as it was "unwafered and unsealed," I had the curiosity to open; and must confess, that the reading of it had such an effect upon my risible faculties, as for a moment, to drive the morning devotional thoughts from my mind. I found it addressed to the Editor of the Gazette, and having heard that an advertisement had been posted up in different parts of Nottingham, offering a reward for the recovery of a "Lost Manuscript," I thought the Editor might have lost it there a night or two before. Reflecting on the oddity of the circumstance, the words amor mertricor, meretrix inusia lues venerea came forcibly into my head. I determined, however, to take the article to the office; but when I got there, the offered reward was refused, because the author, I was told, had furnished another copy; I therefore send it to you for the perusal of your readers.

Your’s, &c.

August 31, 1814.


Sir—Having been a constant reader of your luminous publication, permit me to say, that I have perused the efforts of your transcending genius with ecstatic pleasure; and have viewed your matchless triumphs over the cold-water Tory and Jacobin factions, that is over the readers of the Journal and Review, with supreme delight. At a period when a Jacobinical war raged around the kingdom, and a not less cruel, and still more dangerous one raged within, which was carried on by mysterious gangs of depredators, called Luddites, at this period you commenced your arduous labours. Your laudable and professed object was, to crush the monster Bonaparte and his myrmydon follower, and all the Luddites, with the magic of your pen; and to convert the cold-water Tories and Jacobins, into ranting true-blue Royalists; whilst the incorrigible Burdett, Whitbread, Brougham, Cochrane, Cobbett, White, Hunt, Drakard, Lovell, Cartwright, Wood, and Waithman, along with John Smith, Lord Radcliffe, the Political Scribe, and the Rev. Editor, you were to muzzle or confine in strong holds. And, worthy Sir, have you not succeeded?—have you not driven Bonaparte to Elba, and his man-eating myrmydons into the mouths of the Cossacks?—have you not proved this wife, the daughter of the Apostolic Emperor, to be a prostitutum; and the wife of our immaculate Regent to belong to the Cyprian sisterhood?—nay, have you not driven her into exile, as too dangerous an animal to remain on British soil?—have you not laid every Luddites prostrate at your feet, and made them lick the dust in sorrow and anguish?—have you not driven the cold-water Tories into hiding places, with faces as long as a maypole?—have you not silenced the Burdetts, Whitbreads, Broughams, Cobbetts, Whites, Hunts, Drakards, Lovells, Woods, Waithmans, Smith, Rancliffes, Political Scribes, and Reverend Editors, and driven the troublesome Cochrane into a dungeon–have you not cleared the very Pig-styes of their filth, though you got a little soiled in the operation?—have you not rendered an essential service to society, by discovering and practising a new mode of chastisement in Sunday Schools for girls in their teens, for which a saucy cobler was silly enough to threaten you with the vengeance of this lap stone and strap?—have you not almost ruined the Review, by reducing its sale to Fifteen Hundred; while you have advanced the sale of your self-instructing paper to three hundred, besides what you generously give away?—and I need not say how fully and satisfactorily you have proved that the Review has been the occasion of the premature death of all those unfortunate men who have been hung at York, as well as of the rebellion in Ireland, for to the REVIEW may be attributed all that disaffection which now manifests itself; and there can be no doubt that you will be able to prove, that the differences between this country and America, have been owing to the filth of the Review; and were you properly to trace cause and effect, there can be no question but every moral and political evil will be found to have arisen from this source.

But my principal object for troubling you with this letter, is to inform you, that it is in the contemplation of the two Houses of Parliament, at the commencement of the next Session, to vote public thanks to you for the many and extraordinary services you have rendered this country and the world at large, by your not less extraordinary publication, and, I have heard it whispered too, in the higher circles, the Regent intends devoting ten thousand pounds out of his savings, to the erecting a statue to commemorate your virtues in Westminster Abbey, for having driven away his wife.

There are some evil disposed persons that say, that you were the cause of frame-breaking, by suggesting and putting in practice, a plan for reducing the workmen's prices, in your capacity as a hosier, in 1811.—This, I hope, is all sheer gammon and malice; otherwise the blood of a Horsefall, a Trentham, and the seventeen men hung at York, with a long catalogue of other crimes, you will have to expiate, either in this world, or the next. There are persons, likewise, who maintain that you wish to level all distinctions in society, and to create a national convulsion, by driving the working class in acts of desperation for want of food, hoping thereby to become Robespierre or a Marat. But this insinuation, also, I hope, you will be able to refute, or it shall be attempted to be done by

Your humble servant,