Tuesday, 26 July 2016

26th July 1816: The London Courier defends the transportation of the Ely prisoners

An editorial in the 26th July 1816 edition of the London Courier attacked the meeting recently held in Ely which expressed disquiet about the transportation of Ely prisoners:
In common with other Newspapers we have inserted some Resolutions, purporting to have been entered into by the Inhabitants of the Town of Ely, assembled at an inn in that city, Mr. JONATHAN PAGE in the Chair. We read those Resolutions with equal astonishment and indignation. As if their object was to raise a clamour against Government rather than to serve the cause of the persons whose case has filled them with such sympathy, Mr. PAGE and his associates do not wait the event of any application either to the Secretary of State or to the Judges, but give instant publicity to their Resolutions. The trials at Ely are fresh in the recollection of all our readers, who must have admired and applauded the manner in which firmness was combined with forbearance, and justice tempered by mercy. Five of the persons convicted were sentenced to be executed, which sentence has been carried into execution. There were nineteen other persons convicted, whose sentences were less severe: of these nine were left in any Ely gaol, and Mr. JONATHAN PAGE'S first resolution declares that these nine had "an expectation regularly notified to them that their punishment would be limited to twelve months’ imprisonment." By whom? By the Judges? Certainly not—for the decision upon the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them depended solely upon the PRINCE REGENT his Ministers. In addressing all the prisoners, Mr. JUSTICE ABBOTT said "Such of you whose lives may, perhaps, be saved by the Crown, that power alone on earth that can save them, must not expect that you shall be dismissed from your offences without undergoing some severe punishment."—But nothing in the Justice’s speech pointed out the particular mode of punishment which these nine were to undergo. But did Mr. PAGE or the Meeting enquire whether any circumstances had occurred to render it inexpedient to keep these men in Ely Gaol?—Did they enquire into their conduct while in gaol? Did they take the pains to ask whether the Magistrates had recommended their removal? Were they anxious to ascertain whether the Judges themselves had approved of it? Did they inform themselves whether or not these nine could not be kept on board the hulks as separate from the other prisoners, as they would be in Ely gaol? When transportation is thought to be the proper commutation for a sentence of capital punishment, some term of transportation must by law be specified; but, although such specified term be for seven years, whether the whole of that sentence be carried into execution depends upon the pleasure of the Crown. The REGENT'S mercy may be again extended, and all further punishment remitted at the end of one year. This will probably depend in the present case on the conduct of the delinquents themselves. 
Mr. PAGE and his associates begin with telling us, that the Magistrates refused the Shire-hall for their meeting: but they do not tell us the Magistrates’ reasons, or that they thought the purport of the meeting improper and unnecessary. No, no: their object seems to have been to give instant publicity to resolutions which appear to have been entered into without any enquiry or investigation, and which could not tend to produce any other effect than clamour. The country is tranquil, they say. Were Resolutions like these complaining of the severity of Government, likely to preserve it so? They accuse Government too of acting upon a supposition that the neighbourhood was in a disturbed state, of encreasing the measure of severity upon a mere supposition, without taking any pains to ascertain the real situation of the country. Were there no Magistrates on the spot capable of giving as accurate information as Mr. PAGE and his associates? Has the Bishop of ELY no palace at Ely? Do they mean to represent him as so supine and negligent? The fact we believe to be, that his Lordship, the Magistrates, and the Judges, all concurred in the necessity of removing these persons from Ely to the hulks, where, we repeat, it will depend upon themselves whether a year shall be the limit of their punishment, or not.

26th July 1816: Weather report from the Leicester Journal

THE WEATHER—The continuance of the present very unseasonable weather has been attended with most baneful effects in various parts of the country. Such an inclement summer is scarcely remembered by the oldest person living. The hay generally has been so much injured by the incessant rains that the only alternative left to the proprietor is to convert it into dung for manure. The clover likewise has sustained equal damage with the hay, and has been made the same use of.—This unexpected visitation from Heaven, added to the severe distress to which the country is otherwise reduced, as infused into the minds of the people the greatest apprehension and alarm. It is now to be feared, that not only the clover and hay will experience the ill effects of the weather, but that the corn will be seriously injured by the heavy rains which have fallen. Should the present wet weather continue, the corn will inevitably be laid, and the effects of such a calamity and at such a time cannot be otherwise than ruinous to the farmers, and even to the people at large. The weather, it would seem, is not unseasonable to this country only; for we find that upon the Continent it has been equally unfavourable.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

24th July 1816: Bury Quarter Sessions ends with sentences for machine-breakers and others

The Bury & Norwich Post of 31st July 1816 carried details of the sentences for prisoners tried at the Bury Quarter Sessions for various events that had taken place in east Anglia in previous months:
Bury Quarter Sessions did not terminate till Wednesday afternoon, when the following sentences were passed on the several prisoners, convicted subsequent to our last week's paper being put to the press:— 
Thomas Meers, Geo. Farrant, sen. Stephen Clarke, Mary Jackson, and Richard Rogers, for breaking a threshing machine at Stoke by Clare, the property of Mr. J. Wales, 12 months’ imprisonment each; George Farrant, jun. and W. Jackson, 6 months; George Frost, 3 months; C. Meers, T. Swallow, Wm. Turner, John Deeks, Sarah Jackson, and J. Angel were discharged on their own recognizance. 
Jonas Taylor, Wm. Seeley, and Jeremiah Osborn, for destroying two threshing machines, the property of Mr. Thos. Kemp, 13 months’ imprisonment; and Jas. Seeley, Jas. Howard, and Jas. Burroughs, were acquitted. 
William Edwards, for conspiring with several others with a view of inducing labourers to form themselves into a society for raising their wages, &c. at Wattisham, and elsewhere, 9 months’ imprisonment, and to find sureties for his good behaviour for one year.—No true bills against Wm. Abbott and John Payne, charged with the same offence. 
Robert Leader, Henry Poole, Robt. Durham, John Smith, John Abbott, Wm. Howe, Wm. Halls, for riotously assembling at Rattlesden and breaking a mole plough, the property of Mr. Benjamin Morgan, of Gedding; the said Robt. Leader, (styled commander) two years’ imprisonment in one of his Majesty's gaols, and the other six 12 months each; J. Button, Benj. Buxton, J. Chinnery, T. Durham, B. Steggles, R. Osborn, M. Moore, R. Baxter, Chas. and r. Cobble, Ezekiel Buxton, Mesach Moore, Jas. Southgate, J. Bird, G. King, J. Folkerd, John Steggles, T. Mattock, and J. Clover, 3 months each, or until they find sureties to keep the peace for one year, which they all procured in Court and were discharged; Wm. Richer, W. Nunn, R. Folkerd, and R. Gladwell, pleaded guilty, and were allowed to be at large on their own recognizance; & J. Golding was acquitted.
A week later, the Bury & Norwich Post corrected their coverage of the trial of another incident at Clare with the following information:
In the account of our quarter-sessions last week, we omitted the names of Jacob Halls, Sam. Gridley, Rhinaldo Bareham, and Henry Atherton, convicted of burning a threshing machine at Clare: the former of whom were sentenced to 13 months, and the latter to 9 months' imprisonment.

24th July 1816: Francis Raynes thanks the Home Secretary for sending him £100

Newton near Newark upon Trent.
July 24th—1816

My Lord,

The favour conferred upon me by Your Lordship, in the pecuniary assistance afforded me, I find myself too much relieved by, to omit offering the acknowledgements I feel to be so greatly due from me to Your Lordship: that I did not return at the time I received the Hundred Pounds to express my thanks, I must beg Your Lordship to attribute to my fears of being troublesome, when I knew Your Lordship to be so deeply engaged in Public business.

Though relieved from the embarrassments which immediately pressed upon me, my situation is such, as to compel me, however reluctantly, to entreat the further continuance of Your Lordships consideration, and I trust I am not encroaching too much on Your Lordships goodness, in expressing the anxious hope I feel, that on the return of Sir Thomas Maitland, the means may be found of relieving me, from the principal state of suspense, I have so long endured.

Trusting your Lordship will pardon the liberty I have now taken, I have the Honour to subscribe myself, most respectfully

Your Lordships obedient Humble Servant

Francis Raynes

To.

The Right Honorable.
Lord Viscount Sidmouth
&c = &c = &c

24th July 1816: Bury & Norwich Post editorial about the recent meeting in Ely

ELY, JULY 22, 1816.

We are much concerned to state, that an occurrence which has recently taken place here has occasioned a very considerable degree of ferment in the public mind in this neighbourhood.—It will be in the recollection of our readers that nine of the rioters who were condemned were considered deserving of the lenity of the Crown, and they were consequently reprieved, and an official notification was made to them that their sentences would be commuted for 12 months’ imprisonment.—They continued in Ely gaol until Thursday last, when, strange to tell, a dispatch arrived from the Secretary of State’s Office announcing their Pardon, upon Condition of being transported for 7 years!!! In the course of the day they were sent off for the Hulks, and in order to prevent any unpleasant consequences, the circumstances attending their removal were with great propriety concealed from the public until the following day.—The wives and families of the unfortunate men, as might be expected, are in a deplorable state of distress, and an universal gloom is spread over the inhabitants of the town.—The rich and poor are equally loud in their murmurings, as these men were deprived of the small consolation of being permitted to take leave of their nearest relatives, who indeed imagined that their place of confinement was only to be changed from Ely gaol to Newgate.

We are well assured that the severe examples recently made have produced the happiest effects. The lower classes seemed to have felt the necessity of them, and to be duly sensible of the lenity shewn to those men whose lives have been spared.—In the town of Littleport, we are told, that a reformation of manners is plainly discernible amongst those who were engaged in the late riots. It is, therefore, a matter of sincere regret, that it should be thought advisable to adopt so impolitic a measure, than which, as it appears to us, nothing could be more calculated to make an indelible impression upon the public mind, fatal to the good order and peaceable government of Ely and its neighbourhood.—The prisoners are principally young men of good character, who, it is supposed, had been induced to join in the late riots from the evil examples which were set them.

A very numerous and respectable meeting of the inhabitants took place on Monday at the Club Inn, (the Magistrates having refused to allow the use of the Shire-hall) when several Resolutions were come to upon the business, for which see advt. next page.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

23rd July 1816: John Lloyd sends the weavers' memorial to the Home Office

Stockport 23 July 1816

Sir

I have since my return from the Sessions seen Mr. Middleton who says he has not heard any more from the man he alluded to—

I have the honor to inclose a Copy of memorial which I found posted in the Town—and I am sorry to learn that many of the more respectable Inhabitants than the original promoters have been induced to add their signatures:—without reflecting that the spinning of Cotton is what gives employment to nearly half our population; & the prohibition of Twist wou’d have a [tendency] to improve Machinery abroad, and a rivality be the consequence—I have seen some of these Gentlemen and warned others—for it must end in disappointment to those whose hopes of relief are derived from this [illegible]

Joseph Sherwin & Simon Lilly are the two principal weavers soliciting subscriptions of names & Sums of money. They have already received an answer from the Treasury signed by Mr. Lushington that ought to have set them at rest: but I perceive that their object is raising a little money for their own purposes—

I remember upon a former occasion, when news was brought to Town of similar memorials or Petitions failing of their affect there was almost a simultaneous rising of the weavers who went forth to stop people in the County from weaving at all—I apprehended, by the assistance of some of the 6th Dragoons, 62 at one time & by special Constables 60 more—Several of whom were tried at Chester for riot and various Offences, by directions from the Treasury—I have reminded the incautious manufacturers of the evil resulting from a temporizing mode of acting, with Characters so soon inflamed, and so prone to misconceive the true interest of themselves & the nation—

I have [etc]

J. Lloyd

[To] J. Beckett Esqr
&c &c

Friday, 22 July 2016

22nd July 1816: Public Meeting in Ely expresses alarm about the fate of transported prisoners

AT a MEETING of the INHABITANTS of the TOWN of ELY, held at the Club Inn, in Ely, on Monday the 22d day of July, 1816, (the Magistrates having refused the use of the Shire-hall upon the occasion)

JONATHAN PAGE, Esq. in the Chair:

The following Resolutions were unanimously entered into:

That this meeting cannot but observe the sincerest emotions of sympathy and regret, that Nine Persons who were capitally convicted at the Special Assizes lately held here, and who were reprieved under an expectation regularly notified to them, that their Punishment would be limited to Twelve Months Imprisonment, have suddenly been removed from Ely, to the Hulks at the Nore, and that the terms of their Reprieve, contrary to general usage, have been extended to Seven Years’ Transportation.

That this Meeting being apprehensive that His Majesty's Government may have been induced to suppose that the disturbed state of this Neighbourhood required such an additional example of Severity to be made, entertain confident hopes, that upon a faithful Representation being made to them of the present tranquil State of the Country, and of the orderly and peaceable demeanour of the lower Classes of Society, the commuted Punishment recommended by the learned Judges may be adhered to.

That a Letter be immediately addressed the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and signed by the Persons present at this Meeting, earnestly imploring his Intercession with the Prince Regent in Behalf of the said Convicts.

That a similar Application be made to the learned Judges who presided at the Assizes, and who have thrown such distinguished lustre upon their characters by their judicious conduct upon that occasion.

That these Resolutions be signed by the Chairman, and advertised in The Times, Courier, Cambridge, and Bury papers.

JONATHAN PAGE.

Resolved,—That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman for his conduct in the Chair, and for his constant readiness to support the Privileges, and promote the Interests and Welfare of the Inhabitants of the Town.

22nd July 1816: Hinckley Magistrates appeal again to the Home Secretary for help

[Sent to the Home Office on 22nd July 1816]

To the Right Honble Viscount Sidmouth His Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Home – Department.

My Lord

We, the undersigned, Visitor, Guardians, Church-Wardens, and Overseers of the Poor, of the Parish of Hinckley, in the County of Leicester;—beg leave, again to address your Lordship, and through you, his Majesty's Government; to inform you, that the Evils, which we anticipated, in our Letter to your Lordship, some weeks since, and now unhappily realised; & that it is totally out of our power to meet the difficulties, by which we are surrounded—

With a View to the Employment of the Poor, a Subscription was lately raised by the Inhabitants, amounting to upwards of 3000£, which will be exhausted, in a few days, from the heavy demands that have been made upon it.

At a Meeting of the Parishioners, held the 17th of this Month—It appeared that, on the lowest calculation, out of a population of six thousand Souls, about one half must have parochial relief; which, at the most scanty pittance, will far exceed 200£ per Week.!

During last month, Levies have been granted, at the rate of three shillings in the pound, which, it is impossible, to collect—And when the “Subscription for “the Employment of the Poor” is expended, which must very soon happen, between seven and eight hundred persons will be thrown out of Work!!!

The Parish of Hinckley contains about twelve hundred families; almost one half of which, it is believed, must have relief; and nearly a moiety of the remainder are, on account of their poverty excused paying the Poor rates; and the other three hundred families, that now pay them, are continually decreasing, from the Stagnation of Trade, & the great Pressure of the Payments.

It must be evident to your Lordship, from this Statement, that we live in a Situation of Painful Anxiety, and Fearful Apprehension of the probable Consequences of such a great number of Persons being without work, without bread, or, the usual means of obtaining it!!!

In this Awful and Appalling Crisis, your Lordship’s Advice is earnestly solicited, and will be esteemed a great favour, by your Lordship’s very obt and humble Servants

[John] Blakeley – Visitor
James Payne}
Samuel Goode} Guardians
Joseph Bassford}
Wm Metham} Overseers
John Ward.}
Wm Ashby} Churchwardens

Hinckley July 1816

Thursday, 21 July 2016

21st July 1816: Luddites sabotage 12 stocking frames at Great Wigston, Leicestershire

The Leicester Chronicle of 27th July 1816 reported another incidence of sabotage of stocking frames that took place on Sunday 21st July 1816, 6 days after a former incident in the same village:
On Sunday night last, the premises of _____ Leach, framework-knitter of Great Wigston, was entered by some person or persons who feloniously carried away some of the most necessary appendages belonging to twelve stocking frames.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

20th July 1816: Heathcoat & Boden move their business to Tiverton

On the Friday 19th & Saturday 20th July 1816, Heathcoat & Boden moved their equipment from Loughborough to Tiverton in Devon by narrow boat. The Leicester Chronicle of 3rd August 1816 carried an article from the Nottingham Review, most likely the 26th July 1816 edition:
Our conjecture last week, respecting the removal of the broken lace-frames, &c. from Loughborough, has been realised. On Friday and Saturday, three narrow boats, laden therewith, set off on their route to Stourport, from whence the River Severn and the Bristol Channel affords an easy communication with Devonshire, the place of their ultimate destination.—Several of the workmen also embarked for this new settlement, on board the same vessels, and more are preparing to follow them.—Nottingham Review.

20th July 1816: Derby Magistrates fear a Luddite raid on the local arms depot

Derby, July 20th, 1816.—

My Lord,

We addressed a letter to your Lordship, on the 15th of June last year, in which we represented our apprehensions of an attack upon the Government depot of arms, and military stores near this town, being meditated by the Luddites of Nottinghamshire.—We also expressed our opinion, that the ordinary guard, kept at the depot, was in insufficient for its defence, and that the building was insecure; and we took the liberty of suggesting, not only that the regular guard should be increased, but that the building should be further fortified.—

That the Luddites will attempt to possess themselves of the arms in the depot, is no longer a conjecture. Information to this effect (which in other respects has been proved to be true) has been given to the gentlemen, who are engaged in the investigation of the late outrage at Loughbro’: and we understand, that information to the same effect, but thro’ a different channel, has been conveyed to the magistrates of Nottingham.—

It has been seen, in the outrage at Loughbro’, with what facility, and success, the Luddite conspiracy, organized as it is, and comprizing many men, acquainted with the use of arms, and military discipline, can assemble a force, of from 120 to 150 men, and attack a building, of considerable strength, watched & guarded, close to a populous town,—and surrounded by houses. The depot is situated in a very retired situation, on a private road, at a distance of a mile from the town of Derby, and is wholly dependent, upon its own strength, for its security. From the representations which are made to us, it appears to be more easy of access,—and as incapable of effectual assistance, with its present means of defence, against attack, as the factory at Loughbro’.—

Considering the state of the Country, and our military establishment, to maintain a constant guard, by day and night, of sufficient strength to defend the depot against the threatened attack, may be attended with inconvenience to Government.—We therefore take the liberty of repeating our former suggestion, that the regular guard should be increased in a certain degree, and the building so far fortified, as to be rendered capable of resisting an attack, until an alarm can be given, and assistance be brought from the town of Derby.—

Whatever is to be done, should be done speedily.—We therefore most earnestly entreat the immediate attention of Your Lordship, to this most important subject.—

We have [etc]

Danl Parker Coke
J Balguy
Bache Heathcote

To the Rt Honble Lord Sidmouth
His Majesty's principal Secretary
of State for the home department—

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

19th July 1816: Heathcoat & Boden make preparations to leave Loughborough

The Leicester Chronicle of 27th July 1816 carried an article from the Nottingham Review (most probably published on 19th July 1816), about the preparations being made by Heathcoat & Boden to leave Loughborough, following the Luddite attack on 29th June:
We are sorry to find, that Messrs. Heathcote and Boden, of Loughborough, have this week been employing several people in making cases and packing up the fragments of their lace-frames, preparatory (according to general conjecture) to their removal to Tiverton, in Devonshire. All idea seems therefore given up of repairing them and continuing the business at Loughborough. This decision is variously accounted for: amongst the rest of the reasons, some say, that the apathy of the inhabitants of the town in not coming forward in a public manner, to aid in the detection of the offenders, has [given] considerable disgust. Now, whether there is any truth on this, or not, we cannot determine. But, it does appear a little singular, that in December, 1811, when some frames were broken at Sheepshead, the Loughborough Association came forward, on public grounds, and offered one hundred guineas reward, whereas, upon this recent outrage, it has been completely silent.—The removal, however, of the above-mentioned firm from Loughborough, seems likely to create a host of new adventurers there. “All hands aloft” appears to be the order of the day, in talking about forming connexions, making machines, and getting rich in a trice. A Leicester hosier has, undoubtedly, just taken a house at the town in question, and is on the point of erecting, forthwith, an extensive factory of the lace kind, which is expected to give employment, by and by, to a good many of the numerous hands now laying idle; whose droopings spirits are already considerably enlivened by this prospect of better times.—Nottingham Review.

19th July 1816: 7 labourers jailed for assault at Cambridge Quarter Sessions

On Friday 19th July 1816 at Cambridge Quarter Sessions, 7 labourers who had assembled with others at Swaffham Bulbeck in May to demand higher wages were tried. The Cambridge Chronicle of 26th July carried a brief report:
At the Quarter Sessions for this county, on Friday last, William Ullyar [actually Hullier], James Thompson, John Stickwood, Joseph Flack, John Fordham, and William Clements, were indicted for riotously assembling at Swaffham Bulbeck, in May last, and also for assaulting William Manning.—It appeared that about 50 labouring men, amongst whom were the prisoners, assembled together for the purpose of demanding an increase of wages, and that they endeavoured to persuade Manning to accompany them; on his refusal, they assaulted him, and treated him very ill. The evidence of the riotous conduct of the prisoners was not sufficient for conviction, but they were all found guilty of the assault, and the three former sentenced to be imprisoned six months, and the latter three months, in the county gaol.—

Sunday, 17 July 2016

17th July 1816: Stockport Weavers send a Memorial to the Prince Regent

TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
GEORGE PRINCE REGENT
OF THE
UNITED KINGDOMS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND,
WITH THEIR DEPENDENCIES.

THE HUMBLE
MEMORIAL
Of the undersigned, being Manufacturers of Cotton Goods, and Workmen, who have been employed in the various branches of that once extensive and important Manufacture,—

SHEWETH,

THAT Your Royal Highness’s humble Memorialists, who on all occasions have proven themselves His Majesty's most faithful and loyal subjects, are brought to the greatest distress, which is every day becoming more poignant; and unless some means of Relief be speedily devised, one Common Ruin must involve both Masters and Workmen.

Your Memorialists are well aware that many classes of His Majesty’s subjects labor under similar distresses, with this difference,—THEIRS have not long existed—OURS have almost become permanent;—They have had constant Employment and full Wages, until within these few months; but the evils of which Your Memorialists complain, have been growing for upwards of Fifteen Years, till they have arrived at a climax of unparalleled WANT, MISERY, and RUIN!!!

THAT the evils to which Your Memorialists allude, may be ascribed to One great Cause, viz. the Exportation of the half-wrought Material, as TWIST and WEFT. By this traffic, one part of His Majesty’s subjects work to enable Foreigners to do without the labor of the other part; and hence their restrictive measures against the finished Manufactures of your Memorialists. Another evil arising out of the above, is the frequent Reduction of Wages. This system must at all times decrease the value of the Stock on hand, which is sometimes immense.

The consequence is, that the most wealthy of the Masters have either altogether, or partly, declined the Manufacture; whilst others, by repeated sacrifices of depreciated stocks, have become insolvent. Hence many thousands of Weavers are out of employ; whilst those who have work, cannot on an average, earn more than Four Shillings per Wweek; and little more than two years ago, for a short period (Foreign Looms being prevented for some time from manufacturing goods from British Cotton Yarns, owing to their country’s being then the Seat of War) they could earn Sixteen Shillings and sixpence in the same time.

THAT since Peace took place, and the Foreign Looms were set to work again with British Yarns, Wages have been gradually decreasing to their present ruinous state; nor can Your Memorialists see any period when they can be employed again, so long as Yarns continue to be sent out of the Kingdom in such increasing quantities.

THAT the Cotton Manufacture has given employment and support to many Hundreds of Thousands of Persons in the United Kingdom; and Your Memorialists humbly presume, has been of considerable importance in a financial point of view. Shall such a source of our national greatness be removed?—No! 

Your Memorialists trust, with humble confidence, that Your Royal Highness will be graciously pleased to take the above into Your Royal Highness's most serious consideration;

And Your Memorialists will ever pray, &c.

Stockport, July 17th, 1816.

17th July 1816: Four jailed for destroying a Threshing Machine at Hockham, Norfolk

At the Norfolk County Session on Wednesday 17th July 1816, 4 prisoners were jailed for destroying a Threshing Machine at Hockham on 19th May.

The Norfolk Chronicle of 20th July 1816 carried a report about the trial:
John Abery, Jas. Bailey, the elder, Peter Palmer, the elder, and Peter Palmer, the younger, were indicted for having, together with other persons to the number of 100, routously and riotously assembled in the parish of Hockham, on the 19th of May last, and then and there destroyed a certain threshing machine, the property of William Burlingham.—The two latter prisoners pleaded guilty. On the part of the prosecution, it appeared, that the prosecutor, Wm. Burlingham, being nearly blind, was rendered unable to work for his livelihood, but having a little money, he had purchased a threshing machine for the price of 76l. which he used to let out to the neighbouring farmers, at a small profit to himself. That in May last, it had been to let out to a Mr. Wells, in the aforesaid parish, and that on the 19th of that month, being on a Sunday morning, the prisoners together with other evil disposed persons had dragged the machine from off Mr. Wells's premises into the high road, where they completely effected its demolition. The prisoners were proved to have taken an active part in the riot. 
Mr. Cooper, for the prisoners, contended that they had not been proved to have committed an unlawful act, and that none of the witnesses had sworn to their dragging the Machine off, the private property of Mr. Wells, but had all found them in the act of destroying it in the public road. It might therefore be presumed that a number of persons passing that way, had found this clumsy machine very much in their way upon the road, and deeming it a nuisance had destroyed it and removed the materials, which the learned Counsel stated they had a legal right to do. An alibi was attempted in favour of the prisoner Bailey, by calling two witnesses who had seen him six yards distant from the spot where the machine was destroyed, but it was not denied that at the time, Bailey was thus far off, the greater part of the mischief had been effected. 
Mr. Alderson, as Counsel for the Prosecution, strongly rebutted the position of law asserted by the Counsel for the Prisoners, the dangerous and fallacious tendency of which was strongly laid down from the Bench in the Chairman's charge to the jury. 
The prisoners were found Guilty; Abery and Bailey, were sentenced each to imprisonment for one year, in Wymondham Bridewell, and find sureties for their good behaviour for two years further; and Peter Palmer the elder, and Peter Palmer, the younger, who had pleaded guilty, were sentenced each, to three months imprisonment in Norwich Castle, and enter into security for their good behaviour, for one year more.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

16th July 1816: One rioter imprisoned for Norwich riot in May 1816

On Tuesday 16th July 1816, the Norwich Quarter Sessions commenced & the trials included cases of rioting that took place in the city in May.

The Bury & Norwich Post of 24th July reported the following:
Robert Hatton, the younger, was tried for a misdemeanour, in having, together with other persons unknown, riotously assembled in the Market-place of this city, on the evening of the 17th of May last, and acted in a violent and tumultuous manner. On being called upon for his defence, the prisoner threw himself upon the mercy of the jury, who after a few minutes deliberation, returned a verdict of Guilty, but recommended the prisoner to the mercy of the Court. He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in Norwich Bridewell.—No true bill was found against Hardy Sheppard, who had been committed for a similar offence.
Meanwhile, the Norfolk Chronicle of 20th July carried the following report:
Robert Hatton, the younger, was tried for a misdemeanour in having together with other persons unknown routously and riotously assembled in the Market-place of this city, on the evening of the 17th of May last, and for having acted in a violent and tumultuous manner upon that occasion. By the evidence of several very respectable persons, it was proved that the prisoner had on the above occasion, distinguished himself amongst the mob by exciting others to assist him in acts of violence, and particularly by endeavouring to frighten the horses upon which the cavalry were mounted, by means of a fireball, at a time when the cavalry were called out to aid the police in preserving or restoring the public peace. On being called upon for his defence, the prisoner threw himself upon the mercy of the jury, who after a few minutes deliberation returned a verdict of guilty, but recommended the prisoner to the mercy of the court. 
He was sentenced to three months present in Norwich Bridewell.  
No true bill was found against Hardy Sheppard, who had been committed for a similar offence.

Friday, 15 July 2016

15th July 1816: Framework-knitting machine parts stolen at Great Wigston, Leicestershire

The Leicester Chronicle of 20th July 1816 reported an unusual incidence of theft that took place on Monday 15th July 1816 as follows:
We regret to state, that a spirit of Luddism has begun to manifest itself in the southern as well as the northern parts of the county. A framework-knitters shop at Great Wigston, occupied by Ebenezer Deakin, was feloniously entered on Monday night last, and several frame and machine pressers, stolen therefrom.

15th July 1816: Amos & Crowther, the 'Loughborough Job' suspects, are released from custody

At noon on Monday 15th July 1816, John Amos & John Crowther - who were arrested under suspicion of involvement in the 'Loughborough Job' 5 days previously - were both released from Leicester Gaol.

There is no information about this event contained in the Home Office papers, but it is worth nothing that the informer's report that seems to have been the basis for their arrests, did not directly implicate them of involvement in the 'Loughborough Job'.

Ironically, the Mayor of Leicester's belief that they would be convicted, was premature at this point.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

13th July 1816: Report on the weather in the Leeds Mercury

The Weather.—The oldest man living does not recollect such unseasonable weather as we have lately experienced. But this is the case not only in England, but in the most mild and salubrious parts of France, and every other part of the Continent. A letter from Bordeaux, of the 15th June, says:—"We really do not know here where we are. We sit with our doors and windows closed and fire burning as in the middle of winter. It is cold as in October, and the sky is dark and rainy; violent winds accompanied with heavy rain and hail rage round the house our country houses; the low grounds are under water; if we have one tolerable warm day, several cold and rainy ones like the preceding, are to follow. The oldest people in the country do not recollect such a summer. Vegetation suffers, particularly the vines. The time of the blossom should be past, and they have not yet begun to blossom.—This is a bad prospect of the vintage, as the grapes cannot possibly ripen."

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

12th July 1816: The Tory Leicester Journal sees the 'Loughborough Job' as a consequence of 'democratic principles'

On Friday 12th July 1816, the Tory Leicester Journal carried an article reporting recent arrests for the 'Loughborough Job' in which it blamed 'democratic principles' for the growth of Luddism:
In the commitments to the County Gaol during the last week, were two men named Benjamin Badder and John Slater, both of Nottingham, on suspicion of being concerned in the late attack upon Mr. Heathcote’s manufactory at Loughborough.—Jas. Towle, of Basford, near Nottingham, has also been committed to the said Gaol, charged with being concerned in the said offence. Luddism has very justly been attributed to the influence of those democratic and disorganizing principles which have very extensively prevailed among many of the higher classes in the countries where the stocking and lace manufactory is carried on. The charge we believe to be too well founded. Democratic newspapers, and democratic principles, have had a very wide circulation, and many tradesmen and manufacturers, instead of counteracting them, have lent their utmost aid to give them authority. It is true they did not expect to have their frames broken, their property destroyed, and their servants murdered. They indulged their own political theories, and wished to realize their own schemes of reform and revolution on those above them. But they have had experience, in the Luddite system, of their own principle carried into effect against themselves; and if the innocent had not, in many instances, like the present, suffered with the guilty, and that demoralizing principles were encouraged in the lower classes, we should not be sorry for their claims and sufferings. These are the genuine effects of the interest the lower classes in many manufacturing places have been taught by their superiors to take, first, in the French revolution, and then in the character and exploits of Bonaparte.