Wednesday, 21 December 2011

21st December 1811: Duke of Newcastle to Home Office

Clumber
Dec. 21 1811

Sir,

The day before yesterday I had the honor of receiving a letter from you enclosing copies of a Proclamation offering rewards for the conviction of any of the rioters. I instantly gave orders for the general and immediate distribution of the Proclamation and by this time it is universally known.

As you probably already know, the Hosier’s are coming into the terms required by the workmen and it is very probable that this may be the cause of concluding the business, added to this the rioters certainly begin to be very much alarmed, and what is very desirable their fear arises from distrust.

It has happened that frequently of late the Special Constables, whose active services I have often mentioned to you, have entered the houses of the offenders and taken them away out of their beds in the middle of the night, and have several times been fortunate in securing some of them in their own homes on the first night of their return there, after having slept at different houses since the first commission of their offences in order to elude the search of the constables. This had a very great effect upon them, as I am informed, not only because they begin to find that they cannot commit their accustomed outrages with impunity but because they suspect from the fortunate combination of circumstances, that they have been informed against by their own friends whom they now begin to distrust; if this can be kept up amongst them we may expect much good to result from such a dissention.

According to what I can learn, affairs appear to have taken a better turn and it is hoped that in the course of another fortnight the public peace may be restored. Of course in these cases much must depend upon appearances as no just conclusion can be formed from a knowledge of facts, which cannot be obtained.

In a few days I hope I shall be able to give you an account of our success in the apprehension of some of the most leading people who compose the committees etc.

You may rely upon it that money shall be used with the utmost delicacy, I am told by those who are employed on this service in question that instances will be very rare in which they will require it.

I have [etc.]

NEWCASTLE

The letter can be found at HO 42/118.

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