Thursday, 19 January 2012

19th January 1812: Arson at Oatlands Mill, Leeds

On Sunday 19th January at 7 p.m., the mill belonging to Messrs Oates Wood & Smithson at Woodhouse-Carr, Leeds, was found on fire. The building, which contained gig mills, was badly damaged with half of the upper storey being destroyed in the inferno. The fire was eventually brought under control, but the damage to premises and stock was thought to be in the region of £500, although the owners were insured with Norwich Union.

Arson was suspected immediately, mainly because the Mill was closed that day, but also because it was found that combustible materials had been placed around the building, some of which had failed to take hold.

Oates Wood & Smithson wrote to the Home Office three days later on the 22nd January, making it clear that they were offering a reward of £100 for information, and also that they were requesting a Royal pardon for anyone who took part who wished to incriminate those involved.

As reported in the Leeds Mercury of 25th January 1812. Oates Wood & Smithson's letter to the Home Office is at HO 42/119.

No comments:

Post a comment