Friday, 24 February 2012

24th February 1812: The Rector of Loughborough writes of an eloping couple & a Leicestershire frame-breaker

Loughborough Feb. 24. 1812


I have the honor to inform you that Yesterday about 3 o'clock two Persons having come on Foot to this Place under suspicious Circumstances, I ordered them to be Detained ‘till I could examine them, & upon so doing the same Afternoon, it was presently discovered that one of them was a Female in Man's apparel, the daughter of a Tradesman at Ashbourne in Derbyshire, who had eloped from thence on Friday Eveng last with a Man who called himself Paolo Canaro di Bologna (an Italian) but who proves, upon the Girl’s Confession to be Joseph Pieri Lieut Artillery a French Prisoner on Parole at Ashbourne. I have in consequence committed him to Leicester Gaol until his Majesty's pleasure be known & mean to deliver the Girl up to her Friends, to whom I sent to come hither for that purpose – supposing that you would not proceed against her as aiding & assisting in his escape. If such should be the case, I can easily find her at any time

I esteem myself much obliged to Captain Gilbert of the Stirlingshire Militia commanding here for his prompt assistance in securing & guarding these Persons, after our Constable had apprehended them. And if upon investigation of the Circumstances the Transport Board allow any pecuniary reward for the apprehension of the Frenchman I hope I may reward their diligence by distributing it among the Persons concerned

We have experienced only one act of Frame breaking since my last — when the circumstance having reached me, with an account moreover that the Person in possession of the Frame had broken it, & that the owner had brought him to confess it, & has suffered the business to drop, upon the Rascal’s promising to reinstate the Frame. I sent over an Attorney to the Place (Coleorton near Ashby) to investigate the circumstances; & having found them to be correct, he, by my directions caused the Father & Son, who resided where the Frame was broken to be apprehended & carried before the Revd John Piddocke a Magistrates for the County residing at Ashby – by whom (it appearing that the Evidence required it) the Son was fully committed for Trial, & the Father bound, himself in £40 & 2 Sureties in £20 each for is Appearance, at the ensuing Assizes

I thought it my duty not to suffer the Compromise between the Hosier & the Culprits, & I hope Government will not think I did wrong

I have the honor to be Sir
your most obedt Servt

Ric Hardy

My address is - Revd Dr Hardy

Right honourable Secretary of State &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/120.

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