Saturday, 25 February 2012

25th February 1812: Colonel Fletcher writes to Home Office about the findings of his spies

Bolton le moors 25 Feby 1812

Dear Sir

The enclosed Report came to my Hands this day & I thought it proper to be transmitted―it contains what I believe to be a current Copy of the Oath of the Nottingham Rioters—and I am afraid Williamson's Insinuation of their having derived Support & Encouragement from other Quarters is but too true.

The Exertions of the discontend have derived a fresh Stimulus from Mr Whitbreads letter—In the Town notwithstanding the Refusal of the Boroughreeve to call a public meeting (induced to that refusal by a counter requisition) a meeting was held on Friday last when several Resolutions were passed exaggerating the Evils of a depressed trade—and mixed with much jargon couched in the Burdette Stile, respecting the Inadequacy of the Representation in Parliament—it may be feared that under the seducing Name of Peace they will impose upon many & spread wider & wider the Spirit of Discontent.—To counteract as far as possible these Effects—we shall endeavour to procur an address to the Prince Regent―which I doubt not will be signed by far the most respectable Persons in the Town & Neighbourhood.

You will observe that Newman Street Oxford Road is again mentioned as the Place where the Town Committee hold their meetings—and to this Place it is probable Leighton will pay a Visit before his return—A description of his person is subjoined to the report― and

I have the Honor to be
dear Sir
Your most Obedient Servant

Ra: Fletcher

[To] John Becket Esq

This letter can be found at HO 42/120.

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