Sunday, 26 February 2012

26th February 1812: Stockport solicitor John Lloyd reports to the Home Office

Stockport 26th February 1812


It may be necessary to follow up the information I have already had the honor to communicate, respecting the state of the Trade of this County, by acquainting you that the Weavers have latterly evinced a very restless and refractory spirit—have met in small bodies to deliberate on their Grievances, and, on Monday afternoon, there was a general Meeting in an open piece of ground near the Town, from which the assembly dispersed in different divisions—one coming through the Streets, preceded by some man playing a Fife. They remained in the marketplace for some time; but committed no outrage:—thence, went in parties to public houses, where some of them were suffered to continue till late, and much noise and disturbance was made in the Streets during the night; but no mischief done that could be traced to any persons of that description.

Threatening Letters continue to be sent to particular Individuals, but, at present, it has been deemed unnecessary to notice them specifically—the Magistrates intend to meet tomorrow, and an increase of special Constables is likely to be one of the provisions adopted. There are a great many Rumours, which I forbear to remark upon in a Letter to you, Sir, as Secretary of State, because we have not arrived at proof of their authenticity. It may, however, hereafter become my duty to acquaint you further, after proper Investigation—I fear the bad spirit is kept up by some few desperate Characters from Ireland that have got among the weavers here. They certainly do meditate the destruction of the Looms worked by Steam and employed in factories—which cannot well be effected without fire & that in the night. Violence and inflammatory Expressions are made use of tending to such mischief, but nobody to inform against the persons uttering them—

An Application for more Cavalry in the neighbourhood is in contemplation to be made. I leave others to urge the necessity of this measure—my object is answered when I have given you all the Information in my power; which, with your permission, I will continue to do correctly either in any private capacity, or as connected with the magistrates—

I have the honor to be Sir
Your very obedient humble Servant

JS Lloyd

The Right Hon.
R.Ryder secretary of state home Department

This letter can be found at HO 42/120.

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