Sunday, 26 February 2012

26th February 1812: Town Clerk of Nottingham to Home Office about cases for the Assizes

Sir

Being concerned in two Prosecutions at the Assizes one in the Town against William Parkes and George Shaw, and the other in the County against William Barnes of Bulwell — We hope you will excuse our soliciting you to have the goodness to inform us whether Government intend to take any and what course as to supporting the expence or directing the manner in which these Prosecutions are to be conducted; as it will regulate our mode of Proceeding.

In the first of these Prosecutions we have reason to believe the Prosecution is not at all disposed to do more than his compelled by his Recognizance, and we are inclined to think that he is by no means in circumstances to afford any serious Attack upon his Pocket.

In the second Prosecution our Client is certainly adequate to sustain the expence but will not be at all sorry to have its burden rendered easy or entirely taken away from him by the Interference of Government.

We are more anxious to make this enquiry of you as the Judges have of late made such scanty allowances for the Costs of Prosecutions at Assizes as render it impossible in many Instances for persons in respectable Businesses to have any thing else to do with them but to order the attendance of the Witnesses suffering the Prosecution to take its own course in Court without Brief or Counsel and because it will be necessary in case of the Interference of the Crown to obey such directions as we may receive as to the Counsel to be retained and to whom Brief should be delivered.

We should not have ventured to make this enquiry had not Mr Coldham seen a Communication from Mr Ryder to the Duke of Newcastle, in which he understood the Treasury intended to take upon themselves the expence of all Prosecutions of this kind in the County.

I beg the favor of a reply — and am
Sir, (for Coldham & Enfield)
Your obliged and obedient Servant

George Coldham

Nottingham
February 26 1812

[Home Office note] acquaint him that it is not stated what is the nature of the Prosecutions mentd — if they are [illegible] connected with Framebreaking the Expences attending them will be defrayed by Government

This letter can be found at HO 42/120.

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