Sunday, 5 February 2012

5th February 1812: Duke of Newcastle to Home Office

5, February, 1812


It was agreed that Mr. Eyre should lay before you the proposed Bill for the better regulating the Police of this County; for this reason l have not troubled you on the subject since I last had the honor of writing to you.

I conceive that this Bill of itself will by no means be adequate to suppressing the outrageous proceedings in this County, it must be some measure of retaliation or punishment which alone can be truly efficient.

You are no doubt informed that the West Riding of Yorkshire is now imitating the bad example of this County and thus that part of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire are in a state of insurrection, for one can scarcely call it by another name. Sooner or later, I fear, recourse must be had to the severest measures as the only means of checking what may ultimately endanger the State, and I throw it out for your consideration whether it will not be expedient in a short time to declare Martial Law in the Counties above alluded to, unless a better disposition quickly manifests itself.

Mr. Eyre informs me that it is your intention to bring in a Bill to render the breaking of frames capital — it must be very clear that this will be a highly salutary measure and I will hope that this in conjunction with the other means about to be and what already are in our power will be capable of overcoming the insurrection in this and the neighbouring Counties.

It has been notified by letter to the Mayor of Nottm. signed Genl. Ludd — that he has put off his active operations for six weeks — in fact all remains in a tolerable state of quiet at the moment; altho’ more frames were broken on the 23rd. of last month than have ever yet been broken.

Let me most earnestly entreat that the measures which are to be proposed to Parlt. may be brought forward and enacted with the least possible delay, it is of vital importance that an immediate stop should be put to any further proceedings on the part of the rioters.

I have [etc.]


This letter appears at HO 42/120.

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