Monday, 19 March 2012

19th March 1812: Judge Bayley writes to the Home Office about the outcome of Nottingham Lent Assizes


18 March, 1812

Dear Sir,

The Assizes here have finished, with the exception of one case for a threatening letter, to be tried—tomorrow morning. There have been two Acquittals, and as I think rightly, and the other persons have been found guilty of transportable offences, and some I have sentenced for l4 years, some for seven, but as you may perhaps wish to know something of the cases to exercise your Discretion upon them, I will notice them very shortly —

Wm. Carnell aged 22 & Jos. Maples aged 16} were both found guilty, and sentenced for 14 years: Carnell was the Leader and Director of a mob of 13 who broke into a House about 8 in the evening, and destroyed 7 frames—but he had the merit of protecting the occupier of the House, an old man of 70 from any personal violence; Maples called several witnesses to prove he was the whole evening a quarter of a mile off, and tho’ the Jury disbelieved them, I am not quite clear that the verdict was right. However, Maples was apprehended the next Night with a pistol about him.

Benjn. Poley aged l6 — pleaded guilty: and the particulars of his case were not detailed.

Benjn. Hancock aged 22 was proved to be a Ringleader where the mob amounted to above 1000, and many of them had arms, and where Frames to the Value of £400 were destroyed at one House: He had a very good character, but was clearly at the head of that outrage.

Gervas Marshal aged 17 Geo. Green aged abt. 22} were also found guilty as being of Hancock’s mob—They were probably drawn into the outrage, without considering the consequences—and Marshall and Green had very good characters. They were all however proved to have broken Frames, Marshall went into a Shop for the purpose the two others contributed to break them after they were thrown out of the shop window.

I shall adjourn the Assizes till the 5th of July, unless some of the persons in the Commission shall first come on given Days in April, May or June, and the Juries have been so far ready upon fair Cases to convict, and the Magistrates during the Assizes have behaved with so much vigilance that I think the spirit of outrage will not break out again. I may however be too sanguine.—I am [etc.]

J. Bayley

18th March, 1812

I have opened my letter to say that the Case upon the threatening letter terminated in an Acquittal, upon a variance, but I think it right to mention that it appeared in evidence that one of the witnesses, on the part of the prosecution had sent away from the Assizes yesterday a Servant in the House whom he knew the prisoner had been endeavouring to subpoena, and had it not been for the Acquittal it is very probable that conduct would have excited considerable indignation.

I enclose a note handed up to me by the Gaoler from Carnell, which shews that his spirit appears subdued. Of course I did not see the man, but desired him to make any Discovery he thought fit to the Gaoler or to Mr. Hobhouse.

This letter can be found at HO 42/121. Although this letter is dated 18th March 1812, it is 're-opened' by Bayley at the bottom and is clearly completed by at least the 19th when he had knowledge of the outcome of the trial of John Ingham.

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