Monday, 16 April 2012

16th April 1812: Colonel Campbell writes to his commanding officer on the state of the West Riding

Leeds 16th April 1812
7 o’Clock A M


I had intended to have addressed you yesterday Evening by post; but I received a pressing invitation to proceed immediately to the Country to witness the concourse of people assembled which was supposed were preparing for a journey to Huddersfield to attend the funeral of one of the men killed Liversedge who I should mention was the Son of a Clergyman and a leading character in these disturbances

I did not return to Leeds until after post hours when I found several informations from the Country of the alarm occasioned by the numbers of the lower orders traversing the Country. I also found letters from Mr Skin a Magistrate of this Borough copies of which I inclose

From personal observation independent of these informations I had sufficient proofs of the necessity of making immediate preparations for guarding against any attempts of [a] considerable body of Men on their return to Leeds, therefore reinforced certain points, pushed forward the Cavalry Piquets occupying all such roads as communicated with Leeds & ordering very strong Patroles to be in continual motion during the whole night.

At half past Ten o'Clock I received an Express that a considerable number of Men were assembled and were still collecting in the vicinity of Two Mills about Three miles from Leeds, & in half an hour this information was followed from the same quarter thus immediate attack was expected. The parties however appear to me not to have made any pre arrangement, but were met together most of them accidentally; & when so met were inviting others to join their standard. There were only Six of the Denbigh Militia on Guard at this place, inside of the Mill. I immediately sent a reinforcement of fourteen Rank & File and sent an order for Twelve of the Cavalry Piquet to hasten to the place; & as I have not had any report from thence as yet, I must conclude that nothing material has occurred.

Since I had the honor of reporting to you in person on the 14th Instant two more of the wounded in the affair at Liversedge have died. They had been carried away by their comrades one to Hatchet Bar, the other to Birstall their own homes where they expired. I have not a doubt of many more having been wounded.

The country is in a most perturbed state & the utmost exertions the military necessary.

“Vengeance for the blood of the Innocent” is written on every door; but I think these people will pause a little before they make another experiment after the manly reception they have met with—

I have the honor to be
Sir your most obedient
humble Servant
Charles Campbell

Lt Genl
The Honorable HG Grey

This letter can be found at HO 42/122.

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