Monday 16 April 2012

16th April 1812: The funeral of John Booth in Huddersfield

The funeral of John Booth had been planned for approximately midday on Thursday 16th April, four days after his death. On the preceding evening in the countryside around Leeds, Colonel Campbell had observed the 'concourse' of hundreds of people assembling to travel to Huddersfield. Campbell returned to his Headquarters to find reports from people alarmed "by the numbers of the lower orders traversing the country."

He had also observed himself the slogan "vengeance for the blood of innocent" written on many doors in town.

In this atmosphere of high emotion and tension, the authorities in Huddersfield had decided that a funeral even on the scale of Hartley's in Halifax was too risky. Therefore, Booth was hastily buried at Huddersfield church at 6.00 a.m. that morning. Despite this, both the Leeds newspapers commented on the numbers present.

Details of the funeral can be found in the Leeds Mercury of 18/04/1812; the Leeds Intelligencer of 20th April 1812; a letter from Colonel Campbell to General Grey of 16th April 1812 at HO 42/122.

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