Wednesday, 18 April 2012

18th April 1812: Stockport solicitor John Lloyd writes with details of prisoners and a copy of the Luddite oath

Stockport 18 April 1812

Sir

I have the honor to add (besides the Information conveyed in a separate letter about Williams) that since I wrote my Letter of the 16th we have been doing very well in point of disclosures and in keeping the peace — Every attention has been paid The Magistrates of the neighbour.d have been regular in their attendance every day from 10 till 3 or 4 They consist of the rev.d Char. Prescot J Philips Esq. Rev.d H. Delves Broughton, son of Sir Thos Broughton Thos William Tatton & Peter Marsland Esq. — the Information given by the man I took by my piquet has been rendered important by the number he impeaches & the number that are in dread of him, it may have the effect of deterring others from outrage or at least from joining in the Confederacy — Several are in custody but altho’ they may be ultimately sent for Trial we will take care to make a proper selection of Characters for prosecution may be most effectual in point of example, and confine our views to few only and those of desperate cases — We already have

Charles Hulme a person seen to come from Mr. Goodair’s House whilst on flames, & this person is one of the men I took up 4 years ago in an unlawful assembly of Weavers and was put under bail for his good behaviour

James Roach one of the assembly that obtained the money from J W. Parker under circumstances which constitute Robbery is identified as one of the mob that broke the windows of Mr. Goodair & destroyed his Looms, and that made the attack upon Mr. Garside (& by the bye you will excuse me as I now mention his name; if I request you in some Letter to notice him for his gallantry by way of example to others)

Joseph Thomson alias Tonge alias Tipping alias Obediah Bellamy = whom we have been fortunate to meet with having the possession of the plate of Mr. Goodair taken from the house during the fire — I & Mr. Nadin and the police Constable of Manchester who had him in custody there searched his House near Stockport last night & I have this day been able to fix him most positively as to being there at the time & the plate in his poss.n being Mr. Goodair’s –

John Parnell as to the unlawful oath which I shall here set forth having by great good luck obtained it to examine upon & got it admitted by Parnell — & yet I would rather have him a Witness ag.t others if he may be competent* (if so I can get him corroborated) against others — I intend to take those I suspect during the night –

I should be obliged to conclude for the present I only have to beg that you will not send any magistrate from London as suggested by Mr. Goodair — & I do hope that if we are able to meet with most of the ringleaders and instigators a Special Commission may be granted & Summary Justice executed upon the delinquents for the sake of early example — I subjoin the Oath & have the honor to be

Sir. Yr very Obt St
J Lloyd

*what I mean by this is that he did not disclose within 4 days which the act of [obscured] C123 made criminal

Oath of Engagement of the Weavers

"I A.B. of my own voluntary will do declare and solemnly swear that I will never reveal to any person or persons in any place or places under the Canopy of Heaven the names of the persons who compose the Secret Committee either by word Deed or sign their proceedings meetings place of abode Dress features marks complexions connexions nor any thing else that may lead to the discovery of the same on the penalty of being put out of the World by the first Brother who shall meet me — my name & character blotted out of existence and never to be remembered but with contempt and abhorrence I further swear that I will use my best endeavors to punish by death any Traitor or Traitors sho.d any arise up amongst us he or them and though he sho.d fly to the verge of Nature I will pursue him with increasing Vengeance — so help me God to keep this oath inviolate."

This letter can be found at HO 40/1/1.

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