Monday, 30 April 2012

30th April 1812: Major Gordon informs Lieutenant-General Grey that Luddites are conducting arms raids

Huddersfield 30th of April 1812


I have the honour to report to you for Lt Genl the Honble HG Grey's information, the arrival of a division of the West Kent under the command of Major Best consisting of [1 Major; 2 Captains; 2 Lieutenants; 2 Ensigns; 1 (Assistant) Serjeant; 6 Serjeants; 2 Drummers; 211 Rank & File] which I do not consider a sufficient force for this place & neighbourhood. The Rioters are collecting arms by force — last night in the neighbourhood of Lockwood, (2 miles from hence) about twenty of them entered a house and demanded the arms (a Gun & pistol) which they knew the person had - he at first refused to deliver them — they then threatened to destroy his house & put him & his family to death if he resisted—Several other attacks of the same description have been made within these few days. I think it might be of service to cause a search for powder in the houses of those who have permission to sell it – and to obtain an order if possible to purchase the whole of it and prevent a further supply until this county such as many others are are in a more quiet state—

I feel under the necessity of reporting that I conceive it absolutely necessary a much larger force should be in this neighbourhood and that a temporary Barrack should be found in the towns for the accommodation of the Troops, Cavalry in particular, for our arms are not safe which the men are with their arms, in addition to which, they may with ease be prevented turning out, in case of a sudden attack and which we are always liable to in this place — I can assure you Sir this requires immediate attention

The Depot of the Local Militia is also in this town, which I conceive extremely dangerous, there are seven barrel of Ball Cartridge, and about 40 Stand of arms complete, which alone require a strong guard to protect it, independent of the danger arising from the powder lying in the middle of the town, at all times liable to be destroyed by fire, and which they will endeavour to do if they are prevented taking possession of it—

I could wish the Depot of Arms &c to be where there is a stronger Garrison, it will otherwise on the return of the Regiment be in the extreme dangerous to have such a quantity of arms unprotected—

Mr Horsfall died this morning in consequence of his wounds.—

I have just left Mr Radcliffe who tells me, he thinks was the prisoners who is strongly suspected of being at the attack of Mr. Cartwrights Mill, will be forwarded this morning to York. I send a Serjt and twelve men with him from hence to Leeds – and have written to Col Campbell by this consequence, saying he may expect him at Leeds in the course of an hour after he remains thus.—And that I have communicated with you for the purpose of having a relay at Tadcaster from York

I have [etc]
William Gordon
Major Capt 2nd [Dragoon Guards]

This letter can be found at HO 42/123.

No comments:

Post a Comment