Monday, 30 April 2012

30th April 1812: Threatening letter to Nathaniel Milne, Salford Coroner

Sir,

This would be an error that our very blood could not expiate, if these lines were stuff’d with nothing but mere malice and injustice; for conscious we are you must at first think so: but if you will take a little advice from a few friends, you will then immediately become an apostate to your principles—The Fable of, “The Plague amongst the Beasts” - is well worth a coroner’s reading—Had some poor man murder’d two or three rich ones in cool blood, Nat. Milnes would then have buss’d in the ears a “Packed Jury" loaded with contagion, these Words, “Willfull murder”—instead of “Justifiable homicide”: but know thou cursed insinuator, if Burton’s infamous action was “justifiable”, the laws of Tyrants are reasons’ dictates—Beware, Beware! - a month’s bathing in the Stygian Lake would not wash this sanguinary deed from our minds; it but augments the heritable cause, that stirs us up to indignation—

Milnes if you really are not a Friend to the great Oppressors, forgive us this-but if you are-“the rest remains behind”—

Ludd finis est.

This letter can be found at HO 40/1/1. The writer had intended to threaten the coroner whose inquest had ruled that the killings at Burton's mill in Middleton had been 'justifiable homicide'. But, in fact, Milne did not preside over that inquest.

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