Saturday, 7 April 2012

7th April 1812: Colonel Fletcher receives a report from the spy John Stones about plans for Westhoughton Mill

Tuesday April 7th 1812

/S/has been with Waddington this Morng and told /S/that their was a Meeting last Night of the Secret Committee at Eight o'Clock which lasted until one this Morning. And that they had been twice for him /S/. /S/ have attended it - but he was at Bolton. In future he was to Attend at their Private Meetings—

It was Unanimously Agreed to fire the Factory only Westhoughton the first night (on Thursday next). A delegate is gone to Chowbent this Morng to give them Instructions how to proceed in Firing it—There is betwixt 30 & 40 in Chowbent & Tilesley which is thought Sufficient with 2 going with them from Bolton to instruct them — they wish /S/ to be one of two — There will be a Gen’ Meeting of the whole Neighbourhood on Thursday Morng at one O'Clock – Countersign Dublin. In Kiles Feild Opposite Stone Pitt Pike When every one that is swore in and not Attending — Are to be Forced out of Bed & his Pike put out — A Certain number is to go first to the Master of the Factory or to the Overlooker & Knock at the door when they are to tell him he his wanted upon Particular Business — then they are to demand the Keys & if he refuses to deliver them they are to Place a Pistol on either side of him & keep him secure untill the Business is done —/S/is to go to his Fathers for him to Attend the Gen’ Meeting – and if his Men be not properly Arranged—they will Instruct him in matters relating there to—/S/hath been round to Collect the 2d but only got 10d which he gave to Ratcliff. Waddingtons Brother told /S/that they where sufficiently provided with Powder for their Intended job—Every Man is to be Provided with something to defend themselves with—Some is getting Edging Bills & Long Stick with Pikes at the End –and some Pistols –&c. Waddington showed /S/one that he was taking to be repaired

Capt Bullen is at home

Should you want me before you go I will either come over or meet you wherever you may Appoint

Yours Sincerely
J Warr

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

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