Wednesday, 9 May 2012

9th May 1812: Arms raid in Meltham

On Saturday night 9th May 1812, John Marsh of Meltham was woken before midnight by the sound of a gunshot. Someone was banging on his door and shouting for him to open up. When he eventually opened the door, he stood behind the door. A voice said "I am informed you have a gun here; General Ludd has sent me for it, and if you do not deliver it up I will blow the door open". Marsh had already handed the gun to his apprentice, John Creaser, and told him not to surrender it, but Creaser was afraid: he had heard so much and the recent arms raids, and knew they were determined. He decided to disobey his master, and opened the door. In the darkness, he could only make out one man who was stood in front of him with a blackened face. He gave the man the gun, and pointed out to him that it had no lock: the man replied "It is well; it shall be well repaired, and brought back in open day". The man was clearly drunk, and Creaser could smell the alcohol on his breath when he spoke. He called out two numbers into the night, and then turned and left.

On Monday 11th, Joseph Whiteley returned the gun in 'open day' as promised, but the gun was unrepaired.

As reported in the Leeds Mercury of 25th July 1812.

No comments:

Post a Comment