Sunday, 17 June 2012

17th June 1812: General Maitland expresses concerns about the prosecution of the Manchester 38

17th June

My dear Lord.

Since I addressed, you yesterday, I have grounds, for thinking, the Men, taken up here lately, will not, be liable, to severe Punishment, unless the fact, of their administering, Illegal Oaths, can be brought home, which at present, I own is extremely doubtful.

I am endeavouring, to try, to get some of them, to inform, and am not, without hopes, this may be accomplished, with the Aid, of some Money, and a little management.

The collecting of Arms, and Nocturnal Meetings, has gone, very great lengths indeed, and generally speaking, their mode of acting, shows much greater caution, and organization, than could be wished, their Signals, are extremely well established, and have hitherto, defeated every attempt, to get hold of them.

The Reports, of their intentions, are various, but notwithstanding, the repetition of these Meetings, I certainly do not believe, either in the extent, of their Numbers, or in their organization, for any End, further, than the stealing of Arms.

I am going, as I mentioned yesterday, to meet the Magistrates, of Stockport, when your Lordship, shall hear, further from me, and you may rely upon it, there shall, be no want, of execution on my part, to get at the bottom, of the whole, of this unpleasant Business, which I am confident much exaggerated but still not to be slept on.

I am [etc]
T Maitland
Right Honble
Lord Viscount
&c &c &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/124.

No comments:

Post a Comment