Wednesday, 20 June 2012

20th June 1812: General Maitland reports to the Home Office that he has confiscated arms in the Stockport area

20th June

My dear Lord.

I had the honor, of addressing Your Lordship yesterday, on the Subject, of the State, of this Country.

In consequence, of the seizures of Arms, by the disaffected, it was judged, advisable, to issue, such Authority, by the Magistrates, as might appear, to be a call, on the different People, so disposed, to give up, for a time, their Arms, to prevent them, being seized, by the Disaffected.

This measure, was carried into effect, yesterday, in the Neighbourhood, of Stockport, and produced, to my great astonishment, a collection, little under 200, including those, that had been taken, by the Disaffected, in the same Quarter.

This seems to me, to be, a Fact, of extreme Importance, for Government, to be aware of, as I certainly, myself, could have had, no Idea, such a Quantity of Arms, existed in the Country.

We hear constantly of their Meetings, and I have at this present moment, information of some, that are intended, where they invariably, have Speeches made to them, similar to those, already before your Lordship, from various Quarters.

I cannot help, thinking some thing, should be done, if possible, to prevent, their getting hold, of the Fire Arms, which seems to be their only View. The Night before last, they got hold, of the Barrel, of Gunpowder, but did no other injury, to the Manufactury, from which they took it.

I am trying, what is possible, to get out of the best informed, in the line of Information, and have hopes, that we may succeed, to a considerable extent, in a very short time.

I find this day, that the effect, of the suspension, has only shewed itself in the coarser Manufactured Commodities, for the American Market, to the extent of nearly 10 Per Cent, and I hear that the measure, of taking off the Bounty, on Printed Callicoes, is generally considered, as a very fair Tax, and has been attended, with this effect, that the demand, is very great indeed, with a View, to the Exportation, antecedent to the Bounty, being taken off.

I am [etc]

I am going to Buxton for a few days, which is equally near the Scene of Disturbances, as this, to try the Waters, for the Rheumatism where I request I may be directed to—

[To] Right Honorable
Lord Viscount
&c &c &c

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

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