Wednesday, 20 June 2012

20th June 1812: The Home Secretary writes to General Maitland with worries about spies from Wiltshire


Whitehall 20 June 1812

My dear Sir,

Your public letter receive yesterday shews that the Exertions & Examples which have been made have not proved effectual to the degree we had hoped for: but I am confident that the Course which you have recommended, and are pursuing, is the best, and indeed the only rational one for accomplishing the object in view—many days, I am sure, will not elapse before you will have acted upon the intuition intimated in your Public letter of the [blank]. It is in parts of the West Riding that there appears to be the greatest degree of licentiousness & Violence, and the least exertion on the part of those by whom every Effort ought to be made to resist the Outrages, and discover the Authors:—There the Magistrates and Inhabitants seem to be Panic-Struck, and Government is reproached the not resorting to measures the most rash, and, under present Circumstances, unwarrantable, because those, who are on the Spot, will not employ the means which the law has placed in their hands.

It will not be possible, I fear, to find in Wiltshire such a number of competent Persons as you have named: but I hope that the deficiency may be supplied by a Contribution from some of the Manufacturing Parts of Gloucestershire, whither Bathurst is to go at the beginning of next week: but the Inhabitants of those parts have not the Sharpness of Understanding nor the determination of Character which belong to those of the North, and it is therefore very difficult to find amongst them Persons fit for the purpose.

Your suggestions respecting the mode of Communication are very clear and satisfactory.

I am in haste and can only add that I am

My dear Sir

the honorable
Lieut: Genl. Maitland

This letter can be found at HO 42/124.

No comments:

Post a Comment