Friday, 22 June 2012

22nd June 1812: The weaver, Humphrey Yarwood, writes a statement for John Lloyd

As the Stockport Solicitor John Lloyd had informed the Home Office on Sunday 21st June 1812, the weaver and former Secretary of the Manchester Secret Committee, Humphrey Yarwood, had been left with paper, pen and ink to expand upon the information Lloyd had managed to extract from him previously.

He had been in custody for 5 days, and had been visited by figures such as Holland Watson, a Lancashire Magistrate and General Maitland. We do not know exactly what Lloyd did with Yarwood, but on the 22nd June, he wrote out a thorough confession of activities he had been involved in for the past few months.

The 'statement' itself is broadly similar to Lloyd's 'memorandum' of his conversation with Yarwood 3 days earlier. Once again, Yarwood makes John Buckley Booth the main protagonist of the whole affair, even going to far as to imply that he, the Secretary of the Secret Committee, did not play an active part it at the behest of Booth. The 'statement' then proceeds to go through the meetings and events of the past two months in much detail - indeed, this document forms a great deal of what we know about the transactions of the Committees in Manchester.

Yarwood mentions John Bent, Colonel Fletcher's spy 'B' on more than one occasion, corroborating what 'B' wrote in his reports to Fletcher. Yarwood makes it clear that Bent had stopped visiting him recently, and consequently he was not clear how involved he was in the petitioning in Manchester - Yarwood said that Bent had implied to him that he believed petitioning was a way to involve many more people than was previously possible, even if the objectives remained the same.

Yarwood had seemingly exhausted his recollections with this lengthy and literary statement, and no other desposition from him appears in the Home Office records. His fate was confirmed a few days later by John Lloyd.

Yarwood's Statement can be found at HO 40/1/1.

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