Wednesday, 11 July 2012

11th July 1812: Major Seale at Sheffield informs the Home Office that a spy has infiltrated the local Luddites

Sheffield July 11th

My Lord

Since I had the honor to address your Lordship on the alarming spirit which still seems to exist in this prt of the Country, I have again seen the person who gave me the information I then forwarded to your Lordship. At my request he has of late mix’d frequently with the Luddites, and by an appearance of zeal in their cause has so far gain’d their confidence, as to be elected a Committeeman — It is probable, he will in that capacity become acquainted with their most secret plans; and he is desirous of introducing some intelligent man to their assemblies, who may assist him in their detection — If therefore your Lordship should think proper to order a Police Officer in disguise, (for it must be a stranger) to be sent down for the purpose; I have no doubt great use might be made of this person in apprehending those most active at the nocturnal meetings which are held in the neighbourhood of Barnsley, and lead to a full discovery of their plot.—

This person has given me various information respecting individuals but which it would be an unnecessary waste of your Lordship's time in me to recapitulate.—

I beg your Lordship to excuse the liberty I have taken — And have the honor to be [etc]

JH Seale Major
Sth Devon militia

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

This letter can be found at HO 42/125.

No comments:

Post a Comment