Thursday, 19 July 2012

19th July 1812: General Maitland informs the Home Office he has taken military command in the West Riding

Stockport 19th July
1812

My dear Lord

My letter of yesterday, will have explained to you, my feelings about the Situation of the Command in these Parts.

I am now relieved from all difficulties upon the Subject, from a Note I received this moment from the Adjutant General, who states, that Grey has asked for three months Leave, and that it is his Royal Highness’s intention that Yorkshire for the time, should be placed under me, which of course I presume has emanated from Your Lordship.

I am sincerely happy that this Arrangement has taken place, because I think that whether the whole disturbed part of the Country had been placed under Grey or myself that possibly the same benefit would have arisen, but of this I am quite sure that it is eminently necessary the concurrent Jurisdiction given to Magistrates should be so far extended, as to make the Military Command not hanging upon ideal lines, but to vest it (for we in the Army have no concurrent Jurisdiction) in one responsible Head, and I say this, the [rather] as should the present State of the Country continue I hope you will find it advisable to continue the Military Command as applicable to any disturbances in one hand and not divide it—

In regard to myself I have made it a Rule never to complain on any Subject. To me the Command I have & its extension are equally matters of regret. I might possibly myself have expected some relaxation from unpleasant and efficient Duty, but I take it, as I trust I shall ever do, as an honorable Mark of Distinction.

My own feelings must give way to my sense of Public Duty, and though I fairly impress to Your Lordship I never had so irksome unpleasant a duty so possible, as that in which I am now engaged, still flattering myself as I do with a perfect Confidence in Your Lordship's goodness, from me you never shall hear any thing, but the most assiduous performance of what I believe will meet Your Lordship's Wish, and what to the best of my Judgement is calculated to meet the Wishes of his Majesty's Government—

I have [etc]
T Maitland

Lord Viscount Sidmouth
&c &c &

This letter can be found at HO 42/125.

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