My dear Sir
I received the Bill last night, & will write you what is done under it.
We have a sad Practise of being extremely ready to apply, for an extension of Authority, and great remissness when it comes of carrying it into effect.
My own view of the Subject, which I shall enforce as much as I can is, to carry into effect the Provisions of the 2nd Clause generally, and mildly, & to reserve the 1st Clause for particular Cases, of strong suspicion or positive Information and my Opinion is, that the carrying the 2nd into general effect, will go a great Way to preclude the necessity of acting in the first.
General Acland received a letter yesterday, from Major of Brigade Chamberlain who has been collecting Information at Chelmsford, he has sent down the General Heads but not the particulars, Pray be good enough to forward them.
I have no particular Information to give you, and still think, the thing will be got under. They now are cloaking their Meetings under the Colour of Peace and Parliamentary Reform, and are levying Subscriptions to pay the Expence of the Trials of the ensuing Assizes at Lancaster.
They have all a long shewn great solicitude, about the 37 men that were seized at one Meeting, as you may recollect at Manchester, and I am much afraid, unless new Evidence can be procured, most of these will be acquitted, which would be a thing infinitely to be regretted, for though we might not be able to get legal Proof I have no doubt of their Guilt.
[To] John Beckett Esqr
Under Secretary of State
&c &c &c
This letter can be found at HO 42/125.