Saturday, 7 July 2012

7th July 1812: William Robert Hay informs the Home Office about a rioter from Ashton and Joseph Barrowclough

Police Office Manchester 7 July 1812


I feel it to be my duty to inform Government that I have this day committed to Lancaster for Trial at the Assizes a man of the name of Solomon Low who appears to have been a very leading man in the riots at Ashton Under Line on the 20th April. The informations incomplete as they are sufficiently clear, but will be materially strengthened on further enquiry. I have directed copies to be forwarded to Mr. Litchfield without delay.

Government are probably aware that two men have for some days been travelling in Yorkshire to obtain information. One of the good effects of their having been employed is the apprehension of one Joseph Barrowclough, a corporal in Sr. Geo. Armitage’s Regt of Local Militia. He has been twice before me for examination – the last time yesterday and was committed for further examination till Thursday — but yesterday Evening he turned informer; and I understand that the circumstances disclosed by him are of the most important nature. These examinations have been taken from him by Mr. Lloyd of Stockport, & Mr Allison a Sollicr at Huddersfield, who is Clerk to the Comee of Gentlemen at Huddersfield to preventing rioters & who is also Capn of the Company in which Barrowclough is a Corporal. He has come over here on purpose. I have thought it best not to be present myself. The examinations cannot be sent up to Governmt tonight, and indeed tho they took the whole of yesterday evening, and have occupied the whole of this morning, very much, it is understood, remains behind. No time shall be lost in sending up a copy, if it could be managed I should very much wish that part at least should be sent tonight – and yet I hope that may be managed. Such steps as it may be judged proper take, will of course be instantly resorted to. I must apologize for the haste in which this is written; but I must confess that I am a good deal agitated by what I have heard of the contents of the examinations.

I have [etc]
William Robert Hay

To John Beckett Esqr. &c &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/125. Hay's comment about Lloyd's interrogation/questioning of Barrowclough "I have thought it best not to be present myself", suggests Lloyd's methods either offended his sensibilities and/or were legally dubious, i.e. they involved 'rough stuff'.

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