Monday, 20 August 2012

20th August 1812: General Maitland writes from Sheffield about the riots there

20th August

My dear Sir

You will properly have heard of the Riots that have taken place here.

I was totally ignorant of them till my Arrival to day at 3 OClock, having seen however the Acting Magistrate, and having dined in Company with Lords Fitzwilliam (who said he had just written to Lord Sidmouth) I am happy to say that as far as I am aware at present, they seem to have originated, merely from the increased price of Flour, and to be material result of their feeling on this Head, without any other View, connected with any other cause of any kind.

This night since Dark, it has been reported to me, that they have tried to seize a Woman, who had given Evidence against some of the Men, who were seized last Night, who have been with one or two exceptions all released, and they are shewing some symptoms of Riot, but I have no Idea it will end in any thing but throwing a few Stones, indeed I believe it to be made the most of.

I shall meet the Magistrates tomorrow, at 11 OClock, after which, I shall write you fully on the whole of it.

I regret this should have taken place, not that I think it is of the smallest consequence, but because it may lead the misinformed to believe there is more in it than is really the fact.—

I am [etc]
T Maitland
[To] J.Becket Esqr.
&c &c &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/126.

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