Friday, 31 August 2012

31st August 1812: The Stockport solicitor, John Lloyd, informs the Home Office of his breakthrough with John Hinchliffe

31 August 1812


It is with much satisfaction I inform you that John Schofield was this day committed by Mr. Scott to York Castle under Lord Ellenbro's Act for being present at aiding &c the shooting at Jno Hinchliffe the Examinations relating to which outrage, taken before the same Justice the day after the commission of it, I find, will copied & transmitted by that magistrate to you, & are referred to in the short Examination of Hinchliffe taken to day — a copy of which & also of the Examination, which the Prisr gave voluntarily, I shall sent here with. In the former Examinations Hinchliffe has foreborne to fix upon the Prisoner, Schofield, as one of the men — and this I find was a caution which fear alone occasioned — nor can I wonder at it when I contemplate the state of the country and the remote situation of Hinchliffe's House which I visited yesterday — To the removal of that fear and dread and to the promises which I gave him of protection by the Law if he told the truth and did his duty to the public, must be attributed the confidence with which he has now spoken of Schofield being one of the identical persons concerned; and happy for the Country; I hope it is, that he has. — I have an additional fact, collected at Holmfirth yesterday Evening, which may be important — I allude to Blythe’s statement upon which I have obtained a Warrant from Mr Scott against Battye and Thulas — and without any confession from Schofield we may be able to get a knowledge of the other man — we have all been very cautious with Schofield & have taken care not to affect our case against him.

Genl. Maitland was present at the Examination this forenoon — and there was a Justice of the name of Wood a Clergyman, who wished Mr. Scott to postpone the Commitment to York till the Secretary of State shold be consulted, but, as there appeared sufficient grounds to commit at once, I urged him to do so, undertaking to explain every thing to you — and I shall be happy if I know I have your approbation in what I have done — & shod be glad if you enable me to convince Mr. Scott of his having acted properly — I thought I discovered the motive of Mr Wood, who is the visiting magistrates I suppose of the Gaol — but as this is only conjecture I may be going too far to state it — however, you are not likely to blame me urging a Commitment to York without a direct solicitation or a hope encouraged for the Prisr to be come King’s Evidence — the case can never made so strong against the other man as it is now again Schofield

I have [etc]

J Lloyd

J. Beckett Esquire
Under Secy of State &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/126.

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