Friday, 31 August 2012

31st August 1812: The Stockport solicitor writes to the Home Office about his spies and informers & suspects John Bent

Wakefield
31st August 1812

Sir

I have to beg your pardon if not sooner answering yours of the 26th –

The people continue to flock to my Office to take the oath of allegiance but at the time I left home I understood from my Clerks that the Inhabitants of Stockport formed no part of what had then been; of course Genl Maitland will explain the mistake which seems to have been made — as to our correspondence — There is no doubt however of its becoming very general — & I will venture to promise that in a few days we set it a going at Huddersfield — for we have obtained abundance of materials to act upon.

Your request of having the Instances of persons returning to their allegiance made public was anticipated, for I wrote paragraphs, for the papers the day before your wishes were known to me and I find Genl Maitland has done the same —

(1) I find from talking with the Clergyman at Holmfirth yesterday that his opinion is that the Luddites are afraid to come forward under the Act of Grace (if I may so term it from the provision it contains) because they are not indemnified in respect to their stealing arms — but I endeavoured to remove the obstacle by desiring him to assure some one Individual of a pardon from Offences even of that nature so that he made an ample disclosure — & told him if the Delinquent informed of two capital felonies he wou’d be intitled to his Pardon — that the promise cou’d not be extended — and he must induce some one to embrace the offer as early as possible

Extract 2 (with respect to the Letter from Ireland it appears to have been written by James or Jno Bent whom Yarwood mentioned as Treasurer of the Disaffected and Knight appears to be a relation to Knight that is one of the 38 at Lancaster (the 38 bundles of Blue) immediately returned — I do not know whether Whitaker did not mention Bent also. They are J.B.is right about Yarwood being still at Middlewich. Pray what must I do with him, he is in prison he is no longer, I conceived, of any use — William Cooper alias Strapper, is a man whom I employed at Newton & he was instrumental in convicting Daniel Garside of being privy to an unlawful oath adminsd to Cooper, and in convicting Joseph Thomas Schofield of inciting a felony, for which the latter was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment — the former of course transported). I sent Cooper into Shropshire after the trials at Chester to be out of the way of their vengeance but I think such men wou’d be very useful here — not that they wou’d again trust a stranger — but still a stranger cou’d observe the motions. I am already making some of them useful —

Wou’d you have any thing done with Bent

Your faithful & obedient St

J Lloyd

[To] J.Beckett Esqre &c &c &c

[Written vertically in the: “there is evidence in my office to fix some of the 38 returned — I suppose it must be done"]

This letter can be found at HO 42/126.

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