Monday, 17 September 2012

17th September 1812: Attack on the premises of Colonel Moore at Brockwell, near Sowerby

On Monday 14th September 1812, the Mill of a Colonel Moore at Brockwell, near Sowerby had been visited by a thief who had taken 20 yards of cloth from tenterhooks within 20 yards of his house, despite there being 3 sentries on alert.

At 4.00 a.m. on Thursday 17th September, his premises were attacked on a wet and rainy night. The two sentries from the Stirlingshire Militia had been provided with muskets by Moore himself, in order to save their own being exposed to the weather. In the dark, one of the sentries saw a man approaching and challenged him - the answer came back "a friend". The man continued on, without giving the expected countersign, and the sentry pulled the trigger on his musket - nothing happened, the rifle mis-fired. By now, the man was very close and opened his long coat to draw out a cutlass - he lunged at the sentry, the sword striking the barrel of the sentry's gun and severing his thumb.

The man immediately turned and ran, jumping over a fence into the darkness. The other sentry, now alterted, tried to shoot, but his musket also mis-fired. The man got away.

This is from a letter from Lieutenant Cooper to General Acland dated 17th September, and a letter from James Russell to Captain Thornhill dated 18th September 1812, both of which can be found at HO 40/2/3. A report also appears in the Lancaster Gazette of 26th September 1812.

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