Monday, 24 September 2012

24th September 1812: Two spies report about Luddite activity in & around Huddersfield

Huddersfield 24th. September 1812.
Copy of paper delivered to Mr. Hirst.

Representation of Thomas Ewart & Robert Lumas.

That they have been lodg’d in one of the Luddites houses five weeks, & are now getting into confidence with some of them, that they are not yet twisted in, but expect to be so in a short time. That previous to this are to be employ’d in procuring arms. That Joshua Hague, John Seiner, Richard Horsfall & a Mr. Sunderland all in Dalton & John Fox Innkeeper on Greetland Moor are the Principal supporters, along with other Six whose names they have not learn’d. That John Fox offer’d them a Barrel of ale to destroy the Machinery at Gatehead Mill, which was given them after the Engagement. James Hague that was wounded at Cartwright’s Mill, the Balls were extracted by Dr. Wright, & he along with several others were sent to the Whitworth Drs. to be eased of their wounds, & are now return’d. The first attempt that it is now to be made is to [divert] of the Soldiers by false Alarms, until they can accomplish the destruction of Bradley Mills, & an old Soldier has Volunteer’d to blow them up with powder. They are only waiting for an opportunity to destroy the owner of the Mills, as also justice Ratcliffe. There have several places where they have a considerable quantity of arms & ammunition, & the Two men I have employ’d are in full expectation of seeing where they are concealed in a short time

The Luddites have met 5 or 6 times within these 14 days at a place about 2 Miles out of the Town [west] of Huddersfield at a place called Dungeon Wood at the foot of Taylor’s hill—a meeting took place on Crossland Moor on Monday last to consult about some of their Society that had been taken up—

These are the principal parts of the information obtain’d at present.

An agent from Glascow came down to Huddersfield about Ten days ago, & put up at the Packhorse. The people at Huddersfield would not receive him as he had not he is proper credentials, he staid ‘till he sent a Glascow for them (their own letters) he is now gone back—

Disturbances to break out at Wakefield very soon—

This can be found at HO 40/2/3.

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