Monday, 15 October 2012

15th October 1812: A government legal advisor expresses concerns to the Home Secretary about the prisoners at York Castle

Ramsgate
15 Octr. 1812

My Lord

During my late Attendance upon Lieutenant General Maitland at Wakefield he mentioned to me — and desired I would communicate your Lordship — his Apprehension that sufficient caution was not exercised respecting the Commitment of Offenders in that Neighbourhood to the County Gaol — In consequence of which he would probably be found that the Prosecutions against several so committed, must fail — And imputations would be thrown out against Government to which they ought not to be exposed—

The only Remedy for this which suggested itself to the General was — That some Person of Experience in such Matters should be appointed on the Part of Government to consider the case of every Person apprehended in that Neighbourhood for any Offence which was properly an Object of public Prosecution and the Nature of the Evidence against him – previous to commitment — And that it should be distinctly understood that no Prosecution would be carried on at the publick Expence. but against such prisoners as should be committed with the Approbation of the Person so appointed—

I thought I should bring this Matter will distinctly under your Lordship’s Notice by Letter than by a verbal communication — I hope therefore that You will excuse this Trouble from, my Lord—

Your Lordship's very obedient
and very humble Servant
Hen Dealtry

[To: Lord Sidmouth]
This letter can be found at HO 42/128. Dealtry was Clerk of the Rules at the Crown Office.

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