Friday, 9 November 2012

9th November 1812: Earl Fitzwilliam fears the Luddites in York Castle will try to escape

Milton nov 9th 1812

My Lord

it having being intimated to me, that there were not fewer than 60 or 70 persons confined in York Castle on criminal charges, & the generality of these being Luddites, or of one organized Gang, having a numerous fraternity, implicated in many of their crimes, still at large, I have felt it my duty to enquire of the Gaoler, if he felt himself confident in his power of keeping preventing rescue, either by rising within, or attempts from without, or by both combined, an event within the reach of possibility. His answer is, that he is by no means confident, but on the contrary, that he is in constant apprehension of some disagreeable occurrence.

Under the circumstances I think it my duty to state the case to your Lordship, & in the meanwhile I shall write to Gen: Maitland to prepare him, should your Lordship have instructions for him on this subject

I have [etc]

Wentworth Fitzwilliam

[To] Viscount Sidmouth
&c &c &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/129.

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