Friday, 28 December 2012

28th December 1812: Days before George Mellor's trial, Joseph Mellor is attacked twice in the same evening

George Mellor's cousin, Joseph, was due to give evidence at George's Trial at the York Special Commission, which would commence in but a few days time.

At 10.00 p.m. on Monday 28th December, Joseph was riding his horse home, and about to enter Dungeon Wood when he was accosted by up to two people. One of them grabbed the bridle of his horse, but Joseph lashed out at the person, making them loosen their grip - he then spurred his horse and rode home at speed.

An hour later, having calmed down, he went out into his garden at home for a smoke of his pipe. Suddenly, he heard the crack of a pistol or musket, and in an instant the sound of a bullet striking the wall near to him. Terrified, he quickly ran back inside.

Someone wanted to either kill or intimidate Joseph - one way or the other, they didn't want him to give evidence at his Cousin's trial. Within a day, General Acland had posted a guard at his house.

This is taken from a letter from General Acland to General Maitland dated 29th December 1812, which can be found at HO 40/2/8. A brief report, with details of only the shot being fired and not the incident in the Wood, can be found in the Leeds Mercury of 2nd January 1813.

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