I had yesterday the honor to receive your Letter of the fourth Instant saying that a correspondent of Mr Lord Sidmouth’s have communicated to His Lordship that the inhabitants of the village where the outrage happened neglected to give the slightest intimation of what happened to any one person, who had he been apprised of it might have possibly discovered the Parties.—although the Military who were Stationed near the place for the special purpose of its protection if called upon, were at hand on all sides of it ready to give assistance. This instance of supineness appears to His Lordship to exceed any thing of the sort which has come to His Lordship's knowledge, & he hopes will impress upon the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, that unless they shew more activity in similar occasions, it will be quite impossible to expect that the means afforded by Government for their protection can be effectual for the purpose. Then you mention having inclosed an abstract taken from the Letter which Lord Sidmouth had received upon this occasion. to which I answer that what is called a village, is two stragling Townships, surrounded by a strong party of soldiers at Huddersfield about a mile & an half to two miles from the nearest houses first robbed & under the Eye of the most active of vigilant Officer, Genl Acland, the next station is Elland four miles off, the other station is Brighouse nearly the same distance. The Robbery was on Sunday Night & the next morning two of the Persons robbed came to give the information, as [provided] herewith sent on this I summoned the five others & have also inclosed their information is. Lt. Cooper of the suffolk, quartered at Elland, apprehended three suspicious Characters & brought them before me, agt. whom nothing could be positively proved. I have two more remanded for further examination & one other my warrant went out to apprehend yesterday. in fact my time during all last week has been taken up in attending to this business, & when any thing effectual family made out, Mr. Alison, or Mr. Lloyd, shall transmit the particulars to Lord Sidmouth. By the examination herewith, sent, His Lordship will observe the terror impressed on the minds of the poor inhabitants, by the threats of the armed Robbers.—& am, Sir,
Decr 7th, 1812—
[To John Beckett]
This letter can be found at HO 42/130.