Sunday, 9 December 2012

9th December 1812: Lieutenant Cooper apprehends suspected Luddites at North Dean, near Halifax

Elland 9th [December] 1812.


I have the Honor to report my proceedings under a Search warrant that I procured from Mr. Radcliffe yesterday.

Attended by the Constables I went from Elland to North Dean at night this morning to Search four Houses, specified in the warrant, I placed a Guard on the premises of each at the same moment and am well assured from our Vigilance that nothing escaped us.

The first House research’d belong’d to a woman of the name of Hill, whose son we suspected, we found an Iron Gavlock and a Hatchet such as have been seen in the possession of the Luddites when committing their depredations. We brought them with us to Elland. the Man was not at home. the next House was Job Hay’s were we found three pounds and a quarter of Gun Powder a broken Ram Rod & an old lock of a Gun, these and some other suspicious circumstances induced me to take him into Custody along with a man whom he call’d his Servant, and who was working with Hay at the time, His name he says is James Washington. In the other Houses we found nothing to create suspicion beyond a great quantity of provision, far more than I should expect to find in the House of a poor and Honest man—The Prisoners and the things that I have seized I suppose I should take to Milnbridge and I will write to Mr. Radcliffe to know when it is convenient for him to examine them.

I have not been able to send any of my Men to Head Quarters to day and I hope you will not think me dilatory or negligent in executing your orders. I shall send ten early to morrow morning and as many the following days ‘till I have nearly changed the whole of the Detachment.

A Corporal & six Privates of the Greys have joined me this Morning. I have the Honor to be Sir,

Yr most Obdt & Most Hble Servant
Alf. Cooper Lieut.
West Suffolk Militia

P.S. North Dean is not more than a quarter of a mile from Copley Mills.

[To] Major General Acland.
&c. &c. &c.

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

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