Wednesday, 20 February 2013

20th February 1813: William Hay lauds informers and spies to General Acland

Ackworth 20th Feby 1813.

My dear Sir,

Sir Francis Wood (who is confined to his bed with the gout) yesterday evening sent me over your letter of the 25th instant, wishing that I would consider it. We feel much obliged by Genl Maitland's & your kind offer of continuing a detachment at Pontefract. I understand that there is at present a considerable Store of Ammunition there which it would not be adviseable to leave without guard. Some correspondence is carrying between Sir F. Wood & Lord Fitzwilliam on the subject of applying for a more regular Depôt than we now have: I therefore think, that for the present, it would be adviseable for the Riding to avail itself of the offer you have been so good as to make, assuring you that as soon as any thing is determined in respect of the new Depôt, or any change takes place respecting the deposit of Arms, you shall be informed.

The time of my journey from Manchr was so limited, that I was not able to call at Milnsbridge, as I had fully intended. What I heard at Huddersfield was certainly very encouraging and I should hope may be lasting. I understand that some attempt has been made in respect of Walker the Evidence. Surely he can never be so fool hardy as to continue in his Old neighbourhood! If he is impressed that he is safe, I should think most others will be so. We have a last closed with Fleming, the witness against the 38: he has been paid for his trouble &c and with liberty to settle with his family, wherever he pleases. His wishes were ridiculous – wanted an ensigns commission &c &c – but this being out of the question, a sum was paid him; & the public has done its duty fully. I suspect that he will remain in Manchester—It is quite delightful to those who witnessed the triumphant ground on which McDonald stood at York, to read the report of the case as it is now printed. He certainly rose powerfully in proportion as he found how weak Mr. Brougham was on his Cross Examination – I know that it will give you pleasure to hear that (unless some new cause has arisen) John is free of incarceration. I applied for a pardon as soon as I got to Manchester, and saw our friend in all apparent freedom – seemingly returned to his old Habits. He had no expectation of this – and when Dunstan told him that he had orders to Liberate him [Shan] was quite overcome, & would not believe it. I have only to add my best wishes. I expect to be at Wakefield soon, when I hope to be so fortunate as to meet with you. I am, Dr. Sir,

Your faithful & obedt humble servant
WR Hay

[To] Majr Genl Acland

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

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