Saturday, 2 March 2013

2nd March 1813: Thomas Shillitoe visits the families of Thomas Smith, Nathan Hoyle & James Hey, and meet Joshua Schofields

On Tuesday 2nd March 1813, the Quaker missionary, Thomas Shillitoe, continued his visits to the families of the Luddites executed at York, accompanied again by Joseph Wood:
Third-day, accompanied by John King and James Lees, Friends of Brighouse meeting, we proceeded to Sutcliffe-wood-bottom, to sit with the parents of Thomas Smith, his sister, and her husband—he also suffered for rioting. At the time I was engaged in addressing the company, a young man opened the door, came in, and immediately left again; on which I felt a stop against proceeding, and was obliged to request the young man might be sought for to give us his company, which taking place, I was able to proceed. This young man's mind became so wrought upon in the opportunity, that it became evident to all present. After having closed what I had given me for the family, my mouth was again opened with nearly these words:—"It is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps aright, the Lord alone must have the ordering of them, who does at times order our steps, but we know it not; which appears to me to have been the case this day with the young man who came in amongst us;" after which, my companion addressed him in a very feeling manner. After the opportunity was over, he walked with us a short distance: his mind appeared much broken, and under a remarkable visitation. He told my companion, he had been apprehended with the rest of the prisoners, and confined in the castle, but was discharged on bail; that he was twenty-two years of age, and his name was Joshua Schofield; that he knew nothing of our being in the house, nor could tell what brought him there, as he had no business with the family.

In the afternoon we went to Scar-coat-green. Our first visit was to the widow and five children of Nathaniel Hoyle—he suffered for robbery: they lived with her aged father and sister, who sat with us, and who appeared to be under great difficulty themselves, to procure the necessaries of life: their situation to us appeared to be a very pitiable one. We next proceeded to the house of James [Hey], who left a widow, not twenty-one years of age, and two children: the sufferer's parents gave us their company; we were favoured with a comfortable time together. We went into the cottage of the parents; had a satisfactory opportunity with two brothers of the sufferer, and then proceeded to Hand-green: the father of James [Hey] very acceptably gave us his company.

This is from Shillitoe (1839, p.187).

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