Sunday, 14 April 2013

14th April 1813: A West Riding magistrate sends earl Fitzwilliam the confession of an absconded Luddite

Halifax 1813 April 14th

My Lord,

I did myself the Honor of writing to your Lordship a week ago, inclosing a full Description of the Forty one who had taken the Oath of Allegiance before me. I now write to you concerning Samuel Hill, an unfortunate Luddite, who yesterday confess’d before me, & took the oath. He is Brother to John Hill executed at York under the Authority of the late Special Commission — & whose Crimes were Burglary, & Stealing of Arms. You will naturally enquire, why have I taken his Oath & Confession as late in the Day. I answer, I was prevailed upon to do so by the strong Recommendation of Mr Dyson a very respectable Gentleman in my Parish. I told Mr D. that I could do nothing at all for the Man, but that I would lay the Case before your Lordship. The subject has occasion’d much Conversation between Mr D & me. The Substance of it, is contained in the enclosed Letter which he wrote to me. I also inclose the original Confession — On perusing it, along with Mr D's Letter, you will act as you think proper. The Cause of the delaying to take the Oath is explained in his Confession.

I have ventured to say thus far – that if your Lordship cou’d be assured of the Man's future good Behaviour, you might not be unwilling to interpose in his behalf. I strongly inculcated upon him the absolute Necessity of good & peaceable Conduct, for that his life was now at Stake. If I shou’d be honored with your Lordship's Answer in any Degree favorable to the poor Man's earnest Intreaties, he wou’d thereby be relieved from great Anxiety — Mr Dyson, if I may so say, will be his Surety.

Mr D. is a Gentleman living upon his Fortune, & has long been a Captain in our Halifax Militia – the Grenadiers.

I have [etc]
Hylom Coulthurst

[To] Rt. Honble Earl Fitzwilliam.

Samuel Hill of Northdean in Elland Farmer and Cotton Spinner was guilty of stealing Arms at Copley Gate in Skircoat in Company with Job Hey, John Hill, and Hartley all of whom were executed for that Offence. He the said Samuel Hill was also guilty of an attack upon Mr. Waterhouses Mill last winter in company with Job Hey, and others who compelled him by Terror to join them having threatened to shoot him, if he did not go with them—

Samuel Hill also says that he was at the Attack upon William Barker's House in Sowerby during the last Winter along with the aforesaid Job Hey, and Crowther and others, and joined them under the like Fear of his Life as before—These are all the Offences which he has committed during the late unhappy Tumults in the West Riding and the County of York—He has taken no unlawful Oath. The said Samuel Hill hath been induced to commit these crimes by reason of his living next Door Neighbour to the aforesaid Job Hey. The Reason of his not making this confession sooner, is this, On the Apprehension of his Brother John Hill who was afterwards executed, the said Samuel Hill fled to Sea and was there in the Merchant service and did not return from till the sixth of April instant, and took an early Opportunity of making this confession before the Reverend Doctor Coulthurst, and of taking the Oath of Allegiance—

Taken before me this thirteenth
Day of April one Thousand
Eight Hundred and thirteen

Samuel Hill

Hylom Coulthurst

At the same time he also took the Oath of Allegiance for me

Both the confession & Coulthurst's letter can be found at HO 42/133.

No comments:

Post a Comment