Friday, 31 May 2013

31st May 1813: A copy of the Luddite oath is discovered at a Coaching Inn in London

The Castle & Falcon on Aldersgate Street, London

Marlbro’ St
May 31 - 1813

Dear Sir

The inclosed paper was given to me yesterday by a Gentleman, who found it amongst some Papers belonging to a Servant, whom he has lately Discharged for dishonesty — It appears to be a copy of the Oath taken by the Luddites, & the Person named on the Back seems to be referred to, as being in some way connected with them — the Castle & Falcon in Aldersgate St. where he is said to be waiter, is principally frequented I believe by Carriers & Travellers from the North — I have thought it right to communicate the circumstance to you that farther enquiry may be made if it should be thought necessary — I have the Honor to be

Dear Sir
Your very Obed Servant
Bob Baker

[To] John Beckett Esqr. &c &c.

[The oath is below]

of my own Voluntary will do Declare and Solemnly swear that I never will reveal to any person or persons in any place or places under the Canopy of Heaven the manner of any of the person composing the secret Committee either by word, Deed, or Action sign or by Address mark, Committee either by word Deed Complextion or any other things leading to the Discovery of the same under the penalty of Being put out of the world by the first Brother whom I may meet and of having my name and Character Blotted out of existence or never remembered But with Contempt and ignominy — and I do further Sware that I will use my utmost Endeavour to punish with Death any traitor or traitors who may rise up against us though he should fly to the verge of existence I will pursue with unceasing Vengeance

[On reverse]

So help me G to keep this Oath inviolate

A B 90 Bartholomew close

Mr [Brown] Castle Falken
Waiter Aldersgate St

This letter can be found at HO 42/133.

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