Wednesday, 25 September 2013

25th September 1813: Joseph Radcliffe is made a Baronet

On Saturday 25th September 1813, Joseph Radcliffe, the West Riding magistrate and Luddite-baiter was made a Baronet. Nine months earlier, General Maitland had essentially blocked the possibility when it was openly mooted by Earl Fitzwilliam, but with the West Riding bourgeoisie lobbying for recognition for Radcliffe and Maitland out of the way in Malta, there was now no impediment to bestowing the title upon Radcliffe.

It was widely reported that the title was official recognition for his efforts to suppress Luddim in the West Riding, but less so that the government waived Radcliffe's 'expenses' that would usually be due: with the Lancaster Gazette stating that 'this is the only patent passed gratuitously for civil services for a century or more'.

A Baronetcy is an hereditary honour, and the current Radcliffe baronet is Sebastian Everard Radcliffe, 7th Baronet.

The London Gazette of 25th Sepetember contained the news of Radcliffe's Baronetcy. The Lancaster Gazette of 4th December 1813 carried the news that honour was free of expenses.

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