I have the honor to transmit to you copies of Informations taken against a man of the name of George Bowring some little time ago respecting some seditious Expressions uttered by him at a public house in this Town, and which, owing to the presence of military characters, it cou’d not and ought not to be overlooked.
He was consequently taken up under a Warrant obtained from the revd. C. Prescot, our resident magistrate, who directed him to find Bail – and not being able to do so, he was committed to Chester Castle where he now remains; and, if you direct it, may be indicted at the next Assizes, or
required by the may consent in court to enter into Recognizance for his future good behaviour, but certainly some notice must be taken and the reasons I have stated.
I was aware it wou’d be required of me to state further circumstances for you to form your Judgement upon, and I have therefore made such enquiries, as struck me to be necessary.
Bowring followed the Trade of a master Butcher in a small way, at a populous village in Derbyshire called New Mills 8 miles from this Town — a place notorious for profligacy of manners and formerly for disaffection to the Government. (but which latter I shod hope cannot generally now prevail even there.)—I have been informed he has been in the habit of drinking the Toast charged agt him altho’ he has been cautioned & warned of the impropriety & the consequences—It seems he had hitherto been encouraged by the impunity—He has a Brother, keeping a public house here who refused to bail him He (the Prisr) is not a very drunken man—but was somewhat in liquor at the time he uttered the words—however he was at that time cautioned by those present that anticipated the words of the intended Toast to be seditious; and upon the whole I have found that he is an object for chastisement — and shod the
great Government Law Officers not recommend the prosecution at the public expence I will take some steps to keep him under alarm, till with a view to his being placed under a Recognizance at least. I have the honor
to remain Sir
Your very obedt & hb Sert
[To] J Beckett Esq
This letter can be found at HO 42/135. The deposition which Lloyd enclosed had the prisoner's name as William Bowring. His offence was to state "Damnation to the House of Brunswick and a speedy downfall to it."