Saturday, 10 May 2014

10th May 1814: George Coldham sends more intelligence about the FWK Union to the Home Secretary

10th May 1814.

My Lord,

I have heard nothing since my last Letter to your Lordship — either from Simon Orgill or Mr Storey of Lockington as I expected what is the reason of it I do not know but it is very likely that more time has been required to concert the matters that I was aware could be required for that purpose. In the meantime thro’ a secret & confidential channel Alderman Ashwell has learnt & Desires me to communicate the same to your Lordship that the Sum collected the week before last by the Union Society in Nottingham alone amounted to £115. It appears that when any Men turn out as it is called against their Masters that the Club furnished them with Subsistence & that about a Fortnight ago they stopped all the Workmen of the House of Ray & Co & gave them subsistence upon Condition that they did not deliver in their Work to their Employers. Mr Ashwell's Informant states to him that Latham is not as Mr Allsopp imagined one of the present Conductors of the Business of the Club here he having left the Town and ceased to reside here. It is stated to him with considerable confidence that the Plan of the Association has been settled by Counsel of great Eminence by Sir Samuel Romilly and Mr Samuel Marryatt to whom perhaps your Lordship could apply & that they have the most entire confidence in the legality of such of their forms of Association as may meet the publick Eye. I suspect that these forms of gone thro’ the Hands of Mr Bond of Leicester & from him to the Gentleman thro’ the Hands of our own Agents Messrs Bleasdale & Alexander of New Inn unless some of the Society have taken them personally to the Council & conferred with them personally for the purpose of cutting off the chance of tracing the connection. From this Informants Account Simpson seems to be the prime Conductor & Manager of the Accounts here and to be the Secretary & Man of Business of the Society. He lives in King’s Place Woolpack Lane, Nottingham & is a Frameworknitter – having a standing for a single Frame for his own work in Parliament Street Nottingham at which he does not do any portion of work as could maintain him—It is therefore very manifest that he is supported by the Society's Funds. He is a very orderly quiet man of very sober Habits and there is no doubt he keeps the Accounts of the Society & receives & pays all the money collected & disbursed on Account there of which must be very considerable as all the Lace & Plain Silk Hands in short the whole Range & compass of the Lace & Hosiery Manufactory is in the Combination. I have hopes to obtain more Information from this quarter & from another Channel of Information which will be immediately communicated to me. It is inconceivable the Difficulty there is in getting any Frameworknitters upon whom you can depend to obtain information for you, & no other person can be of the smallest use.

I am [etc]

Geo Coldham

This letter can be found at HO 42/139.

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