Monday, 12 May 2014

[After 11th] May 1814: George Coldham proposes suspending licenses for Public Houses to disrupt FWK Union meetings


Dear Sir.

I have written to Lord Sidmouth by the Direction of the Magistrates of Nottingham by this Post on the Subject of their proposed procedure in relation to the General Annual Renewal of the Licences. On Tuesday it had been nearly Detemined that we should on the Wednesday commence by an Examination of every Victualler as to the Clubs &c kept at his House & there appeared a very unanimous Opinion that the Good to arise from such a mode of procedure would over balance the Inconvenience. Previous to our Meeting on Wednesday I called upon Mr Alsopp thinking by no means an improper subject upon which to have the advantage of his Judgement. Mr Alsopp seemed decidedly unimpressed with the notion that we were in Danger by this line of acting of exciting a Terror on the part of the Associates which would or might render them so far to change their places of meeting as to render useless the Degree of Information on this subject of which we are at present possessed & that if it is Drove them from the Publick to private it would be more likely to veil their future proceedings from us—I communicated this opinion to Mr Ashwell & my Brothers & upon in consequence we agreed to suspend the Licences for a week in order to have an opportunity of obtaining in the meantime Lord Sidmouth’s Judgement upon this point & with a Determination to be regulated thereby. I since understand from Alderman Ashwell that Mr Alsopp has considered softened in the Degree at least of his objection to this measure if he has not changed it into one which is confined to the mode & manner in which the Investigation should be conducted. But I think it not impossible that Lord Sidmouth may hear from this on the subject. I think that I can procure Information here from a Frameworknitter if I can be authorized to pass him so much as would nearly support him here in Nottingham. He can be Depended upon & I therefore wish you to counsell Lord Sidmouth & to learn from him if I may look to remuneration as to any Sums of Money I can expend in this way I am also embarked in an Expence with two of our confidential Constables here in some matters from which I expect very important & favourable results in obtaining Information I will thank you to let me know whether I may expect to be repaid what I may pay them on this Account. I am sure that from their Connection with me none can command their Services so effectually or at a more reasonable rates of compensation

I am Dear Sir
Your’s most faithfully & obedly
Geo Coldham

[To John Beckett]

This letter can be found at HO 42/139.

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