Sunday, 19 October 2014

19th October 1814: George Coldham suggests that the government offers a reward for information about the attack on Garton

My Lord

On the part of the Secret Committee to whom I have the honor to be Secretary, I am desired to request that your Lordship will have the goodness to direct the immediate attention of the Government of the Prince Regent to the dreadful nature of the late Attack upon Thomas Garton with a deliberate and determined purpose to murder him and the cruel and wicked sacrifice of the life of John Kilby upon the same Occasion.—This Committee are determined to Reward the Constables engaged in this Service in the most liberal manner, they have directed me to give a most liberal Reward to the person from whom I derived my information.—Thomas Garton and his family must the present rest entirely upon them for support, and I calculate their immediate expences occasioned by these combined circumstances to exceed very much the sum of £100.—Under these circumstances, the Secret Committee feel themselves fully warranted to solicit from his Lordship and his Majesty's Government that they would be pleased to offer a reward of £200 or such further Reward as they may judge expedient to any person or persons who may give information of the persons who committed this murder or who were engaged in the Attack upon Mr. Garton’s house whether with the intention of murdering Mr. Garton or of breaking the Frames in his house and offering Pardon to any one or more of accomplices who may be disposed to give evidence against the principals concerned therein if such offer can be made consistently with the forms of Law and the course of conduct usual on such occasions.—The Secret Committee hope your Lordship will deem it no more than proper that under the peculiar circumstances of this Case these Rewards should be offered not only in the name but actually with the intention of being paid by his Majesty's Government.—The Secret Committee have already independent of the expences arising out of the present circumstances, expanding a much more considerable sum in the course of the execution of the duties entrusted to them and their Constituents and they have now the charge of two very heavy Prosecutions at the Assizes which must occasion a further expenditure to a very considerable extent.—I take the liberty of stating to your Lordship that the propriety of offering a Reward must be in a great measure determined by a view to the circumstances in which the Secret Committee is placed, and that it appears to me to be essential that it should be done quite independent of the expectation of any future good to arise out of it, because if worded judiciously it seems to me, that it would Operate as a Shield to our Informant which is admirably calculated admirably calculated to protect him from Suspicion whether the Eyes of these miscreants be fixed upon him with relation to the Past or the future.—I shall hope to hear your Lordship’s sentiments on this subject in order that I may as soon as possible communicate them to the Secret Committee for their Government.—

I am [etc]

Geo Coldham Ssecretary—

Nottingham
19 Octr 1814

[To] The Rt Honble Lord Sidmouth.

This letter can be found at HO 42/141.

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