Sunday, 5 October 2014

5th October 1814: Letter from 'General Ludd' to 'the Editor of the Nottingham Review'

GENERAL LUDD

TO THE EDITOR OF THE NOTTINGHAM REVIEW

Sir—I take the liberty of dropping you a few lines to inform you of the good fortune of one of my sons, who is come to very high honor. You must know that some time ago, owing to a little imprudent conduct, my eldest son, NED, decamped, and enlisted into his Majesty’s service, and as he was notorious for heroism and honorable enterprize, he was entrusted with a commission to exercise his prowess against the Americans, and I am happy to say he has acquitted himself in a way which will establish his fame to generations yet unborn.

I assure you, Mr. Editor, I scarcely know how to keep my feeling within bounds, for while all our former and united efforts in breaking frames, &c, were commented upon with some severity, and in a way which cast an odium upon my character and that of my family, I now find the scales are turned, and our enemies are converted into friends; they sing a new tune to an old song, and the mighty deeds of my son are trumpeted forth in every loyal paper in the kingdom. My son is not now confined to the breaking of a few frames, having the sanction of government, he can now not only wield his great hammer to break printing presses and types, but he has a licence to set fire to places and property which he deems obnoxious, and now and then even a little private pillage is winked at. Even the GAZETTE EDITOR at Mr. Tupman's who was formerly one of my greatest enemies, and threatened to pursue both me and my family to the uttermost, is now in my favor, and is to become a patron, and an admirer of my son, on account of his achievements in Washington. There is one thing though in the conduct of this Gentleman which has created me some little uneasiness; a few weeks ago he strongly recommended to the magistrates to offer a very large reward, to any person who would disclose our secret system of operation in this neighbourhood: he went so far as to say 5000l. ought to be offered; enough he said to enable the informer to live independent in another country, intimating such a character would not be considered as a proper person for the society of this country, and therefore he would emigrate to seek other associates. I hope it is not true that this notorious Editor has any secrets to disclose about me and my family, and that he is waiting for this large reward to be offered, that he may avail himself of such an opportunity of making his fortune, and fleeing his country. Now, I really think, as my son has become truly loyal, and is working for his country's good, and all under the sanction of the Crown, and as his achievements have been of the first rate, "old grievances ought not to be repeated;" though, bye the bye, I am of opinion that all which I and my son have done in Nottingham and neighbourhood, is not half so bad as what my son has done in America; but then you know he has supreme orders, from indisputable authority, for his operations in America, and that makes all the difference.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
GENERAL LUDD

Ludd Hall, October 5, 1814.

This letter was published in the Nottingham Review of 14th October 1814.

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