Saturday, 21 March 2015

21st March 1815: Sunderland magistrates request troops to quell riots

Sunderland 21st March 1815.

My Lord

We the undersigned Magistrates acting for this Town and district feel it our duty to inform your Lordship, that a very serious Riot took place here last Night, conducted principally by the Keelmen and Casters on the River who directed their mischief against the Staith and other Works (part of which they destroyed by Fire) belonging to Jno Douthwaite Nesham Esqr &c Coal owners and effected the destruction of a Bridge over which Coals pass, which, we are assured, cannot be repaired but at several Thousands of Pounds Expence.

As there is no military of any description here, application was made to Sir Thomas Bradford at Newcastle who immediately sent a Troop of Horse, now here. As the Men still continue to assemble and express threats of serious and alarming Nature, the apprehension of the Inhabitants of the Town is considerably excited, and we the Magistrates feel no hesitation in stating that it is our deliberate and decided Opinion, that no effectual Security can be given to the Town and Neighbourhood, considering the great population, but by the immediate and permanent Residence of some military force in the Barracks.

We have [etc]

Robt Gray
John Davison
Jno D: Nesham
G Robinson
G Stephenson
James Jackson

This letter can be found at HO 42/143.

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