Friday, 27 March 2015

27th March 1815: George Coldham writes to John Beckett about the trial of James Towle

Private and Confidential.

Dear Sir

Independent of my letter to Lord Sidmouth and of my formal letter to you, I think it right to inform you confidentially and with a view also to Lord Sidmouth’s further information on this subject by desire of the Secret Committee in consequence of my former personal communication with you respecting this Trial, that previous to the Trial threats had been issued out against the Witnesses for the prosecution, and that they had gone so far as to threaten to shoot Thomas Garton in Court if the Prisoner was found guilty.―I could not bring my mind to believe it was probable that these threats will be executed, but I thought it not prudent utterly to disregard them, and in consequence I applied to the County Magistrates and our Witnesseses had a road made them in and out of Court in Security from the County Hall.—I dispersed Constables in every part of the Court to report the language and demeanour of the people, and I am now sure, if our Witnesses had gone into Court by the Common avenue one half of them would have been forced out of their places by the Crowd and prevented attending one Witness was served so, and I thought as he was not of importance it was more eligible to submit, to the loss of his testimony than to hazard his reporting the state of our Case to our opponents who wanted only to know all our facts to raise up persons to negative them. Grocock was an Accomplice ready to swear anything if his own safety had not been at Stake. This Acquittal is a most lamentable circumstance as it has raised up and given existence to a Conspiracy which I firmly believe the Conviction of the Prisoner would have put an end to for the present if not for ever.—In the mean time I am desired to request his Lordship’s attention to the Situation in which the Secret Committee now stands – the Nottingham Branch of that Committee have, independent of the expences incurred by their Coadjutors in London, incurred an expence of about £600.—The expences of the present Prosecution, I see upon making up my Account in it will amount to about £160 independent of about £40 already expended in supporting Thomas Garton since the attempt to murder him, independent of the further expences he may be to them and independent of a weekly expence of £2:2:0 constantly for a single Agent besides other contingencies on the same Account to a considerable extent.—Under the circumstances the Committee have in the first instance determined to apply to the Clerk of Assize for an allowance of their expence as a common Prosecution for Felony under which they will receive some part at least of their Expence, and I shall then be desired to apply for the remainder to Sir Nathaniel Conant in consequence of what was confidentially understood between us when I was in London in December last.—In the mean time Thomas Garton's life is not safe here, he is a man of very excellent Character, can read and write, is very capable of any Employment which requires no other Talents than those of Punctuality, Integrity Order and Attention and placed as they are with referrence to him the Secret Committee have desired me to state you, but they mean to apply to Lord Sidmouth unless you see any reasons to prevent it, to obtain for him a situation as one of the Messengers or Porters at some one of the Public Offices.—He has served his Majesty either 5 or 7 Campaigns in the Militia and is a most loyal as well as a courageous and tried man in whom the most complete confidence can be placed, at present he is necessarily wholly dependent upon the Committee his business having been ruined by the Prosecution.—I should however in the mean time wish to know what would be the value of such a situation as he is a married man with one or two Children, and if he could be placed where he could maintain himself, some small Shop might enable his wife to assist rather than the dilapidate the resources for the support of her family.

I will entreat an early and will hope for a favorable answer to this request.—

I am
Dear Sir
your’s sincerely & obediently and respectfully
Geo Coldham

27 March 1815

[To: John Beckett]

This letter can be found at HO 42/143.

No comments:

Post a Comment