Friday, 24 April 2015

24th April 1815: George Coldham issues a Handbill restricting freedom of assembly in Nottingham


THE MAGISTRATES of this TOWN have observed with extreme concern the disposition to Violence and Tumult which manifested itself on Wednesday evening last, and which has given fresh evidence of its continued existence, by a secret invitation to a further Assemblage of the People this Afternoon upon the Forest, with the avowed purpose, under various SPECIOUS PRETENCES of deluding the honest, the peaceable, and the well disposed, INTO A RESISTANCE TO THE CONSTITUTED AUTHORITIES OF THE COUNTRY.

Under such circumstances the Magistrates have thought it their duty to make the most effectual arrangements for the maintenance of the public tranquillity, and are fully prepared to act upon them. Previous, however, to any Appeal to the power of the Law, they are anxious to declare that it is their full purpose and resolution that no Meeting shall be held by any Person or Persons whatsoever, for the purpose stated in the written Placard posted upon the Walls of this Town, on Saturday last; and that if any such Meeting be attempted to be held on the Forest, or any other place within their Jurisdiction, they will, after this Notice, consider it as an illegal assembly, and proceed accordingly.

Whilst the magistrates, from an imperious sense of public duty, feel themselves compelled to act with Vigour and Descision, they are anxious it should be known that they are fully aware the present state of the Manufactory has occasioned and is daily occasioning scenes of the deepest Misery and Distress amongst the Labouring Artizans. In these Distresses and Privations they most sincerely sympathize, and are ready to do any thing is in their power, consistently with their duty to themselves, and to the Government and Laws under which they live, to relieve the Distresses of their Fellow-Townsmen by all the means which the Constitution has entrusted to their power. In the mean time let those Individuals, upon whom the Distresses of the Times may press hard, reflect that the inflammation of the Public mind may aggravate, but cannot alleviate their sufferings; let them consult their cooler judgment, and they must be convinced that every voice and every hand that is raised in clamour against the Farmer, the Miller, and the Flourseller, is actively employed in holding up the Price of Corn, Flour, and Bread, in the Market; and that any act of Fraud or Force carried on in violation of the Public Peace, can only tend to aggravate the very Evils it insidiously professes to alleviate.

Nottingham, Monday,
24th April, 1815.

By Order of the Magistrates,

This Handbill can be found at HO 42/144.

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