Sunday, 3 January 2016

3rd January 1816: The remaining Halifax 'Twisters' are given Free Pardons

On Wednesday 3rd January 1816, the prisoners William Blakeborough, George Duckworth & Charles Milnes were all given a Free Pardon & set free from the Prison Hulks at Portsmouth.

The three men had all been convicted of administering an illegal oath to an undercover agent in Halifax during the height of the Luddite disturbances in West Yorkshire in 1812. At their trial in early 1813, they and two others had been found guilty and sentenced to transportation, but the sentences were not carried out, and they had remained aboard the prison hulks. During that time, two of the prisoners - John Baines the elder and John Baines the junior - had died in captivity.

Little is known about the circumstances surrounding the Pardons, as any relevant paperwork does not appear in the Home Office documents for this period, other than a note recording the date of the pardon applied to all three men in the Prison Hulk Register.

The Prison Hulk register is at HO 9/8.

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