Sunday, 19 June 2016

19th June 1816: Henry Hobhouse writes an early letter from the Special Commission

Wednesday morng

Dear Beckett,

I wrote you a short Letter yesterday in Court, stating merely our Progress, & had not time for more. I am happy to tell you that the Trial before Christian well off very well. His summing up was unexceptionable except that it was too [illegible] and too pompous. I hear that the Language he uses to his Confidants here is that he has been most ill used by the Chancellor, but I do not find that he has suggested in what way he would have had the Commission framed more respectfully towards himself. For the sake of giving daily Proofs of this Absurdity, he refuses to come into Court in the Bishops Carriage with the other Judges, & follows them alone in some Vehicle of his own Purveyance.

I am happy to learn that the Convictions of yesterday have had a very salutary Effect on the minds of the People at Littleport, which were previously very much subdued; and I trust there is no doubt that the general Result of the Commission will entirely bring about the Effect which it was the object of Government to produce.

Having heard that Mr. Dering, the Norfolk magistrate, was a friend of Mr. Justice Abbott, I took an Opportunity yesterday afternoon of speaking to him on the subject of Mr D’s recent malverisation. He told me that he had known Mr. D. from his Boyhood, & was satisfied of his being a most honourable & right intentioned man, & with Firmness sufficient to execute at any Risque any thing which he conceived to be his Duty, but not unlikely to err in a case where he has not a strong Conception of the Line which it is incumbent time to pursue. I have thought it right to state this Testimony in Mr. D’s favour for Ld. Sidmouth’s Consideration, when he finally determines on this Subject.

I have sent for the magistrate’s Clerk from Downham for the purpose of getting Information respecting the Prisoners committed from thence.

Before the Post goes out to day I will write again.

Believe me

Yrs truly

This letter can be found at HO 42/151.

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