Monday, 20 June 2016

20th June 1816: William Bolland writes from the trials at Ely Special Commission

William Atkin}
Aaron Layton}
a second time John Dennis}
Sarah Hobbs}
John Prieke}
John Cooper}
a second time Richard Jessop}
a second time John Jefferson} Robbery at Ely on William Cooper.

Dear Beckett.

I write in Court, it is now ½ p 2. We have just convicted the above 8 men, William Beamiss was found guilty of Robbery yesterday after I had closed my letter.—We have 6 others under Trial for the Robbery of Stevens, 4 of them. Viz. Dennis, Layton Atkin and Jefferson, are already convicted. I will report the result to you provided the Verdict is brought in before 5 o'clock. The total of Capital convicts is now 18. We have some few Littleport capital offences still to try. I think we shall finish them tomorrow we shall then take a Larceny or two of bad description, and one or two Indictments for Riot.—Burrough is now summing up.

It appears to me that we shall finish on Saturday time enough perhaps to reach Cambridge.—Littleport is panic struck & the events of today will strike terror into the bad part of the Inhabitants of this place A threshingmachine was burnt at Worlington on Tuesday night, It is in Suffolk about 12 miles from hence. The crime was committed by some incendiary, who was probably alone at the time, as there was no ferment in the place. It appears from the Evidence in the different Cases that so far from distress being the cause of the riots & demands of money, the leaders of the Mob have been [purport] above want & the Money obtained instead of being divided or given to the families of the poorer sort of the persons composing the Mob, has been [distributed] at public houses very soon after it was obtained from the persons, who had been robbed of it, at least that portion of it which the Leaders did not put into their own pockets.

The Jury are out and not likely to return their Verdict on time,

In haste
Very truly
W. Bolland

Ely June 20th. 1816.

This letter can be found at HO 42/151.

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