[Sent to the Home Office on 22nd July 1816]
To the Right Honble Viscount Sidmouth His Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Home – Department.
We, the undersigned, Visitor, Guardians, Church-Wardens, and Overseers of the Poor, of the Parish of Hinckley, in the County of Leicester;—beg leave, again to address your Lordship, and through you, his Majesty's Government; to inform you, that the Evils, which we anticipated, in our Letter to your Lordship, some weeks since, and now unhappily realised; & that it is totally out of our power to meet the difficulties, by which we are surrounded—
With a View to the Employment of the Poor, a Subscription was lately raised by the Inhabitants, amounting to upwards of 3000£, which will be exhausted, in a few days, from the heavy demands that have been made upon it.
At a Meeting of the Parishioners, held the 17th of this Month—It appeared that, on the lowest calculation, out of a population of six thousand Souls, about one half must have parochial relief; which, at the most scanty pittance, will far exceed 200£ per Week.!
During last month, Levies have been granted, at the rate of three shillings in the pound, which, it is impossible, to collect—And when the “Subscription for “the Employment of the Poor” is expended, which must very soon happen, between seven and eight hundred persons will be thrown out of Work!!!
The Parish of Hinckley contains about twelve hundred families; almost one half of which, it is believed, must have relief; and nearly a moiety of the remainder are, on account of their poverty excused paying the Poor rates; and the other three hundred families, that now pay them, are continually decreasing, from the Stagnation of Trade, & the great Pressure of the Payments.
It must be evident to your Lordship, from this Statement, that we live in a Situation of Painful Anxiety, and Fearful Apprehension of the probable Consequences of such a great number of Persons being without work, without bread, or, the usual means of obtaining it!!!
In this Awful and Appalling Crisis, your Lordship’s Advice is earnestly solicited, and will be esteemed a great favour, by your Lordship’s very obt and humble Servants
[John] Blakeley – Visitor
Samuel Goode} Guardians
Wm Metham} Overseers
Wm Ashby} Churchwardens
Hinckley July 1816
This document can be found at HO 42/152.