Stockport 23 July 1816
I have since my return from the Sessions seen Mr. Middleton who says he has not heard any more from the man he alluded to—
I have the honor to inclose a Copy of memorial which I found posted in the Town—and I am sorry to learn that many of the more respectable Inhabitants than the original promoters have been induced to add their signatures:—without reflecting that the spinning of Cotton is what gives employment to nearly half our population; & the prohibition of Twist wou’d have a [tendency] to improve Machinery abroad, and a rivality be the consequence—I have seen some of these Gentlemen and warned others—for it must end in disappointment to those whose hopes of relief are derived from this [illegible]
Joseph Sherwin & Simon Lilly are the two principal weavers soliciting subscriptions of names & Sums of money. They have already received an answer from the Treasury signed by Mr. Lushington that ought to have set them at rest: but I perceive that their object is raising a little money for their own purposes—
I remember upon a former occasion, when news was brought to Town of similar memorials or Petitions failing of their affect there was almost a simultaneous rising of the weavers who went forth to stop people in the County from weaving at all—I apprehended, by the assistance of some of the 6th Dragoons, 62 at one time & by special Constables 60 more—Several of whom were tried at Chester for riot and various Offences, by directions from the Treasury—I have reminded the incautious manufacturers of the evil resulting from a temporizing mode of acting, with Characters so soon inflamed, and so prone to misconceive the true interest of themselves & the nation—
I have [etc]
[To] J. Beckett Esqr
This letter can be found at HO 42/152.