Leicester July 9. 1816
Since writing to you yesterday we have had another visit from some Colliers—36 of them drawing an empty waggon made their appearance this morning bringing with them a certificate from some Gentleman of [Uppingham] of their having sold them wage Coals there, of their having [illegible] & being prevailed with to return to their homes at Bilston—The Town Clerk ordered the Body of them to proceed thro’ the Town without delay, & 4 of them remained as a [Deputation] to ask relief of the Magistrates at the [Exchange] this morning They prevented themselves presented themselves about an hour since they pretended to be in distress, to be on their return, & asked relief—We told them that under these circumstances they [should] have the Customary Relief afforded to Vagrants but no more, and that after receiving this if they begged or continued in the Town we [should] immediately apprehend them—We remonstrated with them on the impropriety of their conduct & told them that if they really were out of work, they had a right to require Relief from their Parish & would certainly receive it, & we recommended their immediate return with which they promised compliance & they have left the place. Had they been obstinate our apprehension of them would probably have created some interruption to the peace of the Town and we [should] have felt much more confidence in our ability to perform our duty had if a Troop of Dragoons had been at hand to assist us—Indeed from the unsettled state of the lower orders, & from other reasons I stated yesterday, I should not think myself justified if I did not recommend such assistance if it can be conveniently afforded
I beg to apologise for the haste of this letter, but I am now sitting with my Brother Magistrates, and numerous applications are making to us for relief—
I have [etc]
[To] John Beckett Esq
&c &c &c
This letter can be found at HO 42/152.