Thursday, 20 October 2016

20th October 1816: The Duke of Rutland updates the Home Secretary about James Towle

By the 20th of October 1816, it had been reported in the press that were James Towle to succeed in his forthcoming appeal that the original indictment against him was incorrectly made, another correctly drafted one would be laid against him.



Cheveley Park 20th Oct. 1816

My Dear Lord

I felt much indebted to your Lordship, for the Information communicated to me by your letter of the 10th Inst, on the interesting subject of our late correspondence. Your Lordship, with some accustomed ability, and zeal for the public Service, has placed the matter in the best track, & whatever may be the final Result, of the Proceedings which have been adopted, I am confident that the Importance of the subject, will ensure my excuse, in having brought it before you. Mr Pochin has no doubt informed your Lordship of the Interview which he has had with Towle, since he quitted London, and of the manner in which the Culprit received an Intimation, of the Intention to prefer another Indictment against him, in the event that the Validity of the Objection waged against the former one. Notwithstanding the Paroxysm of Passion into which Towle fell, or that on that occasion, Mr Pochin has still hopes that when his disappointment has subsided, & he has again become calm, it may be possible to bring him to the desired point.—

Your Lordship has I understand, been made acquainted with the Establishment of a “Hampden Club” at Leicester, to the Motives, the Objects, and possible results of which, the Magistrates of that place look with considerable apprehension. Such an Institution, will I fear be a rallying point, for the idle and the disaffected, and it would be very satisfactory to know that there is in existence any Act of Parliament by which its formation can be prohibited, and checked in the bud—At this particular Moment such an Establishment must be regarded with more than ordinary Jealousy for your Lordship is, I am confident, aware of the uneasy state of the Country, arising from the universal distress which pervades all classes, and from the stagnation of Employment among the lower orders. The latter Cause has been less active since the commencement of the Harvest, and indeed the accompanying document, which will shew your Lordship the amended Situation of very considerable Manufacturing Town, is satisfactory as far as it goes, but it is feared that the Improvement will be but temporary, and the winter months are expected with Apprehension by many, and with Anxiety by all. The Landed Interest is exerting itself to the utmost in various parts of the Country, for the Support and Employment of the Poor who are out of Work, and it is self Evident, that the Relief which is afforded by Employment, is far preferable to that which is derived from increased Poor Rates. But the depressed state of the Landed Interest must cripple and weaken its efforts, especially while the Poor Laws, which press almost exclusively upon the Land, continue to be a burden of such serious and increasing Magnitude. I have been asked by several Gentlemen, whether the Government have it not in contemplation to adopt some measures for the Relief of the Agriculturalists, but this is a point of so much delicacy, and so crowded with difficulties, that it would ill become one to do more than to mention the Circumstance. On the whole I am strongly induced to hope that those parts of the State Machine, whose action is at present impeded and disordered, will gradually [illegible] their tone but this desirable object may not, & probably will not

[The rest of the letter is missing]

This letter can be found at HO 42/154. The letter seems to have been marked 'extract' by Home Office clerks because the final page or pages are missing.

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