Monday 24 October 2016

24th October 1816: Informer's report on Nottinghamshire Luddites

24th October 1816

I went to Arnold last Thursday and saw Fell and Joe Gelthorpe and told them what Green had said, that the Arnold Chaps were expected to go to Bulwell and break the wife Frames there—Fell said he thought they could not get as many as would be necessary to do it as many of the Arnold Chaps would not go with Ned White, whom he said would go any time, but he said he would mention it to them—Gelsthorpe said he would go, and Fell said he would—I was there again yesterday morning and Fell and Gelsthorpe said they had mentioned it but could only get six to go, but that they had no Fire Arms and requested to be provided with some and they would go on Sunday night if they could have other assistance.—They said they could get plenty to go and smash every thing in the House of Industry, and that it had been agreed upon to be done, but the time not fixed.—I am to see Fell again on Saturday either at Nottingham at the Kingston's Arms, or at Arnold to know what assistance can be given them and what Arms can be furnished to them.—I was with Badder last Tuesday at the Goat—He said I expected a Job at your Town last night, that all the Frames were broke—that the Basford Chaps had fetched all the Tackle (viz. the Arms) to do it on Monday night and he could not think the reason why it was not done but it must between then and next Sunday night and he desired me to call upon Bradley and enquire.—I saw him again last night and then he told me they were [through] making Rattles at Nottingham and were going to Watch and Ward again but he'd be damned if they must not be shot—I told him that the Arnold Chaps had determined to destroy all the Frames and things in the House of Industry at Bulwell—He said it must be done but there was no such thing as giving them any assistance from Nottingham, on account of the Constables who were watching at nights and they (the Ludds) could not get back in the night undiscovered—We were together at the Unicorn last night till about 11 and then Badder went and I staid till 2 or 3 and 4 or 5 others playing at Whist in the parlour—The Constables came and knocked at the door several times, and asked for the door to be opened and said somebody were playing at Cards there—The Landlord denied it and said he had only his own family there and refused to open the door to any body—We went out at the Back door—Those that I played with were not Ludds—Two of them were Bakers—The Constables said the last time they came stopped an hour I think until we left some of them followed me down the Street but I ran and they did not get to speak to me—We should have stopped longer had not the Constables been so clamorous, and the Landlord began to be uneasy—I have not heard of any attempt to break into Churchill’s Warehouse last week nor of it being intended to be done—I dont know of any thing more intended to be done.—

This document can be found at HO 42/154.

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