Wednesday 23 November 2016

23rd November 1816: Henry Enfield suggests apprehending the men named in James Towle's confession to the Home Office

Nottingham Novr. 23d. 1816.


Herewith I transmit, for the Information of Lord Sidmouth, a Copy of the last Report of our Secret Agent—Its contents, as relating to Lawson & Barnes are very shocking—the name of Barnes here was yesterday chalked up on the Walls of the Streets here, with "Kill him" added—Last Monday night at 10 a person called upon Lawson & in most Secret Confidence told him that there was a determination to kill him & Barnes before Towle’s execution—Lawson & Barnes passed that night at the Police Office—& the next day the magistrates thought it right to send them out of Town—& they will remain away for some days longer. I think of advising the Sureties of the Peace being required from Badder & Slater by Barnes & Lawson, & having warrants out against them—they would not be able to find Sureties & must consequently go to Gaol—This would dispose of them for the winter—If Barnes & Lawson can safely do this upon Information not derived from our Source, it appears to me to be an adviseable Step—I should be greatly obliged by Lord Sidmouth’s Sentiments—

Mr. Lockett has written to me, stating that Towle made full confessions—& I am to meet Mr Lockett to-morrow—The particulars of the Confessions had been laid, I understand from Mr Lockett, before Lord Sidmouth—The Secret Committee wish me to request the immediate Consideration & Opinion of his Lordship, as to the expediency & propriety of apprehending at one time all the persons whom Towle has named mentioned to be implicated in the Loughbro’ outrage, or in any other, in order to [illegible] the Chance or from another of those miscreants impeaching – asking to be admitted Evidence &c—The Information upon which to assure the warrants might be made without difficulty by Heathcote & Boden—& if any would impeach, for instance against Josa. Mitchell, the (for the Loughbro’ affair) the Butcher & Shepherd might identify him at Aram’s Boat—& so, the Accomplice be corroborated—If the measure should not be thus successful, it would, at any Event, be the means of withdrawing during the winter the most notorious of the Set from the field of Action—The Secret Committee suggest this as the thought of the instant—& they submit the subject, without further reserve, to the Judgement of Lord Sidmouth & those whose high opinions his Lordship will probably take—

It has been a great satisfaction to the magistracy that Towles Execution & Funeral passed over without commotion—The strong measures proposed, operated very probably to prevent Tumult—

I have the honour to be
Your most Obt Servt.
H Enfield

[To] Rt Hble JH Addington

I request you to send me a copy of this letter—I should lose the mail—

This letter can be found at HO 42/155.

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