Saturday, 26 November 2016

26th November 1816: The Home Office tells Henry Enfield that his plans to detain suspected Luddites is unlawful

W. 26 Nov. 1816


I am [directed] by Lord [Sidmouth] to [acknowledge] the [illegible] of yr [letter] of the 23d. inst with its Inclosure & in reply I am to state, what in practice must occurred to you, & the Magistrates, in the Course of Proceeding to be adopted in similar Cases—viz—that before a [Warrant] can be issued for the purpose of apprehending an Individual & binding Him over to keep the Peace, certain affidavits must be made in order to justify and support such Caption; these affidavits should, of course, set forth the Grounds upon which the Deponent believes that such danger exists; and the Party threatened should be able to make an affidavit that He verily believes His life is in danger, before a [Warrant] can be properly be issued for the apprehension of any Individual in order that Sureties of the Peace may be demanded against Him. You will of course apply these observations to the cases before You

It does not appear from any Communication from Mr. Lockett received at this Office, whether any & what Confessions have lately been made by Towle.

At present there does not seem to be sufficient Grounds for apprehending the Individuals alluded to in Your Letter, as being concerned in the Felony at Loughborough for which Towle was executed.

I have

J. Beckett

[To] H. Enfield Esqr.

This letter can be found at HO 42/155.

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