Tuesday, 13 December 2016

13th December 1816: The Home Office responds to Louis Allsopp's letter

Decr: 13th 1816.


I am much obliged to you for your Letter of 9th: inst, and the two Inclosures. The Purpose of enforcing the Provisions of the Watch and Ward Act at Nottingham appears to be accomplish’d.

Towle’s last Confession is very curious, and interesting, but the Particulars which he stated in it was but it was not likely that to be confirm’d by Corroborating Evidence, could have been procured: which it would have been possible to procure and his own unsupported Testimony, as King’s Evidence would have answer’d little [illegible] Purpose.

I remain therefore perfectly satisfied that the good done by the Execution of this Man is far greater, than any which could reasonably have been hoped for by sparing his Life.

I have directed a Copy to be made of Towle’s Confession, which I receiv’d some weeks since from The High Sheriff, and I hope to send it to you by tomorrow's Post.

It does not appear from any Information, of which I am possessed that there are sufficient Grounds of Suspicion against the Persons, whom it is proposed to apprehend as having been concern’d in the Attacks at Heathcoat’s to justify such a Proceeding: but this is a Point which will be best decided on the Spot.

I have referr’d to Mr: Beckett’s Answer of 26:th of November to Mr: Enfield's Letter of 23:d, and am unable to account for the Impression, which that Answer appears to have made on the Gentlemen of the Committee, whom it has been always my wish to treat with the Attention, and Confidence, to which they are so well entitled.

The good Effects produced and Nottingham by the instantaneous Suppression of the Disturbances in London on Monday se’nnight, gave me great Pleasure, and I am happy to acquaint you that they are not confined to that Place.

I am present much press for Time, Mr: Beckett being out of Town, and my Brother confined to his House by Illness.

I am, Sir,

your most obedient
humble Servt:

[From: J H Addington]

[To] L. Allsopp Esqr.

This letter can be found at HO 42/156. The document is a copy (probably a draft) of the version sent to Allsopp. It is not signed, but I have surmised it is from Addington, given his position as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, his reference to John Beckett (the other most likely sender & fellow Under-Secretary), and his reference to 'my brother', i.e. Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary.

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