Saturday, 24 December 2016

24th December 1816: A Nottingham magistrate informs the Home Office of the attack on George Kerry

My Lord

I am sorry to inform your Lordship, that on Sunday night last the 22d Inst, a little before eight O'Clock, two men, one about five feet ten, the other about five feet Six, in brown Coats, with handkerchiefs tied over their faces, entered the house of George Curry a frameworkknitter at Aspley, in the parish of Basford, about two miles and a half from Nottingham, armed with pistols. Curry was sitting by his fire, with his wife, her mother, & another woman. The taller man immediately without saying anything fired a pistol at Curry, but fortunately missed him, & the Slugs with which it was loaded, went into the fireplace. Curry immediately advanced to close with him, when the smaller man fired his pistol at Curry, & wounded him in the head with shot, & under the eye with powder. The shot has been extracted, & the man is likely to recover. There was a third man at the outside of the door to keep watch. They then immediately went away without either breaking his frames, or robbing the house, & no trace can be made out concerning them. Their faces were so concealed, that neither Curry, nor the women can swear to them. Curry has not the least Idea who they are, or what could be their motive; he says he is not working at a reduced price, nor on a machine obnoxious to the Luddites: that he has not had any disagreement with any one, nor the least suspicion of any Individual. He lives at an odd house, about an hundred yards from Aspley Hall, the seat of Mr Willoughby member for Newark; who very kindly sent of his servant immediately that night, & I immediately sent off three Constables well armed from Nottingham that night to protect the man; & I have now placed a confidential Constable in his house, well armed, to protect him during the night, but I have not the least expectation that they will return. I thought it my duty as a magistrate for the Town & County, to give your Lordship a correct statement of this transaction, that in case Government should think it proper to take any public notice of it, they might be in possession of the particulars. If any discovery is made of the perpetrators of this atrocious Act, your Lordship shall have the earliest information.

I remain my Lord
Your Lordship’s most Obedt Servant
Charles Wylde D.D.
Rector of St Nicholas in Nottingham

Nottingham
[December] 24. 1816

This letter can be found at HO 42/157. Wylde gets Kerry's name wrong!

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