Saturday, 21 January 2017

21st January 1817: Jeffrey Lockett writes to the Home Office about the arrested Luddites

Holker Hall Jany 21st, 1817

Sir

I find from letters, which I have received here, that, contrary to the arrangement which Mr Mundy & Mr Enfield had made with me, it has been found necessary to proceed without delay, upon Blackburn’s information, and ‘ere now, probably, Mr Enfield has informed you, that Mitchell, Mitchell, Savage, W. Towle, Crowther, Coldwell, & other leading Luddites are in custody, under a charge of being concerned in the outrage at Messrs Heathcoat & Bodens factory, in Loughbro’ in June last. It was intended, that it should have been ascertained, how far Blackburns account [could] be supported by other evidence, before the warrants were issued, but Mr Mundy informs me, that Mitchell was aware of what was going on,—and that it had therefore been determined to act immediately. I shall leave this place as soon as I possibly can,—and have appointed to meet the magistrates on Monday next, to assist them in taking the examinations.

Mr Heathcoat now resides at Tiverton, & his partner Mr Boden in King St Cheapside. I am sure that they will immediately obey my summons, and come to Loughbro’, & use their utmost exertions to bring these villains to punishment. But I know that their affairs are very critical, & that they cannot bear any part of the expence of the investigation of the charges against the prisoners, or the prosecution of them. Lord Sidmouth, I hope, will think it right, that they [should] be fully indemnified;—& it will be highly gratifying to me to find a letter from you with this assurance, when I reach Derby. I hope also to have the further satisfaction of being informed by you, that the 500 [guineas] reward, offered for the apprehension & conviction of Towle, will be repaid by the Treasury. At the present crisis the distribution of it may be of the utmost importance—

I am Sir
Your most obedt Servt
Wm Jeffrey Lockett

[Written underneath in a different hand] The 500 Gs reward has been ordered, and the Parties should be directed to apply to the Mr Lichfield & Hobhouse—before any actual pledge can be given respecting the other Expences the amount must be specified.

This letter can be found HO 42/158.

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