Tuesday, 24 January 2017

24th January 1817: A Leicestershire magistrate writes to an MP about a 5 year old Luddite case

Whitwich Jany 24th 1817

Sir/ the appearance of Troublesom Times calls every Loyal Subject to be alert in order to Preserve the Publick Peace, even in our little Village at Prescott as well as at a Past Period, we are very much alarmd, but there was a time when some Individuals of which I was one usd every Exertion in our Power to suppress Riotous Proceedings, a number of Persons from a Village went about the Country Extorting money saying to People to whom they calld if they did not comply to their request Ned Lud would call on them in a few days

being informd of their Proceedings, Mr Jno Bonnell who is in Mayor Palmers [Troop] of Calvery a Mr Hutchinson & myself went to some Neighbouring Villages, where we had Sufficient People of the above facts/ Accordingly we applyd to the Revd Doctor Hardy of Loughbro Stating the Names of Wm Plant & Thomas Thorne as two concernd in that Business, he accordingly issud out his Warrant and to have them apprehended, which was done accordingly & they was Kept at the Expence in the Plow Inn Loughbro five days, Every day fresh People were Summond to appear against when they were fully committed the offence and the Witnesses Bound to appear against at the Next assize which they Accordingly did and a Mr Lacy Attorney at Law Clerk to Dr Hardy Attended at the Close of the Business at that Assize we was informd Plant & Thorne was to lay till the Ensueing Assize when we must again appear but Mr Lacy Observd he had no Doubt but he should recover our Expences from Government, wilfully Obeyd to Second Order when When Without even calling our Witnesses forth the Prisoners were Liberated & we had a Second Promise that we should be refunded by Government, we Deliverd all our Accounts into his hand the Bill at the Plow Inn was nearly Eight Pounds & what we had Paid for Witnesses Since & other Expences amounted to Nearly Twenty Two Pounds we then Recd for Answer their was no Doubt but we should be Paid/ we was kept on Suspence some time/ requesting the People of the Plow to wait a letter but their Patience was soon Exhausted & we Receivd three letters of Attorneys when we was Obligd to Discharge that [with] the Attendant Expences making it nearly Ten we thought Doctor Hardy could have made an Order upon Our Parish but he Observd to the contrary he did write a request wishing them to Settle that [Account] but they would not Comply [with] it/ Now Sir we have been advisd by Some respectable People to State the above Particulars to you hoping that you would have the goodness to Accuaint Lord Sidmouth [with] them/ During the time we had the Prisoners at Loughbro, the Prince Regents Proclamation came out offering One Hundred Pounds reward when If our Business had been Brought forth Its Probable we should have been Entitld to It, If you can be of any Service to us we have no Doubt but you will do It [with] Pleasure

If not hope you will Excuse the freedom we have taken

If you at any time think it Worthy an Answer Pleas to Direct for Messrs Bonnell Ward & Hutchinson Whitwich Leicestershire

remain Sir your most Obedt Humble Servt

Benj Ward

[To Legh Keck, Stoughton Grange]

This letter can be found at HO 42/158.

No comments:

Post a Comment