Wednesday, 25 January 2017

25th January 1817: Both Nottinghamshire newspapers publish editorials about the 'Loughborough Job' arrests

On Saturday 25th January 1817, both Nottinghamshire newspapers published editorials with varying degrees of detail. 

From the Tory Nottingham Journal:
We congratulate our readers on the proceedings of last week, as respects the Luddites, and confidently anticipate that a death blow will shortly be given to that nefarious system, which has so long disgraced this town and neighbourhood, and has been of such incalculable injury to the manufacturer, the mechanic, and the public at large. We have reason to believe, that in consequence of the ample confession made by James Towle, immediately before his execution at Leicester, on the 20th November last, the ten men now in custody, charged with the outrage at Loughborough, have been apprehended. As there can be no lasting friendship amongst the wicked, it is not to be wondered at, that the link between these disturbers of the public peace have hitherto been held together, should be broken. These companions in iniquity are impeaching one another; and there is little doubt but the whole of their past proceedings, with the names of the principal actors, will soon be known to the Magistrates. We incline to think, indeed, that it is the case already, at least to a very considerable extent.
From the Nottingham Review:
We find that JAMES TOWLE, on the morning previous to his execution, made a full and particular disclosure, to the High Sheriff of Leicestershire, and to a Justice of the Peace for that county, of every person, directly or indirectly, concerned in the felony and destruction at Mr. HEATHCOAT’S factory at Loughborough, and of the Luddites in general, which has been kept secret until it could be made subservient to the ends of justice. He died penitent; assured the Gentlemen that what he had stated to them was true, observing, it could be of no service to him then to say what was false, and lamented that he had not made this discovery sooner, to have saved his life; his comrades are now dong so; the Luddites are impeaching one another, and the Magistrates are in possession, we are credibly informed, of their whole history. Of the 15 men now apprehended, ten are charged with the offence at Loughborough. It is hoped that the wicked and mischievous proceedings of the Luddites are now at an end: they have driven the best part of our manufactory from the town, and the destruction of the property employed in the trade, has injured the great bulk of the manufacturers and, the public in general. We hope and trust that the time will be revived, when the ingenuity and industry of our mechanics will again raise the trade of this Empire above the rest of the world; and we feel confident, that the skill of the workmen will be powerfully aided by the great capital this country can bring into trade, whenever it can be done with security, and the master and servant are free to make what contracts they may choose to enter into with each other. As none of the men have yet been examined before the Magistrates, we decline entering into further particulars until next week.

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