Leicester County Gaol March 30th 1817
Dear Father and Mother Brothers and Sisters it is with Sincere regret that I write you out of so dismal a place as I am now in, Bound with Fetters and under Sentance of Death and do not expect to be reprieved in this world,, Dear Father and Mother I know your Feelings towards me is very great, but I hope Dear Father you will make all the Friends you can for me and Petition to save my Life which is now Forfeited—Dear Father and mother I have but little hope but I hope dr Father you will not fail in trying what you can do for me and that Imediately so no time must be lost I do not know [obscured] you to unless you get the Farmers of your [obscured] Sir Robert Clifton and Mr Lansley and Mr Thorpe of Clifton and I hope my Sister will get a few Friends in Nottingham to to Sign it and get Sir Robt. Clifton to Send after the Judge to Warwick So dear Father I hope you will press on the Gentlemen of your Town to save my life and let no time be lost—So dear Father I shall look for some of you over as soon as possably you can—Dear Father and Mother if it is my fortune to Suffer I know the loss of your Offspring will be a great Trouble to you but I hope God will pardon my Sins and then I think your loss will be my gain, So I conclude and remain your infortunate Son in distress
James Crofts was suspected of being a Luddite by the authorities in Nottingham, and his name had cropped up in various correspondence for a long period of time. He had been convicted of Highway Robbery at the recent Leicester Spring Assizes and had been condemned to death.