Tuesday, 26 September 2017

26th September 1817: The informers, Blackburn & Burton, leave Nottingham forever, surrounded by an angry crowd

On Friday 26th September 1817, the Luddites turned informers John Blackburn & William Burton left Nottingham for London, their ultimate destination being Canada. The Leicester Chronicle of 4th October 1817 described the scene:
The noted John Blackborne and William Burton, the King's evidences on the trial of the Luddites at Leicester, at the last Lammas Assizes, and the latter of whom was the principal evidence against Daniel Diggle, hanged at Nottingham in April last, were recognised on the Hope coach, in Nottingham on Friday last. A concourse of people collected round the coach to see them, and bestowed some execrations upon them in a liberal manner.―It is understood both they and their wives and families, are gone off for America.
They were escorted by the Nottingham Police Officer, Benjamin Barnes, who carried the letter to the Home Secretary below, written by the Town Clerk, Henry Enfield:
Nottingham Sep. 26. 1817
Mr Lord
The Police Officer, Benjamin Barnes, will deliver this Letter to Your Lordship & inform you of his arrival in Town with Burton & Blackburn, their wives & Children―
I have [etc]
H Enfield
Town Clerk
[To] Rt Hble Lord Sidmouth

The letter can be found at HO 42/170.

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