Sunday, 11 February 2018

11th February 1818: The Reverend C.W. Ethelston vouches for the anti-Luddite spy, Samuel Fleming

My Lord

Your Lordship’s letter of the 6th instt I had the honor of receiving on Sunday evening but delay’d my answer in expectation of being able to write more fully on the subject of the enquiries contain’d in it—Unfortunately our Deputy Constable, from whom I might have receiv’d accurate information as “to what extent & with what degree of utility Fleming was employ’d” in 1812, is absent from Manchester on a trial of some importance.

For that reason, my Lord, I can only speak to the point from memory. To the best of my recollection Fleming was an evidence against the Luddites, who were brought to trial before Baron Wood, but were not convicted on his Evidence—at the same time he was thought worthy of a remuneration & receiv’d it—To what amount I cannot speak with certainty—With regard to his services last year I must say that up to a particular period his Intelligence was faithful & important, for which according to the entrusted to my management he always receiv’d in my opinion an adequate compensation—In the expedition to Huddersfield for the discovery of arms conceal’d, he fail’d thro misconduct, but afterwards redeem’d his Character by some important Information relative to the Insurrection in March last.

Whether upon the whole Fleming has been sufficiently remunerated is not for me to determine. I can only say he has been constantly in the habit of receiving occasional supplies from me, ‘till very lately, since Jany 1817; but, as he only shar’d a limited Sum with several others, I will submit now to your Lordship’s judgment recommend him to your further notice.

I think he might be employ’d as a subordinate Agent in a Police Office but in no situation when Education is requir’d—The letter to your Lordship has evidently been written for him & his statement is exaggerated.

I have [etc]
C.W. Ethelston

Longsight
Manchr
Feby 11th 1818

[Written on reverse by Home Office clerk]
Answer to Enquiry whether
Fleming had any claim
for remuneration on
Government for his
Services

This letter can be found at HO 42/174.

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