Friday, 2 February 2018

2nd February 1818: Henry Enfield responds angrily to Francis Ward's petition to parliament

Private

Nottingham Feby 2d. 1818

Dear Sir

The impudence & hypocritical Cant of Frank Ward’s petition (that meek follower of Jesus Christ; for so my Globe states the Petition to describe him) has excited our particular Attention—& presuming (hoping) that Lord Sidmouth will think the House of Commons next Thursday the proper time & place for letting out the nature & Character of this wily adept in mischief, by disclosing the Declaration relative to him & his various Acts given by Jos. Mitchell, Blackburn, Burton & Woodward, I beg leave also particularly to draw his Lordship’s Attention to our Secret Report of the 6th of June last, wherein Stevens is reported to have Spoken of Frank Ward as “one of the party” & again afterwards as “one of the Chief Men”.—

The Accounts given of Ward by Mitchell, Blackburn, Burton & Woodward, without Concert of Communication with one another, are excessively Strong & convincing—I Yesterday heard that Preston (one of the men at the Demolition of Orgill’s Factory at Castle Donington in April 1814 & who, no doubt, has since confirmed one of the Conspiracy) spoke of the late Examinations of Christopher Blackburn & John Hill; & said, that “they would Say nothing—but Jos. Mitchell had let it all out.”—

I have thought it rigt to make a particular Affidavit from the Keeper of the Gaol here as to Ward’s dank Dungeon & prison Treatment—& beg to enclose it for the perusal of Lord Sidmouth & to be made use of, or not, as his Lordship shall choose—

With respect to the search of Wards House the facts were (as I believe Lord Sidmouth knows) that, on the 10th June after Intelligence was brought to Nottingham of the Insurrection having broken out in Derbyshire, the Magistrates did (as was their bounden duty) search for Arms in the House of two or three persons, of whom they had Secret information as persons engaged, &, amongst them the House of F. Ward—It is true no Arms were found—In the Evening of that day he boldly came to the Magistrates & demanded (verbally) the Warrant by which his House has been searched—The Magistrates then, still acting upon their private Information relative to Ward, & then particularly referring it to the Loughbro’ outrage, thought it necessary to detain him on a charge of being suspected of having been an Accessary in that Felony—The further Course of this Lord Sidmouth knows—

I have sent, by the present post, to our member, Mr. John Smith, in confidence, a Copy of Jos. Mithcell’s Examination—, telling him that I have apprised Lord Sidmouth of my having so done—I request you therefore to mention this to his Lordship—& I do so, to prevent his Lordship & John Smith from any untoward Consequences of mutual ignorance of each other’s knowledge—

I am fearfull of losing the post—& therefore, in haste, conclude,

I am Dear Sir
Very faithfully Yours

H Enfield

P.S.

I have only spoken
of Ward to Mr. Smith
in relation to Jos. Mitchell’s
Confession—& no farther

H. E.

[To] H. Hobhouse Esq

This letter can be found at HO 42/174.

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