Saturday, 3 February 2018

3rd February 1818: Gravenor Henson writes to the Home Secretary, asking for expenses

Nottingham Feby 3. 1818

My Lord

Not having received any answer to my Letters addressed to you on the 10 June last, or & the 19 ult, and not having received any answer to a Letter addressed to Sir N Conant some time in May; I am still under the necessity of making the same request to your Lordship; namely for a supply of Raiment; I certainly did receive during my confinement of 31 weeks in the House of Correction Cold Bath Fields the following Articles Two Shirts, one Pair of Gaol Shoes, a Pair of Pantaloons and a Flannel Waistcoat; but Mr Adkins the Governor informed me that he had received no orders from your Lordship to procure them but merely verbal instructions from Mr Hay to let me have them and he “would see him paid somehow or other;” Mr Adkins informed me in a casual conversation sometime before my discharge, and I think a few weeks after he had received it, that your Lordship had sent him a circular Letter in which it was stated that he was to procure for the Prisoners confined by virtue of your Lordships Warrants such Clothing as to Persons charged with Felonius Offences; I refused to believe it, Mr Adkins assured me that those were his instructions and said he would find the Circular but it afterwards appeared he had lost it; he added that Mr Benbow had heard it and had made no objections. I told the Governor that I did not square my actions by Mr Benbows Rules; and that I could not imagine your Lordship ever supposed that I should accept of Clothes on such Terms; I then told him that I was determin’d not to have them without a special Order from Lordship and desired him to acquaint your Lordship with the circumstances Mr Adkins though in a very polite manner refused to make such a communication; on the morning of the 13 Novr the Governor acquainted me that he had received an Order from your Lordship for my Liberation that day upon entering into my own recognizance; and further that your Lordship had ordered him to give me 9£ to pay my expences to Nottingham; I desired him to return thanks to your Lordship for my Liberation which I knew was entirely optional then, and to assure you that I felt no resentment as but at the same time I told him the Sum was too small as I had been under the necessity of expending nearly that Sum while in Prison; he said he thought it was of no consequence as I might write to your Lordship sometime after I got home on the subject with that I became satisfied; when I went before Sir N Conant to enter into the Recognizances he told me that your Lordship had sent for me to discharge me upon answering with a smile that I expected it sooner Guess my astonishment my Lord when the mild Sir N Conant burst out in a tone of Thunder in which he was joined by Stafford, “You expect your Liberation sooner take him back! take him back! I must acquaint Lord Sidmouth with that you say; Stafford immediately exclaimed “I am sorry this Man was not indicted for though we could not have proved any Overt Acts against him he might have been indicted generally for a Conspiracy I thought he would have been thankfull, but he will now go on as he has done travelling over and disturbing the Country; your Lordship I dare say will be aware the answer such a [prvt] Gentleman as that must must receive who seemed by his Language to arrogate to himself the power and knowledge of the whole Privy Council, I told him that I had not been travelling over the Country; that for his better information a I had only been twice out of Nottingham in last 3 years once to ask that respectable Gentlemans Opinion Mr D P Coke at Derby and my present journey and to give himself no uneasiness for that as I had told Mr Hay I did not intend to interfere any farther on public business; I then applied to Sir N Conant for an allowance of Money to enable me to go home decently shewing him my [Coat] which then hung greasy on Hand with a hole [through] it; Without answering me he turned to Mr Adkins in a tone and manner which I shall long Remember [“]Pay his Coach Hire by the Heavy Coach, Give him a Pound or if he has a mind to buy Clothes let him walk home; Never my Lord will I believe that you authorized such a scene as this unless I have it from your own Lips or your own Hand, Thus my Lord was I sent home in querpo, a Hat with two great Holes in it a Coat greasy and crackt at the elbows; no Shoes, Boots that took up both Wet and dirt and in short in a situation not much superior to a common Beggar and Vagabond!!

I have been thus prolix to give your Lordship an opportunity of thoroughly understanding the affair, and I have yet confidence that you will do me justice, I think you cannoy object to placing me as far as regards Clothing in the same situation as when I was [arrested], for if we are to be in Opposition which I can assure you is by no means my wish let us act generously

I am My Lord, Notwithstanding all that has passed your Obt Servt

Gravenor Henson

Independent Hill Nottingham

[To] Rt. Hon Vict Sidmouth

[Home Office notes on reverse]
Acqt him that his [Letter] has been considered
that he has had the same Allowances as
other Persons in similar Circumstances &
that nothg fur can be granted
him

This letter can be found at HO 42/174.

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