Tuesday, 15 November 2011

15th November 1811: A Courier from Nottingham delivers a letter to the Home Office

At 3.00 a.m. on Friday 15th November, a special courier sent by the Nottingham authorities the day before arrived at the Home Office in London with two identical letters, one bound for the Secretary at War Lord Palmerston, and the other for the Home Secretary, Richard Ryder. The letter read as follows:

Nottingham 13th of Nov. 1811.


The Magistrates of the Town of Nottingham have communicated to the Magistrates of the County the application which they have made to you for a Military Force to preserve the Peace of this District.

The disturbed state of this part of the Country, the number of persons assembling amounting frequently to 2 or 300, armed some of them with fire-arms, and others with bludgeons for the avow’d purpose of breaking forcibly into houses to destroy Stocking Frames, and there actually destroying Stocking Frames and other property and threatening yet further outrages, have excited a very general alarm and the civil power is totally ineffectual for suppressing the riots and restoring tranquillity.

The disturbances have at present prevailed chiefly in the County, because the population being there dispersed the property cannot be so well defended –

The Magistrates of the County have assembled for the purpose of considering what measures are necessary to restore and preserve the Public Peace and being convinced that nothing less than an adequate Military force can be effectual for that purpose, have directed me to add their request to that of the Magistrates of the Town, that not less than the force applied for by them, may be immediately sent to this place and Neighbourhood.

I am desired to add that since the communication made to you by the Magistrates of the Town, the Magistrates of the County have understood that the present inefficient force at the Barracks arises from several detachments having been already called out to escort French prisoners.

I have written a similar letter to the Secretary at War.

And have the honor to be

Sir, Your obedient humble servant

George Sculthorpe

Clerk to the Magistrates

The letter can be found at HO 42/117 and has been transcribed verbatim.

No comments:

Post a Comment