Sunday, 18 December 2011

18th December 1811: A Royal Proclamation

REGENT of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 
in the Name and on the Behalf of HIS MAJESTY.



WHEREAS it has been represented that a considerable Number of disorderly Persons, chiefly composed of Stockingers, or Persons employed in the Stocking Manufactories, have for some Time past assembled themselves together in a riotous and tumultuous Manner, in the Town and County of the Town of Nottingham, and likewise in several parts of the Counties of Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester; and, for the Purpose of compelling their Employers to comply with certain Regulations prescribed by themselves, with respect to Work, and the Wages to be paid for the same, have had Recourse to Measures of Force and Violence, and have actually committed various Acts of Outrage in different Parts of the Counties above-mentioned, whereby the Property of many of His Majesty's good Subjects has, in several Instances, been wholly destroyed, and their Lives and Properties are still greatly endangered: We, therefore, acting in the Name and on behalf of His Majesty, being duly sensible of the mischievous Consequences which must inevitably ensue, as well to the Peace of the Kingdom as to the Lives and Properties of His Majesty's Subjects, from such wicked and illegal Practices if they go unpunished, and being firmly resolved to cause the Laws to be put in Execution for the Punishment of such Offenders, have thought fit, by the Advice of the Privy Council, to issue this Proclamation, hereby strictly commanding all Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs, and all other Civil Officers whatsoever, within the said Town and County of the Town of Nottingham, and the said Counties of Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester respectively, but they do use their utmost Endeavours to discover, apprehend, and bring to Justice the Persons concerned in the Riotous Proceedings above mentioned: And as a further Inducement to discover the said Offenders, We do hereby, acting as aforesaid, promise and declare, that any Person or Persons who shall discover and apprehend, or cause to be discovered and apprehended, the Authors, Abettors, or Perpetrators of any of the Outrages above-mentioned, so that they, or any of them, may be duly convicted thereof, shall be entitled to the Sum of FIFTY POUNDS for each and every Person who shall be so convicted, and shall also receive His Majesty's most Gracious Pardon for the said Offence, in case the Person making such Discovery as aforesaid shall be liable to be prosecuted for the same: And the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury are hereby required to make Payments accordingly of the said Reward.

Given at the Court of York House, the Eighteenth Day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eleven, in the Fifty-second Year of His Majesty's Reign.


This proclamation appeared in the Nottingham Review on the 20th December 1811, and was also printed as a handbill, pictured above.

In a letter to the Home Office of 5th January (which can be found at HO 42/119), the Duke of Rutland noted that "soon after the Royal proclamation was posted on the church door of Sheepshead in this county, a handbill was exhibited at its side, stating that 'as the government had offered a reward of £50 for the conviction of offenders, there were 50 bullets ready for the body of the first man who should give information.' "

No comments:

Post a Comment