Wednesday, 18 April 2012

18th April 1812: William Cartwright witnesses the Court Martial of the soldier who refused the fight at Rawfolds

On Saturday 18th April 1812, the soldier who had refused to fire on Luddites during the attack on Rawfolds Mill 6 days earlier was brought before a regimental Court Martial at Huddersfield. William Cartwright attended the hearing.

The soldier, whose name we do not know to this day, was accused of neglect of duty and was found guilty. He was sentenced to 300 lashes. As Reid points out (1986, pp.127-128), Francis Burdett has spoken in Parliament only 3 days prior to this hearing on the subject of corporal punishment in the army, detailing many cases where floggings led to death. In one particular case, a soldier had been sentenced to 200 lashes, but eventually received 170 before being taken down, and he died 4 days later.

The unknown soldier of Rawfolds had almost certainly been sentenced to death.

As reported in the Leeds Mercury of 25th April 1812.

No comments:

Post a Comment