Monday, 23 April 2012

23rd April 1812: Attempted assassination of an employee of Joseph Radcliffe, Isaac Rayner

Isaac Rayner was a husbandman employed by the Huddersfield magistrate Joseph Radcliffe. At 9 p.m. on Thursday 23rd April 1812, he was returning home after a long day working at Milnsbridge. He decided to cut through a plantation at Ryecroft Edge. Soon he became conscious of at least three figures near the road, which seemed to him to be odd, and he made his way towards them. At this point he saw one the figures there present a gun, and next heard the shot being fired and the flash from the muzzle, and in an instant, something passed very close to his head.

He turned and ran through the plantation, and did not stop until he reached home. Lighting a candle, he took his hat off and placed it on his table. In the soft light of the candle he noticed a hole in his hat that wasn't there this morning: the shot from the gun had missed his head by inches.

Three days later, Rayner formally related the incident to Radcliffe, who sent his deposition to the Home Office, offering to post a reward of £100 if a Royal pardon could be given to any accomplice that would come forward.

Rayner's deposition and the letter from Radcliffe can be found at HO 40/1/1.

No comments:

Post a Comment