Wednesday, 2 May 2012

2nd May 1812: Signals of rockets & blue lights seen at night in the Stockport area

On Saturday 2nd May 1812, it was reported to the Home Office that some sort of visual communication system was being used by persons unknown across the Stockport area and possibly further afield.

The Stockport solicitor and clerk to the Magistrates, John Lloyd, gave reports about what had been observed for several nights preceding, and also that a change had taken place on  the evening of 1st May, a date that the authorities in the North West feared had been earmarked for some kind of rising:
For many nights past, Signal Rockets have been thrown from various points, which last night were discontinued, & Signals of a different description were substituted. The Signal a blue light suspended from the top of a Pole, which seemed to be worked with the accuracy of a telegraph, forming Circles, & different figures, which signals were repeated at convenient distances

The Points from whence these Lights last night proceeded, are well ascertained, & will be reconnoitred to night by the active people assisted by the military. The blue lights were seen between Eleven & One in the Morning.

The extract is contained in an enclosure accompanying a letter John Lloyd wrote to the Home Office on 2nd May 1812, which can be found at HO 40/1/1.

No comments:

Post a Comment