Sunday, 15 July 2012

15th July 1812: General Maitland writes to the Lancashire authorities about plans for confiscating arms


Buxton 15th July


Understanding you are now attending the Sessions throughout Lancashire, I have the honor to request you will submit in the most private manner possible to the various Magistrates in their respective Divisions, that the troops, under my Command, are arranged in the manner to give the greatest possible and earliest effect, to their Wishes, relative to that part of the Bill now going through Parliament, which relates to that part the seizure of Arms.—

It appears to me, to be extremely desirable on this Head, that the Provision of the Bill, should be carried into effect the earliest possible moment after the Law has passed, & I am sure the Magistracy will pardon me, for suggesting, that the only effectual Mode, in which the seizure can be made will be, by doing it all over the Country at one & the same time, by employing an adequate number of Special Constables & of the Military.—

I humbly suggest, that provided it meets their Wishes, that I think we could effectually seize in one day, the whole Arms of the District of Country embracing Warrington, Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton under Line, Mottram, Stockport, & Altringham, to do this however completely, it will be necessary, that a Meeting should take place to settle all the Arrangements.—

I am perfectly ready to attend at any Place that may be fixed, but probably Manchester will be considered as the most convenient all Parties, being most central, & if the Bill is not forced through, the first day of the Quarter Sessions at Manchester, being Wednesday next will probably be the most convenient date for meeting—

I am sure I need not request you to make this Communication as private as possible & I am certain the Magistrates will not misconstrue the Motives that have guided me in writing this letter—

I am
(Signed) T Maitland

[To] E. Garth Esqr.
Dept Clerk of the Peace

This letter can be found at HO 42/125.

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