Monday, 2 July 2012

2nd July 1812: General Maitland informs the Home Secretary of the imminent seizure of a suspected Luddite

Manchester 2nd July 1812

My dear Lord.

I have the pleasure of receiving your Lordship’s letter last night.

I beg leave to assure you the caution you gave me was neither mistaken nor misunderstood, & I have receiv’d in due course all the private letters your Lordship states.

I think it right to mention to you when it is under the eye of government what I have not press’d upon your attention because I really did not think from the general good disposition of the Troops that it was worth mentioning, that a great assiduity has been shewn among the disaffected to tamper with troops, but I really believe without any success.

There is some information of consequence out of Yorkshire which probably will go up to you to night, but upon which I shall say nothing, till the result of a party just sent out to seize one of the permanent Serjeants of Sir George Armitage’s Local Militia is known.

If the information be true such the man is seiz’d, I think it may lead to what would be a most desirable discovery the parties that shot Mr. Horsefall near Huddersfield.

I have receiv’d a letter from [obscured] and shall attend to its contents, I have faced more difficult in Scotland than I expected, but think at present I am more successful here, than I imagined, I would be when I had the Honor of seeing your Lordship.

Should one of the measures of Government be to authorize the seizures of arms under certain circumstances, it would be most important I should know it in time before the bill passes, to concert arrangements for making a general sweep by all the Troops under the civil authority the moment we are authoriz’d so to do, and which can only be done by at least two or three days preparation.

If time be given it will infallibly defeat the seizure.

I will write to your Lordship the moment the result of the party is known, which I think will be of considerable importance. I have the Honor to be with great regard

Your [etc]

Genl: Maitland

Lord Viscount Sidmouth
&c &c &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/125.

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