Sunday, 8 July 2012

8th July 1812: Henry Hobhouse gives the Government's legal opinion on prosecuting more Nottinghamshire Luddites

Lincolns Inn
8th July 1812


In answer to your note of yesterday transmitting to me the accompanying Letter with its two Inclosures received from Mr. Woodcock and begging that I would return them with my Opinion whether it will be Expedient to his Majesty's Government to proceed further against Fell and Clarke and also whether any proceeding should be taken against Spray and Falconbridge at the approaching Nottingham Assizes; I humbly offer my Opinion that it will be proper to direct Mr. Woodcock to bring to Trial the Indictments which were found at the last Assizes against Fell and Clarke, and to prefer an Indictment for Frame breaking against George Spray, and likewise against Joseph Falconbridge for the same offence if the witness R. Caunt shall be forthcoming, but if he shall absent himself then to move that his Recognizance may be Entreated, and also that the Prisoner may be detained in Custody till the next assizes, in case Mr. Clarke (the Kings Counsel) shall think sufficient Ground can be laid before the Court the latter Motion—

I have [etc]

[To] J Beckett Esqr
&c &c &c

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