Monday, 9 July 2012

9th July 1812: General Maitland informs the Home Office that Joseph Barrowclough is a liar

Manchester 9th July 1812.

My dear Sir.

I wrote to Lord Sidmouth yesterday that I should not trouble him in regard to certain feelings that had arisen in consequence of the seizure of Barrowclough at Holmfirth, but it may be well upon the whole that you should be aware of the facts in case any reference is made to you up—

The original information was deriv’d from the Two men Lloyd had up with him in Town, he immediately applied to Mr. Hay for a Warrant to take up the man on this information which Warrant was accordingly given & executed the same night by Lloyd himself, aided by a party of Dragoons at his request.

The nature of the objection to this proceeding is first that there was no warrant at all, but the man was taken up by Military force, & secondly that he ought not to have been taken out of the County even with a Warrant—I have already explain’d the first to be totally unfounded, & I understand, though it does not affect the military in the least, that Mr. Hay was fully warranted by Act of Parliament in examining this man for commitment out of the County, being a Magistrate both of Lancashire & Yorkshire undoubtedly the final commitment must have been to the County gaol—

The Question then upon the whole appears to me to be merely one of discretion, & upon this I have no hesitation in saying, that I think it was perfectly right to adopt the line that was taken, We gain’d by this line the greatest of all objects, both time & doing it in a more secret manner, that if it had been sent into Yorkshire, & the very fact of employing men from a distance, must be good, as it could not be expected by the discontented—

The whole of the proceedings on the part of Mr. Radcliffe shews more temper & jealousy than any thing else, but I have no doubt when he finds there was a regular warrant, he will get [illegible]. he wrote me a very irritable letter, but I have not taken any but the most general notice of it—

The Parties I sent out last night have all return’d without having found a single stand of arms, every place describ’d was correctly stated by the Informer & discover’d, but without any appearance of arms having been there within any recent period, it appear’d most singular & hardly possible that any man could give the information of places so extremely accurately without having taxed his attention peculiarly so to do, enclos’d you will find a list of those places with the descriptions being the information—

This Event naturally shakes completely every degree of confidence one might otherwise be inclin’d to give him, I cannot help still thinking something may be made out of it. Mr. Hay is going to try this, & I trust it will be attended with success—

I shall write fully to morrow about the French Prisoners, & am My dear Sir

Your’s ever
T Maitland

[To] John Beckett Esqr
&c &c &c

This letter can be found at HO 42/125.

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