Sunday, 7 October 2012

7th October 1812: Multiple burglaries & arms raids near Halifax

In the evening of Wednesday 7th October 1812, a number of burglaries took place around Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Fifteen armed men assembled at Long Can, near Ovenden. Whilst some guarded the outside, the homes of both Isaac & William Illingworth were entered and robbed of between £10 & £20. The leader of the group was known as 'Sergeant of the Guard', and at the end of the raid, a 'Sergeant of the Piquet' called the roll of the men numbered 1 to 15. The men were then ordered 'right-face - quick march' and disappeared into the night.

On hour later, at Highfield (near Southowram), 15 armed men arrived at the home of John Ramsden, and 3 entered while others stood guard outside. Ramsden remained in bed while his wife spoke to the burglars. They took away a double-barrelled gun, silver items and cash (64 and half gold Guinea coins & £28 in notes) to the total value of £130.

Some time on the same night, the home of a Mr Greenwood (location unknown, but in the Halifax area) was entered by 5 men armed with pistols, with others guarding the outside. A gun was demanded, in the name of General Ludd, although it was returned to Greenwood after it was realised it was in a bad condition and in need of repair. Greenwood was liberated of a £1 note and some silver cutlery.

This has been compiled from a letter from James Greenwood and William Irving to Major Bruce of the Stirling Militia of 9th October 1812, and a report by William Thornhill dated 17th October 1812, both of which can be found at HO 40/2/3.

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