Sunday, 11 November 2012

11th November 1812: Whitehaven magistrates report huge foods riots in the Town

Whitehaven 11 of Novr 1812

My Lord,

We are extremely sorry to have occasion so soon to trouble your Lordship respecting the Mutinous disposition of the lower order of the People of this Place… Yesterday, early in the Morning, several Hundreds assembled in the Market Place, and proceeded to one of the Quays, where Potatoes were Shipping, and pushed some Carts into the Harbour, also took possession of Carts laden with Flour going for the use of the Inhabitants of the new Town,

With great difficulty we got the Flour restored to the Owner; The Mob also sallied forth in different directions in the neighbourhood, and did considerable mischief to those who had Shipped Potatoes, particularly to several of your Lordship’s Farmers by demolishing Windows, throwing large Stones &c, one of the Servants received a dangerous Wound in his Head; Milligan the Farmer at the Black Cock, as stated the particulars to Mr Bowness, who we understand will inform your Lordship the Particulars, and to whose Letter, we beg leave to refer your Lordship.—

We prevailed on the Farmers to bring in large Quantities of Potatoes for the use of the Inhabitants this Morning, and we hoped the Town, wou’d have been perfectly quiet, but towards noon, the Mob assembled at the Bulwark, and broke into the Vessel that the Potatoes had been Shipped on board, taking a great Quantity away without paying for them, and we are apprehensive will deter the Farmers from bringing the usual supply to the Market day Tomorrow.—We therefore entreat your Lordships attention, to obtain us an immediate Aid, as without a Military Force it will be impossible to prevent the most alarming consequences to the Town and neighbourhood, and in the mean time a Stop is put to all Exportation to the great prejudice of the whole Country—

We take leave also to call your Lordships attention to the Anonymous Letter enclosed for the Secty of State, and to mention we have obtained two Letters of apparently a corresponding hand writing, by which, we hope to be able to trace the writer and will trouble your Lordship to return the original one to us, if it is of no farther service, the result of which information, we shall take the earliest opportunity of transmitting your Lordship — We are

My Lord
your Lordships
Most Obdt. Servts

[Illegible] Kimbley
Miles Ponsonby
Jas. Steel
Robt Wilkinson

[To] Earl Lonsdale
K.G.& H.

This letter can be found at HO 42/129.

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