Friday, 2 November 2012

2nd November 1812: The Stockport solicitor, John Lloyd, urges restraint in capturing further Luddites


2d Novemr. 1812

Will you excuse me when I trouble you with my own private opinion on two questions; viz as to the propriety of a Special Commission, and whether it is now necessary to proceed extensively in apprehending persons connected with the Luddites, not being leading Parties.

The first I have heard suggested as Desireable by Mr. Radcliffe but I cannot conceive it necessary: for, the cases are strong enough (some of them) to lay before any Judges — however they may be disposed to look upon the Offences — for Mr. Justice Bailey’s designating a particular Instance of arms-stealing, a Frolick seems to have been the Cause of such an inclination wish in the Magistrates here. Besides it does not appear likely when adjournments have been fixed so conveniently — and, it strikes me, it wou’d be an insult upon those Judges to solicit a fresh commission. Excuse the liberty I take in making these remarks — as for myself — in getting up the Cases, I will be ready any time with a fortnight's previous notice.

With regard to the 2d point I have continued my opinion here & urged it before I left to go home on 24th Oct. that none shod be taken up but notorious Ring leaders and those of the most desperate class. I fear some of the last apprehended cannot be convicted for want of the accomplice receiving the requisite confirmation, and then we may be doing

[Obscured] here I have seen the [obscured] Letter from your Office to Mr. Radcliffe,—which gives me reason to believe I have not hazarded my opinion prematurely. I have been repeating the same & shall be happy to be honored with your private sentiments addressed to me at Home (Stockport) to which place I shall return tomorrow.

I am [etc]

J. Lloyd

[To] J. Beckett Esqr

This letter can be found at HO 42/129.

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