Wednesday 29 January 2014

29th January 1814: The informer, Benjamin Walker, writes to the Prince Regent to secure a reward

May it please your Royal Highness

To bear with one of the most Unworthy of all your Subjects who has already shared in your mercyfull Clemency for which I whish wish forever to be profoundly greatfull tho at the present I am A distrest object of Universal contempt and Disgrace – from April 28th to May 2nd 1812 the London Gazette Announced his Royal Highness the Prince Regent in behalf of His Majesty Promised to the person that would give information that would lead to the conviction of those fellons who in open day Malishously put an End to the life of Mr Wm Horsfall of Marsdin Near Huddersfield in the County of York cloth Merchant — The Kings most Gratious Pardon and A reward of Two Thousand pounds – I Benjamin Walker who to My Shame was one of the four fellons Voluntarily came forwards to divulge the awfull [evil] which did more than Convicted my fellows and Equals it was the first [illegible] leading to disclose the terable conspiricy which directed its forse against you and the tolerant Government under which we live but as yet I have not Got any reward I have apply’d to Mr Peace the Treasurer of the committee of Huddersfield and he has allways Evaded the demand I am at a loss now where to apply Except where the promise was made and the want of an Education and Qualified maners allmost confounds me and I umbly request your attention to my Case and sincearly pray you will overlook the Audatious offencis which may be seen in these times I have represented my Case in the Best way I can and would Umbly subscribe myself

Your most obedient
Benjn Walker

Newsom Near Huddersfield
Jany 29—1814 —

Saturday 18 January 2014

18th January 1814: The Treasury Solicitor suggests denying an informer a reward because he was a Luddite

Mr. Hobhouse presents his Compliments to Mr. Beckett, and in answer to his Note of yesterday, inclosing the written Petition of George Ward, begs leave to acquaint him that the Petitioner is the same man who on 10th April & 15th May last wrote a Lord Sidmouth two Letters on the same Subject, which were then referred to Mr. Hobhouse, & which he returned with his general Report of 23d June last, upon the Subject of the Rewards due for the apprehension of the Nottinghamshire Frame breakers. In Explanation of the Passage in that Report relative to Ward’s Claim, Mr Hobhouse takes the Liberty of stating, that Ward’s legal Right to the Rewards in question failed, inasmuch as he did not apprehend or cause to be apprehended the Felons whom he names, as he ought to have done to bring himself within the Prince Regents Proclamation. It further appeared that Ward’s losses had been in great measure reimbursed him by a private Subscription; and that his Character entitled him to no particularly favourable Consideration from the Government, since there is strong reason to believe that he was engaged in framebreaking on the very day when his own Frames were broken, & there is no doubt of his having been so engaged on a previous Day, and the Evidence which he gave on the Trial was extracted from him with the greatest Difficulty.

Mr. Hobhouse has further to inform Mr. Beckett at the beginning of November last Ld. Ellenborough sent to Mr. H. a Letter which he had received from Ward of the same Tenor as his present Petition, in consequence of which reference Mr.H. stated fully to his Lordship the matter above detailed.

A few days after, Mr. Justice Bayley transmitted to Mr. H. a similar Letter to which Mr. H. made a concise Reply to the same Effect.

Lincolns Inn
Jan. 18. 1814

Friday 17 January 2014

January 1814: A Nottinghamshire Framework-knitter, George Ward, petitions the Prince Regent for relief

To his Royal Highness, George prince of Wales
Regent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland—

The humble petition of George Ward Sheweth, Having had the misfortune during the late disturbances at Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, to have had two wide frames broke, the one a lace frame and the other a Stocking frame my property which cost me £73—10—and earned by the dint of industry, likewise part of my shop windows broke which has reduced me to the greatest distress, and as such am not able to get the same repaired. How at the same night I apprehended two of the rioters George Jeffries, who impeached and was admitted evidence for the Crown against Benjn Hancock and Gervase Marshall who was transported and John Bradbury with several others that was delivered by proclamation and George Green who I apprehended and was transported and I also identified the person of Robert Poley in prison who pleaded guilty and was transported, Moreover I was repeatedly down at Mansfield before the Magistrates Coll. Need and Major Boothby Esqr. for examination to the above, and on the following March Assize I was nine Days at Nottingham and at Midsummer Assize following I was four days for which I have never recd one farthing for the loss of my time or any thing else, and moreover my shop windows remain boarded up not being able to get the same repair’d, one frame I have got repair’d but the other is in the hands of the framesmith deposited in his hands for payment for his charge for repairing the other, he informs me if he is not immediately payed he will sell it to the best bidder. Having mentioned the above to Coll. Need he tells me he does not act as Magistrate this year being sheriff— and sent me to Thos Maltby Esqr having told the same to Thos. Maltby and Genl Hall the Magistrates for the division they said they was not there at the time or would have seen me righted before now, and Major Boothby is removed from this neighbourhood. Some time back I laid my case before Coll. Elliott, Thos Evans and __ Longdon Esqrs Sitting Magistrates in Nottingham, they all of them told me I was entitled to the rewards offer’d and it was at home I had nothing done for me before this but they could do nothing for me it was out of their division but they gave me a Letter to Mr. Woodcock of Mansfield the Solicitor for him to precure the rewards offerd in your Royal proclamation for me, And Mr. Sculthorp informs me that the rewards are paid into the hands of Mr. Woodcock some time since but I have not as yet recd one farthing for nothing.

In last November where before the Sitting Magistrates in Nottingham Mr. Evans told me that the Secretary of State had gave all the rewards offerd to Mr. Stevens of Mansfield, and that the Committee had closed and they could do nothing for me —

If your Royal Highness will have the goodness to see justice done to an unfortunate poor sufferer who took two of the first Ludds that was taken even one in the very act of breaking my frame (George Jeffries) your Royal Highness will keep me from the parish, and if your petitioner will ever pray—

[To his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales etc]

Friday 3 January 2014

3rd January 1814: Subscribers to the portrait/engraving of Joseph Radcliffe

William Owen's portrait of Joseph Radcliffe

On 7th June 1813, the West Riding bourgeoisie had given an Address of Thanks to Joseph Radcliffe at his residence, Milnsbridge House. They also invited him to sit for a full-length portrait, which was to be funded by a private subscription. 

On Monday 3rd January 1814, the Leeds Intelligencer carried a notice of the last subscriber, William Wilberforce MP, having published a full list of subscribers in the 27th December 1813 edition of the paper. This list is a veritable who's-who of the enemies of Luddism in the West Riding and beyond, although some names are particularly noticeably absent: the Huddersfield solicitor, John Allison; the manufacturer William Cartwright; the Stockport Solicitor John Lloyd; and the manufacturer Francis Vickerman.

A copy of the text of the advert is below (with the list of subscribers after the break).

Of Sir Jos. Radcliffe.

THE SUBSCRIBERS to the PORTRAIT and PRINT, are respectfully informed, that Mr. OWEN, R.A. Portrait Painter to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, has nearly completed a striking likeness of Sir Joseph Radcliffe, Bart. and Mr HEATH, R.A. Historical Engraver to His Majesty, has engaged to execute a Line Engraving from it, in his best and most finished style.

Subscriptions for Proof Impressions at 5l. 5s. for Common Ditto at 2l. 2s. to be delivered according to the Date of Subscriptions, will be received by the principal Booksellers in Town & Country.