Friday, 24 April 2015

24th April 1815: George Coldham informs the Home Office that the Luddites are behind the recent public meetings in Nottingham

Nottingham 24th April 1815

Dear Sir,

You will I am sure be sorry to learn that our old Enemies the Luddites are at Work again & upon a new System. On Saturday we learnt that they were endeavouring to collect a Meeting for very illegal Purposes upon the Nottingham Forest & Placards of which I Inclose you a Copy sent me by the Mayor in a very legible Hand were stuck up in the Night on Friday, & early on Saturday Morning. A Meeting of the magistrates was In consequence of the Proceedings on Wednesday last I was directed to give directions for the Infantry Guard at the Guard Room to be Doubled after a Picquet of 12 or 15 men to hold themselves constantly in readiness to act both at the Barracks & in the Town. Yesterday the Magistrates met & called upon the whole of the Horse to be in readiness appointed a Meeting with the County Magistrates this day at 12 & ordered the Hand Bill & posting Bill of which I inclose you Copies to be posted & distributed every where in the Neighbourhood & it is this their Determination to prevent any Meeting being held which they consider themselves fully justified in doing when the [illegible] to be to Direct People to resist Government by peaceably & orderly refusing to pay the Taxes.

I will write to you by tomorrow's Post. I have heard [satisfactorily] from Sir Nathaniel Conant & I therefore presume Lord Sidmouth has been so good as to attend to my [letter] respecting Thomas Garton

Yours very truly

Geo Coldham

[To: John Beckett]

This letter can be found at HO 42/144.

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