Friday, 26 June 2015

26th June 1815: George Coldham reports on plans to send his informer to London

Nottingham June 1815


Dear Sir,

I inclose you a Copy of our last Report by which you will perceive the Statement made by our Informant of the Situation of Leicester. I did not I confess think these Men quite so dangerous as I was Disposed to imagine that but I still conceive their power of doing harm rendered expedient to know as much of them as we can. The Secret Committee have therefore Determined to let our Informant go to London if the Luddites can raise him a Companion & so much Money as to clear him of the Suspicion of being too forward If they can furnish the two Men £6 he will pretend to have got Subscriptions as far as £2 & will go [illegible] care to raise in the meantime some small Subscriptions where it will be reported to them. I have conferred with the Magistrates & if he goes they have Determined to send me Clerk Francis Wright with whom our Informant communicates here with an Introduction to you so that if it really appears that there is any channel of communication in London which it can be important for Government to know you & Lord Sidmouth will be put in possession of it. The Expenses attending this measure I have taken upon myself to be responsible for the Secret do not think it belongs to them & the Magistrates are aware that it may form a questionable Article in the County Rate Accounts & I hope you will think it is an Expense which Government will under the circumstances consider them bound to provide for. Nothing good or important may arise out of it or it may lead to useful Information but if the opportunity occurs I shall not think I Do my Duty without making the experiment. As by probability our Informant’s going may be Delayed somewhat longer I have shall be glad to hear from you on this subject by return of Post if you differ from me in Opinion. We hope we are in a [fair] [Train] of finding as the Person who wrote the private Letter to me respecting the Arms & that more Information may result from it. I think nothing at all of their means of any serious permanent mischief but I believe a few of them are mad & desperate enough for anything. At present they are very slow to believe in the Defeat of Bonaparte. I cannot close this Letter without congratulating Lord Sidmouth & yourself most sincerely & heartily upon the late glorious Victory which has placed Lord Wellington & this Country upon the very Pinnacle of Military Glory I devoutly hope that it may be immediately lead to consequences important & decisive of the best Interests of Britain & of Europe.

I am Dear Sir,
Your’s very truly
Geo. Coldham

[To] J. Beckett Esqr.

PS. Our Informant [returns] to communicate with us to morrow Afternoon where you shall hear if he can be safely permitted to go to London

This letter can be found at HO 42/144. The letter is only dated 'June 1815', and the Home Office clerks have not pinned down the precise date, but it clearly post-dates the informer's report dated 25th June, and I have therefore decided to date it as 26th June 1815.

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