Sunday, 28 June 2015

28th June 1815: The Town Clerk of Leicester receives an informer's letter from Nottingham

28th June 1815.

Dear Sir,

You well know by what a set of Scoundrels we are surrounded in this place — I mean the Ludites — their present plan is to overturn the Government by a revolution. There is an organized society for this purpose — and I am sorry to say that in the number of manufacturing Towns the same intention prevails — Leicester is in the number — I therefore think it prudent — well knowing your loyal & good intentions to give you such information as has come to my knowledge in order that you may put the Magistrates on their guard & thereby frustrate the intentions of these miscreants. The Nottingham Arms in Belgrave Gate is their principal place of rendezvous — Johnson, a retail Hosier, son of the Landlady is a first rate mover in this business but is a wary, cautious fellow — Brown, a Painter in the same Street, is also a principal – There are several societies in Leicester & the members are all sworn — It was the intention of them to send a Deputy to London. For this purpose & to make other arrangements a meeting was to be held at Mrs Johnson’s on the 26th inst.

I do not presume to offer any advice on this occasion — no doubt the thing will appear ridiculous to many that a few insignificant individuals should think of adopting so mighty a plan as that of bringing about a revolution — However I leave the matter to your consideration — & I must particularly request that you will on no account communicate my name – You have no idea that a murderous set of Villains are to be found in this neighbourhood I again request you will tear my name from the paper—

I am,
Your’s very sincerely

I feel myself under the necessity of cautioning you still further — namely, not on any account to let it be known from whence you receive this information — I mean is coming from this place, lest the party from whom I derive my information may be suspected — Probably you will not think, it adviseable to consult with more than two or three of your Magistrates — If Mr. H. Wood should be one of them I have no objection to give him my confidence —

One part of the plan is to seize the Militia arms now in depot at Leicester—

[To] Burbidge Esqr.
Town Clerk,

This letter can be found at HO 42/145.

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