Thursday 17 December 2015

17th December 1815: James Stevens explains to the Home Secretary the reality of the attack on Mary Stainsby

Mansfield 17th Decr 1815.

My Lord,

Since I had the honor of addressing your Lordship on the subject of a female having been shot at in this place & wounded on a supposition that the Spirit of Luddism was reviving, the Hand Bill circulated (of which a Copy was transmitted to your Lordship) has had the Effect of bringing to light the Circumstances occasioning the Accident―It appears from the Confession of such female (who is a married Woman) that at the time she received the Shot she was in Company with a respectable Tradesmen in a private Lane near the Town of Mansfield, and that a young Man who was returning from shooting in Company with another person had imprudently fired off his Gun and the Contents struck the female, she being a married Woman and desirous that her Husband should not get to know the knowledge of her Infidelity, had represented the Case in a deep laid plot to give Colour to the Accident having arisen from a Spirit of Luddism, but in Consequence of certain circumstantial Evidence collected and being closely interrogated as to the Truth of the Circumstances she made the Confession.—

I inclose your Lordship one of the Hand Bills which has been issued by direction of the Magistrates in pursuance of such Confession.

I have the Honor to be
My Lord
Your Lordship’s humble Servt
James Stevens

The Right Honble
Lord Sidmouth

This letter can be found at HO 42/147.

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