Friday, 22 April 2016

22nd April 1816: A panicked Major Marrie writes to the Home Office from Bildeston, Suffolk

Brettenham Park
Bildeston Suffolk

22d. Apr. 1816

My Lord,

I am induced from the disturbed state of the Labouring classes &c in this part of the Country to address your Lordship, thinking it a duty I owe to my Country and to society in general.

Nightly meetings have already taken place and are still accumulating, they have already burned several Threshing-Machines together with their Barns, [Cows] implements &c—&c— and are dropping threatening letters in the yards and other enclosures of the different persons of property and yesterday one of their papers were dropped in the Parish Church of Hitcham and carried to the Church Warden – they complain of want of work and higher wages – which according to the situation of most of the Farmers here is impossible to grant as they are already too much distressed and having carried all their Corn to Market at so low a price many of them are as unable to bare the pressure of the times as the Pauper – if something prompt is not done, this may lead to serious consequences – I therefore have taken the earliest moment to represent it to your Lordship, as I have been accustomed from my earliest age do my duty. I much regret that a reduction has taken place in all departments, as from reports I have heard several parishes have been taking Oaths to stand by each other as in the meeting at the Nore. I beg your Lordships early attention to my representation, I have armed all my Servants and keep up a patrol for the security of my property & Family

I am, your Lordships obt. Sert.

[Illegible] Marrie

Should your Lordship think proper to [answer] this Letter please direct to

Major Marrie
Brettenham Park

This letter ca be found at HO 42/149.

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