Saturday, 14 May 2016

14th May 1816: Major Marrie writes of arson attacks in Suffolk

My Lord

I had hoped that the disturbance would have subsided ‘ere now, but I am sorry to find that on Saturday night and on Sunday at 3 oClock in the afternoon, other Fires more dreadful have taken place, that at Lawshall was during the time of eveng service I yesterday sent a Servant over there and I enclose the answer of the Farmer for your Lordships perusal which I only received last night at ½ past 10 oClock

I have been informed this morning that the Clergyman of the Parish (who is a magistrate) has left his house with his Family in consequence of the threat mentioned in the note enclosed. I am happy to remark that the Man who had written the Papers one of which I enclosed to your Lordship has been fully committed (with two others) to Bury Gaol, but that I'm afraid will throw no light upon the Firing system.

I was rather surprized that the magistrates meeting on saturday, when Mr. Wilson informed me of my having written to your Lordship on this subject; with submission to your Lordships better judgment, perhaps  it would be as well upon any partial communication that the name might be kept secret, as should it become known, generally, some other mischief might arise from it – as revenge seems to have actuated the present convulsion. I have seen this morning the person who dispersed the mob, at Rattlesden, he is worthy the [illegible] of at least the Country Gentleman; and I have suggested to Mr. Grisby of Drinkstone, the necessity of making him a Compliment for his spirited exertions, he certainly risqued his life alone, when they assembled nearly 200 to destroy his premises I hope your Lordship will strike out some plan to relieve this County from the calamity & fatigue which we labour under, in watching day & night, some clever persons disguised as labourers, might be the means of discovering the incendiaries—

I have [etc]
Faithful Hbl Servt
[Major] Marrie

Brittenham Park
near Bildeston
14th May 1816

[Enclosed letter]


According to your Request I have Sent you an Answer there has been a Letter found by a boy but not now in my possession but a very threatening one, it were, it Specified there where three Farm houses in this parish to be Burnt and the parson to be Burnt in his bed, I have Insured, my Loss 4 Horses 6 Calves about 50 Combs of Wheat Barley and Oats about 12 [illegible] the house with great Difficulty was Saved

Yrs Humb Servt

[Thos] Bradley

May 12 1816

This letter & attached note is from HO 42/150.

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