Tuesday, 24 May 2016

24th May 1816: Ely Magistrates write to the Home Secretary about the disorder there

My Lord,

In Addition to the Report, which we did ourselves the Honor of communicating to you, by our Brother magistrate—the Reverend Mr [Lomas?], we feel it is our Duty to state further for your Information, that a Detachment of the First Light Dragoons, consisting of Captain [Methuen] & sixteen privates, has arrived here; but that they are by no means sufficient to quell the turbulent Spirit of the riotous populace, who, tho’ dispersed for the present still continue to exhibit the strongest Symptoms of a dangerous Disposition, which we can are apprehensive will again break out with encreased Violence, as all the Reports from the neighbouring Villages confirm; one of them Littleport, which is only five miles distant, being in the intire pawn of the Rioters, who are levying Contributions upon the peaceable Inhabitants, & are threatening Destruction to the Village—We therefore earnestly intreat you to send us a sufficient force to aid the exertions of ourselves & the peaceable Inhabitants of the place, to save us from the Dangers with which we are surrounded & from the Destruction with which we are threatened. We respectfully suggest, that nothing short of two full Troops of Horse will enable us to answer for the peace of this Town & neighbourhood, & that a piece or two of Artillery would be particularly serviceable, as some of the Rioters are armed with large fowling Guns, whose Tubes are from seven to ten feet in length, & will carry from one to two pounds of Shot, & will kill at a Distance of one hundred or perhaps two hundred yards—We have the Honor to be,

your most obedient Servants.
Peploe Ward DD.
John Vachell

Ely, May 24th 1816

[To] The Right Honble Lord Sidmouth
&c &c &c—

This letter can be found at HO 42/150.

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