Tuesday, 24 May 2016

24th May 1816: Sir H.B. Dudley updates the Home Secretary from Ely

Ely Friday Evening

My Lord

On my arrival here I found that my Brother Magistrates had entered into an indirect amnesty with the Principal Insurgents, the mischievous terms of which your Lordship will see in the publication enclosed. The consequence has been what might have been easily foreseen: that the Insurgents feeling themselves thus triumphant, fell back to Littleport last night from those of this Town, where they recommenced their outrages with savage activity, and after levying contributions on all the Inhabitants, and destroying considerable property in Dwellings, [Stacks] Guineas &c are preparing as I understand to advance to join the mal-contents of this place this evening. A troop of Royston Yeomanry, we pressed on as we returned will arrive in half an hour; so that what with irregular cavalry we have here consisting of a detachment mentioned Enclosed in another. I have no doubt but we shall defeat them, but I am not inclined to think from all I learn that we shall be able to advance against them, to effect their complete overthrow, & secure the numerous Desperadoes that must be brought to [illegible] punishment until the arrival of a further military force.

—The information in the annexed Letter addressed to your Lordship, was about to be sent off on my arrival.—

Your Lordship may depend upon nothing being left undone on my part that can contribute to the restoration of the public tranquillity.—I have heard of five or six insurgents being connected in this town from Littleport as [illegible] to the main body expected from that place.—We are going instantly in search of them.—

I write in the midst of a noisy & alarmed Committee so that I fear I shall have scarcely made myself intelligible to your Lordship.—

Your Lordship will hear from me again tomorrow without fail

I have [etc]

Bate Dudley

PS. The continuing Outrages at Littleport are so alarming that, I am induced to make a Dash at the Insurgents without loss of time

[Ely Friday evening 24th May 1816]

This letter can be found at HO 42/150.

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