Thursday, 26 May 2016

26th May 1816: General Byng sends his summary of the situation at Ely to the Home Secretary

Ely May 26th 1816

My Lord

I have the Honor to report Your Lordship that I arrived here at an early hour yesterday, in obedience to instructions I received by express from the Horse Guards during the night of the 24th Inst—

Sir Henry Dudley has informed your Lordship of the disturbances (which at Littleport as well as at this place had assumed an alarming appearance) being subdued—It is my duty to state, that it is owing to his personal example, as well as the prompt and determined measures which he took, aided by the magistracy assembled, the riotous disposition in this part of the Country has been so soon, and I trust I may add, so completely put down.

Sir Henry conceiving in opinion with me that but a small force is any longer requisite here—I shall consider it more my particular duty to attend to the Counties of Suffolk and Norfolk—I take upon myself therefore to move my Head Quarters to Newmarket where I shall be more readily in communication with those as well as the County of Cambridge—and as I am informed the Magistrates and principal Gentleman in the Eastern Hundreds of Suffolk meet the Duke of Grafton at Bury tomorrow – it is my intention to ride over there, to communicate with, and afford every assistance in my power towards the preservation of the peace in that County. I shall also give myself the Honor of communication with the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk by this days Post—

Considering it of much consequence that not a moment should be lost in putting down the least inclination to disturbance, I shall not fail to attend whereever I may hesr it is of sufficient consequence to render my presence necessary—providing always for the forwarding to me of every communication—I have however every hope that if decisive and determined measures are adopted in other places, as they were here, when circumstances render them expedient — the tranquillity of the County will in a few days be completely restored—

I have [etc]
John Byng
Major General

[To] Rt. Honble
The Secretary of State
Home Department

This letter can be found at HO 42/150.

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