Saturday, 28 May 2016

28th May 1816: Sir Henry Bunbury informs the Home Office that arrests have been made for the Brandon disturbances

Mildenhall. May 28th 1816

My dear Beckett,

The business of Brandon has been left of late years (from motions of Courting or Convenience) to the direction of Justices living in & near this place. But nearly the whole of the Town stands in the Hundred of Suffolk for which I am about act in conjunction with Mr. Barker of Newmarket & Mr. Eagle of Lakenheath. We had some conversation yesterday at Bury on the question of meaning the proper Authority of the District magistrates over Brandon; and as we found the Duke of Grafton considered it to be desirable & proper, we have determined to waive the point of delicacy towards Mr. Burch & to take cognizance of proceedings in the said Town. Mr. Barker had previously received information of two Fellows who had been the principal Leaders of the Riots;—and after our meeting at Bury, he set off with great alacrity for Brandon. From the intimidation which had prevailed in that place, Mr. Barker found much difficulty in getting Persons to give Evidence; but at length his perseverance & good management were awarded by such swift Depositions as [moved] him to take up in the course of this morning the five Ringleaders of the late Disorders. Three Fellows were I understand the Delegates of the mob, and prominent in the Tumults & [illegible] which took place. They are all sent to Bury Jail; and I conceive it will be very desirable that, if the Evidence is found sufficient for the conviction of these Offenders, your Special Commission should come into Suffolk & afford some salutary Example to this quarter.—Mr. Barker is deserving of very every commendation for the Spirit, Zeal, & Promptitude he has manifested in this Business.—The Capitulation which had been made with the mob at Brandon, & in conformity with which they are now paying but [two shillings sixpence] a Stone for Flour will explain on Saturday, and we shall then see what course the populace will be inclined to take. But I am strongly persuaded that this Arrest of their Ringleaders coupled with the knowledge of what has passed at Littleport, will prevent their [illegible] the Tumults. However, you must [illegible] Troops in this Quarter & in Cambridge for some time:—during that time exertions will probably be made on all sides to alleviate the distresses of the Poor, and to contrive a means of carrying them through till the Harvest.

Ever, very truly yours
H.E. Bunbury

This letter can be found at HO 42/150.

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