Wednesday, 1 June 2016

1st June 1816: Colonel Fletcher asks the Home Secretary to authorise troops to be sent to Bolton

Bolton le moors 1 June 1816

My Lord

The magistrates of this Division having the apprehensive of some breach of the Public Peace, from the assemblages of numerous Bodies of Weavers that have taken place for several Evenings past, on the outskirts of this Town, deemed it expedient on the 30th ultimo, (as the Town had been without any military force whatever, since the reduction of the Local militia, and the Resignation of the yeomanry Troop of Cavalry) a request from the Officer commanding at the Barracks at Manchester, that a Troop of dragoons might be sent to, and remain quartered at, Bolton.

Lieut Col Holmes, commanding the 3d Dragoon Guards, in reply to our request, after assuring the magistrates of his readiness to meet their wishes, and promptly to give every aid to the several Authorities, says "it will be necessary under present circumstances, and particularly as no Riot has actually taken place, that should the magistrates deem it necessary to have Troops at Bolton, they should address themselves to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, or the Right Honorable the Secretary at War"

Lt Col Holmes's letter having been brought to my House, during my absence yesterday, and one Post having been lost, through that circumstance, I take the Liberty to forward this Letter (without the Signature of the other magistrates, who reside at several miles distance, and whose Sentiments on the [illegible] are well known to myself) – and to request that your Lordship will be pleased to direct the Officer commanding at Manchester (Lt Col Holmes) to detach to the Town of Bolton a Troop of Dragoons—to be there quartered, as long as circumstances shall make such a measure necessary.

From the Communication made to Mr Beckett on the 27th ultimo, and also from the joint communication, which Mr Walker and I had the Honor to address to your Lordship on the 29th, I humbly trust, your Lordship will be fully apprized of the Reasons, on which the request of the magistrates was founded, and that it will meet with your Lordships approbation.

I have [etc]
Ra: Fletcher

To the Right Honorable
Lord Viscount Sidmouth

This letter can be found at HO 42/151.

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