Wednesday, 29 June 2016

29th June 1816: The Mayor of Leicester informs the Clerk of the Peace about the 'Loughborough Job'

Leics June 29

My dear Sir

I think it advisable to send to you a parcel by to day's Coach hoping you may receive it in Time tomorrow to represent to the Secty of State a transaction which took place last night at Loughboro’ and which has caused a considerable sensation in this place

About 1 oClo this morning a party of frame Breakers broke into Heathcoats’ Lace Manufactory at Leicester after shooting & dangerously wounding the Watchman who guarded it, & compelling a party of night Workmen whom they found in the Mill occupied in their business, to lay flat on their faces, threatening to shoot them if they stirred, while some of the party destroyed Lace & Demolished Frames to the extent of many thousand pounds. In less than ½ an hour the whole party having completed their michievous intention, dispersed

300 men are immediately thrown out of work by it – and the System with which the outrage appears to have been conducted was not the least alarming part of it—There are many Groupes about the Streets talking of the affair & I shall not feel surprised if some disposition to outrage is manifested this Evg, especially as I understand there is a kind of rumour spread about that the men condemned at Ely are not to be hanged, for the reason as the report says that Govt. dare not do it.

The falsehood of this only adds to my suspicion that Dark report is set about by some who mean it to have Effect—

Now under these circumstances I cannot help thinking a small party of [Dragoons] might prevent mischief which a large force afterwards sd have difficulty in Stopping—If you are of the same opinion you will see Mr Serjt [Vaughan] or some of the members & use your own discretion.—I shd not like them to come by forced marches – because I do not suggest the idea from alarm, but merely a precaution

I have not time to add more but remain

Yrs very Sincerely
Mr Mansfield

[To Thomas Burbridge]

This letter can be found at HO 42/151.

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