Wednesday, 8 June 2016

8th June 1816: A Clerk to Norfolk magistrates has concerns that risings are still being planned in East Anglia

My Lord [Suffield]

Mr. Robert Harvey a Farmer & Miller of respectability and considerable property called upon the late this evening to communicate the intelligence which he had been able to collect during the day in Suffolk, considering himself as a marked man if any riot should take place, of which he seems persuaded of the probability. The restlessness is I believe that present confined to the Suffolk side of the Waveney. His Mills are on the river, and it appears to be highly expedient to take measures both the defence of Mr. Harvey's premises and to prevent the mischief from spreading in Norfolk. The same information which I send your Lordship will be communicated early tomorrow morning to Mr. Lee at Dicklebury who is a magistrate for Suffolk and I write my this nights post to Col: Nelthorpe in Norwich to request a detachment of Dragoons if possible to be sent to Harleston as the information which Mr. Harvey has detailed to me more at length than is assembled in a short affidavit which I requested him to write down hastily, bespeaks a degree of regular organization on the border of Suffolk too dangerous to be trifled with. I expect that some of the principal yeoman will arm themselves and be ready to unite if necessary for their mutual Defence, but having no corps means as we shall hardly be able to resist a mob with effect, and therefore I [request] your Lordship to sanction my application for military aid to take such measures for maintaining the peace of the County as your Lordship may think better adapted to the purpose

I have [etc]
John Oldenshaw

Harleston June 8th 1816.—

[affidavit follows]

Norfolk to wit

Robert C Harvey at Aldburgh County Norfolk informs me John Oldenshaw Clerk that he has this day had information from Mr. Gower of Metfield & Mr. Chambers of St James's in Suffolk, that a party of Men about 100 assembled between Nine & Eleven OClk last Thursday [evening] upon a Common call’d Greazy Green—& in their way there did press such poor Men as they met with, telling them if they refused to join them, that their Houses should immediately be destroy’d & that both Mr. Gower & Mr. Chambers had [received] information from those pressed Men, that the Party was headed by two Men arm’d on Horse back & that they met the purpose of fixing upon the Time of Meeting again to destroy the Premises of such People as are obnoxious to them, & that they are determined to destroy the premises of those who do not accompany them, whether Farmers or poor Men, & R. Harvey has had further information, that those Men have sent out Men to different Villages to tempt the Labourers to join them & that Monday evening is the time fix’d for their next Meeting at which it is fear’d they will proceed to carry their threats into execution.—

R. C. Harvey further declares upon his Oath that he believes Mr. Gower & Mr. Chambers to be most respectable Farmers & fully entitled to credit

Robert Harvey

Sworn before me
June 8th 1816
John Oldenshaw—

This letter & affidavit can be found at HO 42/151.

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