Wednesday, 6 July 2016

6th July 1816: The Leicestershire MP, George Legh Keck, urges an increased reward & protection for informers

Stoughton Grange

My Lord

Since I last had the honor of addressing you I have been requested by The Magistrates now engaged in the Investigation carrying on relative to the late Outrage at Loughborough to enquire whether your Lordship would not feel the propriety of an Offer of [reward] on the part of Government for the discovery of The Offender. At present a reward of £500 is offered by Messrs Heathcote & Co, & a pardon by Government on discovery of The Offenders. It is believed by those who have the best local means of judging that if Government was to make some considerable addition & the previous Offer it would have the best effect; & though I am myself not so sanguine on this head I am convinced that as a proof of anxious exertion on the part of Government it would have a most salutary result.

I am however desired further to represent that in addition to any reward it would be especially necessary that an Informer should receive from Government such employment remote from his ordinary residence as should afford him the future means of Subsistence proportionate to his Character & Abilities, for we well know that his life here would be utterly forfeited. And I need not press this point with your Lordship who will recollect what has already occurred on a similar Occasion; & some employment in the Colonies or elsewhere would be well earned by such a service. & I shall have much satisfaction if by my own means of local Communication I can assist the Good Cause by the development of so dangerous a System of Proceedings.

Your Lordship will be good enough to instruct me as to the answer which will be given to the Magistrates at whose desire I have submitted these Considerations to your Lordship; & I can not conclude without repeating my thorough Conviction that a Cavalry force at Leicester is essentially necessary for the Publick Tranquillity of this district.

Would to God that the severe & general distress now experienced did not offer so wide a field to any mischievous & daring Individuals, but I feel it my duty to state the fact & your Lordship knows that I would not mislead you.

I have the honor to remain

My Lord

Your Ob. Hble. Servt.

[Legh Keck]

July 6th

This letter can be found at HO 42/152.

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