Wednesday 31 August 2016

31st August 1816: Daniel Harwood & Thomas Thody are executed at Norwich for their parts in the 'Bread or Blood' disturbances

Two accounts of the execution of the 'Bread & Blood' rioters Daniel Harwood & Thomas Thody appear in the local press, both of which are reproduced below. The executions took place on Saturday 31st August 1816,

The Norwich Mercury of 7th September 1816:
On Saturday last were executed at the Castle Hill, Thomas Moy, for sheep stealing, and Thomas Thody, and Daniel Harwood, for rioting at Downham. They were all of them men of honest and reputable connections, and were brought to their untimely end by Sabbath-breaking—by bad company of both sexes—by occasional intoxication, when in their power—and by following a multitude to do evil. As far as their time permitted, they endeavoured to atone for their former neglect of their duty to God, by assiduously employing themselves in devotional exercises, and there is reason to think that, had their lives been spared, they would have been better men, better subjects, and better Christians; but the prevalence and danger of the crimes for which for which their lives were forfeited and the necessity of making severe examples to deter others from similar crimes, rendered all applications in their favour to the higher powers fruitless. Their behaviour since they were left for execution, was meek and contrite; and they passed their weary hours in reading the Scriptures, in fervent prayer, and in attentively listening to the terms of salvation held out by the Saviour to truly penitent sinners. Having taken a last farewell of their relatives and friends, and an affecting leave of their fellow prisoners, and after being indulged in waiting till the last moment, in the forlorn hope of reprieve, they proceeded to the place of execution.—When the prayers appropriated to the solemn occasion were concluded, they submitted, with manly resignation, to the awful preparations for death. Harwood was first fixed to the fatal tree. Thody was the next sufferer, and he suffered indeed, as far as related to mental suffering: he had hitherto conducted himself with patient fortitude, and with a steady step had ascended the scaffold; but, when the rope was placed on his neck, the remembrance of his wife and children, whom he loudly called upon and deplored, overwhelmed his mind, and with agonising screams he would have fallen in a fit, had he not been supported by the exhortations of the Ordinary and of his fellow sufferers, and by the soothing attentions of those around him, he recovered soon from his fainting state, and stood up firmly while the executioner performed his office upon him and Moy, who was the last tied up. The raised part of the platform immediately fell, and they died with some convulsive struggles, in which Moy appeared to be the longest sufferer. No malefactors ever expired with greater sympathy from the immense multitude, which covered the whole surface of the hill joining the place of execution.—Thomas Moy, aged 32, was born at Guestwick in Norfolk, and has left a wife and seven young children. The pressure of the times had involved him in great distress; and he had undertaken to hire a farm of considerable extent at Binham, to which his circumstances were by no means equal. His relations are respectable, and the crime for which he suffered was the only one which brought him under the sentence of the law.—Daniel Harwood, aged 32, was a native of Gooderstone, in Norfolk, unmarried, and pursued an agricultural mode of life, by occasionally working with his waggon and team in jobs for farmers, as is the custom, in that part of the country where he resided, near Downham. This wandering manner of life led him into bad company, and together with a neglect of his religious duties, at length involved him in the riots which brought him to his untimely end.—Thomas Thody, aged 22, was born at St. Neots, in Huntingdonshire, and has resided several years at Necton, in Norfolk, where his father was coachman to the late Mr. Mason. He has left a wife and two small children.
The Norfolk Chronicle of 7th September 1816:
This day se’nnight, Daniel Harwood, and Thomas Thody, for rioting; and Thomas Moy, for sheep stealing, were executed on the Castle Hill, pursuant to their sentence at the last Assizes, amidst an immense concourse of spectators, who expressed their pity for the unfortunate but guilty sufferers.—The execution not taking place till half-past one, gave strength to the prevalent though unfounded rumour that a reprieve had been received for these unhappy men. Harwood and Moy behaved with great firmness; as did Thody until he was placed under the fatal tree. The recollection of his wife and children, and the horror of immediate death, then overcame his fortitude; he was nearly sinking down under an agony of grief and terror, which he expressed by convulsive shrieks, and was obliged for a short time to be supported by several men. By the admonitions, however, of those attended him on the scaffold, and of his two fellow sufferers, he soon recovered and underwent the last painful part of his sentence with manly resolution. During the short period that intervened between their condemnation, and execution, they received every help and consolation that Religion could afford; and they died with penitence, in the faith of their Saviour, and in a firm trust in the mercies of HIM, who is the great foundation of all mercy!—Moy was in his 33d year, he was born at Guestwick in this county, and his relations are respectable, he was (as we have before had occasion to notice) a farmer, occupying nearly a hundred acres of land at Binham; and has left a wife and seven young children.—Thody who has also left a wife and two children, was 22 years old, born at St. Neots, in Huntingdonshire, and has resided several years at Necton, in this county.—Howard, aged 22, was a native of Gooderstone, in this county, and unmarried.—We are authorised to state, in opposition to a report which has been pretty widely circulated, that none of these unfortunate men, had ever made any profession of religion among any body of Christians; but on the contrary, they acknowledge that they lived in an awful neglect of religious duties, and had been sinking in sin, prior to their commission of those crimes, which brought them to their unhappy end

Tuesday 30 August 2016

30th August 1816: James Towle's execution delayed as he wins an appeal to the Court of Exchequer

On Saturday 31st August 1816, the Leicester Chronicle reported an update on James Towle's case:
A Respite for Towle.—The awful sentence of the law against this unfortunate man, is delayed being carried into effect until November next,—a respite for that purpose having yesterday been received by C. W. Pochin, Esq. High Sheriff.—It is conjectured, that the omission in the Indictment will be the subject of discussion in the Court of King's Bench, before the order for the prisoner's execution is finally issued.

Thursday 25 August 2016

25th August 1816: Burglary & frame-breaking near Stapleford, Nottinghamshire

The Nottingham Review of 30th August 1816 reported an incident that had taken place at midnight on Sunday 25th August 1816:
On Saturday night, about twelve o'clock, the house of a person named Bramley, who lives in a lane very near Bramcote-house, in the parish of Stapleford, was entered by a number of thieves, who broke four frames and robbed the house of a quantity of linen, some clothes, and part of a flitch of bacon. These robbers have not yet been apprehended, though we hope they will not escape the hands of justice.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

24th August 1816: Joseph Bugg is executed at Ipswich for his part in the 'Bread or Blood' disturbances

The Cambridge Chronicle of 30th August 1816 gave sparse coverage to the execution of Joseph Bugg, who had been found guilty of arson at the previous Suffolk Assizes:
On Saturday last Joseph Bugg was executed at Ipswich, pursuant to his sentence at the last Suffolk assizes, for setting fire to a barn and cart-lodge, in the occupation of Mr. Glanfield, of Martlesham-hall. When exhorted by the chaplain to confess, he replied, he was in liquor, and did not know what he did; but after the Chaplain had left him, he confessed to the gaoler and the persons assisting, (just before he was turned off) that he set fire to a quantity of whins that were near the premises burnt. He was 26 years of age, had served in the Spanish campaign, and was much addicted to liquor.

Thursday 18 August 2016

18th August 1816: Jeffery Lockett informs the Home Office that Luddites are involved with Hampden Clubs


In my last letter, I informed you, that Slater, who was acquitted at Leicester, was in Derby. He has been here ever since, and has been joined by ten or twelve other notorious Luddite from Nottm. They are certainly collecting money, and pretend to be employed in forming associations of workmen, in the Stocking and Lace manufacturies, both in this town, and the neighbouring villages, which they call "Hampden Clubs".—The names of the members are inrolled, and a system of communication is established, by which every club, within a certain district, can be assembled at an appointed place, in the most expeditious possible manner. Whether this is a scheme preparatory to the attempt of a rescue of Towle, or to create a disturbance at the time of his execution;—or whether the object of the associations is of a more general, and of political nature, has not yet been ascertained.

Hitherto Towle has shewn no disposition to discover his confederates.—They are in the greatest alarm. I know many of them in, and near Nottingham and Loughbro’ also, who were certainly concerned in the outrage at Messrs Heathcoat & Boden's factory, but seeing no chance of convicting them, without the evidence of an accomplice of an accomplice, I have abstained from taking them into custody.—If Towle should, as I shall think him he will, make any discovery, however unimportant it may be, it would be adviseable to take up every suspected person. The fact of Towle having given information might be divulged, and the particulars of it be kept profoundly secret—The Loughbro’ men who were concerned in the outrage, are novices in Luddism.—They would at once [infere] that they were apprehended in consequence of information given by Towle—and it is very probable that some of them would impeach—

I am afraid you will think me officious and troublesome. I am most anxious to give these wretches a check before the winter sets in—but I cannot act without authority; and since the death of the late Mr. Mundy there has not been a magistrate in this neighbourhood who has taken the same active part in public business, which he did.

May I request the favour of an early answer from you as I propose to go from home for a short time on Saturday next. I have the honour to be

Your most obedt Servt
Mr Jeffery Lockett
Derby Augt. 18th 1816

18th August 1816: The Home Office is informed of frame-breaking in Godalming, Surrey

Post office Godalmin
18th Aug 1816

Hon Sir

I take the earliest oportunity of informing you, that late on Friday Night, the 16th or early on Saturday morning the 17th Inst. some person or persons broke into the Fleecy Hosiery manufactory here belonging to Messrs Holland, Waistell, Horton & Co and stole some part and otherwise damaged 6 Stocking Frames, but not to any serious account supposing the depradation had been alarmed soon after he or they entered the shop and by that means made their escape without doing any further damage

at present their is hopes of descovring the people

I believe I am doing right in giving you this information according to the circular Letter I lately recd

I am
Hon Sir your most obedt St
[illegible signature]

Tuesday 16 August 2016

16th August 1816: The trial of the Feltwell & Downham Market rioters, at Norfolk Assizes

The Norfolk Chronicle of 24th August 1816, carried an extensive report about the trials of those charged with rioting in Feltwell and Downham Market during the 'Bread and Blood' disturbances of the previous May. The trials covered two days, Friday 16th & Saturday 17th August 1816:

Before Lord Justice Lord Chief Justice Gibbs.

Wm. Bell, Amelia Lightharness, and Hannah Jarvis were indicted for having, on the 20th of last May, together with various other persons, riotously into and tumultuously assembled at the parish of Southery, in Norfolk, from whence they proceeded to acts of theft and violence in the town of Downham Market, which were specified by the evidence.

Francis Wiseman stated that she kept a pork and sausage shop in Downham Market; that in the afternoon of the 20th of May, a mob was assembled in the front of her house; that she observed the prisoner, Amelia Lightharness, looking in at the shop window, and that immediately afterwards the same prisoner opened the latch of the door, and brought in several of the mob, telling them, "this was the shop for good pork." The witness further stated, that her shop formed a part of her dwelling-house; that the prisoner Lightharness was the first that entered, and that at her instigation the mob ransacked the shop of the witness, taking away forcibly a quantity of pork sausages. The shop window was broken by the violence of the people.

Maria Palmer, Wm. Buxton, and Zachariah Stebbing severally corroborated the first witness, and the latter proved that all the above named prisoners entered the shop of Mrs. Wiseman, and concurred in the acts of violence there committed.—Bell and Jarvis severally produced evidence of good character. Verdict—all Guilty.

Thomas Thody, Charles Nelson, Daniel Harwood, the same Hannah Jarvis, Elizabeth King, Margaret Jerry, and Elizabeth Watson.

These prisoners were indicted as forming part of the same unlawful riotous assembly at Southery, as before mentioned, and for proceeding to assault Wm. Spinks, at Downham aforesaid, and stealing from his person certain quantity of meal and flour.

Williams Spinks stated that he was apprentice to Mr. Baldwin, a miller, at Downham, and at the time of this riot had the charge of his mill. That on the said 20th of May last, at about two in the afternoon, he saw a large number of persons approach the mill, whilst he was on the road about a furlong off; that upon is coming up to them he they demanded of him the key of the mill, which he delivered to them through the impulse of fear; that the persons so assembled had sticks and cudgels; that upon his delivering them the key the mill, they proceeded to lay violent hands upon the meal, flour, and sacks found therein, some part of which they threw about and destroyed, and other part they carried away with them.

This witness, together with George Gillingham, Susan Stebbing, Pleasance Laws, and Wm. Baldwin, or some of them, identified the persons of all the prisoners, and proved that Charles Nelson was the first to enter the mill. Verdict—All Guilty.

The same Thomas Thody, the same Daniel Harwood, Lucy Rumbelow, the said Amelia Lightharness, Wm. Youngs, Edward Mellon, and William Galley were indicted as parties to the same unlawful and riotous assembly at Southery aforesaid, and having proceeded to Downham, for breaking open the dwelling-house and shop of Samuel Bolton, a butcher there, and stealing therein and carrying away a certain quantity of pork, the property of the said Samuel Bolton, the said Samuel Bolton and another being in the house and being put in fear.

Samuel Bolton stated, that he had on the said 20th of May given to the mob some meat, in the hope of pacifying them; that about five o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, they came in a large body to his house and demanded more, which he said he was unable to give them. Upon this occasion, the prisoners, Thody, Harwood, and a man named Fendyke, who is still at large, appeared to be the ringleaders. Harwood said, if witness did not give them more they would have all there was in the shop.—The shop was shut and witness was standing at the door of his house. To this menace, uttered by Harwood, the witness replied, "he would be damned if they should," and immediately close and bolted the door, and went towards the kitchen, for the purpose of loading two guns, with which he meant to defend his property. Before he had reached his guns, however, the mob forced open the door, and stripped the shop of meat to the value of 5l. or 6l.

These prisoners were all identified as taking an active part on this occasion, by the concurrent testimony of the last-named witness, and Thomas Bolton, Zachariah Stebbing, and Ann Springfield.—Verdict—All Guilty.

The same Thomas Thody, the same Daniel Harwood, Frances Porter, John Bell and John Blogg were indicted as parties to the same unlawful and riotous assembly, and for breaking open the dwelling-house of John Parkinson, in Downham aforesaid, no person being therein, and feloniously stealing and carrying away a quantity of flour, and various articles of wearing apparel, found therein.

Hannah, wife of the said John Parkinson, who is a tailor and baker, and keeps a general shop at Downham, stated, that being terrified at the appearance of the mob, they had, on the said 20th of May last, shut their shop, and retreated to the house of a neighbour. The mob did proceed to Mr. Parkinson’s house and shop, as was expected, and after they were gone away the witness, with her family, returned, upon which they found the house had been broken open, and they missed from the shop hats, waistcoats, shawls, shoes, flour, and other articles.

The evidence of the last witness, corroborated by her daughter Charlotte Parkinson, Richard Gamble, Thomas Mallet Bailey, Wm. Gamble, Charles Smith, and James Weston, was sufficiently clear to establish the charge against all the prisoners except John Bell, who had not been seen in the house, but had been afterwards met with hats under his arm.

The latter prisoner was therefore acquitted, and the others found—all Guilty.

John Sterne was indicted for larceny only, he having on the said 20th of May demanded cheese of Wm. Oakes, at Downham.

Wm. Oakes stated that the prisoner came with a mob and demanded cheese, which he delivered to him through fear, observing at the same time that he himself wanted it as much as they did. Samuel Johnson, the landlord of the Crown Inn, at Downham, stated, that on the same day the prisoner Sterne brought a cheese to his house, and divided it among the mob, who were there assembled. Verdict—Guilty.

The same John Sterne, the said Thomas Thody, and John Pearson were indicted for breaking open the Crown Inn, at Downham, together with other persons, for assaulting the said Samuel Johnson, the landlord, and stealing from his person meat, beer, and other provisions. Mr. Johnson identified the persons of the prisoners Thody and Pearson as having been foremost of the party who first broke in by force, but the prisoner Sterne was not observed by him until he (Sterne) produced a cheese, which was sometime after the forcible entry. Sterne was therefore acquitted upon this indictment. The other prisoners were found both found Guilty.

In addressing the Jury upon the several indictments for riot, the Chief Justice very clearly explained the law to them, that in tumultuous assemblies of this nature, not only the parties which commit any acts of violence are answerable to the law, but likewise all persons who, by joining a mob, give a sanction to their unlawful proceedings, were in the eye of the law equally guilty of any outrage which was committed by any of such mob, with the party by whose hand the fact is actually done. In directing the verdict of the Jury respecting the attack made upon the dwelling-house and shop of Mr. Bolton, his Lordship observed, that if, by any act of the mob, murder had been committed upon the person of Mr. Bolton, or of any of his family, all the persons composing that mob would have been equally guilty; but on the other hand, if Mr. Bolton, in defending his property, had killed any of the persons who made this attack, he would have been justified in doing so. In allusion to the good characters which most prisoners adduced in their own favour, with respect to the honesty and peaceable habits of their former lives, the Judge emphatically observed, that nothing could more clearly shew the necessity of suppressing such disorderly and mischievous proceedings as were subjects of these trials. Persons who had heretofore acted honestly, and had been good members of society, had now, by deluding one another in the vain hope of addressing those grievances which their proceedings only tended to aggravate, evinced their peaceable dispositions by unlawfully assembling to the terror of well disposed persons, and their honesty by forcibly seizing the property of others.

His Lordship further stated, there where facts were so clearly proved as they had been in most of the above cases, the character of the parties ought to have no weight in the verdict of a Jury, although in measuring the punishment of the offenders, their respective characters would not be forgotten. It was in cases of doubt only in which the former characters of prisoners should weigh in the minds of Juries.

John Cracknell, Jeremiah Lawrence, and Thos. Pleasance, were indicted for having, on the 18th of last May, feloniously assaulted Thomas Willett, a shopkeeper, and Feltwell, and having at the same time stolen from his person two Bank notes, of the value of one pound each.—Mr Willett stated, that on the morning of the said 18th of May, he saw a body of people, to the number of from 50 to 100, including boys, collected together in Feltwell; that they stated their intention of proceeding to destroy the Dam, which the witness stated he himself, and, he believed, the whole parish deemed a very desirable measure, as the Dam was considered injurious to the inhabitants. That on the return from the Dam, at about five in the afternoon, they assembled in the front of his house, and on his coming out, he saw the prisoner Cracknell amongst them, who pulled off his hat, and said, "I hope, Sir, you’ll please to give us something." The witness then asked what his neighbour, Mr. Fuller, had given them, and was answered, that he had given twenty shillings. The witness, therefore, gave them a one pound bill; upon which some persons from the back of the mob cried out that they must have two pounds. Mr. Willett then gave another.—In answer to some very pertinent questions from the Chief Justice, Mr. Willett said, he considered the first one pound as an encouragement to the people for their day's work in destroying the Dam; but he admitted that he gave the second through a fear that his windows might be broken if he did not.

John Place stated, that he saw the prisoner Pleasance amongst the mob before Mr. Willett’s house, which he described as a company of people.

John Thorpe saw Cracknell and Pleasance amongst the company of people before Mr. Willett’s house, and saw the notes given by Mr. W. to Cracknell.—On his cross-examination he said, some of the people called at Mr. Willet’s house to know if he thought it right that the Dam should be destroyed; to which Mr. Willett had replied, that "it was a thing that was necessary." That the company of people then said, they should call to be paid for their job on their return.

The Judge then stated to the Jury, that as the counsel for the prosecution did not press this case, they might acquit the prisoners, which was done accordingly.

He then desired that Mr. Willett might not go out of Court, and enquired whether or not the Grand Jury were discharged, and appeared disappointed at being answered in the affirmative.

Upon Mr. Willett being again called before his Lordship, the latter stated, that he should refrain from mentioning names, but there had been few persons in the bar before him, on the several charges for rioting, who had incurred more, in so much blame, as the persons who had been concerned in encouraging the measures of those who had destroyed the Dam at Feltwell. Those were the persons who had given rise to the mischievous consequences that had followed two days after at Downham.

Mr Serjeant Blossett, as the leading Counsel on the part of the Crown, then stated to the Jury, that it was now that he first learned the real complexion of the late disturbances at Feltwell. If such persons as Mr. Willett gave encouragement to the mob, as has been shewn by the evidence, that which followed amongst the lower orders could excite no surprise.—Having convicted the ringleaders at Downham, sufficient had been done to answer the purposes of the prosecution on the part of the Crown, which could only be to shew persons who were disposed to join in such tumultuous proceedings, that those transactions cannot take place with impunity, for that a day of reckoning must come sooner or later.


The Chief Justice now proceeded to pass sentence of transportation for seven years on John Sterne, who had been indicted and convicted of larceny only, in stealing a cheese from Mr. William Oakes, of Downham, the charges against him not having been laid capitally.

This being done, the following prisoners, who had been capitally convicted of rioting, 16 in number, (viz. William Bell, Amelia Lightharness, Hannah Jarvis, Thomas Thody, Charles Nelson, Daniel Harwood, Elizabeth King, Margaret Jerry, Elizabeth Watson, Lucy Rumbelow, William Youngs, Edward Mellon, William Galley, Frances Porter, John Blogg, and John Pearson), were called before his Lordship to shew cause why Sentence of Death should not pass against them to die according to law. The Chief Justice, then, in a very impressive manner, passed that solemn sentence upon them. His Lordship stated, that on account of the good characters which some of them had borne, it would afford him high satisfaction if circumstances should appear to justify him in recommending their cases for a relaxation in the severity of their punishment. Nevertheless, he wished them not to be deluded into any ill founded security. There were amongst them some who had excelled their fellows, and had stood foremost in the execution of their misguided and wicked actions. To these he could hold out no hope. His Lordship concluded by exhorting them all to use well the short time which might remain to them in this world, and to make their peace with Him before whom they must soon appear in the next.

Of the above 16 prisoners who received sentence of death, two only are left for execution, viz. Harwood and Thody. All the others were reprieved.

After the ringleaders had been tried and convicted, the following minor offenders were discharged on giving security for their good behaviour, viz. John Jerry, Harrison Bone, and John Bowers.

16th August 1816: 'An appalling picture of distress' in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire

The Nottingham Review of 16th August 1816 published the following sobering passage about the distresses being experienced amongst framework-knitters in Sutton-in-Ashfield:
A Correspondent in a large village in this neighbourhood, has sent us the following appalling picture of distress; and we are sorry to say, we have every reason to believe, from the account given by an inhabitant of the place, who called upon us this week, that so far from the facts being too highly coloured, on an investigation they would be found to exceed the representation here given: we are told that one farmer in the parish is now paying 15s. per day, as a poor rate; and we know for a certainty, that for a smart house, the rental of which is 3l. 10s. a year, the tenant is paying between two and three shillings a week to the same rate. That such a state of things cannot long continue, must be evident to every reflecting mind:—"The situation of Sutton-in-Ashfield is truly miserable. There are no less than fourteen Sick Clubs or Institutions for the relief of each other in cases of inability to follow their occupations, containing above twelve hundred members, who have stopped paying and receiving during the present distress, for the want of employ, which renders it impossible for the greatest part of them to pay their contributions, and consequently must have been excluded, is such an expedient had not been resorted to. Many are in the practice of procuring fire fuel by going two or three miles to the coal pits with wheelbarrows, and some join in numbers at a cart or a waggon and divide them when they have drawn them home. Out of the number of almost two thousand frames, not one hundred have full employ; and those who have hitherto paid poor rates, are called upon to an extent of distress which is unparalleled."

Monday 15 August 2016

15th August 1816: An anonymous writer sends a letter about James Towle to the Home Secretary

My Lord

I take the liberty of communicating a few ideas to your Lordship respecting Towle the Frame breaker, presuming that it is the duty of every Individual to make known anything that may appear to Him calculated to put an end to a System so dangerous and destructive the Ulterior (tho not avowed) object of which is the subversion of the Government and whose ramifications extend not only to the Counties of Nottingham Derby and Leicester, But in a greater or less degree to the metropolis and most of the Counties in the Kingdom This is not theory I assume you—Towle I believe is ordered for Execution at Leicester I blieve next monday, Now my Lord you may depend upon it many days will not elapse after that is done before there will be an attack upon the Lives or property of some persons in Nottingham, numbers of the Gang have declared it with the most horrid threats and imprecations since trial. Now I would propose for the man to be respited for a month and try whether He would not give such information as might lead to detection if not respite Him again repeatedly He might be stubborn at first but Human nature would not bear Him out long in it dreading an execution from one month to another, contrasted with an offer of life—a reward—and a secure removal to another Country. He must and would give way and if He could not be the actual instrument of bringing Them to justice He might furnish such a Clue as would ultimately be the means of doing it—This at any rate would be the result of this respiting Him, it would preserve the Lives and property of several Individuals in Nottingham, whose houses are now as a prison to them, especially if He were informed that His Death would be the immediate consequence of any further outrage by His party—As it may be a long time before the fact can be proved against another of them, and particularly as They threatened not to leave a person alive where They commit depredations in future, it would be highly impolitic to bury with this man all present hopes of bringing Them to justice—As it is not now a Local business but one in which the Existence of the Government may shortly be involved I hope your Lordship will excuse the liberty I have taken and am [sorry] from the fear of a Letter getting into wrong hands I dare not subscribe myself any other than your Lordships

most Obedient Servant
and a Loyal Subject

Nottingham 15 Augt 1816

[To: Rt. Honble Lord Sidmouth]

Sunday 14 August 2016

14th August 1816: Jeffrey Lockett sends an update on the Nottinghamshire Luddites to the Home Office


The conviction of James Towle has excited considerable alarm amongst the Luddites.—They are very actively employed, and are certainly plotting some further outrage, but whether they meditate the rescue of Towle at the time of execution,—the further destruction of frames,—or some act of personal violence, has not yet been ascertained—Slater, who was acquitted at Leicester, and about ten or twelve of the Luddites, concerned in the outrage at Loughbro, have been in Derby since yesterday morning.—They are very closely watched,—and the guard at the Depot has been increased.—In Nottingham there is a great forment.—Every person concerned in the trial of Towle is marked,—and every possible attempt is made to irritate the populace, and evade a prejudice against him.—Scarcely an hour passes without some threat reaching me;—and you will see from the enclosed handbill, that Barnes and Lawson (two Nottingham police officers) who were examined on the trial, are particularly pointed at, as the principal cause of the conviction. The Review newspaper, which will be published on Saturday, is to contain a full account of the trial,—reported, no doubt, in such a manner as to increase the present vilification. I will take the liberty of sending you one of the papers.

It is most anxiously hoped that the Secretary of State will direct the reward of 500gs to be distributed amongst the police officers and witnesses: Without such encouragement it cannot be expected that they will exert themselves hereafter, have as they have done on the present occasion, and expose themselves to the anger which is inseparable from this service.

I have [etc]

Mr Jeffrey Lockett
Derby August 14th: 1816

[To John Beckett]

[Enclosed Handbill follows]

A particular true Statement of the
Trials & Sentences

Which took place at LEICESTER Summer Assize, 1816.

THE Public anxiety has been so feeling alive, respecting the result of the late pending Trials at Leicester for Frame-breaking; and has been so much, and so repeatedly trifled with by vague and uncertain reports, that to relieve it at once from longer suspence and uncertainty, may not prove unacceptable to the readers of this Statement, particularly in Nottingham and its Neighbourhood, from its locality to the scene of action, and the interest feeling excited in the breasts of the friends and relatives of the unfortunate men implicated in the business. This we trust will be a sufficient apology for publishing the following NOTE, which was sent from the Court, by a Professional Gentleman, for the express purpose of satisfying the enquiries of the Friends of the Accused. We choose to give it verbatim from the original Note itself, (with which we are particularly favoured) leaving the Reader to make his own comments upon it.


"SLATER and BADDER is acquitted—TOWLE is condemned; but there is a hopeful Point of Law will be raised on the Indictment, which if the Judge Graham will point to be law before the Twelve Judges, will very probably invalidate the Indictment, and procure his liberty. Towle’s confession as proved by [Barnes] and [Lawson] (Nottingham Constables) has been the principal means of his conviction, connected with other evidence.

“Towle is charged in the Indictment, as a PRINCIPAL in firing the Pistol. The Jury have returned a verdict of Guilty, but not of FIRING THE PISTOL. Upon which a Point of Law also arises. He is also charged as an ACCESSARY, but not as an ACCESSARY FELONIOUSLY, upon which Point of Law also arises.

“The Judge has promised to pay particular attention the Points, so that there are yet some hopes."

(Ordonyno, Printer, Nottingham.)

Saturday 13 August 2016

13th August 1816: Preston weavers use sabotage, attack home of local MP & mill-owner

The Leeds Mercury of 24th August 1816 carried an article from the Preston Chronicle about unrest in Preston on Tuesday 13th August 1816, much of it targeted at the local mill-owner & MP for Preston, Samuel Horrocks:
We are sorry to state that in consequence of the manufacturers being necessitated to reduce the wages on some descriptions of cotton goods, a disposition to break the peace was manifested, by a party of weavers parading the streets of this town, on Tuesday last, and in some cases, destroying the shuttles of such as were inclined to continue at their work. Towards evening they had accumulated to a considerable body, and after consulting together they proceeded to the house of Mr. Horrocks: not finding him at home, some of the part, chiefly boys and women, commenced an attack, by breaking the windows of the house, and tearing up the shrubs in the grounds; but these outrages, not being seconded by the main body, were but of short duration. Next morning they assembled in still greater numbers at the outskirts of the town. They were met by a great posse of serjeants and corporals of the Lancaster militia, stationed in the town, who in a few hours dispersed the mob, after taking some of the most active into custody. The precautionary views of the Magistrates induced them, on the first indication of riot, to send for a party of military to Liverpool, but order was completely restored before they arrived; and the weavers have now settled themselves quietly to work again.—Preston Chronicle, August 17.

Thursday 11 August 2016

11th August 1816: The solicitor, Jeffery Lockett, informs the Home Office of the outcome of Leicester Assizes

Leicester August 11th 1816


I have the honour to inform you, that, after a trial which began yesterday morning at seven 'clock, and lasted till half past nine at night, James Towle was convicted of shooting at John Asher, during outrage at Messrs Heathcoat & Bodens factory at Loughbro in June last, and Samuel Slater was acquitted. The counsel for the Crown did not think it adviseable to put Benjamin Badder on his defence.

An objection was made to the indictment and the learned Judge, tho’ he gave a strong opinion against it, said, that he would give it further consideration. In the opinion of the counsel for the Crown, it is of no weight, and it is anxiously hoped that it will neither prevent, nor delay the execution of the convict. I have stated the point, in a letter which I have addressed to Mr Hobhouse, who prepared the [indictment].

You have probably heard of an intended attack of Mr Justice Graham, Mr Clarke the barrister, and the Jury, at Nottingham, if the persons who were tried there for framebreaking, had been convicted.—The trial was protracted till two 'clock in the morning.—The court was filled with Luddites, and very inadequate preparation was made for the preservation of the peace.—The outrage was plotted whilst the Judge was summing up, and observing upon the evidence, and information from various sources, warrants the belief, that if a conviction had taken place, an attempt would have been made to assassinate his Lordship.—The horrid noise which was made in court, so intimidated the Jury, that they acquitted the prisoners against the summing up of the Judge, and the conviction of their own [understandings]. Here the best possible preparation was made by Mr Mansfield, the Mayor, for the protection of the court—The town has been literally filled with Nottingham people of the worst description, since Wednesday night, but not the least disturbance has happened—I [should] have been happy, if I could have added, that the attempts of the prisoners’ confederates to intimidate the Jury had been unsuccessful.—The prisoner Slater owes his acquittal to the intimidation of the Jury.

The prisoners gave in a list of fifty six witnesses to be examined in their defence.—They attempted to impeach the [credit] of the prosecutors witnesses by proving declarations made by them, in contradiction of their evidence given at the Bar;—and to shew, that they were at other places at the time of the outrage.—This part of their conspiracy is brought to a most alarming state of preparation;—for tho’ there was not one of the witnesses who were called, who was not prepared from the beginning to the end of his evidence, they resisted cross examination most successfully, and their evidence must have prevailed, but for the accounts given by the prisoners themselves in the course of their examination before the magistrates previous to their commitments.

The reward of 500gs offered in the Gazette will certainly be claimed.—The loss of Messrs Heathcoat and Boden from this outrage, cannot be less than £10,000;—further value of the demolished frames is at least £6000;—they have wages to pay to nearly one hundred men under contracts;—and they will lose six months profit from a valuable trade.—They will therefore consider their legal liability to pay their reward,—and the strict right of the claimants to demand it from them.—Considering that this is the first capital conviction of a Luddite,—that Towle has been a leader of the conspiracy from its first formation,—that much useful information has been acquired,—and that men have been found bold and honest enough to give information, & evidence which has led to the detection & conviction of the principal offender;—it may be hoped that Government will not suffer this disposition to be checked, but will pay the reward in consideration of Messrs Heathcoat & Boden. Upon this subject I must request the favor of an early communication from you;—and [illegible] also be pleased to inform me; whether any thing further is to be done towards the apprehension of the persons, concerned in the outrage. Many of them are known, but they have not been taken into custody, because we have had no evidence to convict them—but the conviction of Towle will probably lead to further discoveries.

I have to apologize for the hasty manner in which I have been obliged to address you on this occasion.

I am [etc]
Mr Jeffery Lockett

[To: J. Beckett Esqr]

Wednesday 10 August 2016

10th August 1816: Henry Enfield informs the Home Office of the Luddites plan to assassinate the Nottingham Assize Judge

Nottingham August 10th 1816—


The Secret Report, of which I now enclose you a Copy for the Information of Lord Sidmouth, was made too late yesterday to enable me to send it by yesterday's post, which I should otherwise have certainly done.—It contained a confirmation of a most dreadful rumour, which has been current during the present week, of a plan having been matured in the Crowd attending the late Trial of Glover and Chettle for Framebreaking, to attack the person of the Judge (Mr. Baron Graham) in case the prisoners had been convicted.—The Trial took place last Saturday at the Assizes for this County, and was protracted, by the multitude of witnesses called on the part of the Prisoners in their defence (the defence being in each case an Alibi) until the late hour of 2 in the morning.—

I sent to Leicester yesterday a confidential communication to Mr. Clarke (the leading Counsel for the Crown) of this confirmation of the rumour—leaving it to his discretion whether to impart it to the Judge.—

The Trial of Towle, Slater and Badder was to come on this morning at Leicester—we are anxiously waiting to know the result.—

I remain
your hble Sservant

H Enfield

[To] Jas. Beckett Esqr

10th August 1816: The trial of James Towle, Benjamin Badder & John Slater, for the 'Loughborough Job'

The Nottingham Review of 16th August 1816 carried the most complete version of the second trial of the most notorious figure in Midlands Luddism, James Towle, along with his co-accused, Benjamin Badder and John Slater:


Trial of Towle, Slater, and Badder.


About seven o'clock this morning, the trial of the above-named persons came on before the Hon. Baron Graham. The indictment charged James Towle with having, on the night of the 28th June, or early on the morning of the 29th of same month, entered the premises of John Heathcoat and John Boden, of Loughborough, and having discharged a pistol loaded with a ball or slugs at John Asher, with intent to kill him the said John Asher; and John Slater and Benjamin Badder, with being accessary thereto.

JOHN BODEN is partner with John Heathcoat in a bobbin-net lace manufactory, at Loughborough; left the factory at eleven o'clock on Friday night, the 28th June last, when all was safe—six framesmiths, besides men who were at work and three other men as guards, were on the premises when witness left; there were fifty-five frames upon three floors, viz. in setting-up shop, two unfinished; first floor, twenty-three; second ditto, thirty—was alarmed and apprised of the outrage at a little before two, but did not go to the factory till about five o'clock, when he found the whole of the machines and some of the windows broken—witness saw some blood in a box on the floor, and some splashed against the wall; the greater part of the lace upon the frames was quite destroyed; estimates the injury done at 7 or £8,000—have been prevented going on with their business ever since. Witness dispatched Benjamin Silvester, Joseph Sherwin, and Cumberland, the Loughborough Constable, to Nottingham Police-Office, that morning.

Cross-examined by Mr. Balguy.—When he left the place, about eleven o'clock, there might be eight or nine men in the factory besides the smith—did not take particular notice of the exact number, nor of the persons of the workmen who were then present; he only knew one or two of them.

ELIZABETH SILVESTER said, her husband was overlooker of the smiths at Heathcoat and Boden’s factory; went up stairs to bed; it was a quarter past twelve when she stepped into bed; lives in a house opposite and situate near, the factory, in Mill-street; she was alarmed "by a great muttering of talking," which was so loud, that it appeared to proceed from a considerable number of persons; her candle was not then put out; she got up, immediately opened the window, and looked out for a few moments, but saw nobody except a neighbour, (John Sour), who was standing at his own door, which is next to witness’s; he went towards the factory; shortly after witness heard the same noise, and a whistle, with a threat, that if she did not put out her light, her brains will be blown out, when, being very much frightened, she retreated towards where the candle was; witness did not see whence they came; when there was a whistle, they seem to come from all roads, in great numbers; heard a gun discharged at her window; in the mean time, heard them say, "All’s well!" and then whistled; thinks a gun was fired at Rushworth’s house, which is opposite witness’s, as she heard them threaten him in the same way as they did her; having left the house door unlocked, witness went down stairs to lock it, and being very much agitated, she fell down three steps; heard them say, "Fire through the key-hole," but did not hear them fire at her. Soon after, she heard the machines and some of the windows broken, and then a firing, which appeared to be at some distance. The frame-breaking did not continue more than half an hour by witness’s watch, after which there seemed to be great numbers pacing the street, occasionally exclaiming, "All’s well!" Heard somebody say, "Don't break windows, there is friend Kilburn’s there," and also, "That all was done, and one man was killed." Thinks their feet move towards the Ashby Road; heard firing six or seven times, when all was over.

JOHN ASHER—is a framesmith and was in the employ of Messrs. Heathcoat and Boden on the 28th of June—was on guard that night as a watchman to the premises—watch ought to have consisted of five or six smiths but two were gone out—Thomas Ironman, Webster, and witness, were on duty, and Silvester and German were out, they had three pistols and a musket with a fixed bayonet—is not sure whether there was more—witness sat opposite the door in casting shop—was first disturbed at a quarter past twelve with a noise, and footsteps coming up the yard to the door, by hearing the report of a pistol, and directly after seeing three of four men stand in the door-way—witness took a pistol off the shelf pointed it at them and turned his head another way—when some one ran into the shop, and witness was shot in the back of the head and fell down insensible, but soon recovered his recollection, and found himself on his face under a bench, with his head adjoining Webster’s shoulder and bleeding profusely—at this time heard them breaking machines—had one and sometimes two men placed over them as a guard, who threatened to blow their brains out if they looked up; after laying about twenty minutes, witness said, "I wish you would send for a doctor, or I shall bleed to death,"—there was no answer, but the man who guarded them, seemed to speak to another man on [illegible] [illegible]. In ten minutes or a quarter of an hour afterwards, a man came from the yard to know how the wounded man was—he said "How are you," "Very bad," I replied. He then asked me if I could do a bit longer. I told him I could if he would not be long—he said he would not,—five minutes after they left the premises;—as they were going, one said to another, "shake hands with the wounded man"—Webster put his hand out and shaked hands—another man said, "that's not the man."—He then said—"Put your hand out" and shook hands with witness, who thinks the hand was a small one—witness was three weeks before he was well of the wound.

Cross-examined by Mr. Balguy.—Witness crawled home between two men—was much agitated when the men entered, so much so that he forgot to cock his pistol—is not certain who the person was that shook hands with him—nor can he say whether the person came from the yard or not.

MR. PALMER is a surgeon, at Loughborough; were sent for at twenty minutes past one—found Asher laying wounded on the floor in casting room; he had received a wound from a slug in back part of the head, which was afterwards extracted—[witness here produced it]—it had not penetrated the skull; Asher was three weeks or a month under his hands.

JOHN WEBSTER was a workman at Heathcoat and Boden’s factory on the 28th June—at a quarter-past twelve was in the casting-shop, along with Asher and Ironman, expected some of their fellow workmen's return; witness was not above the yard from the door—there was a blazing fire and a candle burning when the assailants entered; it was a short-eight candle; the casting-shop is a small room—three came first; one of them a little man, rather before the other; the little man had a pistol in his hand, and passed witness’s right hand, and went forward—witness attempted to escape from the premises, but was stopped at the door by several of the party, who surrounded him and presented pistols; three of them were put close to his head, while one man held an axe in the same position—the former saying, that if he moved, they would blow his brains out, and the latter, that he would knock them out—the man with the axe was a tall man; had light enough to see his face when looking up at the axe—is sure, quite sure, that Slater, the prisoner, is the man—hearing a pistol go off by witness’s head, he gave up and lay down on his face, thinking resistance unavailing—witness observed Towle’s features particularly, as he passed him—so much so, that he knew him again when he saw him—Towle passed as near to him as possible, so as not to touch him; he was only disguised by having a handkerchief over his chin, not so high as his mouth—did not particularly notice the third man, but he had some sort of the steel weapon in his hand—saw no firelock when first man entered, nor a long piece of any description, in any of their hands; there were two muskets at the far side of the shop, one with a fixed bayonet, the other without—thinks more than twenty persons entered—before "the business was done," heard somebody come from setting-up to casting-shop, and asked Asher, "if he was mortally wounded"—he replied—"he did not know, he was very weak"—he then required Asher to give him his hand; but witness, understanding he meant his, extended it for that purpose, and thought the hand a very small one for a man.

Cross-examined by Mr. Denman—Was not so much frightened until he heard the pistol fired; has seen Towle in custody, and at the gaol, several times; knew him again "directly he clapped his eyes upon him." Only saw Slater once in gaol, and never saw Towle from that night till he saw him in custody; witness picked Slater out of the three, on the Wednesday week after. Witness gave his evidence before he heard of the reward; saw a PART of the hand-bill the day after posted in Loughborough, "but not the FULL of it;" knew there was a reward of five hundred pounds, but thought it applied only to those concerned in the outrage. Witness described Towle before the magistrates. Does not know George Woollerton, but saw Mr. Ayres, his employer, on Saturday morning. Did not think it prudent to tell every body all he knew of the affair; never gave him any reason to suppose that they were disguised. Witness knows John King, and admits that he told him, and several others, that he could not recognise the prisoners; he was advised so to do by the magistrates, to avoid unnecessary questions daily put to him; witness did say that he thought he could swear to two voices; never said to Samuel Kilbourn that they were in disguise, and it was impossible to recognise them; he told William Burson, on Sunday morning, that he knew none of them.

Re-examined by Serjeant Vaughan.—Witness felt himself much injured, and would give himself no trouble to satisfy any body on the subject. He has no doubt of Towle being one of the men that entered the premises; he knew him when he first saw him in custody; and is equally confident as to Slater being another, he recognised him also when he first saw him after the outrage, which was at Leicester.

JOSEPH SHERWIN worked with Messrs. Heathcoat and Boden on the 28th June last, as a framesmith—he was in the top room, on the night in question, and was alarmed by pieces firing off—and soon after hearing somebody exclaim, "blow their brains out"—heard a "large muttering of talking outside the factory," and a noise in the room below, proceeding from breaking the frames—thinks he was got out of his frame at that time—looked for the fire arms, but did not find them—went down stairs and found a pike, but it was too long to use on the staircase—then procured a large file, and taking a candle out of the stick, went to the top of the stairs where somebody was chopping at the door check, and soon after observed the door open, and again put to—he then went down stairs, and forced it open with the file, but had scarcely done so, than a man presented a firelock at his breast, saying—"D**n your blood, stand fast, or I’ll blow your brains out," on which witness said—"Stop my friend, I can use a musket as well as you can,—when the man cried out, "Ned, come forward with those four blunderbusses, and directly came forth a man armed with two pistols, followed by another with an axe upon his shoulder, who turned his face back, and desired witness to go up stairs to the top shop, which he did, accompanied by three men, who commanded him and the other men at work, "to lay down on their faces, or they would blow their brains out," which summons the witness and his companions instantly obeyed—there was four lights with reflectors, burning at the time, which enabled witness to observe the faces of two men minutely; saw Towle first, he had an handkerchief on his face, which fell below his chin while witness was stooping; is "quite certain sure" the prisoner at the bar is the man, as he was only three or four yards from him; Towle had a musket in his hand. Saw Slater first in custody at the Anchor, in Loughborough; thinks he was one of the men, as there was a large limbed man, but cannot swear to his face. Supposes there were sixteen or seventeen men in the room at the time of breaking the machines. Heard some of them say, as he lay on the floor, "Blow their brains out, if they stir," and others said, "No! Do not hurt them," if they lay ten minutes and do not move. Having broke the machines, they set fire to the lace, when one said, "Ned, have you done your duty well?" "Yes," replied another, "we have;" then went towards the stair-case, but observing two other machines in another part, they said, "There are two more," and so broke them, and went away. About two hours after, witness was dispatched to Nottingham, in a post-chaise, and arrived there before six o'clock, and saw the police-officers, to whom he gave a description of all the three men he saw on the stairs.

Cross-examined by Mr. Balguy.—Four of the men were upstairs with him; Powell, Streets, Squires, and Smith—Trueman, Webster, and Asher were below,—the gun was not quite up to Towle’s shoulder—he had not a candle in one hand, and a musket in the other—he was about a quarter of a minute on the stair-case, but cannot swear how long—it might be longer than a minute—he saw part of that man’s face who had the axe, but not enough to know him again—when witness went from the top shop, he believes there were no lights but those in the frames,—the shiner or reflector is used to throw light on the works, but it does not make the room lighter—he could not take particular notice of the third man's face, but could swear to him if he were in the same dress. He cannot tell when he first heard of the reward—he never thought of it, when he was examined before the magistrates—he does not expect any of it to his knowledge—never thought of the reward till people told him he should have a part of it—he believes he shall have a part of it—does not know William Henshaw to his knowledge—Robinson married witness’s sister; he went to Robinson’s house soon after the frames were broken—his sister and Robinson were up—every body was talking about the frame-breaking—did not say that he did not know any body that came into the factory—does not remember saying any thing about the disguises—he never said any thing about the men having their coats turned—cannot say any thing at all about what he said about them having their faces blackened—cannot tell whether he said so or not. John Rose was in his company the same day at the Talbot, but witness never told him, that neither he nor any body else, could swear to any of them—acknowledged that he said to Bilson that he did not know any of them, but at that time his life was threatened—admits that he has said, "that he could not swear to any, but should like to swear to two, because they would have taken our lives, if it had not been for the other Ludds"—has been at Leicester several times—saw Badder in gaol; has also seen Towle in the gaol-yard several times; he attended on the examination of prisoners—Mr. Munday and Mr. Lockett told witness not to say any thing about what he knew.

ANN MACKIE is wife to -------- Mackie, who works for Heathcoat and Boden—she was held a prisoner by the Luddites a short distance from the factory, upwards of forty minutes; during which a man came up with an axe, and lifting it up over her head, said, "It will not do or us to let her escape we had better do for her,"—the man that guarded her replied, "No, if she will stand still her life shall be spared"—the man with the axe was a broad-set man—there was not light enough to see his face—he only remained a little time.

JAMES LAWSON, is a police-officer of Nottingham; has known Towle some time; recollects seeing him at a public-house in Nottingham on the Tuesday preceding the outrage at Loughborough, and had a deal of conversation with about his having been tried for frame-breaking, which Towle observed would have been a job with him, if they had found him guilty. Witness advised him to leave off that kind of life. A confusion arising in the house, witness and Towle went out together into the street, where they resumed their conversation. Towle said he was out of employment, and when he went round and was asked his name, they immediately said, "Oh! it is you that was tried for frame-breaking!" He said, "He was over-persuaded, and felt so much hurt, he hardly knew what to do with itself," many of their SET were doing well, while he was used ill, and he had a good mind to SPLIT upon them. Witness’s wife coming up at this time, he said, "He would be d----d if he would trust a woman with a secret," and so stopped speaking for a moment, and then resumed by saying, "There was something brewing, and there would be a job before it was long—it would happen next Friday night, unless put off, and then it would take place on Saturday night!"—"we then parted, and I bid him good night." Having communicated this intelligence to the Mayor, numbers were employed on the look-out in Nottingham; witness was one engaged on the occasion.

Cross-examined—Towle well knew that he was a Police officer.

BENJAMIN BARNES is Nottingham Police officer—saw Sherwin on the morning of the 29th June last—in consequence of his description of one of the men seen by him at the factory, he looked after James Towle that morning—about seven o'clock he set out towards Beeston through New Basford, where Towle lived, and having arrived about the middle of the former place, he observed prisoner coming from towards Loughborough—it was about eight o'clock in the morning—Towle seeing witness approach him, made a stop, and turned his face to the hedge, on noticing which witness rode on a little, and then turned again, and on overtaking him, he endeavoured to avoid letting witness recognize his face, by appearing to look at something over the hedge—witness however spoke to him, saying, "James, how are you, you seem very fatigued this morning?"—"Yes," he answered, "I am very unwell." Witness asked him if he would take a glass, to which he assented, and they went to a public house door, where Towle had a glass of gin, and they parted—his shoes seemed wet, and the dust had settled upon them. On Monday, July 1st, I had a warrant to apprehend him—"went to his house at New Basford and took him, handcuffed him to myself—on arriving at Nottingham, we went to a public house to until a chaise could be got ready—when there he wished to go in the yard, which I permitted him to do, handcuffed to White, a constable, from whom he contrived to escape, by slipping his hand out of the handcuffs, (which were the smallest sort to be met with,) but was re-taken soon after in the Market-place. When employed to take Towle to Leicester, he said to witness, in coming down Red-hill, (the place where criminals were formerly executed,) "Well, I shall have a ride as far back again as this hill, I suppose." On witness asking him "what he meant by that," he said," he was sure to be hung, and hoped witness would call upon his mother, and say, that he desired, in case he should be hung, that she should would beg his body, and let it be placed alongside Bamford, at Basford." Witness said, he would not deliver such a message; but he would take an note for him—Towle then observed, "it was through seeing him (Barnes) at Beeston, that he was apprehended. The axe was found at Badder’s, and a hammer at Slater’s, in the coal cupboard.

MR. DENMAN here observed, that the Counsel ought to make their election on which set of counts they mean to stand, Towle being charged both as a principal and accessary.

MR. BARON GRAHAM said, it was not a case of that description.

MR. DENMAN then took an objection to the wording of the indictment, owing to the word "feloniously" having been omitted before the words "entered the premises," &c. and contended, that such an omission must proved fatal to the indictment, since it was not according to the act of parliament, under which the prisoners were indicted.

SERJEANT VAUGHAN, on the other side, maintained, that as the words, "felony aforesaid" came shortly after, the omission complained of, was of little consequence, and therefore opposed the acquittal of the prisoners on that ground.

The Learned Judge observed, that it appeared to him at present, that there was no ground upon which the indictment could be done away; but if hereafter, it should appear otherwise, the prisoners should certainly have all the advantage of the omission; but he must say, he felt pretty confident at the present moment, that the objection could not be sustained.

The Learned Judge here called upon Towle and Slater for their defence; both observed, they left it to their Counsel. Budder was not called upon for his defence, upon which his Counsel requested he might have his irons taken off, but it was not allowed; he was permitted, however, to sit down.

JAMES POWELL, was employed as watchman to Heathcoat and Boden, on the night of the 28th of June last. [It being observed that this witness was in a state of intoxication, his evidence was not permitted to be taken, he was therefore ordered from the bar.]

SAMUEL STREET worked at Heathcoat and Boden’s factory on the night of the 28th June last—thinks thirty or forty men entered the upper shop—he counted them by their steps, as he lay down—could only see one distinctly.

SAMUEL KILBOURN asked John Webster if he knew the frame-breakers—he said he did not, they were so much disguised—he even did not know one of them.

JOHN ROSE knows Joseph Sherwin—he told him at two o'clock on the Saturday morning, he could not swear to any of the frame-breakers.

WILLIAM BILSON has conversed with Sherwin—he told it was impossible to know them—their coats wee turned.

JOHN RICHARDS lives at New Basford, within seventy or eighty yards of Towle’s—saw him at nine o'clock on Friday night, the 28th of June—he had a paper cap on, and was getting potatoes in his garden—witness spoke to him, and observed "what fine potatoes they are"—Towle answered, "Yes they are."

JOSEPH MELLOR, is a carpenter and builder, lives at New Basford; had been at a rearing supper at the Robin Hood and Little John, in Nottingham, on the 28th June last; left it after 11 o'clock—knows James Towle; saw him between eleven and twelve o'clock the night in question; there was a light in his house, saw prisoner come to his door, and throw something out—said, "Hallo, Towle!" and he replied, "Hello, Joseph, where have you been?" to a rearing, said witness, and then passed on—got home about twelve—heard of frame breaking at twelve next day—has no doubt of Towle’s person.

Cross-examined by Mr. Clarke—Lives half a mile from prisoner’s house—witnesses has known him since he was a child—is now twenty-one.

JOHN BRADLEY lives at Basford; remembers being at Towle’s house at half-past eleven o'clock on the Friday night; went to borrow a candle for his wife to seam stockings by, in order that he might set out early in the morning to Nottingham, in search of work—resides only a few yards from Towle’s—saw him soon after eleven in his (Towle’s) own house—witness went to bed at half-past eleven, or thereabouts; got up next morning about ten minutes past four, to go to Nottingham—saw Towle at work in his frame at half-past four—Basford is seventeen miles from Loughborough.

Cross-examined by Mr. Clarke.—Witness applied to Mr. Beardmore for work—saw him at half-past six—Towle was nursing his child at half-past eleven the night before—thinks he was stript.

PETER JENKINSON lives at Old Basford; is a paper-maker—he got up between three and four o'clock on Saturday morning the 29th June, to call up his fellow-wormen, that they might leave off an hour or two earlier in the afternoon—saw Towle at work in his frame between four and five o'clock as he passed by to call up Harrison—on his return, stopped and spoke to Towle for a minute.

Cross-examined by Mr. Clarke.—Witness lives half a mile from Harrison's—it struck four when he got up to give him the key.

Re-examined by Mr. Denman—It is a rule among his shop-mates the first up calls the rest.

THOMAS MELLOR is a butcher; got up at four o'clock on Saturday morning the 29th of June to go to his shop, which is behind Towle’s house; saw prisoners and his wife at work in the frame at half-past four o'clock.

GEORGE ARCHER knows Slater; he worked with him in June last; left him at work at eight o'clock on Friday night, at witness’s house; returned at nine, but he was gone; saw him the following morning at seven; he assisted him to get up work; always considered Slater as an honest and industrious man.

THOMAS PALMER lives in Nottingham; has a garden a short distance from the town; was returning from it on Friday night, the 28th of June, about half-past nine; observed Slater in his garden, which is near witness’s, and held half an hour's conversation with him, then went into town together, where they parted, one going to the right, the other to the left.

JOSEPH SMITH is a brass-cock maker, and lives in Narrow-marsh, Nottingham; remembers being at the Leg of Mutton public-house on Friday night, 28th of June last; on hearing the clock strike eleven, he were left the house, and as he was coming home he met with Slater, whom he has known more than two years, and spoke to him; he was a few paces from his own door, without his hat, and said, "How did you do, John?" he replied, "Very well." Witness thinks he was going towards the privy.

SAMUEL HAYNES lives at Nottingham; recollects leaving the Duke of Wellington public-house in company with S. Fletcher, about eleven o'clock on the Friday night; saw Slater standing beside his door, when passing his house with Fletcher.

SAM. FLETCHER, is a framework-knitter; was with the last witness at the Duke of Wellington public-house on the night of the 28th June last, and came away about eleven o'clock; parted with Haynes at his entry end; saw Slater at his own door, and had a few minutes conversation about the state of trade; met a person named Rhodes, and stood talking with him a few moments. Witness made no secret of having seen Slater.

DENNIS RHODES remembers seeing Slater on the Friday night, conversing with Samuel Haynes, and a another man, a stranger; they were standing at Slater’s door. Witness asked Haynes the news of the day; did not stop long, but went on.

THOMAS BEE, lives next door but one to Slater; has known him six years; he is a very honest and industrious man.

WILLIAM SHARP is a miller and baker in Nottingham; has known Slater nine years, "never knew his character to be impeached with dishonesty."

AARON BOWLER has known Slater a long time; believes him to be an honest and industrious man.

JOHN SMITH lives at New Basford; has known Towle fifteen years; never heard any particular harm of him; considers him to be a man of "tolerable character."

GEORGE BINGHAM lives in Millstone-lane, Nottingham; has known Slater seven years, sometimes worked with him; never knew of this character being any but a good one.

THOMAS SANDERS "is an independent gentleman," and lives at New Basford; has known Towle several years; he has been a quiet good character and neighbour.

MR LOCKET here produced the deposition made by Towle before the magistrates; from which it appeared, that the prisoner dined and supped at home on the Friday; that at half-past nine he was in his garden, getting a few potatoes for supper, and that in the morning he got up early and went to Long Eaton, from whence he returned the same morning.

The Learned Judge then recapitulated the evidence, impressing upon the Jury the importance of the matter submitted to their consideration, and calling upon them to weigh the different circumstances which had been detailed before them, with all that deliberate attention, which the subject required.

The Jury, after a few minutes consultation, gave their verdict—Towle, Guilty of aiding and abetting, but not of firing the pistol.—Slater and Badder, Not Guilty.

Counsel for the Prosecution—Serjeant Vaughan, Serjeant Copley, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Reader, and Mr. Reynolds.—Solicitor, Mr. Lockhart, of Derby.

Counsel for the Prisoner—Mr. Denman and Mr. Balguy.—Solicitor, Mr Wilkinson, of Nottingham.

When the court broke up, it was between nine and ten o'clock, the trial having lasted upwards of fourteen hours.

We cannot withhold that need of praise which is so justly due to C.W. Pochin, Esq. the High Sheriff, for his admirable precautions to prevent any kind of riot or disturbance, which at one time was seriously apprehended. Not being possessed with that military mania which is too prevalent in the present day, he proceeded in a truly constitutional manner, to collect together the civil power of the county, and as we are informed, upwards of 600 constables were in attendance; these proved themselves abundantly sufficient to preserve peace and tranquillity, in the midst of a greater multitude of people, than was ever before assembled together on one such occasion in Leicester. We should like such an example to be more generally followed, for in that case, we should not behold the military called in on every trifling occasion.

In it's report, The Tory Leicester Journal of 16th August 1816 gave the following on the composure of Towle:

[Towle] had a determined aspect throughout, and received sentence without any apparent emotion whatever.

10th August 1816: Leicester bourgeoisie turn out in force to protect the Assizes Judges

The 16th August 1816 edition of the (Tory) Leicester Journal described the scene early in the morning immediately prior to the commencement of the trial of James Towle and two others for frame-breaking at Loughborough:
Saturday morning presented a most interesting a grateful spectacle: the violent and disgraceful proceedings which are stated to have occurred during the late Assizes at Nottingham, and which were said to have intimidated the Jury, from a conscientious discharge of their duty, induced a large portion of the most respectable inhabitants of this town, to rally round the Constituted Authorities, and give their aid towards the faithful administration of Justice. At 6 o’clock between two and three hundred assembled at the Exchange, each receiving a white wand and a club, and headed by the Chief Magistrate, proceeded in fours to the Judges lodgings, where they formed on each side of the street, after the Judges had entered their carriage, they escorted them to the Castle, and the trials of the LUDDITES were immediately proceeded in.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

9th August 1816: Informer's report on Nottinghamshire Luddites

9th August 1816

Last Friday but one Padley of Kimberley told F. Clarke Constable of Nottm that I was one that broke Frames along with Lanker or Langley of Kimberley 9 years since at Lanker’s house & some others. F. Clark took Padley before Dr. Wylde—Lanker came to me on the same day & told me that Padley (who is Lanker’s wife's brother) was gone to give [Information] against him & me & that they had quarrelled & something must be done to prevent us being taken. Padley was one concerned in the breaking of those Frames, and was the first went into Lanker’s & he now keeps a public House at Kimberley—Lanker told me that 2 boys then living with him saw Padley come in & break his Frame and that he should bring them forward, in case he was apprehended [against] Padley.—I told Peter Green what had taken place & he went to Padley and told him that Nottingham was alarmed at hearing he had impeached and that he would be in danger of going home if he did not deny what he had said & he prevailed upon it to go before Dr. Wylde again and contradict what he before stated.—F. Clarke afterwards saw Peter & Padley & Lanker's Brother together & he then said he saw plainly how it was, they were all alike.—Clarke has been enquiring for me at Scattergood's and I have been obliged to keep away in consequence more than I should have done.—

On Sunday Thos. Burton of Gregory's Buildings & another came to my house & told me I should have stopped the night before (I was at Scattergood's and the Leather Bottle) for they expected a Job.—He then told me if Chettle and Glover had been convicted they meant to have killed the Judge and rescued the Prisoners.—He said it was a sudden determination taken about 9 o'Clock when the men on their Trial & there were a many at the Hall then and they sallied out round the Town and fetched their forces in and they have sufficient forces to do the Job.—He said when the Judge was summing up many of them begun to grumble & one of them called the Judge a liar—He said there were 2000 ready to do the Job and it was not possible for him to escape and he would have lent a hand & went with that design.—[Village] told me last night that when F. Clarke was fixing Candles up in the outer Hall they meant to have broke his neck if they had had room to pull the ladder down he was upon.—Sherwood also told me last night that it would have been a nice Job if them Chaps (Chettle & Glover) had been convicted in the Judge killed—many others of the sets I have heard talk in the same way.—They say it was he that did them at Eley and he was dammed old Rogue and to put him to death was no more than he deserved—Burton's principal business to Bulwell was to form one of the political Societies that are in this Town—the Hampden Clubs—they have formed one at Basford but I don't know the House—There is not one at Bulwell yet.—

Mrs. Scattergood went off yesterday morning to Leicester to swear that Badder came to his house at 11 o'Clock on the 28th June.—I have heard that Towle has been identified in one instance by his Breeches & that a Pawnbroker is gone to give evidence that he had the same Breeches in pawn at the time the Job was done.—I have not heard whether they mean to kill the Judge at Leicester in case Towle, Slater & Badder should be convicted.—They think Slater will be convicted but Badder will get off, they say.—Towle also they are fearful will be convicted—last Sunday but one 2 Chaps came collecting to Bulwell,—one named John Allen lives about Coalpit lane the other Creswell lives somewhere in Parliament Street near Bunker’s Hill son of Creswell, Framesmith there, both [Framework-knitters]—Last Tuesday but one Isaac Sampson who works at Moore & Longmire's Factory told me they had collected a deal of money for them there—& he told me the Race week has been a very good one, at the beginning of the week they were £17 bad and on Sunday night following they had £120 good & £60 was collected one night.—I have heard that Wilkinson has had above £100 for the Nottingham & Loughboro’ Jobs and that men go to him and he gives them Instructions how to proceed.—Gravenor Henson & Lowater used to go to him but I think Lowater has not had anything to do with it this time & Henson has got ill will about a letter from Badder in Prison which he burnt for fear as he stated of its being found upon him.—

Crofts & Bain or Bryan who was in Gaol for Horsestealing a Pinmaker by Trade who used to work in Sheep Lane a large stout man came to me last Tuesday & wanted me to go with them 20 or 30 miles off to do some Job but they would not tell me what it was unless I would undertake to be of the party.—They said they would not be starving on the earth whilst there was anything and Bain said he would do what he could by himself without trusting to any one for he had seen so much deceit—He said if Jem (Crofts) had been done he would have got him out of Prison—He would have conveyed a little saw into Prison to him & he would have got into the Prison over Fellows’s Wall by a ladder and Jem said he had been in private talk with his wife for an hour together & Connor (the Turnkey of the County Gaol) was a Good fellow—Jem said he should go to Loughborough to his wife whose real husband is there—She goes by the name of Hallam—Bain frequents the Bird in the hand and the Peach Tree—Crofts expected being taken again about a Child he was neglected to pay to—Stevenson Constable, I think, knows about the Child—Crofts complained that I had not helped him more in Prison—I saw Jos: Mitchell at the Assizes but have not learnt whether he was at Loughborough He is friendly with me.—

9th August 1816: Baron Graham's charge to the Jury of the Leicester Assizes

Having opened the Leicester Summer Assizes the day before, on Friday 9th August 1816, Baron Graham delivered his charge to the Jury. Having recently been thoroughly intimidated by a pro-Luddite crowd at the recent Nottingham Assizes, Graham made the responsibilities of the Jury quite clear, along with the legal framework of what would be a hugely important trial of a notorious figure, James Towle. The Leicester Chronicle of 31st August carried a write-up of Graham's speech, apparently at the request of the Grand Jury:
Delivered by Mr. Baron GRAHAM, to the Grand Jury of the County of LEICESTER, at the Summer Assizes, on the Ninth of August, 1816.—[Published at the request of the Grand Jury.] 
Gentleman of the Grand Jury,
it is with great concern that I observe—indeed the public ear has already caught the alarm—that some commitments in the calendar attest the renewal of those outrages which aimed at the property and lives of individuals, endanger the great commercial interests of the country, the public peace and security, and the stability of all order and good government. 
It is in your recollection, that some a few years ago, the frequency and flagrancy of these offences drew from the Legislature a law, by which it was made a capital offence, "If any person should, by day or by night, enter, by force, into any house, shop, or place, with an intent to cut, or destroy, any framework-knitted pieces, stocking or lace, or other articles, being in the frame or machine, or to cut or destroy the frames or machines, or should wilfully and maliciously break, destroy, or damage, with intent to destroy any frames, or machines of the like description." But the Legislature has since given a decided proof of its clemency, by disarming that law of the capital part of its sanction. 
The Legislature thought, perhaps, and the country indulged the hope, that some examples of justice—a sense of the danger and criminality of outrages so intolerable—and the general indignation, had brought the mad and thoughtless back to their senses, and had awed the more malignant and determined into a prudent and cautious reserve and inactivity. 
That Act was, therefore, repealed, and the present Act of the 54th of the King was substituted in its place. 
By this act, the same offences described in the same terms, are made punishable by transportation for life, or for such term, not less than 7 years, as the Judge shall direct. 
The words of this act—"If any person or persons, by day, or by night, by force, enter into any house, &c. with intent"—to do that which is made a felony, seem to embrace the case of a constructive burglary; and though it might admit of that construction, yet the words of the act seem to take away, in these instances, the capital part of the punishment. It is not, therefore my wish or intention, nor, I believe, of those who are to advising in these prosecutions, to put any strained construction upon this act of Parliament. 
But, Gentleman, it has happened in the case which is to come before you—and happened almost as the inevitable consequence of these desperate enterprises—that the persons engaged in them have, in the prosecution of their purpose, fallen into the commission of a higher and more aggravated offence. 
By a salutary law of the 43d of the King, which bears the name of an illustrious character, and which experience has proved—it is enacted, amongst other things, that "If any person or persons shall wilfully, maliciously, and unlawfully shoot at any of his Majesty's subjects, or shall wilfully, &c. (even) present, point, or level, any kind of loaded fire arms at any of his Majesty's subjects, the person or persons so offending, their counsellors, aiders, and abettors, knowing of, and privy to such offence, are declared felons, and shall suffer death without benefit of clergy." 
For this offence the prisoners will probably be indicted; and though I would almost have been prepared to say that where many combine to effect, by force, an unlawful purpose, which leads to the disturbance of the public peace, or danger to the lives of individuals, and by stronger reason where the avowed, premeditated, and prepared purpose is, to kill the defenders of their lives and property, the act of violence of any one, though short, as by singular felicity in this case, of occasioning death, might justly be ascribed to all,—it is rendered clear of all doubt, by the express words of this act, involving, in the same degree of guilt, the counsellors, aiders, and abettors. 
There is, Gentleman, another offence in your calendar which calls for observation—a case unconnected, I believe, in the particular instance with the offences which I have mentioned, but deeply connected with them, as forming one of the principal elements of those despicable combinations by which the public peace has been so long disturbed, the safety of individuals so long endangered, and property to an immense amount consigned to destruction—I mean the offence of administering unlawful oaths. 
By the 37th Geo. III. Cap. 123, it is enacted—omit the preamble because it has been solemnly determined that the purview of the act goes beyond its preamble—that "If any person shall, in any manner or form, administer, or cause to be administered, or assist, on the present at, and consenting to the administering, or taking of, any oath, or engagement, purporting or intending, to bind the person taking the same, to engage in any routinous or seditious purpose, or to be of any association, society, or confederacy, formed that any such purpose, or (mark what follows) to obey the orders or commands of any committee, or body of men, not lawfully constituted, or of any leader or commander, or other person, not having authority by law for that purpose, or not to inform or give evidence against any associate, &c. shall, on conviction, be adjudged guilty of felony, and may be transported for a term not exceeding 7 years." 
You will have no difficulty in applying this act to the case before you, if the evidence supports the charge. 
But the act is more material, as it points to those offences which have so long spread terror over the manufacturing towns and places of this and a neighbouring county. 
Gentleman, it is high time that these dangerous and desperately wicked associations should be disgraced, discountenanced, and shamed out of the country; that the misguided members of them should be made to feel the irresistible force of the law, and to distrust the comparatively feeling efforts of combined wickedness and savage revenge of imaginary injuries, when opposed, not only to the union of every man of courage and virtue in the Kingdom, butt of every man who has sense enough to know the value of life and property. 
We may expect every difficulty to be thrown in the way of the due administration of justice—we may expect that personal danger will be threatened to the active Magistrate, and intimated even to the seat of justice—but these terrors are held out always I hope, sometimes I am sure, in vain:—or, if what might be, should befal the individual who stands, forwarded in the faithful and manly discharge of his his duty his duty, the head and heart of the Constitution would remain unshaken and intire, and the vengeance of the law would fall with greater force and certainty upon accumulated crimes. 
With law and justice on our side, and that high support which accompanies the honest discharge of import duties, we have nothing to fear from associations formed in the avowed contempt of law, of justice, of humanity, of religion; and should the secret springs of these combinations lie deeper than some suspect, we must unite our efforts to preserve that greatest of human blessings, and that which we enjoy above any nation upon earth, THE BLESSING OF A GOVERNMENT BY LAW by which we are all bound.

9th August 1816: The Judge at Bury Assizes gives death sentences to 'Bread or Blood' arsonists

The Bury St Edmunds Summer Assizes commenced on Friday 9th August 1816, and saw a number of prisoners face trial for offences committed during the previous months in Suffolk.

A number of cases failed, or were postponed, as noted by the Bury & Norwich Post of 14th August 1816:
No true bills were found by the grand jury against Thos. Baker, for setting fire to a barn at Kettlebaston, or Susan Bruty, for setting fire to a building belonging to J. Skelton, of Clare.—The trials of the nine Brandon rioters were traversed to the next Assizes.
However, the main spectacle was reserved for the trials of two arsonists, and the same edition of the paper gave extensive coverage to these:

Trials of the Two Incendiaries.
James Pleasants, a boy of 15 years of age, was indicted for having feloniously set fire to a barn in the parish of Lawhall, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Bradley, a farmer, by which the same and other buildings were destroyed by fire on the 12th of May last. The only witness in this case, in addition to the prisoner’s confession, was a little girl about 15 years of age, in the service of Mr. Bradley. She stated that during the divine service on the 12th of May, she was left at home with the prisoner and her mistress, who was ill up stairs, her master being on a visit to Mr. Reman, a neighbour adjoining.—The witness had been cleaning knives, and doing dirty work, for which she had occasion to put some water on the fire in a back kitchen, for the purpose of washing her hands: the prisoner was then present by the fire, when he observed to the witness, "why don't you go up stairs and put on your cloathes."—Witness replied it was wet and she should not change her dress that day. She took the water from the fire to the sink in the same apartment, and on turning her back, the prisoner left the kitchen; she did not see that he had any thing in his hand, but soon after he returned, saying, "the barn is on fire." This the witness was soon enabled to perceive from a great quantity of smoke issuing, and immediately after she observed the place all in flames. She instantly ran out and gave the alarm. The boy ran towards the church, thinking his master was there. He, however, accidentally met his master by the way, who by this time saw with great alarm the situation at his premises. There were several good and valuable horses, together with several cows and calves, besides other stock, which were totally consumed. The flames, however, did not reach the dwelling-house, from the timely assistance of the neighbours. When the prisoner was apprehended, he voluntarily confessed that he had conveyed in his glove a coal of fire from the back kitchen to the barn, where he threw it amongst some wheat in the straw. This confession was recorded by the magistrates, who thereupon committed him for trial.—It further appeared, that an anonymous letter containing threats to three persons in the neighbourhood had been previously picked up by the prisoner. That letter said, "the Magistrate was no Justice, and that he should be the first to suffer." But by whom that letter was written had never been discovered.—The prisoner being asked what he had to say in his defence, wept bitterly, and in a low voice which could only be heard by the gaoler, stated that this confession had been extorted from him under a threat from some person, that if he did not confess the crime, or say who did it, he should be scalded to death, and that it was under an impression of fear that he had so confessed. The magistrates being examined whether any such disclosure or threat was made at the time of his commitment, completely negatived that statement.—The prisoner was found guilty, but on account of his youth, recommended by the Jury to mercy. 
Joseph Bugg was capitally convicted of setting fire to a barn and a cart-lodge, in the occupation of Mr Jas. Glanfield, at Martlesham-hall. The prosecutor stated, that he rented the farm and premises under the Rev. Geo. Doughty, of Hoxne. He left his house on the 23d of April, with his wife, on a visit to a neighbour, and returned at 12 o'clock at night, when the premises were all safe. As he had walked from home, and did not expect to return very early, he left directions with the servants not to sit up for him. About an hour after his return, he was awakened out of his sleep by a cry of "fire!" and, looking out of his chamber window, saw the barn on fire. He immediately went down stairs, and saw that the cart-lodge was also on fire, and the roof was just falling in. These outbuildings were distant about 150 yards from his house. The night was calm, and the flame from the buildings, which were considerably apart, arose in an upright direction.—There were 80 coombs of barley in the barn, chiefly in the straw, and most of his farming implements in the cart-lodge, the whole of which were destroyed. Eliz. Hammond, who lived servant at Waldringfield Cliff public-house, was next examined. She stated, that the prisoner was there on the night the fire happened; he came about 6 o'clock in the evening, and drank with several others, all of whom went away before him. He staid until a little time after a quarter past 12, and went away then, upon her refusing to let him have any more beer. She had supplied the prisoner with a half-quartern of rum, 2 pints of old beer, five or six pints of other beer, with a half-quartern of gin in each. On cross examination, she admitted that, altho’ the prisoner had had part of this in the first instance, subsequently they had all drunk together. The next witness was ____ Rouse, who stated that he lived at Martlesham, and have known Bugg ever since he was a boy. On the night of the fire, the prisoner called at his house between twelve and one; his wife, who heard the prisoner call out to know whether he was at home, awoke him. On his getting up, the prisoner asked him if he could lend him a tinder-box and steel, which he at first denied, as he should want it himself in the morning; on a promise, however, that it should be then returned, he gave them to him. When the prisoner had gone three or four yards from the window, he called out to the witness, "don't tell any body!"—Directly upon hearing of the fire, he went and acquainted Mr. Glanfield of this circumstance. Witness’s house is nearly three-quarters of a mile out of the direct path from the Cliff public-house to the prisoner’s. The tinder-box was returned in the morning. He thought the prisoner wanted a tinder-box because there were gipsies in the neighbourhood. A young man, servant to Mr. Cattermole, next deposed, that when in conversation with one John Barber, on a Sunday, upon a stile, near the Lion at Martlesham, the prisoner came up to them; and in talking about work, the prisoner observed, that the farmers in the parish were all damn’d rogues, especially Mr. Glanfield; he would do them a kindness, and he (Mr. Glanfield) should be the first.—Mr. John Cook, a farmer, residing at Bucklesham, about four miles from Martlesham, but occupying a farm in that parish, stated that Bugg had formerly worked with him; that in March last, on being sent to work in the roads, he complained of Mr. James Glanfield, saying, it might bethank him that men were posted about from parish to parish. He thought Mr. G. the worst of them all; and he should not wonder if something were to happen to him before long.—The prisoner, on being called upon for his defence, said, that he drank all the liquor himself.—The learned Judge, in summing up the evidence, remarked, that in the species of crime with which the prisoner stood charged, it was by circumstantial evidence alone, that conviction could be founded; it was not likely that a man having such a diabolical purpose in view, should have any accomplices in the act. His Lordship took great pains to point out the connecting chain of evidence upon which the guilt of the prisoner might reasonably be presumed; and, after some pertinent remarks on the heinousness of the offence, and the necessity of preventing its recurrence, by example, he left the case for the consideration of the Jury. He concluded by noticing, that, as he had hinted before, the evidence was only presumptive, and in such a case, could only be so, the Jury would therefore give the prisoner the benefit of any doubt which really existed in their minds.—It was not, however, the province of a Jury, with the view to exonerate themselves from such a painful duty, to fabricate doubts, but to deliver such a verdict as the evidence of the case, in all its bearings, might lead them to. The Jury returned a verdict—Guilty, but recommended the prisoner to mercy.
The paper also recorded Sir Vicary Gibbs' sentencing:
Sentence passed on Prisoners capitally convicted.—Chief Justice Gibbs, in passing sentence, addressed the prisoner Bugg, expressing his regret at the situation in which this unhappy man was placed, by the heinous offence of which he had been convicted, on such clear evidence as that which had been adduced against him.—The learned Judge said he could not see the slightest hope which the prisoner could entertain of any thing like reprieve or pardon, from the awful severity which the law had denounced against his crime by way of punishment; and, for the sake of example, to deter others from committing the like offences; that sentence, however painful, yet towards a criminal like him, it was his Lordship's duty to pronounce. From the depravity and wickedness which the nature of the crime evinced, it was justly ordained that it should be expiated by the death of the culprit. The pretence of not knowing right from wrong could not avail the prisoner, whose years and experience must have taught him to view the extent of enormity which belonged to the crime of which he was convicted by a Jury. 
His Lordship next addressed James Pleasants, whose youth excited a great degree of compassion in the mind of the Judge, being under the necessity of passing sentence of death upon him for the same offence. His Lordship said, it was astonishing that such a degree of malignity should have entered the heart of a boy at his early age, whose depravity on that account was the more to be lamented. The Jury, on this consideration, and in hopes he might yet live to repent, the more sincerely as he advanced in years, were disposed to rescue him from an ignominious and untimely death, by recommending him to mercy; and although it was the Judge’s duty to pronounce the sentence of the law, corresponding with the magnitude of the offence, his Lordship was in hopes that by conforming to the recommendation of the Jury his life might be spared, in order that he might become a penitent, and at some future period, a useful and industrious member of the community, by seriously reflecting, that death was the least punishment which must await the commission of an heinous offence.
Before he left Suffolk for Norfolk, Gibbs reprieved Plesants, but left Bugg to hang.