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]

This letter can be found at HO 42/152.

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