Tuesday 18 October 2016

18th October 1816: Henry Hobhouse sends a furious response to Benjamin Walker's supporter

Oct. 18 1816

Dear Sir,

The inclosed Application on behalf of Benjm. Walker is not the first of the kind which has been addressed to the Secretary of State. He was one of the murderers of Mr. Horsfall, & deserved a Halter just as much as his Colleagues, who were executed at York in January 1813. But he had the good fortune to turn King’s Evidence, by which he saved his Neck. Thus the Promise held out to him by the Crown has been fulfilled. The pecuniary Reward was promised not by Government, but by an Anti-Luddite Committee, which then existed at Huddersfield: and if Walker were by the strict Letter of their Promise entitled to the Reward, it is to them, & not the Secretary of State, that he must look for payment; and certainly he has no merit, which calls for the Interference of Government on his behalf. But if I recollect rightly, Walker is not entitled to the Reward, because his Information was not given until after he & his fellow-murderers were apprehended upon other Evidence. I believe too I am correct in stating that Walker after the Trial was supplied with money through Mr. Lloyd of Stockport to enable him to find an Asylum in some distant part of the Kingdom, I believe in Wales.

I have [etc]
H. Hobhouse

This letter can be found at HO 42/153.

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