Friday, 28 October 2016

28th October 1816: A Nottingham magistrate fears the Luddites set Belvoir Castle alight

Leamington Octr 28th 1816


I have inclosed you a Paragraph out of the Norwich paper which I have every reason to believe is perfectly correct in its statement: there is no doubt of such a Committee existing & also that the Corporation of the Town Nottingham are very well acquainted with the Individuals composing it—they set the Civil power completely at Defiance, and give directions to ill disposed Persons acting under them, to commit depredations, that are not only disgraceful to the Town, but County of Nottingham—under these circumstances as a Magistrate for the County, I have taken the liberty of Informing you of what is going forward & of requesting you will be so good as to acquaint in what manner Government would wish the magistrates to act against these persons, as something ought to be done & that without loss of time or there will be, I fear, very serious disturbances. This Post has just brought me a letter out of Nottinghamshire saying that part of Belvoir Castle was burnt last Saturday night & it is thought, was set on Fire by some wretches who have [threatened] his Grace of Rutland Lt Brownlow & several other Gentlemen & my House in the Vale of Belvoir, Wiverton was also [illegible]—would not long remain standing; the County magistrates have put in Force the Watch & Ward act & will I am certain, do every thing in their power to prevent the repetition of the disgraceful acts that have been committed, & may be & providing Government – will interfere so as to put a stop to this Committee, all will go on quietly

I am at this moment remaining at Leamington for my health, but I shall return into Notts early in the Following week & any Directions that you will send me, shall be immediately put into execution–

I have [etc]
John Chaworth

This letter can be found at HO 42/154. The 'Norwich paper' had reprinted the letters from 'AB' that were originally published in the Evening Mail.

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