Sunday, 15 January 2017

15th January 1817: Jeffrey Lockett informs the Home Office that the Luddite, John Blackburn, will confess tomorrow


In my last letter, I informed you, that one of the Blackburns was in custody, under a charge of being concerned in the attack upon the house, and person of Lord Middletons gamekeeper,—and that he was inclined to make discoveries. I have this moment received a letter from Mr Enfield, who tells me, that Blackburn will make a full confession of every thing, which he knows relative to the outrage at Loughbro’,—and the general proceedings of the Luddites. Mr Mundy is to meet Mr Rolleston (a Nottmshire magistrate) at Nottingham to take the confession, tomorrow morning. Enfield informs me that he is in correspondence with Lord Sidmouth on the subject, but it has occurred to me that possibly neither he nor the magistrates are in possession of a copy of the Towle’s narrative to Mr Pochin, [prior] to that of the night before his execution. It may be of use to the magistrates in their examination of Blackburn—and if Mr Enfield or the Magistrates are not in possession of a copy already, but you will probably think it right to send him one. Mr Mundy, I know, had only a verbal account from Mr Pochin of what passed between him & Towle.

There is now I think a very fair prospect of bringing most of the principal Luddites to punishment. Blackburns information will not be acted upon hastily or until some confirmatory evidence is got.

I am Sir your most obedt Servt
Wm Jeffery Lockett
Derby January 15th: 1817

This letter can be found at HO 42/158.

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