Monday, 23 January 2017

23rd January 1817: Charles Mundy sends William Burton's confession to the Home Office

Burton January 23d. 1817
near Loughborough

My Lord,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordships letter of the 22nd. The expression of the approbation of his Majesties Government of my feeble exertion contained therein call for my humble acknowledgements.—I have the Honour to transmit to your Lordship a Copy of a full, & perfectly voluntary, confession made yesterday by William Burton. I have written it in his own words. The poor young man seems deeply penitent for the crime into which he has been drawn by the acts of a set of villains declaring he joined the party more from a foolish than any evil desire to do mischief & that while waiting in the Lane previous to going to the factory he saw by the arms & preparations how serious an affair he was engaged in & wished to have escaped but that the old Hands as he termed it watched the young man so closely it was impossible.—The County Gaoler, a very intelligent man, is quite confident he saw William Towle in the crowd during the trial of James Towle at the last assizes at Leicester. the Gaoler is not privy to any part of Burtons confession.—I have made some progress this day in procuring evidence to confirm the statement of John Blackburn none of them are as yet committed except for further examination.—no more are as yet brought to me but I understand that Caldwell taken at Tewkesbury on another charge is arrived at Nottingham.—

I am sorry to state to your Lordship that as soon as the arrival of the mail in Loughborough was made known the event of the trials of Watson [&] others the Bell man was sent round to proclaim a meeting of the Hampden Club in a field near Loughborough on Monday next—it is said an immense number are expected to assemble it is said four or five thousand this will probably prove an exaggerated statement.—I saw the president of the Loughborough Club in Nottingham on Tuesday last and a most notorious character from Nottingham came to Loughborough yesterday—the committee sat late and early this morning the Nottingham man went by a stage Coach for London. I think I may say that nearly all the manufacturers are members of these clubs & I am sorry to say very many tradesmen & shopkeepers of considerable substance. I think it has not much sway among the farmers and agricultural labourers.—I find William Towle is a member of one of these clubs & probably all the others.—I can perceive an increased degree of insolence of manner & marked disrespect in the classes of persons I have alluded to when before the magistrates & a decided contempt of the Laws and of their the punishments exclaimed by them. this has been observed by many other magistrates.—It is proposed that the trip of yeomanry cavalry residing in this neighbourhood should have a common exercise day at the usual place near Loughborough on Monday that they may be at Hand in case of anything occurring during to the meeting I have mentioned above.—I hope I may be excused if I observe to your Lordship that with the exception of one troop of Light Cavalry at Leicester and a regiment of Infantry at Nottingham there are no troops anywhere in this neighbourhood and that Infantry would move too slowly from Nottingham to be available for any purpose in this vicinity: and that as the residence of the men belonging to the yeomanry in their different villages is well known nothing could be more easy supposing any simultaneous movement of the evil disposed to be effected than for them to seize and disarm individuals belonging to the yeomanry cavalry at their houses.

I have the Honour to remain
my Lord, your Lordship's most Obedient Humble servant
Charles G. Mundy

This letter can be found at HO 40/3.

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