Tuesday 28 February 2017

28th February 1817: Henry Enfield raises concerns about the move of the Nottinghamshire Assizes with the Home Secretary

Nottingham 28 Feby. 1817

My Lord

The designed measure of holding the ensuing Assizes for the County of Nottingham at Newark, has not, as may be supposed by your Lordship, been heard with indifference by the Magistrates of the Town of Nottingham; & they beg your Lordship to allow me to state to you what they have done upon the occasion.

In consequence of the official Communication upon this subject addressed to me by the Clerk of the Assizes, the Mayor of & Aldermen met yesterday morning—& it did certainly appear to them, that if the removal of the Assizes resulted from what occurred or was said to be in meditation at the last County Assizes, it would be likely to cast an Imputation upon the Civil Authorities, & might tend to prejudice them in the public mind—They therefore directed me to address, in their name, Mr. Sherbrooke & Doctor Wylde, by a letter, a Copy of which I take the liberty of inclosing to your Lordship

Mr Sherbrooke wrote to me in reply, that he had heard with great surprize the report which I had confirmed, that it was intended by Government to adjourn the Assize for the County to Newark—that the County magistrates had met the preceding day, & made an arrangement with the High Sheriff which he had not the smallest Doubt would preserve the peace at the Assizes—& that it was intended to apply to the Towns magistrates for some of their Police Officers also to attend the Court—Mr. Sherbrooke, in Conclusion, says, "If you have any Correspondence with his Majesty's Ministers upon this Subject, I beg you will say, that the magistrates of the County as well as those of the Town have the utmost Confidence in their Ability to preserve the peace, & whatever Civil force is raised in the County will at all times be actively employed for the peace of the Town."—

Your Lordship may rest assured that the most effective measures will be taken by the magistrates of Nottingham (by an adequate additional civil force) to secure perfectly good order at the approaching Assizes for the Town—

I have [etc]
H. Enfield Town Clerk

[To] Rt Hble Lord Sidmouth

28th February 1817: The Tory Leicester Journal calls the growing political reform movements 'political Luddism'

In the last page will be found the Report of the Committee of Secrecy to the House of Commons—we inserted the one to the House of Peers in our last.—The Reports confirm all that we have, from time to time, said upon the subject. There has been an extensive correspondence carried on between clubs and individuals in London, and the disaffected in the country. There is only this difference, that it appears that there have been two or three associations in London, who have not been nominally connected, and which have some shades of difference, but if not nominally connected, they have all been labouring in the same cause; and have poured and united flood of sedition over the populace of London and the manufacturing and commercial parts of the country. We have said, that the agents in all the principal places, where their plans have taken effect, were the old Jacobins, who had been formerly put down by Government, and who had been lying in wait for a favourable opportunity opportunity to exert themselves. The characters drawn in the Report of the most active agents and their measures have no doubt on this head. Their profane scoffings at religion; their attempts to destroy its influence and restraints, in order to fit those they had deluded into instruments desperate enough for their purposes, with the avowal of malignant designs against Kings and Aristocrats, brand the Jacobin character into their foreheads. We have said, that the plan was to make use of the distress of the poor in large towns and manufacturing districta, and this is made out. Clubs, of different names, but having substantially the same object, and corresponding with each other, and with the leading clubs in London, have been very extensively formed; the Reports say in some counties, in almost every village, and this we know to be the fact. These clubs are united, in most instances, by oaths; and, in all, the most rebellious purposes are, without scruple, avowed in the daily conversation of their members. Subscriptions have been raised for the purchase and circulation of inflammatory, seditious, and blasphemous writings; by which, and the active persuasions of idle and dissolute fellows, who are supported for the purpose of seducing the distressed poor  to join their combinations, the clubs have been extended; or the lower classes, in many places, inflamed against the Government, and disposed to acts of outrage.—We have compared these factions to the Luddites;—We need not advert to the fact well known and acknowledged where Luddism took its first rise, that the Jacobinized principles of the operative weavers of Nottingham and its vicinity, more early and more deeply corrupted than in any other part, originated this horrid plot to control, by outrage and assassination, those who employed them—The insolence of these men grew up with their Jacobinical malignity to all above them; and finally issued, where all Jacobinism will issue, in deeds of dark atrocity and blood. This is not, however, the proof of resemblance we mean; the correspondence of the ends and means of political Luddism, and of weaving Luddism, is the proof. Manufacturing Luddism is a plot to bring the master manufacturers under the direction of their journeymen, both as to the prices of labour and the machinery used. To effect this, secret societies are organized, and held together by oaths; the means are, the destruction of machinery, and the assassination of obnoxious masters; whilst vengeance is declared against all who are enemies to the association. In what does political Luddism differ? It is a plot to bring government under the control of a mob, dignified with the name of "the people," to make the very lowest of the population the arbiters of peace and war, the framers of new constitutions, and the frame breakers of the machinery of old ones. To accomplish this similar end, similar means are adopted: Secret societies are formed; they are bound together by horrid oaths; in some instances assassination has been attempted; in all, the members have been taught the right and duty of taking off the heads of their governors. Arms have been prepared, and used; organisation, with reference to insurrection, has taken place; and lists of proscribed victims have been made out. But there is a material difference between the manufacturing and the political Luddites. We have understood that the Luddites of Nottinghamshire have added plunder to their other atrocities. The genuine Luddites, we believe,—spurn the imputation with feelings of offended pride, as no part of that system. The reforming mobs, on the contrary, have, in some instances actually plundered, and in many, have given sufficient indication of their inclination to do so. The Luddites, though they have broken the frames, have never pretended to the right of possessing themselves of the property of their masters. They were still willing to work, though on their own terms, leaving the master to be master still, in full possession of his house, his trade, and his fortune. The reformers, however, carry their Luddism much further; their object is a division of the land, and the extinction of all great capitals, by sharing the general booty.

The Reports enter into the projects and proceedings of the Spafields assemblies, and the persons who promoted them; and show, what indeed no man can deny, that the meeting of December 2d was intended as a cover to an insurrection in London, which was to be the signal for tumultuous proceedings in the country had it succeeded; and which would unquestionably, have been attended with very mischievous consequences had it been deferred, as intended, till the evening. The whole was spoiled by the drunken precipitance of Watson the younger.

What measures ought to be adopted, in consequence of the existing state of things, we shall not presume to say: but that measures of a repressive kind ought to be adopted we have no doubt. The question is not, whether the right of petitioning shall be abridged; but whether plots against the country, and against every man in it who has security, liberty, and property to lose, shall be suffered to ripen. That the danger of an immediate subversion of government has been small, we are ready to allow; because society, at present, has too many bonds and cements to be shaken to pieces by the reformers. Too many of the people remain sound; and the whole of the respectable part of society, excepting some old democrats, and political fanatics, are from their interests, as well as principles, opposed to the reformers. The obvious unlikelihood of success has, indeed, been pleaded against the existence of a plot at all. But this is ridiculous. Men may argue from probability, but that does not annihilate facts; and the fact of an organized insurrection stands upon irresistible evidence. If the reformers themselves judged of things with as much coolness as the persons who thus argue, they would not have attempted insurrection on the 2d of December. But their heated fancy magnifies the importance of their cause; and their egregious concertedness the number of its abettors. The Jacobins of France were at first a small and contemptible party; but they had, like the returning faction, the address to appeal to the populace, and on their shoulders they wrote down all their rivals. The manufacturing Luddites were but few in number, yet their desperate character, joined to the false notion among the poor, that they were keeping up the price of labour, enabled them to keep, for a long time, whole districts in awe, and to prevent informations from being given. A system which spreads delusion among the ignorant, which turns the passions of men against government, except it be a republican one, which is essentially hostile to all those principles on which the constitution is founded, as understood by men of every party, except absolute democrats, cannot be suffered to run on to alienate the great body of the populace from the constitution, who, from their ignorance, are unable to detect the real intentions of their instigators. No government can suffer, or ought to suffer, this organization against itself. Let the right of petitioning remain untouched: but inflammatory public meetings, called by no authority, and affiliated societies, must be put down. It is the country which demands this from Government; it is demanded, not so much to protect Government, as the lives and property of the community.

Monday 27 February 2017

27th February 1817: The Duke of Newcastle writes to the Home Secretary about the plan to move the Nottinghamshire Assizes to Newark

Feby 27, 1817—

My Lord

I have just had the honor of receiving your Lordship’s letter of the 25th informing me that the Assizes will be transferred from Nottingham to Newark.

I must [illegible] I rather reject that it should have been thought proper to adopt this measure, because it will appear that justice is not sufficiently strong, & that the disaffected have carried their point—

I think there could have been no doubt of our being able to afford protection to the execution of justice, if the Assizes has still been held at Nottingham—

I cannot learn that any tumult was apprehended at the period of the Assizes and measures were about to be taken similar to those adopted in 1812, in order to preserve the public peace—

If any disturbance is considered likely to occur your Lordship may rest assured that I will use all means in my power to counteract it—I shall be happy to receive and execute any intentions from your Lordship on this subject or any other connected with it—

I am happy to add that this county is perfectly quiet and that great consternation prevails amongst the Luddites, as they are called: at the apprehension of so many of their comrades—

I have the honor to remain
My Lord
Your Lordships
very obedt
humble Servt


[To] The
Visct. Sidmouth
&c &c &c

Sunday 26 February 2017

26th February 1817: The Undersheriff of Nottingham expresses concern to the Home Secretary about the plan to move the Assizes to Newark

Sheriffs office
Thurland Hall
26th February 1817.

My Lord

I have the Honor to acknowledge the receipt at this office of your Lordship’s Letter to the High Sheriff of the 25th Instant.

In the Forenoon this day the High Sheriff and many of the County Magistrates met at the Shire Hall and made several arrangements for the preservation of the Peace by having a large number of Special Constables and alterations in the Court—

I shall immediately proceed, in obedience to your Lordship’s Letter, to Newark to provide Lodgings for the Judge and see what Court House can be provided—I presume one Judge only will attend as usual—

May I be allowed with great deference to submit your Lordship for his Royal Highness the Prince Regent's Consideration the formidable and dangerous business of removing so many Prisoners from the County Gaol to Newark, twenty miles, and the probability of our finding a small and insecure Prison when they each reach that small Borough Town. I would also venture with humility and due respect to remind your Lordship that the Mlitary have remained at the Nottingham Barracks during the Assizes and that these Barracks although out of the Liberties of the Town are very near and a constant communication is easily maintained—I believe there are no Military in the immediate neighbourhood of Newark—and this novel step might possibly put the Luddites and desperate people here upon mischief which otherwise might not be thought of—

Will your lordship allow me to bring to your Lordship’s attention that the Assize Process from the Judges grounded upon their Commission under the Great Seal direct the Juries to be summoned to Nottingham—It is very probable that the opening the Commissions at Nottingham and adjourning to Newark may be intended to meet this point and I presume that the Juries are to be summoned as usual to Nottingham with a Notice that the Assizes will be adjourned to Newark where they are to attend on Monday the 17th day of March.

I desire to apologize for troubling your Lordship with these very hasty suggestions which present themselves to my mind at the moment and in the agitation occasioned by so unexpected an occurrence and

I have [etc]

Robert Leeson

Undersheriff of the
County of Nottingham—

The Right Honble Lord Sidmouth
His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State
For the Home Department.

26th February 1817: Henry Enfield expresses concern about the proposal to move the Nottinghamshire Assizes to Newark

Nottingham 26th February 1817.


The Magistrates of Nottingham at a full Meeting held this morning, have received with great regret the Communication made to me officially by Mr. Lowndes, that the ensuing Assizes for the County of Nottingham are to be held at Newark.—

If this extraordinary step be taken, in consequence of an alarm excited by what passed, or by what was said to be in meditation at the last County Assizes, it will be likely to cast an Imputation upon the Civil Authorities, and may tend to prejudice them in the public mind.

The Mayor and Aldermen do not know whether the Magistrates of the County intend to make an application upon the subject His Majesty's Government.—but under the first Impulse and in the Confidence that they shall not be misconstrued, they desire me to proffer their personal Services, and the whole of their Civil Force, to secure, in co-operation with the County strength, the preservation of the peace throughout the Assizes—of the certain power of maintaining Tranquillity and good order, proper pre-arrangements having been adopted, no fair doubt can be entertained.—

The Care of the peace whilst the Assizes were holding in the County Hall has been exclusively with the County Police—Perhaps real advantage would accrue, if the County and the Town Magistrates were to unite their forces for this purpose, upon a concerted plan previously to each Assizes.—

I am,
your most obedt hble Servant.

[H Enfield Town Clerk]

[To] W. Sherbrooke Esq

Tuesday 21 February 2017

21st February 1817: Charles Mundy tells the Home Secretary that Joshua Mitchell is ready to confess

Burton Febry 21st 1817

My Lord

I have the Honour to inform your Lordship that I saw Mr. Locket yesterday who informd me that he had stated in a letter he had addressed to Mr. Addington in which he had stated that the real name of the person describd by Blackburn as little Sam is Clarke & that he is gone escort of the Isle of Wight as a deserter from the artillery. Mr Locket states that he has specified the date of his apprehension as a deserter in the above named letter to Mr. Addington or in the deposition of Blackburn which I had the Honour to present to your Lordship.—I do not know what would be the best mode of having been brought to Leicester. A constable might be sent with a warrant unless your Lordship would order him to be sent by escort would probably be the least expensive method. Mitchell who has chosen to say a good deal to me though I have told him there is no chance of its being of any of any service to him has told me that Grosvenor Henson has been in correspondence with the disaffected in London & that the plan for a general & simultaneous tumult was in great measure laid by him. Mr. Locket desires me to inform you Lordship that it is quite clear the outrage at Col Haltons South Wingfield Derbyshire was the effect of private malice unconnected with Luddism or Politics. I shall be with Mr. Locket at the County Gaol at Leicester all day Monday next if your Lordship has any commands to favour me with respecting little Sam

A letter addressd to me there would be received while Mr. Locket is with me

I have [etc]
C. G. Mundy

[To: Lord Sidmouth]

Monday 20 February 2017

20th February 1817: A leading Leicester framework-knitter writes to the Home Secretary

Leicester Feby 20th 1817

My Lord

We have inclosed for the serious consideration of your Lordships & the cabinet Ministers No.1 a copy of the resolutions of the Framework Knitters passed at their late meeting & No.2 subsequent resolutions of ye Hosiers. You will find in them a statement of matters of Fact, & things as they really are in this Town & Neighbourhood. The Framework Knitters in consequence of the reduction of their Wages are reduced to the lowest state of misery & wretchedness, & if the present system of giving low Wages is persisted in, the whole of the common people will soon become paupers. One cause of this state of things is the combination Act, which is unjust in its principles, & impolitic in its application. If this Act had never been enforced mechanics would in a great measure been enabled to resist their employers in reducing their wages & consequently the country would have been in comparatively flourishing circumstances; All ranks of People in this Town see & feel evil of ye present system of giving low Wages, and we can assure your Lordship from a personal interview we have had with the Mayor, that he, and the other Magistrates of this Town are anxious that our Wages should be advanced, the present system will eat the Vitals of the Country, & your Lordship will find that a nation of Paupers will ultimately produce an empty exchequer and a National Bankruptcy.—It is not the want of employment of which we complain but the lowness of our Wages, the hands out of Work being comparatively few. You have legislated to keep up the price of Corn, & it is but just that you should legislate to keep up the price of labour & your Lordship will ever find in time of Peace that the Price of one is dependent on the price of the other; If the Mechanics and artizans were well paid for their Labour they would not hoard up their Money, It would find its way into the shops of the Tradesmen the Pockets of the Farmer & into his Majesty’s exchequer, If a low price is given for Labour the price of the necessaries of Life must come down in proportion in defiance of all attempts that are made to keep them up & we would ask your Lordship how a low price of Corn, a low price of labour can exist with a heavy taxation? Your Lordship will see in the Resolutions of the Hosiers, that they tell us they are forced to reduce our Wages, to come into the market upon equal terms with Parishes that manufacture goods, and those Hosiers who receive the premium from Parishes for employing their Poor; We would call your Lordships attention particularly to this subject, Parishes manufacture goods, send them to Market & sell them under prime cost & the loss sustaind is made up from the poor rates, to meet this competition, the Hosiers are obliged to reduce the wages of their Workmen? Your Lordship from this Statement we trust will see the necessity of some alteration in the Poor Laws, We would humbly suggest to your Lordship that if the Poor Rates throughout the Country were collected & put into one public fund & the whole of the poor paid from that fund there would be no inducement for parishes to manufacture or give premiums to manufacturers for employing their Poor & forcing them to work for low Wages as is the case at present, We have to beg pardon for intruding ourselves upon your notice, but the importance of the subject & the high station which your Lordship holds in his Majesty's Government we hope will be deemed by your Lordship a sufficient apology

Signed on the behalf of the deputation appointed to wait upon the Hosiers

Willm Jackson Secy

To Lord Viscount Sidmouth
Secretary for Home Department

Thursday 16 February 2017

16th February 1816: Lancelot Rolleston asks the Duke of Newcastle to pay William Cook's legal costs

My Lord Duke,

I have the honour to acquaint your grace, that the confession made to me, by one John Blackburn, of the Town of Nottingham, Frameworkknitter, who was apprehended in the night of the 2nd of Jany last, in a daring attack upon the house of William Cook, gamekeeper to Lord Middleton, has led to the apprehension of most of those individuals, who have for so many years infested this County, under the name of Luddites. Among the various depredations brought to light by this circumstance, I have come to the knowledge of the persons, who so wantonly attempted the life of George Kerry, of the Parish of Radford, which it may be your Grace’s recollection, took place the Sunday night before Christmas day; the attack was made by four in number, two of whom are in custody, & I have every reason to hope the others shortly will be. I am sure you Grace will agree with me, as to the necessity of prosecuting these men; but Kerry is merely a working stockinger, without the means; under these circumstance, & more particularly as he is a tenant of your Grace’s, I have taken the liberty (and I request you believe it is with infinite respect to your Grace that I venture) to submit, whether it may be agreeable to your Grace, to afford Kerry, the assistance necessary for that purpose. I have satisfaction, at any time it suits your Grace’s convenience, in laying before you the extensive communications made to me, which with some confidence I express as my opinion, will be the means of entirely suppressing that system of outrage, which has hitherto defied the utmost vigilance of the Magistracy.

Waiting your Grace’s commands,

I have [etc]
Lanct Rolleston

Feby 16th, 1817

Saturday 11 February 2017

11th February 1817: Leeds Croppers petition brought up in the House of Commons

On Tuesday 11th February 1817, a petition from Croppers in Leeds about the use of cloth-dressing machinery was debated in the House of  Commons:


Lord Lascelles said, he held in his hand a petition from a numerous body of people in Leeds, and the parts adjacent, who were cloth-dressers, and who complained that the introduction of machinery had thrown many of them out of employment. They prayed that some relief might be afforded them by the wisdom of parliament. He had explained to the petitioners themselves, that the question relative to machinery was a matter of deep consideration; nor did he flatter them that parliament could be able, considering the state of the woollen manufacture in other countries, to afford them any relief on this head. There was another prayer in the petition: these people entertained the impression, that if driven to emigrate to other countries, the existing laws threw obstructions in their way, as being manufacturers. The noble lord had told them, that considering the state of manufactures in other countries, neither could he give them much encouragement on this head: but at any rate their petition should be submitted to the consideration of parliament.

The Petition was then brought up and read, setting forth, "That the petitioners are employed in the dressing of woollen cloth, to which business they have served a long apprenticeship, and which heretofore enabled them to maintain themselves and their families, but which, in consequence of the extensive introduction of machinery into that department of the woollen trade, they are no longer able to do; they trust therefore for the indulgence of the House whilst they submit to their consideration the following facts; the petitioners beg leave to state, that, during the last session of parliament, they presented to the House, on behalf of themselves and their fellow workmen, a petition signed by 3,625 individuals, setting forth their grievances and praying for relief and redress, and they respectfully solicit the attention of the House to the allegations and prayer of that petition; it was stated in that petition that machinery for the dressing of woollen cloth had increased so rapidly within the last seven or eight years as to have produced very great distress among the persons employed in that department of the woollen manufacture, great numbers of them having been deprived of their accustomed employment and reduced to hopeles indigence and beggary; the petitioners have now to add to this statement the more specific information, that there was on the 17th of August 1816, totally out of employment 1,043 persons, in partial employment 1,380. in full employment 922; and on the 28th of October 1816 there were totally out of employment 1,166 persons, in partial employment 1,352, in full employment 860; and on the 3d day of February instant there were totally out of employment 1,170 persons, in partial employment 1,445, and in full employment 763, and the wages of those stated to be partially employed do not average more than from five to ten shillings a week; the petitioners also beg leave to state that it appears from the evidence taken before the House, that in the year 1806 there were only five gig mills, and not more than 100 pair of shears in the county of York wrought by machinery, but that the number of gig mills is now 72, and the number of shears is increased to 1,462, and that the consequence of this increase has been that great numbers of the petitioners and their fellow workmen have been reduced to absolute want; the petitioners also beg leave to submit to the House that they have a particular claim upon the attention of the legislature for protection and relief, inasmuch as they are prohibited by the laws from seeking employment in a foreign state; they would also submit to the House, that the pleas of necessity and expedience which have been pleaded in the behalf of the introduction of this species of machinery are unfounded, as there have always been a sufficient number of workmen to perform all the labour that was required: the petitioners also beg leave to state, that cloth is neither dressed better nor cheaper by machinery than by the old method of dressing it by the hand; on the contrary, the advantage in both these respects is decidedly in favour of dressing it by the hand, the large sums expended in the erection and in the maintenance of these establishments more than counterbalancing any saving in the price of dressing. In respect also to the manner in which the cloth is dressed, the petitioners confidently affirm that the cloth finished by machinery possesses no advantage whatever over the cloth dressed by hand; they are aware that it will be asserted that the unrestrained use of machinery is necessary to enable this country sufficiently to compete with foreigners: the petitioners in reply to this objection, beg leave to observe, that the universal adoption of gig mills and shearing frames would not in the least tend to lower the price of cloth, and would not be the means of causing a single additional piece of cloth to be sold either at home or in the foreign market; they would further observe, that though this species of machinery is thus impotent in promoting the prosperity of the woollen manufacture, it has been the fruitful source of much evil to the petitioners, and would, if carried further, be the means of depriving many thousands of persons of employment in the business to which they served a long and laborious apprenticeship, and indeed of all work whatever, as the present depressed state of trade precludes them from all chance of obtaining employment in any other business; the petitioners therefore hope, and humbly pray, that under these circumstances the House will be pleased to take their case into their immediate and serious consideration, and afford them such relief by restraining the use of this kind of machinery, or by such other means as may seem most meet to the wisdom of the House."

Mr. Brougham could not abstain from expressing his pleasure at seeing this petition brought forward so satisfactorily by the noble lord. This was the proper way in which the complaints of the people should be treated. In fact, all that had passed at public, meetings showed that the people were still sound at heart; that they still looked up to that House as their constitutional safeguard, and the grand source from which they were to expect relief. With regard to the prayer of the present petition, it must be obvious, that to adopt any measures to check the use of machinery, was as impolitic as it would be impracticable; but it was surely very hard on the petitioners that any impediments should be thrown in their way so as to prevent them from bettering their situation by emigration, if they were so disposed. This branch of the ancient policy of the country required the serious consideration of the House. Nothing could be more wicked than attempts to destroy machinery, such as the country had lately witnessed; yet at the same time the feeling which existed against machinery must be a ground of formidable alarm; for it showed that, instead of now being, as it lately was, a source of wealth, it was the cause of the most severe distress to a great body of the people, because the hands thrown out of work by the introduction of machines in one branch could not now find employment in other lines. This was a serious evil, well deserving the serious attention of parliament; but he should not dilate on it at present, because he should soon have occasion to bring the distressed state of the manufacturers under the consideration of the House. He might here be allowed to explain, that in the observations which fell from him last night, he did not mean to advert to any seizures of persons that had been made under the authority of the secret committee.

Lord Castlereagh entirely coincided with the hon. and learned gentlemen respecting the proper manner in which the petition just read had been drawn up. He wished the House to be assured he was as anxious as any individual could be to preserve the right of petitioning, as one of the most valuable blessings of the constitution, and he was confident, if the people were left to draw up their petitions themselves, they would do it in the best and most respectful manner. It was the means made use of to delude them by imposing on them manufactured petitions that excited his disapprobation and disgust. It was an insult to an Englishman, to suppose him incapable of stating his own grievances in a plain respectful manner.

The petition was ordered to lie on the table.

Thursday 9 February 2017

9th February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston sends William Burton's further confession to the Home Secretary

My Lord

I have the honour of forwarding your Lordship a further confession made to me on Friday last by William Burton, one of the persons now in confinement at Leicester for the outrage at Loughbro’. The importance of his communication will I trust be an inducement to his Majesty's Government, to extend some favour towards this misguided man, who is very young, & appears highly sensible of his past errors; Should your Lordship wish to see the depositions regarding each particular circumstance, they shall immediately be remitted.

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston.

Watnall Feby 9th

[To: Lord Sidmouth]

9th February 1817: William Burton's further confession

The voluntary confession of William Burton late of Basford in the County of Nottingham, taken before me Lanct Rolleston Esqr one of his Majesty's justices of the peace for the said County.

The attempt to murder Kerry.

On the Sunday before Christmas, Thos Henfrey & John Woolley of Basford, came to me whilst I was at William Pickburns houses, on Parson’s flat Basford, a called me out & said, they wished to speak to me; I went out, they desired me to ask Sutton Bill, alias Wm Pickburn if he had a bit of powder, I asked what they wanted powder for, said, they were going to break Kerry’s frame; I went & asked him, he said he had none; went & told them so; Henfrey had two pistols, one loaded & one not, Danl Diggle had one, unloaded; they said, they wanted as much powder as would load them both; I asked who was going to go; they said Henfrey, Danl Diggle John Woolley, James Shaw, (all of Basford) & said you must go & all, meaning deponent; said I had rather not, Henfrey said you had better, as they would soon do it, & they would not be more than half an hour; asked where Diggle & Shaw were, said up stairs in Diggles room; Henfrey desired them to stay where they were, (being at the bottom of the yard) & he would go to Thos Pogson’s, & ask him for some powder; went & brought some, brought it in a horn; then went into Diggle's room; Henfrey loaded one pistol, & Diggle another, Diggle got an old coat which was very much torn, & put it on & tied an handkerchief over his face; Deponent, Henfrey, Diggle & Woolley then went out of Diggles room, they stopt a bit in the yard, whilst Henfrey went some where to get a hammer, he got one, but does not know where from; they went directly to Kerry’s house, met no one by the way; Diggle & Woolley went on first, I & Henfrey followed at a little distance; Henfrey said; Dan, (meaning Diggle) damns his eyes if he don't blow his brains out, if he stirs, I said, that won't do; we overtook them, we came up to them in Pearsons close, before they got to the house; there agreed, that Henfrey should stand in the lane, Woolley against the door, & Diggle & myself should go in; I had the hammer, the other three had pistols; went up to the house listened against the window, & heard the children talking; came out of the yard again & stood the lane, deponent said we’ll stop about ten minutes, & the children will be gone to bed, they would make such a noise if we went in whilst they were up; Diggle was looking at his pistol, I said, my lad, let me beg you not to shoot, you’ll have no occasion for it, said he would not; Diggle & Woolley went again, I was about 5 or 6 yards behind, Diggle went first & threw open the door, Diggle & Woolley went in, I stood at the door; Kerry said, Hello, Diggle order’d the people in the house to go into the parlour, the women scream’d, & Kerry got up & seized Woolley, laid hold of his pistol, could not get it away, but pulled the ramrod out; then Diggle shot him; did not hear Woolley’s pistol miss fire, they then run out; when they got into the first close, Diggle dam’d his eyes if he had not shot him dead; said he tumbled down as dead as a rat; I asked him how he could think of doing it so, said. he did not know his pistol was cocked, I said I know’d, said, why did you not tell me, said, I did & talked to you about it before you went in; he said, damnation seize his eyes, he should have let Woolley alone, he seized Woolley he should have gone into the parlour & then I should not have done it; he said he was dam’d mad with himself for having done it, told him he was such a fool, that whenever he got a pistol & a bit of powder, he was always firing; I said it was the last thing I would ever be concern’d in, & would never go out any more; we then went home I & Diggle went together, & Henfrey went with Woolley a bye road; met no one by the way, saw no one & thinks no one saw us; went to Diggles house the next day, Diggle said, some one shot old Kerry last night. The ramrod did not belong to the pistol Woolley had, but belonged to a pistol taken from the factory at Loughbro’; thinks the pistol was drown’d, in Cheeny pool near Nottm, where all of them were drown’d, as he had heard say; it was a particular ramrod; the reason they wanted to break Kerry's frame was, because it was a cut up.

Job. at Bramcote

The Sunday before this took place there were many talking that man at Bramcote had got cut ups; Bill Towle said they should break them, & shew they could do a job without Jem; (meaning James Towle who was at that time in Leicester Jail) heard nothing more of it, till returning home from Arnold the Saturday following, saw Danl Diggle on the Parson’s flat, he said his brother Nathan & Bill Towle were gone to Chilwell to fetch pistols, for the job, they were to get them from his brother in laws where some had been left after the Loughbro job; James Shaw came to us & said we were to meet at the lane above Browns bleachyard, at ten oclock, we did meet there; the party then consisted of deponent, Danl Diggle, Chas Elliott, Joseph Widdowson, John Lomas, James Shaw, Robt Sugden, Jonathan Austin, & one Sam, (who run away for robbing the tent on the Race ground with Bill Towle, he has since enlisted into the guards at Derby, he has a mole on one side of his face, & is very pale looking, a good deal like, Saml Caldwell.) they then set off, went thro’ cherry orchard as they call it, past Aspley field, straight to the canal side; when they got to the top of the canal where the road to Trowel crosses it; Shaw, Danl Diggle, Chas Elliott & another, thinks it was Austin; went over a bridge to a public house, & got some ale, said they had a full quart & paid 6d for it; they drank it at the door & did not go in; Shaw said it was the last measure in the parish; this night be about eleven oclock it was in July; when these came from the public house they all went together along the cut side, for some distance till they came to a Lane, which they went down till they came to a place where they met Nathan Diggle & Bill Towle, who had brought pistols & cartridges & an hatchet; they gave pistols to those were to stand guard out of doors, namely Dan Diggle, Chas Elliott, & Bob Sugden, Jonathan Austin was also outside but had a gun of his own, Sam had a pistol & went into the house, Bill Towle had a pistol, James Shaw an iron crow, deponent the hatchet; the others had candles; coming towards the house, they saw a light in the chamber window, but it was put out before they got to the door; Bill Towle rattled the door, called out desiring them to come & open the door, they did not come, Towle took the hatchet giving deponent his pistol to hold, (this pistol Towle afterwards lost in the house) & broke it open; when they got into the house they got a light; they had things for striking a light with them; Towle went up stairs, Nathan Diggle, Widdowson & deponent followed, they broke 4 frames in the shop, the people in the house were in bed, thinks they never got up as they saw no one; they were there about 20 minutes, it was between 12 & 1, when they had done the frames, they went into another chamber, where the children lay, there was a machine there for winding silk they broke it, & as they were throwing it out of the window some of their own party fired at them, supposes by some mistake, did not hit them; they then came away, the children lay quite still & never made any noise; Bill Towle said he never saw any children lay so quiet before; they all went home together the same road they came, saw no one & no one saw them as he thinks; it was about 4 oclock when they got home; does not know the man's name whose frames they broke—.

As they were going to break the frames (after Diggle & the others who had been to the public house had joined them) they met a man on the canal bank, thinks he was drunk as he laid hold of several of them, & shouted, hallo lads, he went singing down the cut side towards the public house they had left, does not know if he went in, he was a middle sized man, had a short white frock on which only came down to his waist, & thinks a white hat it was moonlight; he looked like a miller thinks he was miller. The next day they took the pistols to Jack Hill’s, where he worked being in the same yard at the sign of King George on horseback; Hill was gone out, the master, (Hill’s brother in law) took them up into a cockloft.

One of the pistols bought by Savage at Derby for the Loughbro’ job; fellow to the one supposed to be at a gunsmiths in Nottm Mitchel, had with him at the shop where he worked, at the time he was taken,—

Lambley Job

Two or three weeks before this was done, Tom Austin, Jack Plumb, & big Sam alias Saml Caldwell, came to me & said, if I would get chaps to do a Lambley job, they, (meaning the Lambley men) would assist me at any time to do Bulwell; said, I would mention it; did so to the 2 Diggles, Thomas Corson or Corson or Corser. (since enlisted into the 96th) Joseph Mellors, Thomas Henfrey & William Cooper all of Basford; (Cooper has since gone to his parish which is Thringstone near Whitwich in Leicestershire) to Edwd Straw, Isaac Burton & John Wright of Arnold; Wright has since enlisted into a rifle corps at Nottm) & John Lommas of Bulwell; they all consented; the Saturday it was done big Sam, & Jack Plumb came to me at that time at Arnold, & asked if, they would come; said they would; Sam said he would go to Nottm & get pistols & ammunition, saying we were to meet in a particular close, next but one to the town; we did so, Jack Plumb went with us from Arnold, & when we got to Lambley, he went somewhere into the town & brought up two pistols; they soon heard a whistle, Plumb went towards it, the rest followed; about 2 closes off they found big Sam, Tom Austin, George Lovatt, as he called himself & John Blackburn; they brought pistols & ammunition; Sam said he had hid two pistols in Lovatt’s stacks, but had been to look for them, & could not find them; supposed some of Lovatt’s men had got them, & said when they went to break his frames they must get them if they could. They then went to Lovatts house; Henfrey broke open the door, deponent, Henfrey the 2 Diggles, Cooper went directly up stairs & broke the frames; Danl Diggle took a pistol & candle & went into the room where the journeymen & apprentices lay, & said, their general had informed them, they had got two pistols as belonged to them, & said he would blow their brains out if they did not give them up; they denied having; Diggle had an handkerchief over his face, & most of them had their clothes changed; saw no one in the house—Went from thence to Needhams house, knocked at the door, Needham open’d the door himself, they rushed in & Needham run up stairs, & they saw nothing more of them; all the party was more or less in the house at different times, except Isaac Burton, who said he would go into none, for having been apprenticed in the town, he should be known; an handkerchief of Burton's was lost there; they broke all the frames in the shop, went away without seizing any ones

Went from thence to Kirks the door not being open’d they broke it open, does not know who did it; Kirk did not come down, but talked to them on the stairs; said they had come to break his frames, he begged they would not, & said they were [Bergin] James’s; they said they were Shaws, that he was working at under price, & they could do them; Danl Diggle open’d the stair foot door & fired up stairs; it was a Cotton shop, deponent did not go into it; but Henfrey Cooper & Corser went in & broke all the frames; Went from thence to Godbers, desired to be let in, & rattled the door, two women put their heads out of a window, & said, that was not a public house; said, we did not want a public house, but had come to break the frames; the women called some men who put their heads out of the window & asked what we wanted, said we came to break the frames, & desired them to come & open the door; they did not; Henfrey broke it open, with the hatchet; it was one of those bought for the Loughbro’ job; we went in, & broke all the frames; it was a bottom shop, saw nothing more of the men or women; this was about 1 or 2 oclock; were about 2 or 3 hours altogether in the town; saw no one about; all went out of Lambley together number’d ourselves as high as 50 does not know how many frames they broke in each shop, but knows 30 were broke in the whole. then parted, Basford men went one way Arnold men another; before I got home I parted with the others, who went along a lane, & went by myself across the closes; On monday after the job Hill, Mitchel & a Adams Scotchman came over, & gave Mellors 17s to drink for doing the job we all drank it together; About a fortnight afterwards, Jack Plumb, Tom Austin, big Sam & Isaac Burton, met deponent in Arnold, & said Tom Needham could swear to Isaac Burton; and offer’d deponent & Isaac 10s to go & shoot him; Isaac said he would do it himself, if I would put hear him company there & back; said, I would know have no concern in murder; Jack Plumb said, I need have no concern as Isaac would do it himself, & only wanted me to walk with him; said I should be reckoned as bad, as if I did it; he said I had done that already as would hang me; but told him I would have no concern in taking life; they said no more to me about it, but Isaac plagued me very much to go & said he could do it easily, & would shoot him thro’ a hole in the window which was just against where he worked.

Needham might have seen Isaac Burton the night the frames were broken; thinks it was him who said, damn your eyes remember Clumber Street. When they first went into Needhams house, after he open’d the door, a pistol was fired either by Dan Diggle of Burton; thinks Wm Emmet & his wife where D. Diggle lodged will be brought to prove his alibi; & a woman named Hibbet or Herbert, who lives at Nathan Diggles will also be brought; she is married but lives with Nathan Diggle.

John Blackburn says, Jack Plumb & Isaac Burton have often requested him to shoot Tom Needham & one Police of Lambley.

The deponent William Burton is not a member of the Hambden Club.

Mr Rolleston
9 Feb. 1817

Wednesday 8 February 2017

8th February 1817: Jeffrey Lockett updates the Home Office about the hunt for suspected Luddites

Derby Feby 8th: 1817


In the letter which I had the honour to address to you on Wednesday last from Loughbro’, I stated, on the information of J. Blackburn, that the Luddite, called little Sam, had been apprehended about four months ago, and removed from Nottingham, to the Isle of Wight, under the name of John Smith as a deserter from the Artillery. I have now to inform you, that it has been since ascertained, that he was committed on the 7th of October, by the name of John Clarke.

From accounts which I have received from Nottingham, I am happy to find, that there is a probability of John Disney and Aaron Daykin being apprehended.

There are already twenty two prisoners, in the gaol of this county, under commitments for trial at the next assizes.—Before that time, the number will probably be increased to thirty—

I am very happy to inform you, that the recommendation of Government relative to the [enrolment] of special constables, has been very generally complied with throughout this county. In the town of Derby, there is scarcely a person of respectability, who is not involved, and altho’ we have a Hampden Club, and many disaffected men amongst us, they are of the lowest, and most contemptible of our inhabitants, and by no means numerous.—They are to hold a meeting on Monday next,—but the Magistrates have made sufficient provision for the preservation of the peace, & are perfectly prepared for any occurrence which can arise from that quarter.

I have the honour to be Sir your most obedt Servt
Wm Jeffery Lockett

[To: Home Office]

8th February 1817: The owner of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, is released from Northampton Gaol after a year's imprisonment

On Thursday 8th February 1817, the owner of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton, completed his sentence of a year's imprisonment for political libel, and was released.

During that time, he had been held in the debtor's ward at Northampton Gaol. The Nottingham Date Book (1852, p.318) makes it clear that it had been far from an ordeal, as Sutton had "received every indulgence, short of liberation, that he desired."

Sunday 5 February 2017

5th February 1817: The fuller confession of John Blackburn.

The voluntary confession of John Blackburn of the town of Nottingham Framework knitter taken by me Lanct. Rolleston Esqr one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace to the County of Nottingham

Loughbro’ Job

About a week before the job at Loughbro’, one William Withers of the Town of Nottm Frameworkknitter, came to him, at that time living at Lambley, & said they, meaning the Luddites, wanted him & two more for a job, that he should have his expences paid, & there was £40 for it; it was to take place next friday night, & was to be at Loughbro’, that deponent in company with Aron Daykin, a man whose name he did not know, but called, little Sam, & now sent to the Isle of Wight as a deserter, & Samuel Caldwell, alias the Dragoon, alias big Sam, soon left Lambley & staid at different places; two nights they remained at the Kings Head, narrow marsh in Nottm they paid the landlord 6d each, the reason they went to the lower part of the town was because Savage told them they must not be seen in the upper part, thinks they had all been at the house before, but does not know that the landlord, named Barker, or any of his family knew them as they were all tramps; little Sam & Aron Daykin, remained in the kitchen all the [evening] but deponent & big Sam went out. staid two nights at a public house at Beeston, either the Durham Ox or next door to it, the landlady charged them nothing for lodging or only 2d, thinks little Sam must have been known at Beeston as he had worked at the town, & the others had been used to go to the house, thinks it was a widow who kept the house, she was a jolly woman; whilst we were at the public house at Beeston a man, called whistling Bobby, alias Robt Twigg who was serving the bricklayers in the town, & was working as a houserow man, came in & upon telling him there was going to be a job, he said he was glad of it, &, if it succeeded would give a quart of ale. The next day they parted, leaving big Sam & little Sam in Beeston, himself & Daykin, went together to Hathern, they got some ale at a house on the road, thinks it was the Anchor at Hathern, did not see the landlord, the ale was served by an old woman, they then parted, deponent went to Loughbro’, & Daykin according to Savages previous orders went to Sheepshead to fetch John Disney; alias Sheepshead Jack; it was on Thursday, the day before the job; he got to Loughbro’, & according to appointment met Savage at the sign of the Pack horse, the landlord served deponent with some ale, as soon as he had finished it he left the room, & Savage followed him, according to previous agreement; thinks Savage must have been known to the landlord, as he had been more than a week at Loughbro’; two or three days at the Pack horse, & sometime at the Duke of York; went from thence to Tom Tylers, the White Lion in Swan street, there met according to appointment, Sheepshead Jack, & Daykin; deponent knew the landlord who also knew him; he went out with Savage to buy some beef steaks & had part of them cooked at Tylers, did not stay to eat them as Savage told him it would not do to stay there as they might be noticed; he took him to the Duke of York public house & gave him a bottle of porter, & thinks the landlord knew Savage; he then, about 10 oclock by Savages directions went back to Tylers, & took Disney & Daykin with him to Mount Sorrel hill, where stone is got for the roads, & brought away with them a great hammer and about 30lb, two of about 12lb, & an iron crow; they then returned towards Loughbro’, leaving the tools in the dike just before they came to needless Inn; all three slept in a cart in the outskirts of the town; about 6 in the [morning] went into the Duke of York, found Savage there, breakfasted with him, but the other two Disney & Daykin, were sent to the White Lion, Tom Tylers; during the day took Savage to see the tools in the dike, but as two men appear’d to be watching had not time to look for them, as deponent & Savage run away & were pursued by them; thinks this was about 3 oclock P:M: they first went down a lane towards a windmill, crossed the canal at a bridge, & went towards Hoton, about a mile before they got to the Nottingham road they parted, Savage sent deponent to Hathern to meet little Sam & big Sam, who were coming from Beeston, & Disney & Daykin who had gone there during the day; he was to bring them to Loughbro’; they were not ready, as the hatchets they brought with them wanted new handles, which the ploughmaker at Hathern was doing for them, they had not money enough to pay for them, & deponent was sent back to Loughbro’ to get some from Savage; met him & Jack Amos about a mile before he got to the town, who went back nearly to Hathern, & then gave enough to pay for the hatchets & 3s between every two men for the expences during the night; deponent Savage & Amos came first towards Loughbro’ leaving big Sam, little Sam, Daykin & Disney near the town, meaning Hathern Daykin with either Disney little Sam sent & paid 3s for the hatchets, they were quite new & heard it said Will Withers had bought them but does not know where; when they got near Loughbro’ Savage told deponent he must not go into it as he was well known but must return to Hathern & tell the men there the tools not be brought into the Town till the job was ready; they hid them in a drain under the footpath; big Sam & I, then went to the White Lion & had some cold meat, Daykin, Disney & little Sam to the Green man & had either beef steaks or mutton chops; whilst at supper Savage & another, thinks Hill, came in & asked Tyler the landlord, for a quar of rum & to give him a bottle to put it in, but if he did not like to give it one, he would pay for it, thinks Tyler gave or lent him a bottle; Savage then went out, deponent followed, & was sent to the Green man to fetch those who were there at supper, in about a quarter of an hour they joined him in the road, it was between 11 & 12 o'clock; they were instructed by Savage to proceed on the Ashby road till they came to a house near the turnpike, & to turn down a lane, where they all assembled; the party then consisted of himself & his brother, big Sam, little Sam, Daykin, Disney, Savage, Hill, Jos. Mitchell, Jack Slater, John Amos, John Crowther, William Withers, Bill Burton, Bill Towle & James Towle; whilst in the lane, they disguised themselves in various ways, some by changing coats, some by turning them inside out, & all tied their handkerchiefs over their faces; Slater had big Sam's smock frock on, Mitchel his own coat turned & a handkerchief over his face—

Between Loughborough & Hathern when deponent first met Amos, he asked him, how long he had been there, he said not long; being asked who were coming, he said Jos. meaning Mitchel was with him on the coach, that they passed some on foot, thinks Bill Towle Bill Burton & Crowther; Slater walked, Hill came by the coach, Withers walked, James Towle walked; thinks some of them Bill Towle, Burton & Withers stopt at the ship at Rempstone, they had pistols in their inside great coat pockets, & heard some of the party often say, at a labouring man who saw them, fetched either his master or the landlord to look at them, he did so over a screen, he said something to them wishing to know, what their pistols were for; they left Rempstone & went to the Bell, Hoton, where Bill Towle was sick, is not certain whether this occurr’d at Rempstone or Hoton; Bill Towle had a great coat on—The above named persons went from the lane before mentioned directly towards the factory, they met a man going to it, & threatened if he did not get them quickly admitted, he should suffer for it, he got the door opened & they rushed in, a great dog flew at them James Towle fired at it; Bill Towle struck at it with a hatchet which flew out of his hand, the cry was brush forward; deponent stopped at the corner of the factory till he heard them in the room where the guard was placed, whilst entering the door a pistol went off, he wished to retreat, but one of them said he would blow his brains out if he did not go forward, which he then did, does not know who it was that fired; deponent place sentry at the door of the Factory; upon their going to the top shop, he was  placed sentry over three men in the first floor shop, whilst there, he saw them go up to the top shop, Hill arrived with pistols went first, Mitchel with pistols next, in the call to go up & went with an axe & broke some of the frames, Mitchel soon went down to see all was right, & returned with a gun & bayonet, he said, "Ned, have you done your work well," some one answer’d, yes, "its a Waterloo job by god;" Rodney alias Bill Towle, was going to pocket some lace, Hill said we are not come to rob, but for the good of the trade, if ever I see you up to that again I will blow your brains out, he took it away & burnt it on the floor, they all broke the frames in turn; on going out of the factory several of them went to shake hands with Asher who was shot, whilst deponent was guarding the outer door, he told them to be off, that he might have a doctor; when the pistols were fired at Rushforth's & Sylvesters house, deponent was in the factory but heard big Sam say he fired; & that a curtain was set on fire; as soon as they left the factory 20 or 30 pistols & guns were fired off, they set off home, they went by Garendon Park, knows little of the road till they came to Kingstone Village, which place he remembers from having asked for some water there some day before; a powder flask was taken by big Sam from the factory & carried home to Lambley, but Savage, Mitchel, & Hill saying it might lead to detection if it was found by any one & desiring they might have it, he would not give it up, but broke it to pieces, St if he might not keep it no one else should; and governments also taken from the factory thinks by big Sam, but it was thrown into a canal as they crossed it at a bridge, Sam threw it in; near Kingstone they saw a man at plough, who looked at them but was told to mind his business, he went on with his work; they then went down to the Trent found a boat, got into it, but it would not carry them over the wear; they then went further down the river, towards another boat, part being tired like behind, they crossed the river in two parties, deponent crossed with the first party; Savage paid for the whole, meaning both parties, as they were crossing the river he saw two men on the other side waiting to get over, he heard one of the party say, damn that fat fellow, I know him & he knows me, but he dare say nought, does not know which it was, when they had got over, they took off their disguises, and soon parted, deponent big Sam, little Sam & Daykin, went together, they were desired by Savage, to be at the Fox near Sneinton by ten oclock, & he should have some money for them; they went towards Beeston, before they got there big Sam & Daykin went on first, himself & little Sam stopt at their old house in that town & got a cup of ale, it was between 4 & 5 in the [morning]; they went forward to Lenton, stopt at the wrestlers a public house & had another cup of ale; there he left little Sam saying, if he did not come back in 3 hours, he was to come to him, to the Fox, he did so, big Sam & Daykin were there before them; big Sam said he & Daykin had met Barnes the police officer of Nottingham, he questioned them as to where they had been, told him they came Derby road; they remained at the Fox till dinner, being tired with waiting went to see Savage, met him near the house, he gave two shillings each, he does not know where he got the money but is almost certain at Loughbro’; being questioned for his reasons, he said he not only had heard so, but after his own, deponents, frames were broke at Lambley being out of work, Budder of Nottm desired him to go to one Pounder, one of Lacey’s hands at Loughbro’; saying that after his, Badders trial & acquittal at Leicester, Pounder had behaved well to him, & that as deponent had been at the Loughbro’ job he thought he would assist him too; accordingly he went but did not see Pounder. After he got the money, he went to Lambley with Daykin being taken in from excessive fatigue, he did not leave his house for nearly three weeks.

Thinks it was one of the Guards who took little Sam sometime after, before the magistrates as a deserter, who lived at the Lion & Lamb.

When they parted after crossing the river, James Towle Bill Towle, Mitchel & Hill went together towards Chilwell–

Radford job

A week or two before the job at Radford, Jack Slater met deponents as he was going in with his work, deponent asked him to go & drink, they went to Galloways public house down a yard in St. Ann’s St. Nottm Slater told him they were going to have a job, & that he thought they would want him, saying they, (meaning only the Nottm set) had intended doing it themselves, but had quarrelled, he did not know the time but would send word to him; the same day he met Badder who told him nearly the same thing; sometime after Badder told him to come the next Saturday & bring big Sam, little Sam, Daykin, Disney & Jack Plumb all of Lambley, they went accordingly, & met at Seymours the chaise & horse Sandy lane Nottm staid there till Badder & Slater came, about 10 or 11 went to Lammas closes; the party then consisted besides the Lambley set of James Towle Bill Towle, Jos. Mitchel & Hill, Thos Humphrey or Emphrey, & thinks the two Diggles & Bill Burton but is not certain as he did not know them at that time & cannot swear to them; there was also a club footed man of Basford, whose name he does not know. Staid in the lammas closes an hour or two; Slater & Badder left them, the rest then went direct to the houses of Mullins & Wright, met no one by the way; James Towle, Bill Towle, Mitchel, Hill & little Sam, were inside men; saw James Towle with an iron crow breaking the door, & Bill Towle with an hatchet, others were in the house does not know who; deponent knows but little of any thing particular that passed, having been placed sentry in Chapel street where he remained all the time watching; others were placed in West street & others down the sands; does not know the particular persons; the guard in WestsStreet told him, that several persons upon hearing the noise & particularly an old woman, were coming out of their houses, but they forced them to go in again; as soon as the job was over they all but Hill & Jos. Mitchell who he thinks went home, went to Red Lane & deliver’d up their arms to a man appointed to meet them there from Nottm they were put into two bags, & taken away; the Lambley set made the best of their way home, does not know the man who took the arms but he was old & a Nottm man as deponent understood; met no one on their way to Lambley.

The job in Woolpack Lane last Goose Fair

The day it happened he was at home & at work, a man from Mansfield, known to big Sam & sent by him, came to him saying big Sam wanted him & he must come directly, went with him to the Eclipse in Chapel lane in Nottm, met Jos. Mitchel & big Sam, both told him there was going to be a bit of a job & he must make one; this was one at oclock, they all staid there till about 6, they sat in the room fronting the street, drinking ale; Mitchel gave them 2s apiece as deponent said he would not go without; the ale was served sometime by the maid sometimes by a servant man & sometimes by the landlord, thinks Mitchel was well known there but deponent was never in the house before; thinks it is very likely their party was not particularly noticed as the house very full on account of the fair & every one very busy; saw no one particular who appeared to know Mitchel; after 6 oclock being dark & rainy, they went into a field, on the other side the Volunteer, the party then consisted of Jos. Mitchell, Hill, big Sam, the Mansfield man, Adam Slack, Willm Withers, Jack Plumb, Tom Daykin brother to Aron, & deponent, they all except Withers, Adam Slack, & deponent disguised themselves all having a smock frock on, Mitchel supplied some & big Sam brought two; at 7 oclock they went to the house, deponent did not know the persons name; deponent was placed sentry over a grocers shop at the next door, Mitchel, Hill, Tom Daykin & Jack Plumb went in, the Mansfield man was placed over the back door; as soon as they were in the house women and children made a great noise, which brought a crowd about the house, thinks more than 100 persons, they endeavour’d to keep those in the house from coming out but were prevented by big Sam, who run up the steps & pulled some of them from the door, Sam asked deponent what he should do, had he not better fire to alarm those in the house? he did so into the air; as soon as he had fired a man endeavoured to lay hold of Sam, but he pointed his gun at him & the man desisted, the crowd also gave way; Mitchel & the others immediately came out of the house, & they all, (except Adam Slack run away when the crowd was round the house) returned to the fields they met in; here deponent deliver’d up the pistol he had in his hand & went back to the Eclipse where he slept, leaving the others in the fields; saw nothing of any one except his own townsmen for three weeks or a month after—

The Attack upon Kerry near Aspley in the parish of Radford.—

It was for the purpose of breaking his frame that the attack was made, he was working cut up work; no previous intention of injuring him was entertained, & no violence would have been used had he not resisted; this job has long been talked of, the day before it happened, Tom Humphrey, or Emphrey, of Basford, came to deponent, said what was going to be done, & asked him to make one, he refused saying, he should get nothing by it, besides he should have to go & return thro’ Nottm & Radford, & thought he should be noticed, he has every reason to believe that Daniel & Joseph Mellors the men now in custody for shooting Lord Middleton's keepers, & Tom Humphrey, were the men; as the night they assembled for the purpose of attacking Cooks house, he heard Mellors telling Diggle his wife was a dam’d open mouthed bitch, & would get them hanged, or words to that effect; deponent knows Diggle’s wife has talked about it—

Various circumstances related by John Blackburn to Mr. Rolleston

The circumstances which first led to his connection with the Luddites was a quarrel at a public house with some of the set, & thinking himself illused he applied to Jos. Mitchel whom he had previously known, for redress, when Mitchell saw the persons he had quarrelled with, he said they were good fellows, he advised him to make it up & join their party, which he agreed to; the first job he ever was at was about 4 or 5 years ago the last job that was done before the act passed, making the offence capital; they met in the fields at the back of Nottm near Sneinton, whilst there ale &c was brought by some of the party, & a quantity of arms, well remembers a great many swords, they proceeded to break the frames at New Sneinton, old Sneinton, & in Trumpet street Nottm; being the first time he was out, was alarmed, & remembers no particulars, except they were nearly shooting a man who would look at them, thinks he was called old Moore; Mitchel Savage, Badder, were of the party, also James Towle & Simpson (who have been executed) & Bamford who was shot at Basford,—At the time the 15th or 9th Lt. Dragoons had new accoutrements whilst quartered at Nott, their old swords were sold, & bought by a man living in the Long Row named Blackwell, & sold by him to a man named Jarratt, who was once a noncommissioned officer in the Nottm militia, who brought them to the Ludds when assembled near Sneinton, for the purpose of breaking the frames—

The Luddites have at this time no regular depot of arms, each man generally has his own which he keeps;

Does not know they are in any way connected with the members of the Hampden Clubs, deponent is not one;

Knows of no organised system for a general disturbance, never heard of such a thing, but some talk of a revolution, does not think any thing particular is meant, is certain he should know were it the case to any extent.

A committee of the Luddites is held at the Unicorn, Pannier close Nottm thinks their books & papers may be kept there, but does not know; thinks Ludding is not conducted with the same spirit it has been; money, which they cannot do without has been scarce, owing to the bad times; when a job was intended money was collected from any one that that would give; it would surprise you to know the many respectable shopkeepers in Nottm who had given money; does not know if they were reduced to do so by fear, or other motives; is certain of the fact; their funds are at this time exhausted; should the men now in custody be executed, is certain it will break up the Ludding system, as they are at this time, the leading men, particularly Savage, & Mitchel who is the most determined & desperate character he knows, Mitchel with either Bamford or Simpson were the persons who shot Mr Trentham; thinks it was Mitchel who fired.

Is certain every effort will be used for his destruction when it is known the part he has taken, a very large body of men can be collected at Nottm & altho’ the actual Ludds may not be so very numerous, yet he is sure in case of any desperate effort being intended, every disaffected or dissatisfied person would join them, & make their force very great; thinks a great effort is most likely to be made at the time he appears at the assizes at Nottm against the men committed for shooting at Cook; "you wont believe me, but I know for certain there are many who will risk their lives by shooting me in Court if they can, as they know if I appear against the men in custody all Ludding will be over & there are many who for money & the good of the trade will do any thing."

at the time Glover & Chettle were tried for the Radford job, there were a great many armed men ready to rescue them, should they have been convicted; at the time Towle was tried at Leicester he deponent was offer’d money to go & shoot the Judge, & rescue the business; he refused, but several went, but owing to the precaution taken, of having those who were not known searched, they dare not come into Court; about 2000 men were to have assembled in the meadows to have murder’d the Judge as he left the town, but as most of them were to come from Hinckley side, they did not arrive in time.

Before me
Lanct. Rolleston
Jany 9th & other days

[On reverse] Blackburn’s full Confession to Mr Rolleston, inclosed in his letter of 5th Feby 1817.

5th February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston says John Blackburn has implicated Daniel Diggle in the shooting of George Kerry

My Lord

I have the honour of forwarding your Lordship the full confession made to me by John Blackburn; the perpetrators of the various outrages he has detailed, are nearly the same as those implicated in destroying machinery at Loughbro’, the case against them in that affair, appears so particularly strong as to leave little doubt of their conviction; should that however not be the case, they may be arraigned on other charges at the Nottingham summer Assizes, which charges, I beg leave to submit to your Lordship the propriety of withholding, till the result of the capital indictment against them at Leicester is known.

Danl. Diggle & Josh Mellors two of the persons mentioned by Blackburn as having attacked Kerry near Aspley, are to take their trial for shooting at Lord Middleton's gamekeepers, a warrant is also out against Thos. Humphrey who was at Radford, & several others for the same offence; John Plumb one of the party who broke the frames at Radford & in Woolpack lane is also in custody, and shall be detained, if any evidence can be obtained against into either of those acts. I understand that Wm. Burton one of the men now in prison at Leicester, is desirous of making disclosure of a framebreaking which occurr’d a short time ago at Bramcote in this County, & which he says was done by a different set of men; I shall see him in a day or two & will transmit to your lordship any information he may think proper lay before me

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston.

Watnall Feby 5th 1817

5th February 1817: The Town Clerk of Leicester suggests a Special Commission to try the 'Loughborough Job' Luddites

February 5. 1817


I beg to acquaint you that the Report as to the Hampden Club proceedings of last Monday night contains nothing of sufficient importance to communicate, but my Agent states that in a conversation with Pares, a Jacobin Printer here, Pares stated that he had circulated several tracts amongst the Soldiers here, particularly the dialogue between the privileged class & the people, & that if he could get money enough he would circulate some thousands amongst them. He added that if they were to rise the best way would be to ascertain all the Soldiers Quarters, & parties of young men to go & seize their arms at once before they could muster, or know what was intended.

I mention these facts merely to shew you the sort of ideas to which this party familiarizes itself, tho’ it may not be seriously intended to act upon them.—

I had the pleasure of attending the examinations & final commitment of 8 Luddites for trial at our County Gaol on Monday, & 2 others who must be admitted evidence, & I strongly advised the Magistrates to apply for a Special Commission to try these men by way of a signal example. I hope His Majesty's Government will acquiesce in the propriety of this step, as the County Gaol is full of Offenders for desperate crimes besides the Luddites, & if all are to be reserved till the Assizes it may appal the stoutest Jury to return so many Verdicts of Guilty where they know Execution must follow Besides which in the trial of so many Luddites the most active exertions & vigilant attention of the police & the public will be required to prevent serious disturbance, & those exertions would be less effectual if divided & harassed by attention to other business.

I hope you will not think me officious in these observations which regard matters not exactly within the pale of my duty:

I have [etc]
Tho: Burbridge
Town Clerk

[To] J.H. Addington Esqr
&c &c &c

5th February 1817: Jeffrey Lockett sends a long letter to the Home Office about the Loughborough Job case

Loughbro’ Feby 4th: [1817]


I had the honour to receive your letter of the 17th Inst, giving me the welcome intelligence, that Lord Sidmouth had been pleased to recommend to the Treasury, the payment of the 500 [guineas], offered in the names of Messrs Heathcoat, and Boden, as a reward for the apprehension and conviction of James Towle; and I am now authorized by those gentlemen, to request that you will do them the favour, to present their most grateful thanks to His Lordship for his kind consideration of their case. Since my return from Holkar, I have consulted Mr. Mundy, and other magistrates of this county, and the magistrates of Nottingham, and have their approbation of the following distribution of the reward. It is proposed to give

To Benjamin Barnes, a Nottingham Police officer who apprehended James Towle, and gave important evidence on the trial, & has incurred great personal danger 150 [guineas]

To John Sherwin, and John Webster, two of Messrs Heathcoat and Bodens workmen, who gave information to Barnes, and afterwards identified the prisoner, and conducted themselves before the Magistrates, and on the trial, with great propriety, as witnesses, each 100 [guineas]

To James Lawson (a Nottm Police officer) who also gave evidence and is proscribed by the Luddites 50 [guineas]

To John Asher, Mrs Sylvester and Mrs Mackie who gave evidence each 20 [guineas]

To Henry Newton and Saml White, two Police officers, 15 [guineas] each

To Mr Enfields secret informer 10 [guineas]

[Total] 500 [guineas]

The money will be very acceptable to the parties, who are to receive it, and I shall be much obliged to you, if you will be pleased to inform me, when and in what manner it is to be paid.

On the 21st Ult. I addressed a letter to Mr Beckett from Holkar, in which I apprized him of my intended return to Derby on the 27th, and expressed a wish, that I might find a letter from him on my arrival, with an undertaking on the part of Government to indemnify Messrs Heathcoat and Boden, acquaint the defence of instigating the charges [against] the Luddites lately apprehended, and the prosecution of them. It might be owing to Mr Beckett's absence from town, that my request has not been complied with and that my letter remains unanswered. But after the assurance which I received from you, when I had the honour of seeing you in town, I did not hesitate to comply with Mr Mundys request, and repeated solicitations, whilst I was at Holkar— but proceeded without stopping in Derby on the 27th, two meet Mr Mundy here. From that day to the present hour, I have been incessantly engaged with him and other magistrates in the examinations of the prisoners,—searching after the offenders who are at large,—investigating the accounts given from time to time by those who are in custody,—tracing all their movements, as described by Blackburn, and endeavouring to procure evidence to confirm his information. When Mr Mundy transmitted to you the copy of Blackburns confession, he was not aware of Mr Rolleston not having sent you a copy of J Blackburns information, but ‘ere now you will have received one from him. The information was taken by Mr Rolleston; but I am now in possession of a much more particular, and satisfactory narrative which I took from his mouth, on Wednesday last at Nottm. As soon as I reach home, a copy of it, upon which I will make the confirmation which it will receive, shall be prepared for Lord Sidmouth and I entertain no doubt, but that his Lordship will be of opinion, that the evidence of the accomplice will be so confirmed, as to be entitled to full credit with the [illegible].

I met Mr Mundy and several other magistrates yesterday at Leicester, when the prisoners were finally examined. Thomas Savage, William Towle, Jos. Mitchell, William Withers, Samuel Cordwell, John Amos and John Crowder, and John Blackburn, on the information of Mr H. Boden, Mrs Silvester, John Blackburn; and William Burton, on the same information, and his own confession, were committed for trial for framebreaking, and shooting [at], or being present, and aiding in the shooting at John Asher, Mrs Silvester, and Mrs Rushworth, in the night of the 28th June last, at Loughbro’, and John Slater, who you will be recollect was tried at the last assizes, and James Towle, for shooting and aiding in the shooting at John Asher, was committed on the same information for framebreaking, and shooting at Mrs Silvester, and Mrs Rushworth.

I have the pleasure to add that Blackburn met his late confederates, and heard their denial of his charge—and their recrimination of him, with great firmness, and conducted himself [throughout] the examinations in a very becoming manner. I mention this, because it is possible that either from Mr Mundy or and Mr Enfield, Lord Sidmouth may have received a different account of this mans behaviour. There was a wish in him in his first examinations, to conceal certain parts of his own, and every thing relating to his brothers conduct in the Loughbro’ affair. He was offered, that if it was discovered, that he was the person who shot Asher, he [should] not be permitted to give evidence for the Crown. But on Wednesday, he disclosed this secret to me, and from that time his accounts have been consistent, and his general deportment materially improved.

It will be decided by the court of Kings Bench, probably in the present term, whether Lace frames are engines within the meaning of the act of the 52. Geo.3. C 130, as a case out of this county (Orgill [against] Smith) is before that court on this Question. If Lace frames are such engines, the demolition of Messrs Heathcote and Boden's frames, under the circumstances of that outrage; will subject all the prisoners to a capital charge under that statute; otherwise, it is to be feared that Slater will be indictable only for a transportable offence, as the shooting at Mrs Silvester, and Mrs Rushworth, appears to have done, more to intimidate than to murder them, or do them bodily harm. The rest of the party are clearly liable to the capital charge of having been present, and aided in shooting at John Asher.

Savage was inclined yesterday to confess. He took me apart, and said he could tell me of the three men who had collected money for the Loughbro’ Job,—and of the advice, as council men who had negotiated the [business] with him. I am perceiving that you are well acquainted with the Luddites system; the constituent branches of the conspiracy,—their mode of proceeding when an outrage is proposed;—and their method of effecting it. It would be of vast significance, to bring to capital punishment, a proposer, and a subscriber to an outrage—and an advice, or council man. The destruction of Messrs Heathcote and Boden's frames, was undoubtedly projected by men in their own, but principally in Mr Lacey's factory at this place, who have long been subscribers to the Luddite purse, and made a special subscription for this particular Job. Badder and other advice men from Nottm received their proposals, and planned the affair. Savage was introduced into the plot, as the General of the party, which he selected for the attack,—and he of course knows the whole, and every person—in any manner concerned with in it. If Blackburn had not anticipated him, Savage would have been the best witness for the Crown; but as the [business] now stands, it appears to Mr Mundy, and I am decidedly of the opinion, that no terms can be made with him.

The county, and other goals in Leicester, are already so crowded, that Blackburn and Burton, tho’ it was much wished to have kept them apart, were obliged to be lodged in the same cell;—and that, by no means a secure one, against nocturnal attack, notwithstanding the guard at the Prison. Lord Sidmouth will receive a representation upon this subject from some of the Magistrates.—I think it right also, that his Lordship should be informed, however absurd the [outcome] was, that an attack of the Leicester goal, with a view to the rescue of James Towle, at the last assizes, was certainly projected, by his Nottinghamshire associates. Cooperation was expected from Hinckley, and other towns in Leicestershire, and meetings were held in the night, in the fields near Leicester Abbey to consider the [business]. But sufficient numbers could not be collected; and a difference of opinion arose, between those who were assembled as to the mode of proceeding. The intended assassination of the Judge, which originated at Nottingham was also meant to have been perpetrated as he left Leicester. Men were actually prepared, and on the road to have effected it, but they were deterred by there being three carriages either with or men that of his Lordship.—I am fully aware, how absurd, and imporbable these designs must appear to those who are not well acquainted with the demoralized state of the town, and neighbourhood of Nottingham, and the audacity of this particular class of people.—Yet I have no doubt whatever as to the truth of the statements.

At Leicester, the High Sheriff informed the magistrates, that there are already thirty persons committed for trial on capital charges, at the next assizes, beside others for minor offences. The trial of Towle, and Slater at the last assizes occupied fourteen hours, only three of which were taken up by the prosecutors. But the prosecutors case upon the approaching trials, will be very long indeed, from the great extent of the confirmatory evidence,—and if each Luddite prisoner sets up a separate alibi, and character defence, according to their late practice, it will be impossible for one judge, to go thro’ the calendar in less than treble the time usually [adequate] for holding the assizes. I presume to make this observation, that it may be communicated to the Judge, if thought right, or other arrangements be made to meet the exigency.

Lord Sidmouth apprized, that the outrage at Loughbro’ was perpetrated by 17 Luddites, of whom one has been executed: ten are now in custody, and the remaining six are a large—That these 17 men are more than a majority of this branch of the conspiracy, and that they are the most active, and desperate of the whole party, is now ascertained; for there has not been an outrage of any importance since the year 1812, in which they have been sometimes not been the only parties, but always or the principal persons concerned. The execution of James Towle has been of infinite use,—and I entertain a confident hope, grounded on what I have just stated, that the successful termination of the trials which are now about to take place;—the severe punishment of such as may be convicted, and an act of parliament to make it a capital felony to break lace stocking frames or any other engines as such—in manufactories will completely extinguish Luddism.

Of the six men; who are large, one (John Disney otherwise Sheepshead Jack, as, according to James Towles statement, Sheepshead Joe) is charged with being concerned with Crofts, now in the Leicester goal for a capital felony, and absconded three or four months ago.—It is said that he has left the Kingdom.—Another of them, called Little Sam, was taken up at Nottm about 4 months since, as a deserter from Artillery, by the name of John Smith, and, it is said, was sent to the Isle of Wight. He probably might readily be met with.—Respecting the remaining four, there is no certain information; tho’ from their want of money, and the support which will be given to them in this neighbourhood, it is most probable, that they are at no great distance. Whether any exertion should be made to find out, and take these men, is a proper subject for immediate consideration. I presume to give my opinion, that they should be advertized with the offer of a reward for the apprehension of each offender. Tho’ the direct object of the advertizement, might not be gained by it, it would at least shew the public, that there is no relaxation in the pursuit of these villains,—and if it does not lead to the detection and punishment of them, It will at least prevent their return to their remaining associates. But if this step is to be taken, it must be under Lord Sidmouths express directions. I have hitherto acted, and incurred considerable expence without any authority except from Mr Mundy and the other magistrates. My knowledge of the circumstances of Messrs Heathcote & Boden, excludes the expectation of pecuniary aid from that quarter—and if they were [sufferable] to bear the expence, it could hardly be expected that they or any other individuals should be charged with the expence of suffering Luddism, altho’ they are the principal sufferers from it. But tho’ it would have been satisfactory to me to have received an answer to my letter to Mr Beckett on this point, as I have before observed I feel entire confidence in the verbal assurance which I received from you, & upon which I have acted.

Long as my letter, and I ought to apologize to you on this account, there are yet many matters which have come to my knowledge, in the course of the late and the present investigations which I wish to represent to Lord Sidmouth, but it will probably be necessary for me, if the management of the prosecutions is committed to my charge, to confer with the Counsel for the Crown before they leave town for the circuits,—and I will take that or some other opportunity of introducing myself to his Lordship. I have only to add that in the part which I have taken throughout this [illegible] I have been influenced by no consideration of professional emolument, but from a desire to lend my feeble exertions toward the suppression of the Luddite system;—and that if any other solicitor, is proposed to succeed me in this office, I shall most cheerfully resign it,—and at the same time give him my gratuitous assistance.

I have the honour to be
Your most obedt humble Servt
Mr Jefferey Lockett

P.S. I have been so interrupted whilst I have been writing that I can could not finish my letter till this morning—& the mail has now left Loughbro’

Wednesday 5th Feby

Saturday 4 February 2017

4th February 1817: Charles Mundy informs the Home Secretary that 9 Luddites have been committed for trial

Burton february 4th 1817

My Lord

I have the Honour to inform your lordship that yesterday the following persons were finally committed for trial. Savage Thomas Savage, Joshua Mitchell, John Slater, John Crowther alias Crowder. John Amos William Withers William Towle, Samuel Caldwell, alias Calder, on the deposition of John Blackburn, William Burton & John Blackburn were of course committed on their own confessions. the moment the very long deposition of Blackburn (which is now more fully made out than the short one on which I have hitherto acted & which I had the honour of transmitting to your Lordship) is copied I shall have the Honour of laying it before your Lordship.—The confirmatory evidence will be extremely voluminous & more strong and perfect in a complete chain than I have ever recollected to have met with under similar circumstances.—This I shall do myself the Honour of  transmitting to your Lordship as I collect it if it is your Lordships pleasure I should do so. it must, as I observed before, be collected by degrees: with great caution.—a prosecution of this nature cannot be carried on with any hope of success without very considerable expence. the evidence going to be searched for at Nottingham & the adjacent villages. on all roads leading from Nottingham to Loughborough, and at Loughborough & the villages contiguous thereto. many witnesses must also be brought from Tiverton in Devonshire to which place Heathcote and Boden have removed with most of their confidential workmen. I take the liberty of naming these circumstances to your Lordship is a question naturally arises as to the means whereby these expences are to be defrayed.—as far as the business has gone I ventured to act [given] the importance of the case & the necessity of prompt exertion I have of course been obliged to apply for information and the means of obtaining [confession] of the persons of the prisoners to the very active & will well [arranged] police at Nottingham. I am speaking merely of the Police & have receiv’d the most active & zealous assistance from Mr. Enfield the Town Clerk who is officially the superintendent of it. Mr. Lockett of Derby who is agent & solicitor to Heathcote & Boden I was likewise necessitated to apply to for various documents in his possession and it is impossible for any thing to have exceeded his seal & activity in this business since his arrival. I shall be oblig’d to seek assistance from Mr. Cradock of Loughborough in the progress of the collecting the evidence. Hitherto I have I have performd nearly the whole of the business with the evidence in the neighbourhood of Loughborough myself but some assistance will certainly be required between in this time & the assizes.—It is for this reason that I presume to state to your Lordship the necessity of it being known whether any pecuniary assistance is to be expected from his Majesties Government. and also whether my [illegible] for the apprehending such as the Gang as one not at present in custody should be held out

Hill & Disney are notorious persons as Luddites and it would be an object to get hold of them the others are perhaps of less consequence. the man calld little Sam will easily be discovered being gone under escort to the depot at the Isle of Wight. your lordship will see when the whole of the information derivd from Blackburn & Burton is laid before you that the persons now in custody and those who have absconded have been the leading people in all the destructive practices, known in this part of the kingdom by the title of Ludding, for some years.—

I have [etc]
C.G. Mundy

[To] The Right Honourable
The Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Thursday 2 February 2017

2nd February 1817: Lancelot Rolleston tells the Home Secretary that Charles Mundy has not sent the full confession of John Blackburn

My Lord

I have just heard with what surprise from Mr. Mundy that the confession made to me by John Blackburn, has never been forwarded to your Lordship; at the time it was taken down, Mr. Enfield Town clerk of Nottingham who was present, requested the original, intimating a fair copy should immediately be made out & transmitted to your Lordship; this from Mr. Addington's letter to Mr. Mundy of the 31st never could have taken place, & I have truly to regret, any part of this business was trusted to the habits of any one, who however sanguine for its success, must I fear have involved me in your Lordships opinion, in unpardonable neglect.

As Mr. Mundy as by this days post transmitted your Lordship that part of Blackburn's examination relative to the outrage of Loughbro’, I think I need only forward what applies to other matters, & which I will immediately do, upon obtaining the original document which as yet has never been returned to me.

I have [etc]
Lanct. Rolleston

Feby 2d