Thursday, 2 February 2017

2nd February 1817: Charles Mundy sends John Blackburn's confession to the Home Secretary

Burton Febry 2nd 1817

My Lord

I have the honour to transmit a copy of the confession of John Blackburn taken by Mr. Rolleston agreeable to your Lordships commands.—This is the only deposition that has as yet been taken of the statement of this man & your Lordship will observe that it agrees with that of Burton in every instance where they have spoken of what they were both eyewitnesses to. though they differ in some points where the information of one or perhaps both has arisen from hearsay.—they have never had any intercourse & were but little acquainted. circumstances occasioned Blackburn to be the first to confess & therefore we were as your Lordship knows glad to avail ourselves of the only opportunity that then appeared making discoveries at all.—it is now to be lamented that the first to discover the guilt of his accomplices was not one like Burton less deeply implicated than John Blackburn at the same time I doubt not but the latter will be able to give us much more information of other depredations of the kind than Burton as he declares he never was concerned in more than one job as it is termed besides the Loughborough transaction of which I shall get a particular account from him & transmit to your Lordship. at present I have been too much engaged in collecting evidence to inform the accomplices & in which I have further been very successful.—as all the witnesses are unwilling either from fear of this Gang or from friendly feelings to them the collecting Evidence is a most difficult as well as the Laborious business. it is necessary to act with great caution & to apply to them privately & with [regard] to proper opportunity much injury would arise from an injudicious approbation.—Blackburn is to be brought here this morning on his way to Leicester & tomorrow I proceed thither to commit for trial. I have delay’d his letter to the last moment in the hope that Blackburns arrival would enable me to transmit to your Lordship a more particular copy of what he says but as one of the Officers from Nottingham is just arrived & says Blackburn will not be here if at least an hour I am under the necessity of sending this deposition as it is directly from fear of losing this days post. I have the Honour to remain

My Lord Your Lordships most obedient
very Humble Servant
C.G. Mundy

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

This letter can be found at HO 40/3.

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