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.

This letter can be found at HO 42/159.

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