Thursday, 2 February 2017

[Before] 2nd February 1817: John Blackburn's confession

The Voluntary Confession of John Blackburn of Nottingham Framework Knitter – taken before me Lancelot Rolston Esq. one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Nottingham

Who Saith

That about a week before the Job at Loughborough one William Withers of Nottingham framework knitter came to him then living at Lambley and said they meaning the Luddites wanted him and two more, for a Job that he should have his expences paid and there would be Forty pound for it. it was to take place the next friday night and was to be at Loughboro. Deponent in Company with Aaron Dakin and a man whose name he did not know but who is called Little Sam and now sent to the Isle of Wight as a Deserter and Samuel Caldwell alias the Dragoon remained wandering about the Country and staid two nights at a Public House at Beeston either the Dunham Ox or next door to it the Landlady charged them nothing for Lodging or only twopence two nights remained at Kings Head Narrow Marsh Nottingham they paid the Landlord 6d. each the reason they kept in the lower part of the Town was because Thomas 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 & Aaron Dakin remained in the Kitchen all the Evening but deponent & Caldwell went out.—thinks that Little Sam must have been known at Beeston as he had worked at the Town & that the others had been used to go to the house thinks it was a Widow who kept the House she was a jolly woman—.The next day they parted leaving Sam & Caldwell alias big Sam alias the Dragoon & little Sam in Beeston. deponent and Dakin went together to Hathern they got some Ale at a house on the road thinks it was the Anchor at Hathern [Inn] did not see the Landlord the Ale was served by an Old woman—they there parted deponent went to Loughboro’ & Dakin 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 Loughboro’ according to appointment met Savage at the sign of the Pack Horse the Landlord at the Pack Horse served him with some Ale as soon as he had finished it he left the room and Savage followed him according to previous agreement and went from thence to Tom Tylers the Sign of the White Lion in Swan Street there met according Savage must be known to the Landlord having been at Loughboro’ some days at that House & at the Duke of York—at the White Lion there met according to appointment Sheepshead Jack and Aaron Dakin deponent knew the Landlord who also knew him—he then went with Savage to buy some Beef Steaks which they bought at a Butchers Shop small distance from the Blacks Head. brought the Steaks and had part of them cooked at Tylers did not stay to eat them as Savage told them it would not do to stay there as they might be noticed—he took him to the Duke of York Public House thinks the Landlord knew Savage.—he then according to Savage directions about ten o'clock went back to Tylers and took Disney & Aaron Dakin who went with him to Mount Sorrell Hill where Stone is got for the roads and brought away with them a great Hammer of thirty pound, two about 12 pound & an Iron Crow. then returned to Loughboro’ leaving the tools in a ditch just before they came to Needleys Inn. they all three slept in a Cart in the outskirts of the Town—About Six o'clock he went to the Duke of York found Savage there and breakfasted with him the other two Disney & Dakin were sent back to the White Lion Tom Tylers dining the day took Savage to see the Tools but as two then appeared to be watching had not time to look for them as Deponent & Savage ran away and the men pursued them—thinks it was about 3 o'clock they first went down a Lane towards a Windmill then crossed the Canal at a Bridge & went towards Hoton about a mile before they came to the Nottingham road they parted Savage sent deponent to Hathern to meet Caldwell & Little Sam coming from Beeston & Disney & Aaron Dakin who had gone there from Loughboro during the day and to bring them to Loughborough. they were not ready to come 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 he was sent back to Loughboro’ to get some from Savage—met him and Jack Amos about a mile before he got to Loughboro’ who went back nearly to Hathern and gave enough to pay for the Hatchets and 3 Shillings between every two for expences for the Night—Deponent Savage & Amos came first towards Loughboro’ leaving Caldwell & Little Sam Aaron & Disney near the Town Aron with either Disney or Little Sam went & paid he thinks 2 [shillings] for the Hatchets they were quite new and heard it said Will Withers had bought them but does not know where. when they got near Loughboro’ Savage told [deponent] he must not now go into the Town being well known but must go back to Hathern and tell the men there the Tools must not be brought into the Town till the Job was ready they hid them in a Sough under the foot path Big Sam & I went to the White Lion Aaron Dakin Little Sam & Dakin to the Green Man where they had Supper either Beefsteaks or Mutton Chops Deponent & Big Sam had Cold meat at Tylers—whilst their Savage & another thinks Hill came & asked Tyler to lend him a Bottle to put some Rum in which he bought about a quart & said if he would not lend him the bottle he would pay for it thinks Tyler lent it him—Savage then went out deponent followed & was sent by Savage to the Green Man to fetch those there who were eating their supper in a quarter of an hour they found him in the road it was between 11 & 12—they were instructed by Savage to proceed on the Ashby Road until they came to a House near the Turnpike and turned down a Lane where they assembled the party consisted of himself Big Sam Little Sam Dakin Disney Savage Hill Jos. Mitchel Jack Slater John Amos John Crowther William Withers Bill Towle James Towle Bill Burton & a Chap whom he did not know—whilst in the Lane they disguised themselves in various ways—and all tied their Handkerchiefs over their faces—Slater Some changed Coats & others turned their own inside out Slater had Big Sams Smock frock on—Mitchell his own Coat turned and a Handkerchief over his face

between Loughboro’ & Hathern where he first met Amos deponent had asked him how long he had been come he said not long being asked who were coming he said Jos. was with him on the Coach. that they had passed some on foot Bill Towle & he thinks Bill Burton thinks Crowther & Slater walked & Hill came by the Coach Withers walked James Towle walked thinks some of them Bill Towle & Burton & Withers stopped at the Ship at Rempstone they had Pistols in the inside Great Coat pockets and heard some of the party after say that a Labouring man saw them and fetched either the Landlord or his Master to look at them who looked at them over a Screen And Said Something to them wishing to know what their Pistols were for they left Rempstone & went on to the Ball at Hoton where Bill Towle was sick. is not certain whether this or [illegible] at Rempstone or Hoton Bill Towle had a great Coat on—the above named persons went from the Lane above mentioned directly to the Factory they met a man going to the factory they threatened if he did not get them quietly admitted he should suffer for it he rang a Bell the door was open & they rushed in—a great dog flew at them & James Towle shot him Bill Towle struck at him first but the Hatchet flew out of his hand—they cried out this "push forward" deponent staid at the Corner of the factory till he heard they were in the room where the Guard was placed while entering the door he heard a Pistol going off and wished to retreat but some one said he would blow his brains out if he did not go forward—which he then did does not know who this was soon after he was placed Sentry at the door of the factory upon their going up to the top Shop he was called & placed Sentry over the men in the first floor Shop—whilst there he saw them go into the top Shop—Hill armed with his Pistols went first. Mitchell with his Pistols next—he was called to go up & went with an Axe & broke some of the frames. Mitchel soon went down to see all was right and returned with a Gun & a Bayonet and asked them saying "Ned have you done your duty work well" and went & examined the frames Some one replied "yes it was a Waterloo Job by God" Rodney alias Bill Towle was going to pocket some Lace and 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 out your brains" he took it away from him & burnt it on the floor they all broke the frames in turn upon 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 he was at the factory but heard Caldwell say he fired and that a Curtain was set on fire—As soon as they had left the factory they fired 20 or 30 Pistols & Guns and set off home they went by Garenden Park he knows little of the road till he got to Kingston village which place he remembers from having asked for some water as he came—a Powder flask was taken from the factory by Caldwell but Savage Mitchel & Hill saying it might lead to discovery he broke in to pieces saying no one should keep it if he didn't. one Gun was thrown into the Canal just as they Crossed the bridge coming towards Nottingham—it was thrown in by Caldwell near Kingston they saw a man at Plough who looked at them he was told to go about his business—they then went to a Boat which they found by the Trent but it would not carry them over the Ware—they then went lower down & came to another Boat but being [tired] lagged behind Deponent was one of the persons who went over in the first party Savage paid for the whole he saw two men on the other side when they got over he heard some of the party say "Damn that fat fellow I know him and he knows me but he does say nought when they got over the Trent they took off their disguises soon after they all parted deponent & Caldwell & Little Sam & Aaron Dakin went together & were instructed by Savage to go to the Fox at New Snenton where he should have some money to be there about 10 o'clock when they got to Beeston Caldwell & Aaron went on first himself & Little Sam stopped at the old house and got a Cup of Ale between 4 & 5 in the morning & then went to Lenton and stopped at the wrestlers and had a Cup of Ale 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 & they found Caldwell & Dakin there before him being [tired] with waiting he went to see for Savage whom he met near the house he gave them ten Shillings each & does not know where he got the money but it is almost sure from Loughboro’ After the frames in which he works were broken at Lambley he was sent by Badder and Henry Crowse at Loughborough Badder told him that when he came through Loughboro’ after his Trial Pounder had behaved well to him & as deponent had been at the Loughboro’ Job he thought he would assist him—he went but he did not see him

As soon as he got the money from Savage he and Aaron went home he thinks it was one of the Guards who had Little Sam taken before the Magistrates as a Deserter. the Soldier lived at the Lion & Lamb.

This document can be found at HO 40/3.

No comments:

Post a Comment